Married couples: Thoughts after one year and 10 years of being married
Do relationships change after marriage? How does being married longer shape your relationship? This is what three couples have to say after their first year and tenth year of marriage.
By April Zara Chua
When you’re dating, you’re usually trying your best to impress. Throw marriage into the mix and couples usually discover a whole new side of their partners they haven’t seen before. Add 10 years (and kids) to the marriage — are date nights still possible? Read on to find out what three couples have to say.
What has changed since you guys were dating and now a year into marriage?
Sunny: Now, we see each other every day and I’m enjoying it. We’re learning to understand each other a lot more but we also definitely need to work on how to communicate better.
Fiona: We see each other much more now and I realise that we can be quite different. I’m also discovering and learning to embrace more of his bad habits!
Jason: Now, we are more forgiving and understanding of each other’s flaws.
Kareen: Lesser couple-time because we have a 6-month baby boy now. Other than that, it feels pretty much the same because I felt like I was already married to Jason even when we were dating.
How about you guys? What has changed now that it has been 10 years?
Ganesh: We’ve known each other for nine years prior to getting married but it was different when we started staying together. In our first year of marriage, we discovered more about ourselves and had to get used to a couple of differences and preferences. In our tenth year, our focus has been more on our three boys, it’s a challenge to set aside time for just the two of us.
Praveena: The size of our tummies! Hahaha! But we have definitely grown in various ways. We are more accepting of each other’s differences now. Squabbles are settled faster as either one of us will take the first step to solve it rather than dwell on it.
What are your views about each other now?
Sunny: Not much has changed but now I know she’s a better sleeper than me? Hahaha.
Fiona: I’m still shocked to find out he has more clothes than me! We recycled some earlier this year but he still has more clothes and a bigger closet than I do — it’s not fair.
Jason: I’m beginning to see the full extent of how caring and understanding Kareen is. She always puts our family’s interest above anything else.
Kareen: Since becoming a father, I’m discovering the softer side of Jason.
Ganesh: Nothing has changed! My wife has always been my pillar of strength. She is the glue that holds the family together. She has provided me tremendous support in my growth both personally and professionally.
Praveena: I fell madly, deeply in love with a young boy who made me laugh so much with his wacky ideas and jokes — and that hasn’t changed! Years have passed and my man is still the same: bringing laughter to my boys and me and planning exciting trips. Now, it’s only topped with a greater level of patience and understanding to address my needs further!
What do you treasure most about your relationship?
Sunny: The laughter, the time we spend together and our conversations about our future and relationship.
Fiona: The deep conversations that we have about our lives and our future.
Jason: The past, present and future: I treasure the past when Kareen was a sweet girlfriend, the present as a lovely wife and mum, and our future of growing old together.
Kareen: I treasure the maturity of our relationship and how comfortable and open we are with each other.
Ganesh: The trust and the openness we have. We try not to shy away from difficult topics but address them amicably, even if things can get a bit explosive. We both try to push each other out of our comfort zones but at the same time look out for one another. We also listen and support each other through difficult periods.
Praveena: I treasure that we are true critics of each other, even if there might be ‘ouch’ moments for me. I also like that he looks at things more objectively and shares different perspectives with me. But what I treasure the most is the open communication that we have.
Any tips on how to nurture a strong and loving marriage?
Sunny: Marriage is a commitment and not child’s play. Whatever happens, don’t hold a grudge but choose to love and not keep scores.
Fiona: Yes, it’s a commitment and it is more than a feeling. It’s important to communicate and accept that we are different.
Jason: Be more forgiving and do not let ego rule over your head.
Kareen: Communication and trust is very important. I believe that couples should never hide their feelings.
Ganesh: Addressing issues when they come about as soon as possible and not sweeping them under the rug is essential. Being expressive, not taking one another for granted and being there for each other in every situation are also important. There would be conflicts in every relationship but I view them as positive learning experiences. You should also celebrate wins (big or small) along this wonderful journey.
Praveena: Years into the marriage, it is definitely normal to get pre-occupied with work and kids. It is important to make time for each other on a daily basis and if possible, have monthly dates — marketing not included. Celebrate every occasion where possible and be kind to each other! After all, you chose each other at the start… why not till the end?
Any advice for couples who are afraid to take the relationship to the next level?
Sunny: Have frequent conversations with them about your fears. See how you both could overcome such struggles together. That's the beauty when two come together to beat all odds — it may result to both of you becoming closer and witnessing each other's strengths (and weaknesses). It’ll help both sides make better decisions and eventually commit to one another.
Fiona: It is normal to feel fearful, uncertain or unsure especially if you’re under pressure to answer others and yourself about whether he is the one. Truth is, you will never be fully ready, so trust your gut and what you know about yourself and him.
Jason: If you are afraid of losing your other half, I can assure you that is scarier than taking your current relationship to the next level so don’t be afraid! Commitment is part of maturing.
Kareen: Have faith and both parties should always have open discussions and planning for the many upcoming years
Ganesh: If you don’t try, you won’t know.
Praveena: Believe in yourselves and just take the plunge!
As these couples showed, marriage can certainly bring new dynamics to the relationship and you can expect to discover new things about your partner every day. The important thing is to face them together!