I Won’t Give Up

by Alan Yeo . 20 April 2012



When Roger met Peggy, it was love at first sight. A whirlwind romance edged on by friends and relatives led them to tie the knot. Unlike fairy-tales with happy endings, their wedding bliss was short-lived as cracks began to surface in their relationships. They were poles apart in their personalities.


Roger sees himself as an introvert with an overt pessimistic outlook of life, a “good for nothing.” He had no concrete goals for his future and was resigned to just getting by in life. It never occurred to Roger that there was anything wrong with him. He simply assumed that he was normal like everyone else. His nine-year career with the Air Force came to an abrupt end when he decided to quit and forgo his gratuity after learning from his superiors that his contract would not be renewed. Wrapped in his unhappiness, it did little to alter his world when his eldest daughter Raykel was born, followed by Keith a year later. Coming home exhausted after a day’s work, the “king” of the house would nonchalantly settled into his comfortable routine of indulging his TV programmes and fiddling with his iPhone or iPad. That totally distracted him from his fatherhood responsibilities and distanced him from the kids and Peggy.


Optimistic and full of energy, Peggy is constantly on the look out for ways to improve their lives and get things done. Her career was taking off as a director of a leading global retail brand in cosmetic; skin, hair and body care products. Despite the success of her high-powered job, she felt totally helpless when it came to her marital situation. Roger would often be quick with his promises to change. But the change did not materialise and the chasm in their marriage widened with more hurts and disappointments over the years. Peggy tried hard to salvage her marriage. “I was miserable. I felt helpless. Roger was so negative that I just couldn’t pull him out. He didn’t see it as a problem. He didn’t believe that anything good could come out of it and negative things just kept coming his way,” said Peggy.  


In the 6th year of the downward spiral of their marriage, Peggy found herself at the lawyer’s office, seriously contemplating about filing for divorce. That triggered an alarm in Roger, the urgency for change. Despite undergoing professional counselling sessions and Roger’s desperate attempts to change, they arrived at the same crossroads two years later. This time, Peggy gave Roger her ultimatum. “Peggy had packed her bags and left for a week. She had decided not to hang on to the marriage but to do something for herself and the kids. I was expected to move out of the house when she returned. I prayed very hard and promised God that I would change and surrender to Him. I had everything to lose and nothing to gain. A part of me thought it’s over but another part of me wanted to believe for a miracle. I knew that nothing could convince Peggy except God. I pleaded God for a miracle and transformation. I prayed that God would let Peggy feel that things would change,” Roger recounted. For the first time during that week, Roger felt their family bonding as he began to spend time with his children. That Friday, he received a phone call from Thailand.

On her own in Koh Samui, Thailand for the entire week, Peggy felt calm and peaceful. She prayed and pondered upon the biblical exhortation for “wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord.” She thought about her children and what her parents would have done for them. Peggy also thought about her aunt who was mentally slowed and alone. “I had to take care of her because she had no one else. I could not forsake her nor let her go and marriage goes much deeper than that. Marriage is not just a piece of paper” felt Peggy. That Friday, Peggy called Roger that she would try again. 


The transformation in Roger’s life started with the little things he did. In his earlier years, he would struggle with his doubts about God but he began to trust God and rely on His Word. He learns to see things from Peggy’s perspective, respect her and to even take up her advice. People around him began to notice these changes.


Following his career in the Air Force, Roger acted on Peggy’s encouragement to set up his own interior design firm together with a partner. At one stage, the company underwent a major crisis when it could not cover the overheads and pay the salaries of the staff. Roger suffered severe depression and even isolated himself in his room for a week. However, he persevered in seeking God till he was assured that this was what God wanted him to pursue. God heard his cries. During the crisis, Peggy gave up her career and came alongside to help Roger with his business for a year. “There were lots of sacrifices made but it’s all worth it,” said Peggy.


Roger and Peggy have now been married for 11 years. They have three wonderful kids, Raykel, Keith and Christian. Reflecting upon all that they have gone through, Roger discovered that love and God are closely intertwined. It was when he discovered the love that God has for him that he came to appreciate the love of Peggy and his children. For Peggy, it was as if God had wiped out her memories of the past so they could start afresh with a renewed love for each other.