|My name is Hwee Cheng and I am a wife to a wonderful man and a mother to 2 beautiful children. I appear to be a happy and cheerful woman, and usually I am the sunshine of the party. However, inside I was quite broken and had problems communicating in my marriage. Whenever conflicts arose with my husband, I would automatically shut down, and refuse to talk or to confront my emotions.
For years this was how I dealt with conflicts in my marriage. And my husband would be left stranded and confused with the silent treatment. One day, we had one of our worst arguments, and exacerbated by my silent treatment, my husband exploded in violent anger. In shock, I took my young son and ran out of the house. Immediately my husband regretted his actions and apologized and tried to resolve the issue with me.
By then, I was already in a major emotional meltdown and could not bring myself to give him another chance. After that episode, things got worse between us. I was carrying my 2nd child (third trimester) and plunged into pre-natal depression. I would often cry myself to sleep and could not reach out to my young son who needed me. My husband tried to help me out of my depression but he too was disillusioned and broken. I sank deeper and deeper into hopelessness and darkness. I felt suffocated and was dying on the inside. I even thought of going for a C-section to quickly deliver the child as I could not bear to carry on.
Deep down, I knew I needed help. And when I made that decision to seek help, I immediately felt hope in my marriage again! My husband and I met up with our leaders, Pastor Derek and Susan Dunn. We poured out our hearts to them. They encouraged us with words of wisdom, and gave us practical advice how to change our mindset about wrong thoughts. They were also not afraid to address my weaknesses, but in love. My eyes were opened for the first time that day.
I always thought I was the victim but I realized that my husband was hurting too. I have failed to see my own weakness and faults and God showed me that to save this marriage, I too needed to change and confront myself. It was a painful realization, but one that brought about deliverance and healing. We prayed and released forgiveness and my marriage was on the road to restoration.
My marriage would not be where it is now if not for Pastor and Susan’s persistent love; to correct us and bring light and wisdom to our situation. They spoke life into our marriage. They were with us through our toughest times. Susan taught me key principles of love and communication. I practiced saying these words with her, “I am angry at you because…” And such practical advice helped me come to terms with my emotions and not be defeated by negative mindsets.
Susan also taught me the importance of protecting the ego of a man. When I gave my husband the silent treatment, I was in fact manipulating him and punishing him for his mistakes, and that was making him feel put down and useless.
I had my breakthrough when I decided to let go and let God in, by allowing godly counsel into my life. As the bible says, there is healing and safety in a multitude of counselors. I thank God for putting leaders and shepherds over our lives.
We walked out of that session transformed and restored. I am still learning to be a loving wife and the journey continues with ups and downs. I learn to love my husband for all his strengths and weaknesses; I learn to smile at “burnt soup” even.
Indeed, I am grateful to God for His grace and love towards me in my marriage. And I am thankful for Pastor and Susan who have made such a tremendous difference in our lives.
|Ong Hwee Cheng
Married, with 2 kids