Work Hard at Ever After

It seems that there’s a worldwide trend of quick marriages and faster divorces. Singapore’s statistics reveals that in 2004, we have almost 2 divorces in every 1000 marriages. The alarming thing is that most of the break-ups occur within the first 2 years of marriage and after more than 5 years of dating.

Remember when you took your vows? Well, how could you keep those vows in mind when you could only see red at a point in time? Do not for any minute fall for the “happy ever after” fairytale. Marriages take a great deal of work; just check out your parents. Where do you think those wrinkles come from?

Going Solo or Team United?

Firstly, work out a balance between individualistic needs and marriage teamwork. While it is important to maintain your individuality and personality, you must also bear in mind that marriage is a team effort.

“We” is definitely a more important pronoun than ‘I’ While making any decisions that will affect the both of you, always consult your other half before proceeding. The last thing you want is a misunderstanding that mutual respect is lacking. I.e., don’t just lend your last month’s pay to your best friend who needs to buy a new car. Check with your spouse first!

However, remember that no matter how united you are, there are always times you need to be private. Grant each other the private space, either in the house, like a study room, or agree on a specific time-slot every week for you to be away from each other. And don? peep into the other’s diary. Trust your partner to be trustworthy.

A Common Wavelength

Have you ever seen couples who can’t even carry on a 5 minute conversation with each other yet had no problem yakking the night away with their friends or colleagues? Drifting apart does not take place overnight. Even continental plates took eons to move a few metres.

Make sure that you are constantly communicating with each other. Whether you are busy at work or travelling, there’s always auto-roaming, Skype and MSN. And engage in real discussion over things you both have opinions of. Which is good practice for getting round arguments later.

Forgiveness is Divine

There will always be some things you cannot stand about each other. Like not remembering to flush the toilet or leaving clothes on the floor. Be tempted to whack your spouse but don’t. Remember to leave emotions aside and talk issues over rationally. If you can’t be rational, go away and cool down. Words spoken in anger usually are words regretted. Above all, be ready to practise tolerance and forgiveness.

Mushi-mushi

All the sweet nothings you used to whisper or sms each other? Well, it is a challenge to do that till you are eighty. But one key thing to keeping a marriage alive is to keep the romance alive. Set a date every week to go dating. Keep the kids at home and switch off your phones. Dedicating a special time to your relationship goes a long way to dedicating yourselves to each other.