Long live love

When love works, it is most won­der­ful.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By GAYATHRI NAIR star2@thes­tar.com.my

FOR young cou­ple Aiqa Halim and Harith Ridzuan, each day is a learn­ing process. Bal­anc­ing their jobs and car­ing for their daugh­ter is chal­leng­ing enough, but they are also de­ter­mined to keep the flame burn­ing in their mar­riage.

Aiqa and Harith mar­ried young – she was only 22 then and he was 24 – and knew from the start they had to go into mar­riage with their eyes wide open. They were aware of the sac­ri­fices they’d need to make to jug­gle new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, but they also be­lieved in each other.

“We know what we are both like, as well as each other’s habits. Along the way, we have picked up some new habits too, whether good or bad.

“But when you have the yearn­ing to im­prove your­self and change for the bet­ter, es­pe­cially for your sig­nif­i­cant other, it truly opens your eyes and makes you re­alise what a re­la­tion­ship is and what a mar­riage is built on,” says Harith, who has been mar­ried for four years.

The high­light in their mar­riage is the birth of their daugh­ter Hanna two years ago.

“Hav­ing Hanna has made our fam­ily unit closer. She eas­ily puts a smile on our faces ev­ery time she en­ters the room,” says Aiqa.

It’s not easy shoul­der­ing the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that come with mar­riage and par­ent­hood, but Aiqa and Harith say they have al­ways looked to their par­ents as role mod­els.

“From jug­gling work, be­ing par­ents and al­ways keep­ing the flame alive in our mar­riage, we have taken a pointer or two from our wise el­ders.

“It was their faith that gave us the con­fi­dence to build a fam­ily of our own,” re­lates Aiqa. Hav­ing good role mod­els helped them en­vi­sion what their fu­ture would look like.

Their sup­port­ive ex­tended fam­ily net­work has been cru­cial as they nav­i­gated through their ev­ery­day chal­lenges.

“We have been re­ally blessed with an amaz­ing sup­port sys­tem in the form of our par­ents. While some cou­ples might look at it as an in­tru­sion, build­ing a re­la­tion­ship with my in-laws has never been an is­sue. They truly play a huge role in our lives, not just as dot­ing par­ents but as lov­ing grand­par­ents to our child.

“Hence, much like our el­ders, we un­der­stand the need to work, earn and pro­vide for the fam­ily.

“With their guid­ance, we have learned how to cope and to al­ways be pre­pared fi­nan­cially, spir­i­tu­ally and emo­tion­ally to deal with what may come,” says the young mother.

Joy­ous union: Re­tirees K. Sel­varat­nam (right) and Ra­jini Pon­nu­ra­jah have been mar­ried for 41 years.

Photo by AZLINA BINTI AB­DUL­LAH/The Star

Most pre­cious: aiqa Halim and her hus­band Harith ridzuan are com­mit­ted to giv­ing their two-yearold daugh­ter Hanna a happy home.

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