It’s said marriage is not a destination but a journey. And like any road trip, you’ll make new discoveries and cross milestones but there’ll also be bumps and wrong turns. 

In Part 3 of a series of three stories, Yenny Then and Desmond Neo share with us how they’ve navigated their voyage of love.

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Yenny Then & Desmond Neo

With its associations to resilience, purity and innocence, a diamond his how Desmond Neo likes to describe his marriage to Yenny Then. “It’s unbreakable,” he says. For this couple who have been married for 23 years and are the proud parents of a 16-year-old daughter, every bonding exercise is an opportunity to do things as a family, be it travelling, watching movies, taking long walks together, shopping or playing sports, such as badminton.

(Related: What Do Society Darlings Nada Jumabhoy And Meaghan See Bond Over?)

Our journey began in… 1994.

Desmond: We met during a gathering among mutual friends at a restaurant. I thought she was very friendly and chatty and we became a couple one month later. After dating for nine months, I knew she was the one. I proposed to her with roses and a diamond ring and we celebrated our union in a Chinese restaurant at Orchard Road among 300 close family and friends. The most unforgettable part was watching Yenny walk down the aisle in her beautiful wedding dress!

Yenny: When I first met Desmond, I thought he was calm and confident, a real gentleman. It was love at first sight! The day we got married was the happiest and most exciting day of our lives! A sparkling new chapter of our lives together.

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There’s no one else I’d have as my co-pilot…

Yenny: I love Desmond because he is trusting, loving, respectful and understanding. He is a very responsible man.

Desmond: I cannot imagine my life without Yenny. It would probably be very different. To use a modern-day comparison, I’d say we are like a handphone and charger—we would be incomplete without each other. 

In marriage, like every journey, there are bumps, sliproads and blindspots… 

Yenny: It was a struggle for me having to start a new life here in Singapore. I really missed my family and friends in Indonesia. But it was my love for Desmond that kept me going. He is understanding and supportive and always arranges visits to Indonesia when time permits. Whenever we have disagreements, we believe in give and take.

Treasures we’ve picked up along the ride…

Yenny: Marriage has taught me to learn to trust, respect, love and be understanding. Of course, parenthood is one of the biggest treasures.
Our daughter is our greatest gift!

(Related: Love Letters To My Sweetheart: Serene Tan & Benjamin Kim)

Desmond: If I had to list just three of the special gifts marriage has brought me, it would be our honeymoon, building a home together, and our precious daughter.

What’s the golden rule for a smooth ride?

Yenny: I view the strong relationship between our late founding prime minister LKY and his wife as the model marriage and aspire to be like that. I believe marriage is about going through thick and
thin together.

Desmond: Rule number 1: The wife is always right! Rule number 2: If the wife is wrong, refer to the first rule. Conclusion: a happy wife leads to a happy life!

Hear what the couples have to say to each other in this special video below:

Tags: wedding, marriage, Dolly Cheong, Bernard Cheong, Yenny Then, Desmond Neo, Serene Tan, benjamin kim, love letter