“How do people stay married for years? Don’t they run out of things to say to each other? If they do, what can be done?”

When Jamie and I first got together 6 years ago, people commented how ‘sticky’ and ‘lovey-dovey’ we were. Some people attributed it to the ‘honeymoon phase’. 6 years down the road, 5 years of dating and 1 year of marriage, we still are as ‘sticky’ as ever, if not more.

I can share with him my deepest and darkest fear and not worry that he will see me as a lesser person. We play jokes on one another, we poke fun at each other. And often, he knows what I am going to say even before I say it. To put it very simply… he’s my best friend. 🙂

Well, some of you might say, I am not exactly an authority on this subject, since I have only been married for one year. 🙂 I don’t deny that. However, I have observed marriages that have worked, and one that I really admire is that of my parents.

They have been married close to 30 years. And sometimes, to tell you frankly, when I was growing up as a teenager, I felt it is a bit embarrassing to go out with them. Haha! 🙂 My dad teases my mum endlessly. They hold hands in public. And sometimes they just behave like teenagers, and not the ‘elderly’ couple that they are supposed to be.

In my opinion, one of the main reasons people are able to stay married for years because… they simply chose the right person to be married to. This sounds like the weirdest thing to say… but I think it is important to choose someone that when stripped off of all passion, lust, physical attraction… the person is someone that you like, someone whom you can see yourself befriending for the rest of your life.

And I think even that is not enough. Let’s face it. Sometimes we tire of our best friend too. Marriage, like love, is a commitment. And once we have made that commitment, we work hard at making it work.

My parents’ marriage has its ups and downs too. But they work hard at it. My Dad makes it a point to call Mum to check on how she’s doing. It’s quite sweet really. Like how the other day, after having dinner with mum and I, he drove off to meet some friends. So mum and I took my car home. About 20 minutes after parting ways, Dad called to check that Mum and I have arrived home. It’s such a tiny gesture, but imagine after being married for 30 years, he has not gotten complacent. It is not the flowers, nor the presents, but I think it is tiny gestures such as this that glues a marriage stronger.

Another thing that keeps a marriage going after years… respect.

My parents never run out of things to say to each other because of mutual respect. I know of some couples where the husband never asks for the wife’s opinions because he just assumes that the wife knows nothing.

Dad will tell Mum about his day at work, his business dealings, his friends, his business partners. He never assumes that she would not know what he’s talking about. He asks her for her opinions all the time.

And to answer the last part of the question… if you really do run out of things to say, what do you do?

I think there’s no easy answer to that. The couple probably just have to revisit their past, and rediscover why did the fall in love in the first place. Or perhaps, they could explore some new interests and life objectives together. Problem is… when you have hit this stage, there might be many other problems in the marriage. So… like the old saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. 🙂

And if I were to answer this question in one sentence… I would choose this quotation.

I came face to face with this wonderful quote… when I attended my high school friend Ai Wei’s wedding dinner on Friday and :

“Today, I marry my friend. The one I laugh with, live for, dream with, and love.”

–| Any love stories of long-married couples to share? Or have you been married for a long time, and you facing the problem of having nothing to say to your spouse. Share with us your thoughts! |–