Monday, July 21, 2014

Dear Malaysian Women: How to Marry Well

When it comes to marrying well, there are some myths and then there are some cold, cold, icy cold truths that you really need to look at before marrying. As someone who has been married for less than two years, I used to refrain from giving out any pre-marriage advise, content on just saying that I somehow got lucky enough to marry the man of my dreams. 

And that is actually a lie! If you know me long enough, you would know that I am a planner and am someone who is really, really uber careful about my life decisions. 

So I will start from the beginning and tell you the truth about how I planned to be happily married.

First of all - I am randomly creating a blog post for this because in the span of one week, Wewo and I came across several young Malaysian women who are successful, beautiful and bright - but have somehow found themselves in a weird kind of marriage. People keep asking us how we maintain the chemistry and spark, so... 

So even though I'm no expert in this subject, I think that I might know enough to tell you girls out there about how I came to have a happy, drama-free marriage with the man of my dreams. I think this checklist is especially important if you're thinking about getting married. Just like sex, I think that most guys would say anything to get the girl he loves to say yes to a proposal, so instead of trusting him at face value, go through these discussions together (even if it is a little unsexy. But I guess you could light a candle and hold hands while talking about it?). It might hurt, but it's good for the both of you! :)  

1. After you get married, it's important that husband and wife live together in one house/apartment - away from the rest of the family. If you cannot afford to at least rent your own apartment to stay together in private, then do not get married. 

2. If future husband/wife travels often, talk about how the both of you would travel together after marriage. If you cannot travel together, then do not get married. 

3. Talk about all your liabilities. How many properties do you have. Is it paid off? How many cars do you have. Are those paid off? What is your credit card bill like? How many credit cards do you have? Money is a sensitive topic and it's OK to date someone poor, but it's not OK to marry into a poor life. Just save money and date until both of you are financially stable enough to at least afford a wedding. I find that lots of couples argue about money after the wedding because they borrowed too much to pay off for a wedding they couldn't afford ... and the debt just starts to snowball from there. 

4. Talk about taking care of each other in case of emergency. Do you both have life insurance? Who are your EPF and insurance beneficiaries? What about the properties/cars/pets/kids? These are things that can be taken care of in one day, so be sure to set a date to do all these things after you get married. Do it once and never have to worry about it again. 

5. Create an emergency fund. This can be done before or after the wedding, but it must be done. This emergency fund is for conversations such as "will you still love me if I'm poor," or "what if I quit my job today" or "can we afford a baby" or "this job is hard" (sometimes I say this... OK, I say this a lot) and because we have an emergency fund, the other spouse can say, "It's OK to take a break," and even though none of us actually quit our jobs or the projects that we are working on, just the fact that we have no stress or big responsibility that is forcing us to keep on working for the family, the days actually become more meaningful as we work to contribute to society and simply because it's fun. If your partner is the kind who still wants to live from paycheque to paycheque every month, then the only way to marry him/her is if you have sufficient emergency funds. Otherwise, money will become a hot topic again further on... 

6. Let's talk about in-laws. Women, spend as much time as you can with your future mother in-law. Make sure that:
i. She acts nice to you, even if it's only two of you in the room
ii. She is open about how many grandkids she wants and how often she wants you to visit/call her 
iii. She understands that you will protect her son with your life and would do anything for him 
iv. Get to know her more as a person. Listen to her life story, learn how to cook from her. Watch TV shows with her and tell her every gossip you can find (to keep her entertained) 
v. Assure her that you are not a gold digger and will take care of her forever (because that's what all daughter in-laws should do to the strong women who raised such fine male specimens) 
vi. You should also make it clear to your spouse that he/she should protect you in case of any family disagreements and that you are their top priority. If your spouse cannot protect you from their family, then do not get married. Run far, far away. 
vii. It's OK to talk to in-laws about career and salary, but they should only offer advise, not force you to make a decision.
viii. Are you expected to wash all the plates and cups while your husband watches the TV? Is that OK with you? My in-laws do not ask me to, but I do this happily without a second thought (Wewo is a lousy dishwasher), but some women feel that it's weird to be forced to do cleaning. 

If the in-laws fail any of these relationship tests, then it might be too soon to get married. Spend a few more months getting to know them better and discuss the issue with your spouse. Remember, marriage is for life - is this really what you need? 

7. Regardless of your religion - please attend the Damansara Marriage Preparation Course. It helps couples work through fights, issues and any other regular life events so you can lead a more peaceful marriage. 

Now that I'm a little older, I can assure you that YES - sometimes it's just not worth getting married to the man of your dreams. Especially if you're going to be miserable for the rest of your life. 

Disclaimer: These 7 hot tips work on the basis that your soon-to-be wife/husband are good people who won't break your heart or hurt you badly after the wedding ... but I guess 'how to choose the perfect spouse' should be another blog post? Then again... I'm sure you guys are mature enough to know the good people from the bad people. :) Let's marry well, everybody! ❤ ❤ 


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