A friend of mine asked me this question a month ago when I told her that Paul and I will be celebrating our 5th year today. Time flies when you're having fun but I'll have to tell you with all honestly that it wasn't always a free and easy ride as how they would portray it in movies. Marriage, I realized, entails hard work. Well, I guess, as with anything in life, you have to work hard for what you want and I'm glad that both Paul and I want a long-lasting marriage so everyday, we work really hard for it.
Mommy would say that you'll get to learn more things about your spouse when you're married. I couldn't agree more! I think that marriage, as with any relationship, is a never-ending learning process. Here are five big things that I've learned so far:
This isn't easy, trust me. Sometimes things can get very stressful that laughing is the last thing you'd do but if you make a conscious effort to remind each other to take it easy then things can be more bearable.
2) Respect each other
Why do couples bicker? Why do they end up in divorce or annulment? I realize that respect plays a big role in any relationship. No one is perfect and if you focus on those flaws then out comes the lack of respect. If you don't respect a person, you see him or her as a lesser being then comes an avalanche of insults, quarrels and more. Sometimes verbal abuse hurts way more than physical abuse as it scars a person for life. No amount of Betadine will be enough to heal the wounds, trust me.
3) Surprise each other but remember the limits
Paul knows for a fact that I am not very fond of major, public-shaming surprises and I now know how he feels about it too. However, surprising one another adds more spice and sizzle to your relationship. Simple things like bringing home his favorite sushi roll or preparing a meal for him are just a few examples of how surprises can still be done without the public knowing. Trust me, I learned this the hard, painful way. :P
4) Continue to have "Us-Time"
We aren't blessed with kids yet so it's pretty easy for us to go out on impromptu dinner dates or to catch the late night screening whenever we want to. I know, later down the line, this will be more challenging but I hope we'll make it a point to still do it once in a while. I also love going out on trips with Paul. Even if it's just a simple day trip to Malaysia or as grand as planning a trip to our dream destination, I love the time we get to spend that's just us and us alone.
Similar to points #1 and #2. Marriage will never be a bed of roses. Whoever said this must be really delusional or hasn't been married yet. There will be times when you just want to strangle your partner or to scream your head off at him. I remember when Paul proposed and both families came together to talk about the wedding date and all, my amah (who's full of wisdom, I must say) pulled me aside after the "event" and told me in Chinese that I will have to be more patient moving forward. The term she used was "tun-lun" which directly means "swallow your saliva" in Hokkien but figuratively speaking, it means "swallow your pride." To this day, I always keep amah's words in mind most especially during the most trying times.
Believe me, I've learned so much more throughout the five years of being Mrs. Paul Ang but the ones I've mentioned above are the ones that I think I'll remember for life. We've been through so much most especially after moving to a foreign country. Day in and out, we live by the "you and me against the world." No matter what, we got each other's backs.
Here's to a lifetime of love and commitment, hunnie. Happy 5th Anniversary! ♥