As a person who is passionate about building strong marriages, I always support organisations that have the same end goal. Some of you readers might know that I run my own photography and video production company, Stories for Business. So it was with great pleasure that we decided to collaborate with Focus on the Family Malaysia (FOTM) for their year-long marriage campaign titled, I Do! Married for Love. Married for Life.

Some of the statistics shared with us are really shocking…. there is an upward trend of divorces happening in Malaysia. Here’s an excerpt from the report shared by FOTM:

YB Hannah Yeoh, former Deputy Minister of Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development shared that more than one-third of marriages in Malaysia end within the first five years. Below are the divorce statistics comparison for the year 2009 vs 2019:

56,975 divorces were recorded in 2019 compared to 36,668 in 2009.

28% of marriages ended in divorce.

This translates to 4,748 divorces in a month,

and 156 divorces in a day.

Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia

This increase in divorce cases displays a worrying trend. It shows that the institution of marriage needs to be strengthened.
Focus on the Family Malaysia (FOFM) too has seen a drastic increase in counselling cases that were related to marriage issues. In 2020, 37% of our counselees came in for sessions to address marriage-related issues.
– Focus on the Family Malaysia –

We’ve decided to participate in FOTM’s marriage campaign in 2022 because I believe that every little action matters. We’ve launched one campaign awareness video, which you can view below, and we’ll be releasing five more videos over the coming several months to help move the campaign ahead. You can sign up to receive updates from their I Do website and be a marriage champion by sharing the video content, participating in their marriage run, join contests and impact programmes or even just giving to the cause.

For Comma, we will issue marriage challenges that will hopefully change the culture in your home. What are these marriage challenges? They could be little actions or words spoken, but ultimately, it is a journey for you to take so that it leads you towards an intimate and thriving marriage relationship. It doesn’t matter how long you have been married, whether your spouse is loving or distant, all it takes is one person to make a difference. So, my challenge to you today is to be that difference maker in your home.

Challenge 1: Choose Selflessness

When we said, “I do,” it was the beginning of selflessness. For years, we have lived thinking only of ourselves. It is a trait that we despise in others but often justify in our lives. We can’t help but admit that there have been many times when our thoughts and actions were purely motivated by selfishness. It is easy to point out other people’s problems, but admitting our own is a bitter pill to swallow. 

Creating a new culture takes time. It takes an intentional effort to change. We sometimes think about how we would like our spouse to change, but we refuse to make changes ourselves. So today, resolve to choose selflessness. When we prioritise the well-being of our spouse, it will lead to a sense of fulfillment. This doesn’t mean we totally ignore ourselves and our needs. It’s about thinking beyond ourselves and asking

Do I truly want what’s best for my partner?
Do I look out for his or her best interests?

So this week, express selflessness by doing something that will show you are thinking of your spouse. It could be purchasing a gift, or a favourite snack, or offering to go out of your way to run an errand. Changing marriage culture starts with one habit at a time. 

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