Five days ago, Daddy Sean and I celebrated our third year anniversary! Yes, we just turned 3! These have been three excellent years of marriage. While we were dating (for 2 years), many people commented that all the nice stuff that Sean (the then-boyfriend) had been doing for me were because we were still in the honeymoon stage. But he’s been consistent and improving himself as the years go by. Looking forward to more awesome years with Baby J and Daddy Sean! 🙂
We took Baby J to Sentosa for the first time, and he had a really great time!
Ok, so let’s get to the point of this post. My mum is a very wise woman, putting in her best to maintain my parents’ marriage. There have definitely been trying periods (like every marriage), but they always manage to overcome them. In this post, I have compiled my mummy’s wisdom about marriage and how I have tried to implement them into my own one.
1. Speak Nicely to Your Spouse
When I was pregnant with Baby J, Sean tried his very best to make sure I was most comfortable. He did not allow me to tire myself out. Whenever I felt stressed, he would urge me to slow down and offer to pick up my slack. However, towards the end of my pregnancy, I was huge and heavy. On top of my constant gastric reflux, I had to deal with getting in a comfortable position (THERE IS NO COMFORTABLE POSITION WHEN YOU’RE SO HUGE) at all times. To give you an idea of how big I was, check out this post on my personal Facebook account from last year:
Yup. HUGE. I was cranky a lot in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. So even though Sean was very patient with me, I kinda let my discomfort rule over. I would lose patience with him over very minor stuff. My mum was there on one of the occasions. She then very gently reminded me to speak nicely to him as my tone sounded annoyed. She reminded me that Sean is already doing his best; I should not take him for granted. This gentle reminder from my own mum made me reflect, and since then, I would think twice when I know I’m feeling irritable.
2. Trust Your Spouse and Your Marriage
Many years ago, before I had even met Sean, for some reason that I cannot recall, my mum and I had a conversation about trust in a relationship. She said, many relationships (including marriages) cannot last or end up very unhappy because of the lack of trust.
I recall dating someone who wanted full access to my phone and told me to delete ALL my male friends on Facebook. For no reason. He was simply insecure, and even admitted it. Although I obliged initially, it made me uncomfortable and unhappy to be on the receiving end. This of course did not end well. 🙂
There was also a conversation with a guy friend whose girlfriend was constantly feeling insecure. So much so that she got paranoid every single time they went out, over the possibility that he was checking out other girls. In his words, “Every time I was out with her, I wished I had a bag over my head.” He finally ended things with her.
Lack of trust and insecurities are never good for any relationship or marriage.
I apply my mum’s advice to my marriage. Sean and I do not deliberately check up on one another, even though our devices are fully available to each other. We never let our insecurities take charge. Instead, we talk them out honestly, and we’ve never had any problems with trust since.
But what if my partner cheats?
My wise mum said that, a person who wants to cheat will be bound to do so some time anyway. Sometimes it may hurt their conscience, sometimes it doesn’t. In both cases, the cheated cannot control the situation. Eventually one may choose to leave or forgive the cheater.
3. Be Considerate to His/Her Pocket
My dad is a very practical and thrifty man. Sometimes a little too practical, but his intentions are good. Due to his thriftiness, he provided very well for us. My mum understood his intentions and never made a fuss about him not buying gifts for her for every single special occasion.
Perhaps it’s due to the way I was brought up, or I inherited my dad’s thriftiness; I actually prefer Sean not to buy me gifts of any sort during special occasions. I’d rather the money go to better use, like an investment or a travel experience. He’s been very appreciative of the fact that he does not have to stress over what to get for special occasions and getting to save up his money for good use.
Sean often talks to me about how his friends are feeling unhappy or stressed over what to get their wives/girlfriends. Gift-giving during special occasions should be meaningful, instead of being a stressful event. So being considerate to our partners’ pockets is important. This goes both ways.
4. Put Your Spouse’s Needs Before Your Own
My mum cares deeply for my dad. So much so that she will always prepare food and let him eat first, especially when he’s busy. My dad of course shows his love in other (maybe less romantic) ways, but I admire how selfless my mum is. I try to emulate that in my own marriage, but sometimes I forget and return to my ‘single mode’.
However, I’m extremely lucky that Sean treats me that way, and puts me first almost all the time. It makes me want to do nice things for him and make him happy too. This is why if you place your partner’s needs before yours, your marriage will be a very blissful one.
5. Communication is Key
To me, this is the most important point of all: Communication. Everyone will have some disagreement every now and then. But when we choose not to communicate with our partners, the negativity will snowball. For example, back when Sean and I started dating, he would only inform me of his plans with others a few hours before. This didn’t boil down well with me. Instead of getting angry with him without telling him why (and letting him guess what’s wrong), I chose to tell him straight to the point why I wasn’t happy. From that conversation, we both learnt a little more about each other. He also started to inform me of his plans, if he had any, in advance. He still practises this till today.
One of my best friends refused to speak to her boyfriend (now an ex) after an argument. He responded in the same way. This eventually led to negative emotions accumulating and an end to the relationship.
Back when my monthly cycle affected my hormones (giving birth somehow caused all my PMS to go away!), I would inform Sean that I wasn’t feeling my best. I would tell him in the nicest way that I am in an irritable state, so I hoped he would understand. He told me that he appreciated that I gave him ‘warnings’. This reduced the frequency of any unnecessary arguments.
I think most people struggle with communication for various reasons. Sometimes we are afraid of how our spouse may perceive us, or our pride may get in the way. Whatever the reason is, we have to find a balance between maintaining a good relationship with our partner, and having our own privacy. This usually involves talking out with our partners as well to establish some baseline in communication. Both parties must also be willing to communicate kindly and patiently.
No Marriage is Perfect
Despite many great moments together, our marriage is still not perfect and we still have to work together to improve it. Nonetheless, we recognise each other’s efforts to improve our relationship and this helps too!
And I’m really blessed to have my wise mum always guiding me along my way when it comes to my marriage and my new family.
It’s the new year, and I wish all of you the best in everything you’re pursuing, whether it’s a new relationship, a better marriage, or a better life for your family! 🙂