Last Sunday (Nov 18), local actress Jacelyn Tay shocked netizens when she announced on Instagram that she and her husband of eight years, Brian Wong, are getting a divorce. The 43-year-old had married Wong on Oct 10, 2010, and they have a seven-year-old son, Zavier. They also manage a health and wellness business together. (See: Divorce lawyers share 5 truths on marriage)
While we are often devastated and shaken whenever relationships bite the dust, we shouldn’t lose all faith in love. Here are some couples who have bucked the trend and are still going strong.
1. Fann Wong and Christopher Lee — together since 2002
Arguably Singapore’s most beloved power couple, their relationship is like a fairytale. The pair played onscreen lovers several times — the most notable one being Return Of The Condor Heroes (1998) — but fell in love and officially got together while working on Looking for Stars in 2000. (See: 5 Hong Kong celebrity couples who fell in love on set)
They were famously private about their relationship, only admitting to it three years later and going public together a year after that. They got hitched in 2009, and after fending off media scrutiny about their baby-making plans for five years, Fann gave birth to a boy named Zed, who is now four. The pair, whose latest collaboration Doppelganger (2018) saw them acting as onscreen lovers again after more than 10 years, are still very affectionate. Fann lovingly calls him her “ai ai” (love love, in Mandarin) or “baobei” (precious dear in Mandarin) on social media, and the pair often tease each other playfully and cheekily during interviews. #relationshipgoals
#2 Zheng Geping and Hong Hui Fang — married since 1992
The down-to-earth couple have been together for over two decades, and still look blissfully happy. Be that as it may, it was not love-at-first-sight when the pair first met as colleagues at Mediacorp (formerly known as Singapore Broadcasting Corporation). Back then, Ge Ping, who is three years younger, was still a rookie actor and didn’t think the Ah Jie would give him a second look. In fact, in interviews, Hui Fang admitted she thought he was an “Ah Beng” (or hooligan). Thankfully, they grew to like, and subsequently love each other, after a chalet getaway with a few mutual friends saw them getting to know each other better. They are now proud parents to two budding stars, Tay Ying, 22, and Calvert, 18. The pair say they try to keep the spark alive by being loving and continuing to see the good in each other. They make sure they set aside couple time and enjoy a glass of wine together at night after the children go to bed. It’s been said that “hunkle” Ge Ping tries to kiss her goodnight every night, while she bakes bread for him every morning. Everybody say: Aww.
#3 Chen Liping and Rayson Tan — married since 1998
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! The greatest Christmas gift for myself is being accepted by Christ! Thank Jesus for His birth in this world and also thank Him for being a sacrificial Lamb, so that we can be saved! Praise God! May God bless all nations peace and joy! ❤️ 圣诞节快乐！祝福大家喜乐、平安、健康！
This old-timey couple have gone through both good times and bad (think Slim 10 saga), and are still going strong. They have a son Xavier, who was born in 2002. Fun fact: They never took any official wedding photos because Liping had a phobia of wedding dresses, having worn too many of them for work. It was only in 2015, 17 years later, that they had wedding photos taken for the first time — for a drama. Incidentally, they played a married couple, complete with ‘wedding photos” in their first series together, Golden Shenton Way (1990), but this was before they started dating. The pair are still really sweet, even after decades of married life. According to Liping, Rayson has also been incredibly supportive despite her weight struggles. Definitely a keeper!
#4 Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen — married since 1989
Another couple that makes us green with envy. Often touted as everyone’s favourite Caldecott Hill celeb couple, Xiang Yun was apparently attracted to Edmund when he sauntered on set with earphones on during the filming of their first drama together — a 1989 series about the traffic police. She was also bowled over by his gentlemanly nature — he (ahem) draped a towel over here after a scene in the rain. (See: 9 little actions that make your spouse feel loved)
Their speedy marriage (they got hitched just three months after first meeting) reportedly caused quite a stir back then, but the feisty duo have since silenced all critics. They have two kids, son Yi Xi, 27, and daughter Yi Xin, 18. Of course, the two have had their share of struggles and quarrels — there was once they got into such a big argument on set, the crew members quietly left! — but they always manage to work things out. They also make sure they spend time together as a family, such as travelling at least once a year. According to their children, Xiang Yun and Edmund like to joke around a lot, and are generally happy people. Goes to show, a couple that laughs together, stays together!
#5 Priscelia Chan and Alan Tern — together since 2007
This adorable baby-faced couple met in 2002 while filming Springs of Life, and were best buddies for years until they got together in 2007. Priscelia frequently gushes about her actor-turned-businessman husband on social media and in interviews, expressing her gratitude on his love and patience towards her.”Words cannot describe how thankful I am to God for blessing me with you — a love and marriage so true and strong. A husband who never despise me when I was going thru a sudden massive traumatic health ordeal for the past two years…But you still tell me I am beautiful in your eyes.” she wrote on Instagram. The pair once said in an interview that the secret to a lasting marriage is love, communication, affection, respect and a good sense of humour. How sweet!
#6 Diana Ser and James Lye — together since 1995
This good-looking couple is a match made in heaven. The former actress-turned-presenter and her actor-turned-banker husband first met in 1994 on the set of Showbuzz, before getting married in 2004 after a nine-year courtship. Proud parents of three children, Jake, 12, Christy, 10 and Jayme, 7, they are still lovingly affectionate. James, who doesn’t have Instagram, features heavily on Diana’s account — in fact, she joked in an interview that half the people who follow her are actually following him. While she admits that they are both pretty busy and the kids are currently their priority, they make an effort to set aside couple time, such as taking a holiday, just the two of them, or going for a meal. “We must accept that our notion of romance has evolved. There should be an acceptance that things have changed from the time we were dating. Now we connect on a different level. When play together with the kids, it’s deeply satisfying because you’ve built this family together,” she said in a The Straits Times interview. Wise words.
#7 Pierre Png and Andrea de Cruz — married in 2003
Someone once said to me “you want someone who’ll jump through for you”...well, this one did more than that! Today, I give thanks for the 15 wedded years we’ve been together. It’s true when they say “through thick and thin...” HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US @pierrepng P/S last pic is a keeper
Their romance is of epic proportions, involving selfless sacrifice, pain and surgery. Pierre first noticed Andrea when she was leaving a salon with a new hairdo. A few years later, they started dating after he bumped into her at a play. But in 2002, their love story hit some bumps in the road when Andrea suffered from liver failure after taking slimming pills Slim 10. Pierre, who was her boyfriend at the time, donated part of his liver to her to save her life. Since then, she has been on anti-rejection medication, and the couple face a possibility that her body might reject the liver in future. Heartbreaking, but the pair are keeping their chins up. While they have accepted that they will not have children of their own, Pierre has said that they are happy with their dogs and are still keeping the flame alive by being committed to each other and accepting each other’s flaws. Being spontaneous also helps, Andrea once said, because life is short. Hand us a tissue, please.
#8 Melody Chen and Randall Tan — together since 2007
Missing the cool crisp air of spring down south in Western Australia and especially our stay at “Yuli’s Yard”! It’s one of the holiday homes you can find from Exclusive Escapes and there’s just so many I’d love to stay at! The #mezzarantwins slept so well in this lovely house. Makes me dream of a new place for our little family. *wistful* Thanks for having us, @bernsu! Can’t wait to visit again! #mezzarantravels #westernaustralia #mezzaranclan #boygirltwins
Melody and Randall first met on the set of TC skit series The Donny Lee Show in 1996, before acting as lovers in The Teenage Textbook Movie in 1998. But romantic sparks didn’t fly and they remained good buddies. It was not until Randall was struck by the debilitating nerve disorder Guillian-Barre Syndrome in 2007 and was fighting for his life in the hospital that the pair realised their feelings for each other. After marriage, the couple went through nine years of trying for a baby, and suffered through a miscarriage and a failed IVF, before Melody delivered a pair of miracle twins, Reuben Michael Tan and Maegan Riley Tan in November last year (2017). Melody frequently talks about their experience as parents to the #mezzarantwins, with adorable photos of the two of them handling a kiddo each. What an inspiration.