Actress Priscelia Chan likens marriage to a team sport.
“You need to play along really well together without even saying much,” she explained before adding, “You can’t force the person to play the way you want it.”
Echoing the missus’ response, Alan Tern added: “Marriage is really all about compromising and teamwork and it’s actually pretty effortless for us.
“Also, a man should learn to be a sponge,” Alan offered unexpectedly with a smirk on his face. “Take in all of your woman’s silliness and insecurities then go to the sink, squeeze everything out and stay dry.”
“You sound like you are so stressed. Are you saying I’m very demanding?!” Priscelia retorted in mock outrage.
It is easy to tell, from my hour-long session with this adorable couple, that they are truly a match made in heaven. An aura of unspoken love peppered with interludes of playfulness and random teasing from each other.
But what is perhaps most distinctive about their union is their unassuming commitment to being happy together, and how their model for success has become a matter of routine.
“You have to be a happy wife for your man to be happy,” said Priscelia. “If you are not happy within then you won’t be able to share that happiness with anyone else.”
The couple who met in 2002 had a fairy-tale beginning which saw them start out as colleagues before their innocent friendship blossomed into “buddy-hood”. An email love confession from Alan one day ensued and sealed their fate with a fleeting interval of courtship that lasted only six months before they tied the knot in 2007.
Often, when the initial romance and excitement fizzles out gradually after marriage, everything seems humdrum and it is easy for couples to slip into the rut. So, how do Priscelia and Alan manage and overcome their disagreements?
“We’ve never raised our voice on each other, we just talk it out,” said Alan with his missus nodding in concurrence.
“It’s kind of natural for us to just walk away when we’ve said enough,” Priscelia added. “As long as we’ve understood each other’s point of views then “it’s ok already lor”.”
The couple whose “baby-making machine is fully operative now” is currently planning for their first child. Although their blissful journey as man and wife has not experienced any episodes of massive spat, admittedly both are aware the dynamics could change when the pitter patter of little feet comes along.
“So far we have no major issue when it comes to making compromises but we’ll see when we become parents, who knows? Being a parent is a joy but it could also work the opposite.”
At this moment, a spontaneous Alan chipped in: “Sometimes her way of ending a quarrel is just by telling me, “Aiya so easy, just hug me lah!” so maybe that’d help in future.”(Laughs)
Three years [and counting] into their nuptials, this pair of adorable couple believes the secret bond to their great relationship is all about “making a fool of ourselves” and that, according to Mrs Tern, apparently involves her “acting cute to entertain my husband”.
Ah, so the cat is out of the bag – an appetite for role-playing is the couple’s hush-hush ammo to keeping the marriage fires burning?
“Acting cute as in pretending to be his maid and serving him coffee when he comes home tired from work!” Priscelia revealed eagerly. “Maybe it’s our acting job that’s become deeply ingrained within us and Alan, though tired, would play along and then we’ll burst out laughing!”
Alan, on the other hand, gives side-splitting performance ala the Glee cast and sings out of synch to tickle his wifey’s funny bones.
“So you see, taking turns to role-play and making a fool of ourselves work for us…sounds kinky! (Laughs)
Indeed, the family that plays together stays together. Such is the adoring and exhilarating team sport of being Mr & Mrs Tern.