Keeping A Marriage Alive: Heartwarming Stories From Couples Whose Love Has Stood The Test of Time


Siti Ayeeshah Zaki •  Feb 14, 2022

Beyond the romance and honeymoon, marriage and relationships can be tough to keep up with. Especially since you're journeying through life together; exploring and living ups and downs. Fortunately, love lasts through it all. These 4 heartwarming stories from our community will inspire you that romance definitely does not die even as you age!

Romantic, Heartwarming Stories

1. Ismail (60), Maimunah (56)

We worked in the same area but in a different building. I was a clerk back then and he worked in the store (cargo) department. One day when we were on the bus he caught sight of me and wanted to get to know me. So he came to my office (even though it was not part of his job! ?) just to collect documents from me. 

Credit: Maimunah

Since then, he would call me at the office quite a bit and after 6 months, I informed my parents about him. He was invited over (and got interviewed by my parents! Hahaha!) and after meeting him, my parents agreed to us being together!

Credit: Maimunah

Here's something a little funny I haven't mentioned about this, though. My mum asked my uncle who worked at the same area to check him (Ismail) out - like a spy! I guess my uncle liked him, because he recommended Ismail to my mum and we got engaged, then married. ?

Some tips I have to keep a marriage alive:

1. Understanding. He works in logistics and comes home late often, and I don't complain.

2. Always forgive each other.

3. Share housework (he is very helpful!)

4. Don't share your problems with others

5. Manage the household income well. We don't buy anything until we have enough savings.

2. Mr & Mrs Jamil, 50 & 48

Credit: Mr & Mrs Jamil

We first met during Hari Raya in 1991, when I was visiting a friend. He sat next to his mum and just listened to the conversation that was happening. Back then, I had no feelings toward him. Might have been the opposite! ?

On that very same night, he called me, introduced himself and asked if I was willing to go out with him. I was surprised but I said yes immediately! And so our relationship started there.

Credit: Mr & Mrs Jamil

Alhamdulillah, it was a smooth journey. Our courtship was fast, though. Especially since we clicked immediately! We were very in love and fortunately, our parents gave their blessings immediately. I just knew he was the right man. He was patient, responsible, loving and funny. We eventually decided to get married even though we were very young.

Funny thing is, I was the kind of person who was scared of guys. But with him, I didn't have any fear! I found it funny.

How we kept our love alive:

1. Respect

2. Understanding

3. Communication

4. Giving in to each other

5. Forgive and forget

6. Love unconditionally

7. Lots of nonsense jokes from him! Hahaha!

8. Never stop dating till now

We've been together for 28 years and we're still living together with so much love & happiness.

3. Abdul Jabbar (59), Hajrah Bee (58)

Credit: Jabbar & Hajrah

On 4 Dec 1977, we (Jabbar and Hajrah) were kendarat (wedding helpers) at a wedding. My job was to wash the dishes and her, to serve the guests. It's important to note that back then, men were given a packet of cigarettes and a towel wrapped around their wrists. On that day, as she was passing the tray to me, she asked me for my towel and without hesitation, I gave it to her. However as minutes passed, I did not see my towel and started to get worried, so I called my sister and asked my sister for help getting my towel back. And well, the moment I received it back, I took one look at her and... the rest was history! I spent the rest of the day teasing her about the towel and trying to get her attention. Later on, my sister gave me her home phone number.

During that era, we didn't have mobile phones. So our main mode of communication was letters. We would meet at the bus interchange before boarding our buses at Bedok interchange and exchange a Readers Digest book to meet and to pass each other letters. The letters are now well-preserved in an album!

Credit: Jabbar & Hajrah

I worked hard through the army and made sure after the army I would receive a steady income and honest earnings. And although back then, army boys were considered naughty, I stayed loyal.

We've lived through some pretty memorable moments. When we were newly married and just had a child, who is asthmatic and needed to be sent to KK hospital very frequently. There was this particular day when we did not have enough cash as our savings was very low. So we decided to take a bus (the nearest bus stop was about 1km away then). As we were walking and talking about money, we saw a $50 note......... Well, that day we had good lunch, good medicine and a good taxi ride home!

If I had a few tips for couples looking to keep the love alive, it would be this:

1. Trust each other and make sure there are no secrets between the two of you

2. ''My money is our money''! ?

3. Independence & teamwork. As I was quite often sent overseas for Military Training or Operations, Hajrah would always and till today, manage the boys, the house, the running to hospital for appointments, wedding invitations etc.

4. Keep up the art of saving.

From the time I knew her and the moment I was enlisted in the army which my pay was $90, she strongly encourage me to start saving $10 per month in SAYE (Save As You Earn) in the bank (POSB) and I never looked back.

5. Treat your wife like a CRYSTAL ? and always CHERISH the day you met!

4. Jam (55), Deen (53)

(As narrated by their daughter.)

They were family friends, hanging out a lot as like a group of family friends, always went out together, then when my dad liked my mum, then he started to slowly talk to her more. When he was in poly, he finally expressed he liked her before he had to go sail to fulfil his requirements in his maritime course. He started sending her letters afterwards from the ports he was shipped to. 

Towards marriage, my parents broke up 2-3 times before they finally stuck and went ahead with the marriage.  This was especially since there were important parties who weren't keen about them getting married. However, they overcame it. A lot of God’s fate, my parents always say.

When they first broke up, they hadn’t seen or talked to each other in a long time. But apparently, both of them attended the same Yusuf Islam concert and they saw each other. That's when they started talking and decided to try again. It helped that they had supportive friends too!

They really work together as a team. My dad is the driver, my mum is the GPS, every time they go out, my dad... He gets by but gets lost often. My mum, however, has a really good sense of direction. She remembers landmarks. In the car, my mum always tells my dad how to go, even when we're overseas. And it's always with a lot of cute, couply banter ?

Their tips to keep love alive: when things got tough after marriage, having their daughter and wanting to raise her and give her a good home motivated them to get through their problems!