Being away from family, moving to an unfamiliar environment, learning a new language, experiencing a new culture – these are some of the many struggles that foreign spouses face as they pledge “I Do”. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, Year 2019 alone witnessed the union of over 6000 couples where one party is a non-citizen. This amounts to approximately 30% of all citizen marriages last year (Singapore Department of Statistics, 2020). To support transnational couples in building a happy and lasting marriage that bridges cultural differences, Project FAMILY provides regular Marriage Preparation Programme (MPP) and Marriage Support Programme (MSP) for transnational couples pre- and post-solemnisation.
We are grateful for the encouraging feedback from couples who attended these programmes.
“I liked that the programme has a nice flow and smooth progression. The course introduced concepts that I did not know of prior to the course. Therefore, it was really nice to learn something new in my relationship”
— Ms A (Foreign Spouse)
“It was really nice to learn something new in my relationship. My key takeaways were finding out our love language and concept of building love maps. The newfound awareness about our love language serves as a fresh reminder on how we can refill our love jars.”
— Ms B (Foreign Spouse)
As much as love comes naturally, knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of human relationships can be the nutrients that help this love to grow in strength and resilience. Taking the first step together into marriage is never easy. At Fei Yue Community Services, we support couples in maintaining the “temperature” of their relationship and building a warm and caring home.
“I liked that the programme despite being done online, was still engaging. Being able to attend a class in the comfort of my own home was really great. Also, the group size was perfect for such a setting.”
— Mr C (Local Spouse)
The Covid-19 pandemic did indeed bring about many changes in the mode of delivery, as programmes switched from physical to virtual to protect the health of our community.
“My greatest takeaways were understanding that there is a hierarchy in the way love is being built. A foundation has to be built before we work on more abstract things like dreams and goals. Additionally, I learned that people show love in different ways. For instance, even though I dislike being nagged at, I learned to not be impulsive but rather to understand where it comes from. It helps me to manage my explosive tendencies in the relationship.”
— Mr D (Local Spouse)
Marriage Preparation Programmes bring fresh perspectives and meaningful insights to participating couples. The practical examples bring learning from the virtual classrooms to the home environment – enabling couples to see how concepts can be applied in the little things in daily life. These things, though little, make a world of difference as transnational couples bridge their differences to build their sweet home together.