When Your Marriage is Overcast

Faced with gloomy skies, a person’s energy level drops and there can be worry about what those dark clouds can bring. Things can feel bleak when your marriage is in this weather. 

On the surface, everything is “business as usual”; some may even say how good your marriage seems! But you know that something’s not right in your relationship.  

Cracks in the marriage have widened into chasms. It could be that disagreements have peaked and can now threaten to break your marriage. Healthy communication may have come to a standstill, and you are in the quicksand of resentment or disappointment.  

Neglect is the key contributor for marriages moving into Overcast weather. Perhaps you both went on autopilot – life was busy and you were occupied with different things. There have been little quality and quantity time with each other, much less time to work through disagreements or unhappiness. 

Couples in this weather face one major decision: do we avoid the issues and let our marriage wither away? Or do we choose to have crucial difficult conversations, dig deeper to remember our “first love”, and commit to move out of this stalemate together? 

Think of it as the ultimatum. There’s just no waiting around, hoping the weather will turn for the better by itself. 

The hope in an Overcast marriage 

Are you too busy? Decisively cut out inessential social activities, commitments, or time-draining hobbies to make time for each other.  

A wife who feels unloved and unappreciated will feel rejected. A husband who doesn’t have his wife’s trust and respect will withdraw and disengage. 

What are some things that have undermined mutual love and respect in your marriage? 

If negligence drove your marriage to the edge, then making intentional decisions to nurture your marriage is necessary to turn it around. 

Are you too busy? Decisively cut out inessential social activities, commitments, or time-draining hobbies to make time for each other.  

If you feel that your relationship lacks fun and excitement, find common activities that both of you can enjoy. Or you can take turns to do what each other likes. This shows your spouse that you want to enter into their world and it can also help you better understand and appreciate what they are like. 

Pick up a marriage resource or attend a marriage enrichment programme to communicate better. 

Start small, but start somewhere. 

This is also where plugging into a healthy and strong community that supports your marriage is important and necessary. Is there a trusted couple you both are comfortable sharing your marital struggles with? Arrange to meet up, and invite them to journey with you and your spouse out of this weather. 

Overcast skies are here. But keep calm and start doing things differently, because all is not lost; there is hope for a turnaround. 

Making the best of an overcast marriage

For the husband

What can you do in this weather?

  • Conserve your energy (and word bank) for your wife, especially if you are a man of few words. Make effort to have conversation with her every day. 
  • Look out for the little things and let her know that you noticed them. Maybe she had a haircut or added a new ornament to the house; acknowledge them and compliment her. 
  • Learn new communication strategies to connect with her healthily. 

Things to watch out for: 

  • Guard your heart. When you feel distant from your wife, it is easy to be drawn to other friendships where you feel understood and accepted or activities that take your mind off things or energise you. 
  • Do not look for quick fixes to your problems. In the same way that your marriage did not hit this rut overnight, it will take time and intentional effort for you both to walk out of it. 
  • “Cave time” may be necessary for you to recharge, but don’t retreat to it whenever things get tense. That can come off as stonewalling to your wife. Your presence speaks volumes of your commitment to her in the marriage—through thick and thin. 

Avoid slipping into the blame game and always making it “his problem.

For the wife

What can you do in this weather?

  • Be quick to apologise if you are at fault, and be ready to forgive (and forget) when he apologises for his faults. 
  • Notice the small acts of service he does for you, your family, or in the home. Express gratitude, and tell him that it matters to you. 
  • Initiate intimacy with your husband and let him know that he is still attractive and desirable. 

Things to watch out for: 

  • Avoid slipping into the blame game and always making it “his problem”. Your husband will naturally become defensive and may choose to disengage. 
  • Do not compare your marriage with “better” marriages you see around you or on social media, or let your mind wander with the “what ifs”. 
  • Eliminate negative talk – which could come across as criticism, sarcasm, or ridicule. Speak kindly, even when you are upset, so that he will be encouraged to communicate with you. 

Couple conversations for this weather

  • When were the best years of our marriage, and why? 
  • What bothers you most about the current state of our marriage? 
  • What is one thing that you would like me to do to make you feel appreciated and loved? 

A thriving marriage in every weather

This is a difficult weather for you and your spouse to be in. Hold on to each other because there can be a turnaround in your marriage. 

Every bride and groom enters into their union with a promise to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do they part. 

When the marriage hits a rough patch, or when you and your spouse no longer enjoy each other, consider how you can live out your vows. As someone once said: It is not love that sustains the marriage, but marriage that sustains the love. 

“I didn’t marry you because you were perfect… I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And that promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage. And when our children were growing up, it wasn’t a house that protected them; and it wasn’t our love that protected them; it was the promise.” – Thornton Wilder 

No matter what weather your marriage is in, you can make your relationship with your spouse the best that it can be. 

When Your Marriage is Sunny

The joys of a Sunny marriage 

It’s hot. You’re sweaty. But it’s fun because your days are packed with activities. 

The sense of newness that marked a Breezy weather in marriage has developed into a deeper intimacy with each other. You and your spouse have tackled some difficult issues together and have grown through it. 

Differences still exist, but there is a deeper understanding of each other’s needs, wants, and temperaments. That feeling of fulfilment is not dampened even when things are not perfect. 

You may not have met all your #couplegoals and are still working through the daily grind, but you and your spouse share a deeper connection. 

When misunderstandings occur, they are less likely to side-track you both. You and your spouse take on challenges with new ease. There’s little second guessing about each other’s actions or motives – you are stronger and more stable as a unit. 

You are satisfied and secure in your spouse’s love. 

The stresses of a Sunny marriage 

Your past experiences and upbringing may affect your capacity to give wholly in the marriage.

In hot and humid weather, flowers and fruits flourish; so do less pleasant things like mould and bacteria! Is there hidden mould in any corner of your marriage? Or are there any areas in each of your lives that exposes the marriage to bacterial growth? 

Your past experiences and upbringing may affect your capacity to give wholly in the marriage. Or there may be a deep-seated issue threatening the trust in your marriage. An addiction, perhaps? Or a certain friendship with unclear boundaries that you have been turning to for comfort and acceptance? 

Let your marriage be the safe space for you and your spouse to be most vulnerable and speak honestly. Choose to work through the matters that are hard to talk about. 

Seek out other married couples or mentors for counsel and support. On your own, the problems may seem insurmountable, but in the company of like-minded friends, you may gain new perspectives and encouragement to keep going in your marriage. 

The sun is out! You want to enjoy what you can do in this weather, so let’s work hard at enjoying each other more. 

Making the best of a sunny marriage

For the husband

What can you do in this weather?

  • Keep up the romantic gestures and break out of daily routines to surprise her. Be attentive to your wife’s needs as your lover, not just a great friend. 
  • Compliment her, making her feel attractive and good about herself. Find ways to fill her love tank so that she is not running on empty. 
  • Make time and initiate constructive ways to work through issues that come up. 

Things to watch out for: 

  • Avoid treating your wife like a great housemate (or, if you are parents, as just the mother of your children). 
  • Pay attention to your personal grooming. Just because you are very comfortable with your wife doesn’t mean that your physical appearance shouldn’t matter anymore. She still wants to be attracted to you! 
  • Enjoy intimacy with your wife. It is about sex, and much more. Emotional intimacy is important to a marriage’s longevity. 

Take every opportunity to keep up with date nights, and make them special. 

For the wife

What can you do in this weather?

  • Encourage your husband to find a few good guy friends to confide in. While it is easier for women to share openly with their girlfriends, husbands may not have such close male friendships. 
  • Maintain intimacy in your marriage. Communicate your expectations and be proactive in meeting his needs as well. 
  • Take every opportunity to keep up with date nights, and make it special. Couple time is scarce in this weather, so be intentional to schedule it—and keep to it, even if it is shorter than what you both prefer. 

Things to watch out for: 

  • Do not seethe over bothersome issues. Choose honest and respectful conversations with your husband instead. 
  • Criticism is toxic in any marriage. Many men “shut down and tune out” when they feel disrespected. 
  • Beware of unhealthy communication habits, like expecting your husband to know what you are thinking. He may grow to understand you better, but he is not telepathic; you still need to verbalise what’s in your heart. 

Couple conversations for this weather

  • What brings you most joy in our marriage? 
  • What is one thing you would like me to do regularly to show how much I appreciate you? 
  • How can we grow in the areas of physical and emotional intimacy in our marriage? 

A thriving marriage in every weather

Marriage is hard work, but worth it. 

Every bride and groom enters into their union with a promise to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do they part. 

When the marriage hits a rough patch, consider how you can live out your vows. As someone once said: It is not love that sustains the marriage, but marriage that sustains the love. 

“I didn’t marry you because you were perfect… I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And that promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage. And when our children were growing up, it wasn’t a house that protected them; and it wasn’t our love that protected them; it was the promise.” – Thornton Wilder 

No matter what weather your marriage is in, you can make your relationship with your spouse the best that it can be. 

When Your Marriage is Stormy

The thunderstorm is raging, with ominous thunder and wild winds. In this weather, you feel like it is time to call it quits.

The warmth of the sun is no longer present – your words, your actions are cold and harsh. You look around your home and marriage, and feel like everything has been in vain. There’s no trace of love or positive things to show for the years you put in.

Your conversations are functional at best. Your interactions are equally distant. Perhaps you both feel that it is better to spend less time together because that means less likelihood for conflict.

Separate beds, zero intimacy – each with your own lives despite living under the same roof.

Some settle for marriage as a living arrangement for the children’s benefit; as soon as the children are independent, they want to go their separate ways.

Your marriage may unexpectedly enter into Stormy weather with the discovery of infidelity or it may gradually drift into it from prolonged periods of negligence and inaction.

Yet what is more important than the current circumstances is how couples choose to respond.

Gary Chapman in his book The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage has this to say: “All couples face difficulties, and all couples have differences. These differences may centre on money, in-laws, religion, or any other area of life. Couples who fail to negotiate these differences will find themselves in [a place] created not by the difficulties of life but by how a couple responds to those difficulties. When one or both marriage partners insist on ‘my way or not at all’, they are moving their marriage toward [a cold, harsh, and bitter marriage].”

In a Stormy marriage, problems seem big and solutions appear far away. You are hurt, lonely and discouraged. There are regrets and you’ve replayed many “if only” scenarios in your mind. You yearn for a marriage in better weather, but it feels like it’s not going to come.

The hope in a stormy marriage

It takes only one party to put the marriage into Stormy weather, but it will take both to move out of it.

Can hope be restored in this storm?

Desperation can bring out tenacity, which we didn’t know existed in us before—a desperation that drives us to fight for our marriage.

It takes only one party to put the marriage into Stormy weather, but it will take both to move out of it.

Be open to seek professional help from a marriage counsellor or family therapist. Do not isolate yourself from friends and other married couples; your community and support system are crucial for you and your spouse to walk out of this rough storm.

Remember, the weather can change. The storm is here, but it doesn’t have to last forever. You can make a change.

Making the best of a stormy marriage

For the husband

What can you do in this weather?

  • If the relationship is so tense that you are no longer speaking to your wife, write down your thoughts on how you want the marriage to improve and pass it to her. Communication is key in rekindling your marriage.
  • Taking proactive steps to show love and appreciation to your wife may not feel so natural right now, but persisting in it can soften her heart and cause her to be tender towards you again.
  • Listen attentively and engage her through eye contact when she is speaking to you. You may not be ready to respond, but choosing to stay and listen shows her that you still care for her.
  • Find a male mentor or coach whom you can confide in and take advice from.

Things to watch out for:

  • Draw clear boundaries so that you don’t try to find intimacy in other friendships. This would only complicate the issues that you and your wife have to work through.
  • Avoid replaying the blunders in your mind and rehashing pain from the past. It can become a vicious cycle, making it harder for you to forgive and move on.
  • Habits can be hard to break. Don’t go back to old ways of dealing with conflict, but consciously choose healthier patterns of communication, even if it feels counter-intuitive.
  • It may feel easier to focus on your wife’s faults than perceive the good things in her right now. Be intentional to write down what you are thankful for about her.

Surround yourself with friends and family members who will support and encourage you in restoring your marriage.

For the wife

What can you do in this weather?

  • Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, and guard yourself against the downward spiral of rumination or despair.
  • Taking proactive steps to show love and appreciation to your husband may not feel so natural right now, but persisting in it can soften his heart and cause him to be tender towards you again.
  • Spend time recalling and noting down the better days in the marriage. How was it like? What did he do that you loved? Share these memories with your husband.
  • Surround yourself with friends and family members who will support and encourage you in restoring your marriage.

Things to watch out for:

  • Protect your heart and mind, so that you don’t try to find love and acceptance elsewhere. This only drives you further away from your husband.
  • Be careful not to put down your husband in front of your family or friends, whether within earshot or not.
  • Habits can be hard to break. Don’t go back to old ways of dealing with conflict, but consciously choose healthier patterns of communication, even if it feels counter-intuitive.
  • It may feel easier to focus on your husband’s faults than perceive the good things in him right now. Be intentional to write down what you are thankful for about him.

Couple conversations for this weather

  • What were the dreams and goals we had for our marriage?
  • How have I hurt you the most in our relationship? How can I make amends in ways that would meaningful to you?
  • What does it mean for us to “forgive and forget”? How can work on our marriage together to move forward together?
  • What are some things we can do for each other that would give each other hope and motivation for a better marriage?

It is not love that sustains the marriage, but marriage that sustains the love.

A thriving marriage in every weather

Every bride and groom enters into their union with a promise to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do they part.

When all hope seems to be gone, take a moment to consider your marriage vows. As someone once said: It is not love that sustains the marriage, but marriage that sustains the love.

“I didn’t marry you because you were perfect… I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And that promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage. And when our children were growing up, it wasn’t a house that protected them; and it wasn’t our love that protected them; it was the promise.” – Thornton Wilder

There can be beauty and growth in each weather your marriage is in. So, hold tight to the good, work hard at the difficult, and commit to journey through life together.

No matter what weather your marriage is in, you can make your relationship with your spouse the best that it can be.

Your marriage can survive this weather, and thrive.

Signs of an Emotional Affair and how to Avoid one

Jack awoke to the sound of his phone’s alarm. Feeling lethargic because he did not get a restful sleep due to the built-up stress of overseeing an important work project, he decided to hit the snooze button.  

As he reached for his smartphone, the thought of Jenner put a big smile on his face. He has been working together with Jenner on a company project. Jenner often has a kind word for everyone on the team, especially Jack, plus she has a knack for reframing problems, which has helped Jack tremendously.  

Jack has often experienced fuzzy-wuzzy feelings whenever he was in Jenner’s company, a special warmth that he could not find in his marriage of 6 years. 

Soon, Jack and Jenner find themselves spending more time together over work lunches and dinners without the other team members; their conversations have become more personal too. A team member even commented that Jack’s relationship with Jenner seems too close for comfort but Jack instantly laughed it off saying they were “just friends”. 

Is there anything wrong with the relationship between Jack and Jenner? Are both “just friends” or are they sliding into an emotional affair? 

The truth is, whether you are happy, fulfilled, or dissatisfied in your marriage, nobody is exempt from having an emotional affair. 

It is not uncommon for a married person to be involved in an emotional affair without realising it. Here are some warning signs to look out for.

What is an emotional affair? 

An emotional affair involves having non-sexual intimacy with someone who is not the individual’s romantic partner. It often starts innocently as a friendship or working relationship.  But if a person intentionally or unintentionally invests emotional energy and time in a friendship outside of their marriage, a deeper attachment is formed.  

Some believe that such a close friendship with someone of the opposite sex is harmless because there is no sexual intimacy involved. However, the deep bond shared outside of marriage can seriously threaten the person’s intimacy with their spouse.  

Emotional cheating can act as a gateway to a full-blown sexual affair. For many, the most hurtful part of a spouse’s emotional infidelity is the sense of being betrayed.  

What are the tell-tale signs of emotional affair?

In his book Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationship, author Gary Neuman shared the following warning signs of emotional cheating: 

  • Anticipating alone time or communication with your friend 
  • Beliefs that your friend understands you better than your spouse 
  • Decreasing time with your spouse 
  • Giving your friend personal gifts 
  • Keeping your friendship a secret 
  • Lack of interest in intimacy with your spouse 
  • Preoccupation or daydreams about your friend 
  • Sharing thoughts, feelings, and problems with your friend instead of your spouse 
  • Responding to confrontation about the emotional cheating with, “We’re just friends.” 
  • Withdrawing from your spouse 

Frequent contact makes it possible for intimacy to develop. 

In today’s connected world, and with advanced technology like the internet, it has never been easier to meet, interact, and bond with others.  

At work, we are often required to interact with members of the opposite sex and exhorted to cultivate good working relationships to complete a project or to achieve the organisation’s goals. 

Frequent contact makes it possible for intimacy to develop. This is where we need to be honest with ourselves: If you begin to feel more excited about seeing your colleague than going home and spending time with your spouse, then you’re likely treading on dangerous ground.  

Protecting your marriage  

No marriage is affair-proof. It is possible to get involved in an emotional affair if we allow our marriage to slide or to remain stagnant.  

But there are several ways we can protect our marriage from such temptations: 

1. Commit to your spouse. It has been said that while compatibility brings a couple together, commitment enables a couple to “stick” together. Indeed, commitment is the glue that holds the relationship in good and bad times.  

 Tip: Put a photo of your spouse or your family on the home screen of your digital devices to remind you of your commitment to stay faithful.  

 2. Shower your marriage with tender loving care (TLC). Prioritise your marriage, make time, and put in effort to meet each other’s important needs.  

 Tip: Do a 30-day Marriage TLC challenge. Do one simple gesture or kind act daily to strengthen the relationship OR take the “5 love languages” quiz if you are unsure how your spouse wants to be loved. And love him/her according to his/her love language. 

3. Control your social media environment. The images we look at, the information we receive, the people we follow, and the posts we like/comment can influence us, for good or for worse, and in more ways than we care to admit.   

Tip: Declutter your social media platforms. Delete apps or websites that do not add value to your marriage or unfollow someone who is taking too much of your head space.  

 4. Set boundaries about how you will interact with the opposite sex. Keep phone messages and conversations business-like. Avoid sharing innermost thoughts or feelings that should be reserved for your spouse only.  

Tip: When someone shares (intimate) personal information that is too close for your comfort, graciously end the conversation.  

 5. Be honest with yourself  

If you find yourself attracted to someone, admit it to yourself. If you receive feedback from colleagues or family that your friendship with the opposite sex is “crossing the line”, do not be too quick to rationalise by saying “we are just friends”. Instead, ask yourself tough questions about the friendship to determine if you are walking down a slippery slope.  Honesty is the key to preventing a relationship from escalating into an affair. 

 6. Choose to work through marriage issues with a therapist. If you are struggling with issues in your marriage, instead of confiding and seeking support from an opposite-sex colleague or friend, consider seeking professional help. 

 It is not uncommon for a married person to be involved in an emotional affair without realising it. Emotional affairs can inflict as much pain and hurt to a couple and do damage to a marriage as sexual ones. Watch out for red flags and find ways to safeguard your marriage from deception and temptations. 

What is one thing you can do to protect your marriage? 

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop

ABOUT

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop aims to help couples address issues that they may face as newlyweds, build a solid foundation in the early years and learn how to really love each other — for life!

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Session 1: 7 Nov 2024 (Thu), 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
From This Day Forth – Laying the foundation for a strong marriage

Session 2: 14 Nov 2024 (Thu), 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
For Better Or Worse – Working through differences to become one

Session 3: 23 Nov 2024 (Sat), 9:30am – 12:30pm, in-person at the Focus Singapore office
Till Death Do Us Part – Ensuring love for a lifetime

Who should attend:
1.
Couples who are considering marriage
2.
Couples who are engaged
3.
Couples in their first year of marriage

Fee: $380 per couple

The fee is inclusive of:

  • $70 rebate* upon completion of the workshop
  • Marriage resources
  • Participants’ workbooks
  • Couple Checkup™ – An online relationship assessment (find out more)
  • An English-speaking licensed solemniser (if required)

Please note that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) requires the following for the $70 rebate:

  1. Full attendance at the workshop
  2. Both parties must be above 21 years old
  3. One or both parties must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident

*Please note that the rebate may take an estimated 2 to 3 months to be processed.

For more information on the mandatory Early Marriage Support Programme for minor couples, please refer to the MSF website.

Withdrawal Policy

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Nam Seng and Sok Mian

Sharing the same passion in equipping couples towards their journey of Marriage, Nam Seng & Sok Mian have been conducting Connect2 workshop with Focus on the Family Singapore for more than 14 years together.

They have been happily married for 28 years, and parents to 2 grown up daughters. They strongly believe that respect, honour and faith are the 3 values integral in developing every individual to achieve their fullest potential and pursue their dreams.

What to expect

  • Understand what love, marriage and your vows symbolise
  • Identify each other's differences and love languages — how to engage in effective communication
  • Manage healthy conflict and have a good grasp on your family finances
  • Understand sexual intimacy, the importance of romance and family planning
  • Learn how to manage expectations from your spouse, children, in-laws while balancing work-life

Format

  • Facilitated by a trained husband-wife couple
  • Insightful & practical tips
  • Group discussions (6-10 couples)
  • Activities for individual couples

Ready to register?

Do remember to mark your calendars for all 3 sessions of the workshop!

Connect2 is an initiative by Focus on the Family Singapore to help married couples nurture and grow their relationship.

Impact Stories

Here are what some participants had to say after attending this workshop

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Our curriculum is based on universal values that are applicable and essential to helping marriages thrive, regardless of participants’ religious background.

Our participants have shared that they particularly enjoy the interactive and experiential style of learning we offer at our sessions. They also value the practical tips shared which they feel can be readily and easily implemented. Participants also appreciate the opportunities given to them during the sessions to have deep and honest discussions about topics that are not usually raised in usual conversations that couples have prior to marriage.

The shifting of roles in marriage will be addressed in the group marriage preparation programme through activities and discussions. Each couple will be given opportunities to discuss and align expectations that they have towards each other regarding parenting responsibilities, distribution of household chores, management of the household budget and a myriad of other issues that will help them establish a firm foundation in order for their marriage and family to thrive.

To ensure positive workshop dynamics especially during the group discussions and activities, there will be a minimum of 6 couples each workshop, and a maximum of 10.

We do not advise this. The programme is effective only if a couple attends the session together.

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Indicate Your Interest Below!

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop

ABOUT

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop aims to help couples address issues that they may face as newlyweds, build a solid foundation in the early years and learn how to really love each other — for life!

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Session 1: 12 Sep 2024 (Thu), 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
From This Day Forth – Laying the foundation for a strong marriage

Session 2: 19 Sep 2024 (Thu), 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
For Better Or Worse – Working through differences to become one

Session 3: 28 Sep 2024 (Sat), 9:30am – 12:30pm, in-person at the Focus Singapore office
Till Death Do Us Part – Ensuring love for a lifetime

Who should attend:
1.
Couples who are considering marriage
2.
Couples who are engaged
3.
Couples in their first year of marriage

Fee: $380 per couple

The fee is inclusive of:

  • $70 rebate* upon completion of the workshop
  • Marriage resources
  • Participants’ workbooks
  • Couple Checkup™ – An online relationship assessment (find out more)
  • An English-speaking licensed solemniser (if required)

Please note that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) requires the following for the $70 rebate:

  1. Full attendance at the workshop
  2. Both parties must be above 21 years old
  3. One or both parties must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident

*Please note that the rebate may take an estimated 2 to 3 months to be processed.

For more information on the mandatory Early Marriage Support Programme for minor couples, please refer to the MSF website.

Withdrawal Policy

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Jason and Shelen

Jason and Shelen have a strong passion for strengthening marriages and enriching families. They have been speaking and training in the areas of dating, marriage, and parenting, and have been interviewed on radio and TV on these subjects. Jason and Shelen are both accredited in the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis as well as the PREPARE/ENRICH assessments, and are committed to helping couples build a life-long marriage. Coupled with their bubbly personality and outgoing nature, they are a pair of engaging and dynamic speakers from Focus on the Family.   

What to expect

  • Understand what love, marriage and your vows symbolise
  • Identify each other's differences and love languages — how to engage in effective communication
  • Manage healthy conflict and have a good grasp on your family finances
  • Understand sexual intimacy, the importance of romance and family planning
  • Learn how to manage expectations from your spouse, children, in-laws while balancing work-life

Format

  • Facilitated by a trained husband-wife couple
  • Insightful & practical tips
  • Group discussions (6-10 couples)
  • Activities for individual couples

Ready to register?

Do remember to mark your calendars for all 3 sessions of the workshop!

Connect2 is an initiative by Focus on the Family Singapore to help married couples nurture and grow their relationship.

Impact Stories

Here are what some participants had to say after attending this workshop

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Our curriculum is based on universal values that are applicable and essential to helping marriages thrive, regardless of participants’ religious background.

Our participants have shared that they particularly enjoy the interactive and experiential style of learning we offer at our sessions. They also value the practical tips shared which they feel can be readily and easily implemented. Participants also appreciate the opportunities given to them during the sessions to have deep and honest discussions about topics that are not usually raised in usual conversations that couples have prior to marriage.

The shifting of roles in marriage will be addressed in the group marriage preparation programme through activities and discussions. Each couple will be given opportunities to discuss and align expectations that they have towards each other regarding parenting responsibilities, distribution of household chores, management of the household budget and a myriad of other issues that will help them establish a firm foundation in order for their marriage and family to thrive.

To ensure positive workshop dynamics especially during the group discussions and activities, there will be a minimum of 6 couples each workshop, and a maximum of 10.

We do not advise this. The programme is effective only if a couple attends the session together.

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Register Now

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop

ABOUT

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop aims to help couples address issues that they may face as newlyweds, build a solid foundation in the early years and learn how to really love each other — for life!

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Session 1: 11 Jul 2024 (Thu), 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
From This Day Forth – Laying the foundation for a strong marriage

Session 2: 18 Jul 2024 (Thu), 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
For Better Or Worse – Working through differences to become one

Session 3: 27 Jul 2024 (Sat), 9:30am – 12:30pm, in-person at the Focus Singapore office
Till Death Do Us Part – Ensuring love for a lifetime

Who should attend:
1.
Couples who are considering marriage
2.
Couples who are engaged
3.
Couples in their first year of marriage

Fee: $380 per couple

The fee is inclusive of:

  • $70 rebate* upon completion of the workshop
  • Marriage resources
  • Participants’ workbooks
  • Couple Checkup™ – An online relationship assessment (find out more)
  • An English-speaking licensed solemniser (if required)

Please note that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) requires the following for the $70 rebate:

  1. Full attendance at the workshop
  2. Both parties must be above 21 years old
  3. One or both parties must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident

*Please note that the rebate may take an estimated 2 to 3 months to be processed.

For more information on the mandatory Early Marriage Support Programme for minor couples, please refer to the MSF website.

Withdrawal Policy

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Gary & Joanna Koh

Gary and Joanna present a dynamic approach in talking about love and life. Gary’s sense of humour vs. Joanna’s straight-talking approach are so different, yet both have the same passion of helping families and relationships thrive. Gary is a family counsellor and Joanna has served as CEO of local charity, Focus on the Family Singapore, for 21 years.

What to expect

  • Understand what love, marriage and your vows symbolise
  • Identify each other's differences and love languages — how to engage in effective communication
  • Manage healthy conflict and have a good grasp on your family finances
  • Understand sexual intimacy, the importance of romance and family planning
  • Learn how to manage expectations from your spouse, children, in-laws while balancing work-life

Format

  • Facilitated by a trained husband-wife couple
  • Insightful & practical tips
  • Group discussions (6-10 couples)
  • Activities for individual couples

Ready to register?

Do remember to mark your calendars for all 3 sessions of the workshop!

Connect2 is an initiative by Focus on the Family Singapore to help married couples nurture and grow their relationship.

Impact Stories

Here are what some participants had to say after attending this workshop

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Our curriculum is based on universal values that are applicable and essential to helping marriages thrive, regardless of participants’ religious background.

Our participants have shared that they particularly enjoy the interactive and experiential style of learning we offer at our sessions. They also value the practical tips shared which they feel can be readily and easily implemented. Participants also appreciate the opportunities given to them during the sessions to have deep and honest discussions about topics that are not usually raised in usual conversations that couples have prior to marriage.

The shifting of roles in marriage will be addressed in the group marriage preparation programme through activities and discussions. Each couple will be given opportunities to discuss and align expectations that they have towards each other regarding parenting responsibilities, distribution of household chores, management of the household budget and a myriad of other issues that will help them establish a firm foundation in order for their marriage and family to thrive.

To ensure positive workshop dynamics especially during the group discussions and activities, there will be a minimum of 6 couples each workshop, and a maximum of 10.

We do not advise this. The programme is effective only if a couple attends the session together.

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Register Now

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop

ABOUT

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop aims to help couples address issues that they may face as newlyweds, build a solid foundation in the early years and learn how to really love each other — for life!

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Session 1: 9 May 2024 (Thu), 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
From This Day Forth – Laying the foundation for a strong marriage

Session 2: 16 May 2024 (Thu), 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
For Better Or Worse – Working through differences to become one

Session 3: 25 May 2024 (Sat), 9:30am – 12:30pm, in-person at the Focus Singapore office
Till Death Do Us Part – Ensuring love for a lifetime

Who should attend:
1.
Couples who are considering marriage
2.
Couples who are engaged
3.
Couples in their first year of marriage

Fee: $380 per couple

The fee is inclusive of:

  • $70 rebate* upon completion of the workshop
  • Marriage resources
  • Participants’ workbooks
  • Couple Checkup™ – An online relationship assessment (find out more)
  • An English-speaking licensed solemniser (if required)

Please note that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) requires the following for the $70 rebate:

  1. Full attendance at the workshop
  2. Both parties must be above 21 years old
  3. One or both parties must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident

*Please note that the rebate may take an estimated 2 to 3 months to be processed.

For more information on the mandatory Early Marriage Support Programme for minor couples, please refer to the MSF website.

Withdrawal Policy

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Jason and Shelen

Jason and Shelen have a strong passion for strengthening marriages and enriching families. They have been speaking and training in the areas of dating, marriage, and parenting, and have been interviewed on radio and TV on these subjects. Jason and Shelen are both accredited in the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis as well as the PREPARE/ENRICH assessments, and are committed to helping couples build a life-long marriage. Coupled with their bubbly personality and outgoing nature, they are a pair of engaging and dynamic speakers from Focus on the Family.   

What to expect

  • Understand what love, marriage and your vows symbolise
  • Identify each other's differences and love languages — how to engage in effective communication
  • Manage healthy conflict and have a good grasp on your family finances
  • Understand sexual intimacy, the importance of romance and family planning
  • Learn how to manage expectations from your spouse, children, in-laws while balancing work-life

Format

  • Facilitated by a trained husband-wife couple
  • Insightful & practical tips
  • Group discussions (6-10 couples)
  • Activities for individual couples

Ready to register?

Do remember to mark your calendars for all 3 sessions of the workshop!

Connect2 is an initiative by Focus on the Family Singapore to help married couples nurture and grow their relationship.

Impact Stories

Here are what some participants had to say after attending this workshop

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Our curriculum is based on universal values that are applicable and essential to helping marriages thrive, regardless of participants’ religious background.

Our participants have shared that they particularly enjoy the interactive and experiential style of learning we offer at our sessions. They also value the practical tips shared which they feel can be readily and easily implemented. Participants also appreciate the opportunities given to them during the sessions to have deep and honest discussions about topics that are not usually raised in usual conversations that couples have prior to marriage.

The shifting of roles in marriage will be addressed in the group marriage preparation programme through activities and discussions. Each couple will be given opportunities to discuss and align expectations that they have towards each other regarding parenting responsibilities, distribution of household chores, management of the household budget and a myriad of other issues that will help them establish a firm foundation in order for their marriage and family to thrive.

To ensure positive workshop dynamics especially during the group discussions and activities, there will be a minimum of 6 couples each workshop, and a maximum of 10.

We do not advise this. The programme is effective only if a couple attends the session together.

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Register Now

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop

ABOUT

Connect2 Marriage Preparation Workshop aims to help couples address issues that they may face as newlyweds, build a solid foundation in the early years and learn how to really love each other — for life!

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Session 1: Thursday, 11 Apr 2024 , 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
From This Day Forth – Laying the foundation for a strong marriage

Session 2: Thursday, 18 Apr 2024, 7:00pm – 9:30pm, online on Zoom
For Better Or Worse – Working through differences to become one

Session 3: Saturday, 27 Apr 2024, 9:30am – 12:30pm, in-person at the Focus Singapore office
Till Death Do Us Part – Ensuring love for a lifetime

Who should attend:
1.
Couples who are considering marriage
2.
Couples who are engaged
3.
Couples in their first year of marriage

Fee: $380 per couple

The fee is inclusive of:

  • $70 rebate* upon completion of the workshop
  • Marriage resources
  • Participants’ workbooks
  • Couple Checkup™ – An online relationship assessment (find out more)
  • An English-speaking licensed solemniser (if required)

Please note that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) requires the following for the $70 rebate:

  1. Full attendance at the workshop
  2. Both parties must be above 21 years old
  3. One or both parties must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident

*Please note that the rebate may take an estimated 2 to 3 months to be processed.

For more information on the mandatory Early Marriage Support Programme for minor couples, please refer to the MSF website.

Withdrawal Policy

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Frankie and Tina

Frankie & Tina have been married since 2001 and are passionate about supporting young couples in establishing a positive and flourishing marriage. They have been mentoring young people and young couples for more than 10 years. They also believe in supporting men and women in their personal journey of identity and personhood. 

What to expect

  • Understand what love, marriage and your vows symbolise
  • Identify each other's differences and love languages — how to engage in effective communication
  • Manage healthy conflict and have a good grasp on your family finances
  • Understand sexual intimacy, the importance of romance and family planning
  • Learn how to manage expectations from your spouse, children, in-laws while balancing work-life

Format

  • Facilitated by a trained husband-wife couple
  • Insightful & practical tips
  • Group discussions (6-10 couples)
  • Activities for individual couples

Ready to Connect?

Remember to mark your calendars for all 3 sessions of the workshop!

Connect2 is an initiative by Focus on the Family Singapore to help married couples nurture and grow their relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Our curriculum is based on universal values that are applicable and essential to helping marriages thrive, regardless of participants’ religious background.

Our participants have shared that they particularly enjoy the interactive and experiential style of learning we offer at our sessions. They also value the practical tips shared which they feel can be readily and easily implemented. Participants also appreciate the opportunities given to them during the sessions to have deep and honest discussions about topics that are not usually raised in usual conversations that couples have prior to marriage.

The shifting of roles in marriage will be addressed in the group marriage preparation programme through activities and discussions. Each couple will be given opportunities to discuss and align expectations that they have towards each other regarding parenting responsibilities, distribution of household chores, management of the household budget and a myriad of other issues that will help them establish a firm foundation in order for their marriage and family to thrive.

To ensure positive workshop dynamics especially during the group discussions and activities, there will be a minimum of 6 couples each workshop, and a maximum of 10.

We do not advise this. The programme is effective only if a couple attends the session together.

There will be no refunds for cancellations or no-shows upon confirmation of registration. Request for transfer of registration to another workshop/date must be communicated via email at least 5 working days before workshop start date.

Impact Stories

Here are what some participants had to say after attending this workshop

Register Now

Connect2 Podcast

Candid conversations about relationships and marriage

Connect2 Podcast

ABOUT

Married life can be filled with twists and turns, especially with the day-to-day priorities, and stresses in life, including the times we run into conflict with our spouse.

No matter the state of your relationship today, we want to help your marriage thrive.

Join us as we figure out life and love together, and go deep into the conversations and questions (often unspoken) about the toughest topics on connection, intimacy and lifelong love.

While there are no perfect marriages, there is always room to grow to be the best spouse we can be. With practical tips, a whole lot of vulnerability and even a dose of humour, we hope that these episodes will provide hope and encouragement for your marriage.

Thank you for listening!

If you have enjoyed listening to the Connect2 Podcast, please leave us a rating and review on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. It'll be very helpful for others to find our podcast. 

You can also support us by giving monthly. We appreciate your generous giving as every dollar helps to sustain our efforts in producing content and resources to strengthen families.

Connect2 is an initiative by Focus on the Family Singapore to help married couples nurture and grow their relationship.