Last week, I managed to secure tickets for the Marriage Convention through my work. Mike and I had been persuaded to go ourselves but we thought our marriage is already pretty strong. We could even communicate telepathically sometimes.
The tickets were hard to come by and sold out within weeks. I was surprised that the event was so popular. Marriage takes work and it’s people who do not take marriage for granted who are happy. I would have gone but Mike had 凊明duty on.
Friends whom I thought could use the tickets declined my offer. ‘It takes two hands to clap, no point if my hubby won’t go’, said one. Another who had admitted to me about communication problems with her hubby ‘had better things to do’. I guess a happy marriage is not in her list of priority. Thus, I was happy when my brother responded enthusiastically. He would attend the seminars on Saturday and Sunday each.
My brother returned with goody bags containing many stuff, amongst them a box of mint with the words ‘Minted for life!’ – cute! In the bag, there was also a workbook relating to the seminars. One page inside had a quiz to find out how well you and your spouse know each other. The questions asked to list the following for yourself and your spouse: Favourite Fruit, favourite sports, favourite stress relief method and the number of sex you hope to have weekly.
Another was to list what I like most from my spouse and vice versa, from 1 to 6, with 1 as the most like and 6 as the like: Praise me/Accompany me/Help in housework/accept me and not criticise/Give me gifts/display more affections.
I sat Mike down to do both sets of questions and compared our answers. I got all the first set correct except the stress relief part. I had put ‘sleep’ but he listed ‘photography’. He got two wrong – my favourite sports he listed as running instead of yoga, and for stress relief, he put yoga instead of my answer ‘sleep’.
The next one was a bit tougher but we both managed 4 out of 6 correct.
We tend to think we know what our spouses are thinking. Doing the quiz helps confirm what we know about our spouse rather than second guess him.
Where I use to think divorces are because of third party (like my parents), more and more of my friends’ marriages are in trouble due to lack of communication. Empty nests aggravates the problems. I can imagine the thoughts running in the minds of these couples as they second guess their spouses. Why not just articulate it out?
Last week, I saw a photo of my ex-neighbour Ivy and Ho Seng in the news. Ho Seng was shaving Ivy’s head in front of the sub-court. I told Mike, what a great couple they are. Ho Seng would support Ivy in her every endeavour, including doing embarrassing stunts in public like that. You cannot change your spouse after marriage, and Ho Seng was probably attracted to her gungho attitude towards life when he married Ivy.
I forgot to mentioned that in the goodie bag, there was a set of measuring spoons in the shape of hearts. Why? So that you can dish out to your spouse – quoting the words in the workbook – a spoonful of affection, a heap of love, a dash of tenderness and a pinch of joy.
Yes, we need constant reminders like that once in a while.