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Comma Pre-Marital Series 03: Communication & Conflict

Our tongue has the power to build or tear down. With our words, we can either encourage someone or make them feel like the lowest person on earth. How do you handle conflict? Do you recognize these harmful ways of communicating in yourself?
After being married for 11 years, I realized that staying connected with each other is one of the biggest issues I face. When conflict arises, it’s easy to just ignore the problems and then carry on with life. We go to work, we come back, deal with kids, and the relationship becomes functional. Dealing with issues is hard but it is necessary. We need to work hard at maintaining each other’s emotional tanks. So learning to communicate and deal with issues is a huge part of it. I hope this video helps you! Do also subscribe to our newly launched YouTube channel so that we can have more than just my family and friends watching this. :)

Credits:

Script & Content Development: Grace
Filmed & Edited by: Chi Yin

Being a Peacemaker

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This is the 9th year of my marriage. What incredible 9 years filled with joy, hurt, reconciliation, love and compromise. Deep down, I know that marriage comes with its own set of challenges. There’s no going into it feeling naive. There will come a time when you will argue, say hurtful things to one another and regret it. As a Christian, I’ve always based my marriage on the principles I read in the Bible. It really helps me to know that my husband values marriage and wants to work at it as hard as I do.

I recently read this verse that made me stop and think a little more about relationships.

They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:11

What really struck me were the words seek peace and pursue it.

It takes effort to keep the peace. It must be something that is worth pursuing and going all out for. We must be proactive in any relationship to maintain the peace, and not expect it to just ‘happen’. In any relationship, we have to believe that pursuing peace is worth the fight.

Which brings me to the other question… “What does peace mean, really?” (According to Alex, he says it’s when the wife doesn’t nag).

After giving it some thought, I think a peaceful relationship means that I can trust someone. That we are both working towards the end goal of each other’s happiness. It doesn’t mean we keep quiet or sweep under the carpet issues that need to be discussed just to ‘keep the peace’. It means talking things through and being mature enough to compromise sometimes.

I am not an expert at marriage, but I work at it. Hard.

The Miracle of Marriage

I read this article from a friend’s blog, and unfortunately, I do not know who to credit, but it’s such a great article that I felt I needed to share it here. It’s worth your 5 minutes reading this article on marriage. Deep down in my heart, I feel truly satisfied and happy that I married Alex. In almost random moments throughout the day, I tell Alex that I love him. I break into a silly grin when I hear him say the same thing… almost like young kids in love.

6 years of marriage and counting… Love you, dear!

PARTNERS AND MARRIAGE by Eduardo Jose E. Calasanz

I have never met a man who didn’t want to be loved. But I have seldom met a man who didn’t fear marriage. Something about the closure seems constricting, not enabling. Marriage seems easier to understand for what it cuts out of our lives than for what it makes possible within our lives. When I was younger this fear immobilized me. I did not want to make a mistake. I saw my friends get married for reasons of social acceptability, or sexual fever, or just because they thought it was the logical thing to do. Then I watched, as they and their partners became embittered and petty in their dealings with each other.

I looked at older couples and saw, at best, mutual toleration of each other. I imagined a lifetime of loveless nights and bickering days and could not imagine subjecting myself or someone else to such a fate. And yet, on rare occasions, I would see old couples that somehow seemed to glow in each other’s presence. They seemed really in love, not just dependent upon each other and tolerant of each other’s foibles. It was an astounding sight, and it seemed impossible. How, I asked myself, can they have survived so many years of sameness, so much irritation at the other’s habits? What keeps love alive in them, when most of us seem unable to even stay together, much less love each other?

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Wedding Do’s & Don’ts (as told by Grace Tan)

Some time back, Abirami Durai, a writer for Faces magazine contacted me. She asked me if I was keen on contributing some tips for couples who are about to get married and if they could feature my wedding in the magazine. The first thought that came to me was… “My wedding? That was 5 years ago!”

I said yes.

I don’t claim to be a wedding expert. I can only share from my experiences – whether it was from planning my own wedding or from going through many weddings as a photographer. (by the way, the article said I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings… just to let you know that the numbers are more modest than that, maybe a hundred plus?).

If you are interested in getting a copy of this magazine, you can buy it from any normal bookstore. It’s the July / August 2011 issue.

Do let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment here and maybe you can share some tips of yours as well.

There isn’t any photographer credit mentioned for my wedding images featured below. I’d like to thank to Andy Lim, Joseph Siew and Yean Tai for these photos here!

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