After one year of marriage

In my first year of being married, I have been asked umpteen times, “How’s married life”.

At first, I was floored by the question as I really did not give much thought about it. I started crafting my “template” answer so as to have a ready reply just to answer this frequently-asked question. But I realise my standard template answer wasn’t a deep reflection of being married.

I began to step back and ask myself, how exactly has marriage been? What have I learned in my one year of being a wife?

On the week leading to our first wedding anniversary in October 2013,  I realise it wasn’t easy being a wife. I have to start learning things that I previously wouldn’t want to learn (e.g. chopping garlic to stir fry vegetables, learning how to prepare raw spare ribs for soup, sewing – still suck at it). I even googled how to slice onions to prepare dinner! Yes, this is how clueless I am.

Right now, I can only prepare three VERY BASIC dishes:

1) Soup with spare ribs, carrots, onions, tofu and fishballs

2) Stir-fried dou miao/cai xin with mushrooms

3) Cheese omelette (the messy kind – partly due to my inability to flip the omelette over nicely)

When I do grocery-shopping, I no longer just look at snacks I like but things that he would like. I have to plan my leave, outings and commitments with him in mind. I have to attend his family gatherings as well, not just mine. It’s no longer about me, myself and I.

Being a wife is like a new role altogether, and it leaves one minimal time to develop oneself on one’s own. This is when I realise how important it is to develop oneself fully when one is single – to discover your weaknesses and  strengths, to be comfortable with being yourself, to face your fears, to find your faith and to learn how to communicate as a mature adult. This applies to men too. Because when you are married, you have to work on developing the new role of being a good wife/husband. I’m not saying that you will be unable to develop yourself when you are married, but arguably, you will have less resources to develop on your own as more energy and resources will be focused on your new role as a wife/husband.

To those are single or attached-but-not-yet-married, let this season of singleness be rich and fulfilling. Not to do wild things (and justify by saying YOLO – some things simply should not be done but YOLO has sometimes been conveniently used as a reason to do mindless, non-valuable things)… Most importantly, develop yourself fully so that you can become a healthy, well-rounded and mature individual. This way, when you enter into marriage, you can fully devote your time and resources in being the better half. 🙂