This year is my 25th anniversary.  I fell in love at the age of sixteen.  After a 6-year courtship, Joe and I finally tied the knot after I graduated from college.

We don’t have a specific anniversary date.  After 9 months’ of separation as Joe had gone to New York to pursue his Ph.D. degree, our reunion took place in Beijing, the capital of China, in May of 1988.  Then both of us returned to Shanghai with only one goal in mind: to get me all the paperwork necessary in order to obtain the Passport and Visa so that we could start our lives together in America.  The process turned out to be a much bigger challenge than we could have imagined.  It consumed our whole summer and left us with no energy or brain space to plan for a ceremony.  The year of marriage on my certificate is 1986 instead of 1988 because there was a rumored policy about couples had to be married for at least 2 years before one could join the other abroad. We used all the possible connections to ensure that we met all the requirements.  When Joe had to return to New York in September, I still didn’t have the required documents to apply for a Visa.  After a few more twists and turns that almost threw me to the pit of despair, I was finally granted the Visa to enter the U.S.  The moment I saw Joe at the JFK airport on October 8th, 1988, I knew we had earned the right to be a couple and share the rest of lives together.

So our anniversary can be anywhere between May and October.  This year we are going to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary in October.

Today Joe and I are at a good place with each other and our children, but our relationship has gone through its ups and downs and was at one point on the verge of collapse. What have held us together are our children, our commitment to and genuine love for each other.  Most of the mistakes we made were classic while others were unique due to our cultural and familial background.

Although I wrote in depth about our struggles and triumphs in LET GO, I finished the bulk of the book almost a year ago when Joe and I were on the winding road to repair our marriage. There have been new lessons learned and new challenges to face since then.

I plan to dedicate a series of posts to the topic of “The Secrets to Staying in Love.”   I hope by the end of the series, I’ll gain more clarity and understanding about enriching and enduring relationships, as well as stimulate you to think about how to improve yours and bring it to a new level.  So stay tuned!


“If conversation was the lyrics, laughter was the music, making time spent together a melody that could be replayed over and over without getting stale.”― Nicholas Sparks

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” ― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

 “I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.” ― Lisa Kleypas, Blue-Eyed Devil

“Fathers, you are teaching your girls what men do. They will find a man who will treat them the way you are treating their mother.”  – Dr. Phil