By Rupa Seenaraine
Valentine’s Day celebrates love, and staying together in love is another element of a successful relationship.
Nalini and Motie Singh got married 48 years ago. Four children and six grandchildren later, they have shared their take on building a successful partnership and what it takes to cultivate a lifelong bond.
Growing up in the Bonasika Creek area, the two were avid churchgoers and met during these engagements. After some time, they got married on February 23, 1976, and moved to Parika on the East Bank of Essequibo.
In conversation with Guyana Times, they remembered, “We grew up in the same neighbourhood in Bonasika Creek and we attended the same church. A couple years after we met, we got married and have been together since. We moved to Parika later in 1976 and since then we are still there.”
With the economic situation in the country at that time, they noted that many persons had chosen to migrate overseas to seek better opportunities and provide for their families. Despite receiving offers to pursue such, Motie said he remained in Guyana because he knew there was a possibility their marriage would be compromised.
“We basically stuck together when others were trying to separate so that one party could migrate and the other can remain here with the family. We’ve seen many marriages destroyed as a result of that. That’s one of the major reasons why we’re still together because many of our family and friends were separated and all of that. We never did in all of those 48 years,” he expressed.
Shortly after in the 1980s, the couple launched a business together which they still operate. They refer to each other as partners and noted that each of them has a specific role in this professional circle.
Asked what has kept them together throughout these years, Nalini said it is due to their faith in God and their commitment to religion. However, her husband said it also relates to building trust in the other person.
“It’s because of our belief in marriage. We believe that marriage is God’s most important institution on the earth. That has been the foundation of everything else that there is. The home and the family is very important. It’s not to say that we don’t have struggles. Every marriage has struggles. It’s two people and different backgrounds and it’s important for them to adjust. One of the most important things that we have learnt is to build trust. Without it, it would not be there. Because of that faithfulness, we have confidence in each other.”
Throughout the years, the two said they have found compatibility in their love for travel. In fact, they make it a tradition to visit somewhere new whenever their wedding anniversary approaches. This month, they are planning to visit Lethem to keep this custom alive since the extant pandemic circumstances prevent any international travel. Last year, they recalled spending time in Panama and in 2019, Port Kaituma in Region One (Barima-Waini).
“We do a lot of stuff together. We run the office together. We travel the world and take long drives. There was a time when we drove for days to Brazil and another time from Miami to Texas. We both like driving so it’s something we enjoy. Every anniversary we take a trip.”
Asked whether there are any arguments in the marriage, they chuckled and responded “all the time”.
“Just like we do all these things together, we argue over simple things like the colour of tiles that we should put in the house. Sometimes, if I say I like something, she will like the opposite but we have learnt over the years to adjust to each other, appreciate each other and love each other for the uniqueness that person is,” Motie described.
To date, the Singhs are still committed to their tradition of attending church, where Motie is a pastor. In fact, it is where they spend most of their Sundays.