Another celebration in store for me this week, after a wonderful day of Eidul-Fitr to mark the end of our month’s fast in Ramadan. It is my 15th wedding anniversary, and I feel like sharing a few lines here to remember this precious passage in my life. When I meet new faces in England and they learn that I hail from sunny Malaysia, the next inevitable question posed to me would be why am I here when I could continue living a wonderful life back in my beautiful homeland. I would always give the same answer, because of him, because of my beloved hubby, who was born and bred here. When I said yes to his proposal 16 years ago, I knew that life with him was what I wanted most. I took my time in finding my life partner, he had to be just right for me.
Even though I had to look across the oceans and continents to find him, I didn’t mind, as marriage is one of the most important life decisions for one to make, a life time commitment. And so we got married a year later in London, witnessed by both our families. Like in a fairy tale really, where the couple gets married and lived happily ever after! But that’s where it ends, the similarity between fairy tale and real life marriages. In a fairy tale, we don’t get to see what happens to the couple a few years down the line after their wedded bliss. We don’t get to see the adjustments they have to make around each other and each other’s families. We don’t get to see the ups and downs in their daily lives, we don’t get to see the way they have to accommodate each other’s needs.
Marriage is not a bed of blooming roses, beautiful and perfect in the eyes of the onlooker. Marriage has to be viewed from the eyes of the gardener, the one who tends to the roses. To get the roses to bloom well, they need to be nurtured to the fullest, with tender loving care and lots of patience. There will be thorns, weeds and little pests around, but a keen gardener will continue tending to the blooms, for he loves to see them at their best. This is how I view marriage after 15 years of sharing my life with this amazing man who is my husband.
My secret recipe to a happy marriage? Always putting his wish first before mine (even though I might not be happy initially in certain cases), for I realize I will eventually find peace and contentment afterwards. Good communication is the other, this doesn’t mean winning the argument all the time; but learning to back down, being the first to apologize and being a good listener will miraculously bring you closer to your spouse. Last but not least, building a solid wall around your marriage and relationship, so that no one/nothing can interfere. Today, 15 years on, I’m still here with him, blessed with our four cheeky children, may we last till Eternity, Inshallah (God willing), may we end up together in Paradise, Ameen.