23 years of marriage
What were your first impressions of each other?
Josephine: I was attracted to his dimples but I was not a fan of his Mr “T” haircut!
Simon: Josephine was easy-going, approachable and a good listener. Also, she is not overly-needy, a trait that I am inclined towards.
What is the top advice you can give to newlyweds just moving in together?
JO & SI: Communicate with each other regularly! Do not assume your spouse automatically knows what you are thinking or feeling. You have to let your spouse know and seek to work through the difficulties by talking through them together. Keeping your thoughts and feelings deep inside you without voicing them is a prelude to a head-on collision.
What is your favourite memory from your wedding day?
JO: I was in a traditional kua and I was welcoming my guests at the dinner banquet and having so much fun. However, I later found out that it was inappropriate for the bride to be at the reception until the dinner starts.
SI: I was dressed in a matching traditional long feng kua as Josephine and I welcomed our guests. It was memorable as our guests were surprised at my unusual choice of attire.
What does love mean to you?
JO & SI: There is no right or wrong, yes or no in love. Love is to give and take, to give up one’s pride in order to make the other one happy. Love is selfless and forgiving.
What was the most difficult thing you had to work through together as a married couple?
SI: As Josephine’s parents are getting on in age, she sought my opinion of the possibility of having her parents move in and stay with our children and my mother, as she wanted to take care of them. Although I was supportive of her, it was a difficult decision, as we knew the potential conflicts of having the parents of both sides under one roof. Nevertheless, we agreed that this was the right thing to do. We had a few difficult teething issues when my inlaws shifted in and it really tested our relationship. Thankfully, through our perseverance and our love for each other, and through our constant prayers and with God’s grace, we have overcome them and have been so blessed that both parents, our children and us having been living cordially since.
What are some long-term dreams and goals you have as a couple?
JO & SI: One of our long-term goals is to nurture our children to be socially responsible adults and to seek self-understanding, to value their self-worth before growing to become community-minded young adults. We strive to live by example as children pick up moral values within their families, and mainly by relying on their parents as role models.
What is one piece of love advice you will dish out to newly-weds-to-be?
JO & SI: Marriage is always a work in progress. Always treat each other respectfully and as equals. Never speak poorly of each other publicly and be kind to each other. If your spouse is having a tough day, lend your spouse a soft place to land. If your spouse is angry or frustrated, take a step back – do not take it personally and treat them with love and respect. Despite having been married for twentythree years, we are still learning and growing in this relationship.