Sustainability may be a buzzword for the young, but older couples like Mr and Mrs Situ and Mr and Mrs Tai, who have been married for more than five decades show younger couples just how it’s done when it comes to relationships.
Genial and full of smiles, both sets of seniors have been married for 53 years each. As with the conventions at that time, Mr and Mrs Tai were matchmade, while Mr and Mrs Situ met through the introduction of relatives.
For Mr and Mrs Tai, they paktor – that’s dating for you, circa 1960s – for a year before getting married, while Mr and Mrs Situ spent two years getting to know each other before getting hitched.
“We were considered modern at that time,” laughs Mrs Situ when asked if that was unusual during a time when matchmaking was common.
Marriage Tips Worth Their Weight in Gold
When asked about the secrets to their enduring relationship , both senior couples pointed out that unlike today’s young couples, expectations of life partners were not as high. “As long as he is an honest and reliable person, that’s good enough,” says Mrs Tai.
However, they did share a few simple tips that helped them successfully navigate their marriage through the years.
1. Always maintain a positive attitude
To maintain a harmonious relationship, an optimistic attitude and looking on the bright side of things help a couple to navigate the ups and downs of life, says Mr Situ.
2. Face life together
As partners for life, you’ll need to face life together. This is especially important during tough times when you’ll need to ride out the storms as a couple. Tolerance and acceptance go a long way, share Mr and Mrs Tai.
3. Give and take
When asked how they dealt with conflicts and disagreements, Mr Situ’s advice is simple: Always give your spouse the benefit of doubt. When your partner tries to change your behaviour, he or she usually has your best interests at heart.
Getting off on a good start
Sharing her observations as a couples counsellor, Lynn points out that it’s important to make small adjustments along the way as you grow as a couple. It could be learning each other’s love language or managing differences in personalities and lifestyle preferences. Couples should also know when to look for help when they run into any problems.
One good source of guidance are the more senior couples around you, such as your parents or even older colleagues, Lynn shares. Another way that young couples can get off on a strong footing is to sign up for marriage preparation courses for newly-weds or soon-to-be-weds.
Courses like these can help them anticipate any potential issues. Marriage prep also allows couples to openly discuss important decisions, values and expectations in their marriage.
When the foundations are set right, it’s perfectly possible to go the distance like life partners such as Mr and Mrs Situ and Mr and Mrs Tai!
The content of this article was adapted from an interview on 96.3好FM with two married couples who have been together for 50 years, together with Ms Lynn Er, focal area 2 champion of the MSF’s Alliance for Action (AfA) to Strengthen Marriages and Family Relationships, and Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) Honorary Treasurer.
Families for Life is proud to be in support of MSF's Alliance for Action (AfA) on Strengthening Marriages and Family Relationships.
Find out how five decades of marriage makes for a fulfilling life together from two senior couples who recently celebrated their Golden Anniversary. Together with Alliance for Action’s (AfA) member Ms Lynn Er in this interview, the couples share the secrets of their enduring love.