With growing affluence and influence from the mass media, nowadays, marriage is more about the wedding day and less about a lifetime of companionship.

According to an article published in the Malay Mail Online on March 3, 2014, one divorce occurs in Malaysia every 10 minutes. The rising number of divorce cases is also reflected in many other countries. So, why do marriages break down so easily these days? I believe it is the misconception of what it takes to make a marriage work that is the main cause of such failures.

I am no expert in marriage. So, I am not here to give you advice on how to keep your marriage together. But after 15 years of marriage, I can give you an idea of what you would be dealing with. However, do bear in mind that everyone’s experience is different.

Marriage is NEVER a bed of roses. Your first year may be the only time you can enjoy some sort of wedding bliss. After that, you would have to put up with all your partner’s habits for a lifetime; good, bad and ugly. Literally, till death do us part.

It is never about just the TWO OF US. Particularly in Asian culture, in-laws come into the picture most of the time. I am very lucky to have wonderful in-laws but I have heard many horror tales of in-laws from hell. One friend told me how her mother-in-law used to breathe down her neck even in matters related to sex.

Now, the next step after marriage is CHILDREN. Asian culture still places a lot of weight on having an heir to carry the family’s name. So, bearing a son is still the top priority in many families. If you don’t want children, then be ready to deal with the pressure from family and friends, especially in an Asian one.

Making vows at your wedding may seem sweet but it should never to be taken lightly. Marriage is most of the time work and a lifetime of building a strong relationship based on trust and respect, with love perhaps only 15% of the ingredient for success. Some people may say that I am pessimist, but I prefer to be called a realist.

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