Couples

‘Friendship key to happy marriage’

SEN and Kehong when they were dating after they had completed their university studies.

HOW WE MET with SYLVESTER CHISHIMBA, Lusaka
“Before we became husband and wife, we were high school friends, our friendship started many years back when we were in high school and in the same class. I liked him because he was different from most of the young men; he was handsome, quiet and very intelligent. He always came out first in physics and mathematics,”
These were the words of Feng Kehong a medical doctor who has been married to Shen Sen for 28 years.
The romantic bliss between Feng Kehong and Shen Sen started way back between the 1978 and 1979 when the two were pupils at Tanga Yin First High School.
“The day I developed feelings for him was when he came in class just as the bell was ringing and his new jacket was caught by a loose nail from my desk as he was passing, I thought he would be angry and shout at me that instant but instead he just looked at torn section of his jacket and sat quietly,”she said.
Kehong said even though she was in love with Sen, she could not face him and tell about her feelings directly as both of them were busy with school.
“We just became very good friends and as time went on we came to discover that we were from the same city called Luoyang city located in western Henan province of Central China.This brought us even closer. Later, we discovered that our parents knew each other and built a relationship already,”she said.
Kehong said after they completed high school, they lost communication because they went to different universities to pursue their future careers.
“After years of not seeing each other, we again met in 1985 in our home city, when we both had completed our university studies.This is the time when Sen officially proposed love to me and we started to date.In a society where I come from, friendships between families play a key role in relationships and marriage, our families knew each other very well and above all I and Sen understood each other very well,”she said.
Kehong said two years later, Sen proposed to marriage to her adding that the marriage was well celebrated as our both families were agreeable.
And smiling, Sen said when his friendship with Kehong blossomed; he began to develop feelings for her especially after liking her character and conduct.
“She was very different from me, I was on the quiet side but we were able to understand each other even though she was the opposite of me.I was a very private and reserved person who loved doing things alone. I never had time to mind about other people or what they were doing as I concentrated much on my studies.
Kehong was the opposite of me, she liked to be with people, talking to them and always working and sharing knowledge with them,” he said.
Sen said Kehong has been a perfect wife and partner in their marital union because his wife has enabled him change as he had difficulties in believing or talking to other people.
“We do a lot of things together and we normally fuilfil our plans and the years we have spent together has enabled us to tolerate and accept each other’s weaknesses with the love we share,”he said.
Sen and Kehong have a 17-year-old daughter together named Shen Xia Fei, who is currently in China studying.
When advising wouldbe couples and those already in marriage, Kehong said people should be very serious when marrying because marriage is a life time commitment that should not be taken for jokes.
“People should learn to trust, understand and help each other than spend most of their time insulting each other,”she said.
And Sen chipped in saying when couples agree about spending the rest of their lives together, they should learn to work together and that total co-operation between them is mostly needed.
“Partners must always make decisions and always work together because they need to overcome most difficulties as couples. Life is never easy; couples must work hard to provide for themselves.
They must have the ability to do things well, couples divorce because they don’t want to work together or lack commitment, they should have tolerance for one another.Love is important in a marriage because without it nothing can work,”he said.

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