YOUR LETTERS

Marriage needs tender loving care to grow

Marriages are for the long term; they take work and commitment.
Marriages are for the long term; they take work and commitment. PHOTO: TIFFANY TAN

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo gave excellent insights into how marriages can work (" 'Singles, give fate a chance to work magic' "; Feb 14)

In a way, marriage is like a sensitive plant, which needs to be nurtured and cared for, so that it can grow.

If the plant is neglected, it will wither and die.

The same applies to a marriage. Couples have to give it the attention and care it needs, so that it will grow.

When we hear a song for the first time, we may dislike it, but after listening to it a few more times, we may begin to like it.

In a way, marriage is like a sensitive plant, which needs to be nurtured and cared for, so that it can grow. If the plant is neglected, it will wither and die. The same applies to a marriage. Couples have to give it the attention and care it needs, so that it will grow.

As time goes by, we may even love it and would want to listen to it very often. In a way, courtships are like that.

When we first meet someone, we may not like him, but after getting to know the person better, we may like him more. And as time goes by, romance may blossom.

I never knew the power of love until I met my late wife and, together, we learnt the magic of unconditional love.

Placing your spouse first makes him feel treasured.

If each partner puts the other first, then both will end up feeling treasured and special.

Marriages are for the long term; they take work and commitment.

Mixed marriages are unique in that partners learn to appreciate each other's culture, religion and values, and are exposed to new ways of thinking.

Couples embarking on the marriage journey must be aware that the trip may not be a smooth one, for, like a roller-coaster ride, there are highs and lows.

To build a healthy partnership, there must be mutual respect for each other.

Also important in any marriage are the little things that couples often neglect to do - such as keeping in touch through the phone, sending e-mail messages when one is working overseas, and even making a hot drink for one's spouse before bedtime.

If we look on the bright side of things, caring for a sick spouse can sometimes help one to overcome adversities and, in the long run, can prove to be beneficial.

When we are entrusted with caregiving responsibilities for a loved one, we actually learn a lot about our inner strengths or weaknesses.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 28, 2016, with the headline 'YourLetters Marriage needs tender loving care to grow'. Print Edition | Subscribe