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Lessons I Learnt in 14 Years of Marriage

It was 14 years ago, exactly on this date that I said my vows at my dream wedding. I had 200 guests seated at the garden of the Palace of the Golden Horses, all dressed in shades of purple or white. It was the perfect day. There was a cool breeze that day, and everything went smoothly, despite a little accident that broke a portion of the trishaw I was transporting from Malacca for the ceremony that day.

14 years flew by, it wasn’t short, but it didn’t feel so long either. I do not remember the personalised vows I said that day but thank God for videos…all the memories were recorded beautifully. I was an idealistic 27 year old bride. I believed in true love and I found it. But I didn’t know how much work it takes to stay in love.

I’ve learnt many lessons over these 14 years. It took me some time to learn them, so if I could speak to my 27 year old self, I’d say…

The romance may disappear but true love is deeper than just feelings

The commitment we made to one another that day was the seal that brought us together. The heart palpitations faded after a while, but it didn’t mean I was less in love with the man I married so many years ago. The love I feel now is much deeper because of my understanding of who he is, and how much he tries to make things work for the family.

Change yourself first

We had a difficult first year of marriage trying to understand each other. In between tears and feelings of insecurity, I had to come to terms with my own weaknesses. If you accept responsibility for your own actions, your marriage will thank you for it.

If you want the fun and adventure to carry on, you need to make time for it

Life goes on after a while. The bills need to get paid, children come along, and soon, the only excitement you get is to choose which movie to watch on Netflix that night. We really had to make time for date nights where we spent time talking or exploring some new activity. This is even more important after the children are born.

Make time to listen

Even though we work in the same office, there were days when we just breezed through life without saying anything significant to one another. I had to learn to listen with undivided attention so that I could understand his needs. Frequent conversations was the key that made us feel connected.

Always forgive

We might have differing opinions, but we always attempt to resolve issues before sleeping. We need to remember that we are on the same side, not against one another. If there is a problem, it’s our problem, not the other person’s problem. Through the years, we had to learn what it means to speak kindly in the midst of a disagreement.
Ultimately, the very cord that holds us together is our love for Jesus Christ. It’s our belief system that kept us unified all these years. 14 years and counting.

If you would like to follow my marriage and parenting journey, please head on to Comma: Rethink Life.

Rekindling Romance in Marriage

As a wedding and portrait photographer, I have seen the extreme highs that couples go through as they set their sights on the one they love, and say their vows to always be there through good and hard times. Personally, as I also speak to couples in my daily life, I realize that it is easy to let the flames die out all too soon. Often times, arguments happen over seemingly small, trivial issues. But it points to deeper, unresolved issues, usually parent and family issues from the past.

This is my 13th year of marriage. I have to admit, while my love for Alex has grown deeper through the years, I have also gotten pretty complacent in our marriage. I don’t make much effort to surprise him (ever), think of doing things that truly please his heart or even attempt to wear beautiful lingerie to sleep (I had to put aside my pineapple pyjama pants because of this).

We’ve gotten way too comfortable towards each other.

That is why I appreciate the little things about him. How he does make the effort to do things like taking care of the kids while I go succulent shopping, plan mini stay-cations in the city or just prepare maggi mee by candle light in our bedroom after a long day of shoot.

I love him for all these little things and more. God is reminding me that while it is nice to be the recipient of all these little acts of love, I need to invest in his emotional tank too. I must go beyond my own comfort zone, laziness and make an effort to bring romance into the marriage over and over again.

I hope you do too. Happy Valentine’s Day.

(oh, and if you need some date night ideas with your spouse, head on over to Comma – Rethink Life and check out this post.)

Comma Pre-Marital Series 04: Communication & Conflict

As a wedding photographer, I have seen many couples going into marriage with rose tinted glasses, so in love with each other and oblivious to each other’s faults. But just one year into marriage, it is easy to find the ‘honeymoon’ phase has passed and now, the glasses are removed, and both eyes are wide open. I believe it is important to go into marriage with a realistic point of view while maintaining some form of idealism.

Conflict will surely happen in any marriage. Unmet expectations can creep up easily, and soon, you’ll find yourselves dealing with more than you can handle. Don’t worry, this is really normal in any relationship. The important thing is to develop the tools to help you deal with conflict when it happens. In our interview below, John and Radiance are an everyday married couple, sharing how they handle conflict in their marriage.

And if you missed Episode 3 of Comma on how to NOT sabotage a relationship, click here to watch it!

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

Raising Children of Character


You have heard of the phrase, it takes a village to raise a child. We were raised by our parents the best way they knew how to. Most likely with a rotan in one hand and with their favourite word, “No”. However, in this day and age, I feel that parenting challenges are even greater in this generation. My husband recently wrote and shared this message with some of our family members regarding the upbringing of our kids. In our culture of over-indulging our children, it’s so easy for their generation to grow up inappropriately without us realising it. Some of our friends saw what we wrote and asked if they could share this content with their family members too. Please feel free to do so.

Dearest Grandma, Yeh Yeh, Uncle & Aunts of our kids,
Grace and I would like to really take time to appreciate you for playing such a crucial role in bringing up our children. With your presence, their lives (and ours!) are greatly enriched.

With the changing landscape of culture and life, bringing up kids today as compared to yesteryear differs greatly in so many, many ways. We as parents are constantly grappling with how we should remain relevant with the times and balance what to accept from today versus what should be maintained based on the fantastic values that you sowed into our lives.

Here are some thoughts we’ve put together about a few topics, that we’d love to hear your feedback about. Continue Reading

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