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This site is dedicated to the Most High, our God Almighty. 

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
his love endures forever."

Psalm 118

For better or for worse

August 11, 2018

 

 

 

Marriage. The thought of it brings delight to some, and dread to others. Weddings, finances, uncertainty of the future, fear of commitment and ticking biological clocks are just some of the things that make the thought of marriage so emotional to people. Some jump in without giving a second thought to what it really takes to make a marriage work while others seem to be doing it just to get the chance to plan and show off their extravagant weddings. Then there are those who can’t even fathom the idea of committing themselves to one person for the rest of their lives.

 

The reality of it is that it’s impossible to see into what the future holds and every marriage is different. Each will have their own ups and downs, great times and terrible times, some will be lucky in love and some not so lucky, but the point of it all is that if you love the person, you’ll make it work.

 

In today’s modern world, marriage is constantly under attack with temptations lurking around every corner as well as a host of other obstacles just waiting to make couples lose their footing. In spite of the sometimes tempestuous nature of marriage, these pairs share some stories and some insight on what they’ve learned from marriage and prove that finding success in a marriage is not as hard as you think.

 

 

 

Boy & Ruby

Married for 35 Years

 

 

 

Boy

We met on a blind date. A double date, actually.
Thing is, we weren’t paired with each other. 
Some call it luck while others would call it fate. But I’d like to say it was divine intervention that I was seated beside her and we talked the whole night. 

It’s been 38 years since that date and we still haven’t stopped talking.
Needless to say, it’s been one helluva moment.
A priceless one.

 

In those years, she has given me 6 wonderful kids and a place I can always call home.

 

Through time, we have shared and continue to share lots of things.

We share both ups and downs. Both laughter and tears.

We share chips and ChocoNut.

We share text message exchanges like two teenage kids.

We share each other’s frustrations.

We share each other’s dreams.

 

And then there’s the music we share.

 

1978. Disco and Top 40 music were in full swing.

So you’d expect a teenage convent-bred kolehiyala to stick to these tunes. But she went beyond those. She introduced me to Bebu Silvetti. Cool. . . a fusion afficinado! This girl knows her stuff.

She’s also a fan of Jobim.

And though not really tall, she’s tan and young and definitely lovely.

Huwag na pakawalan!

And I did just that.

 

 

Check out this link to read more of Boy’s blog posts  for his one and only love, Ruby.

 

 
Ruby

Been married for 35 years, and now, both excited to start enjoying the “senior”perks. I met Boy when I was 19, it was a group date, and he was my blind date. I think we liked each other from the very start. We were “on” for almost 5 years before we got married. We started a family right away, we have 6 kids a daughter in law, 5 dogs and 1 cat. We recently moved to the south, our 3rd and hopefully final move, and are super enjoying the cooler weather and more serene atmosphere here. We’re at this point in our life wherein we’re happy and contented to just relax, sit back, and be with our kids as often as we can; we’re hoping we be blessed with grand kids soon.

We both weathered some storms in our lives, had financial and health issues, went through losing our love ones, and all these made us both even more grateful, thankful and blessed for having each other. Looking forward to growing old together, and hopefully getting along even better.

 

 

 

 

Ryan & Patricia

Married for 4 years. Now with 2 children and a dog

 

 

Ryan

I learned that my spouse is very sensitive and I am the opposite- always joking, barely any serious moment, and tactless. I know that I have to be more careful with what I say or do. 

Kidding aside, being married and having a family are such blessings. We try to balance life with kids, family, work and obviously my hobbies (which may be a lot to some people). 

Our goal as a couple is to raise good children and teach them to be God fearing.

 

 

Patricia

In the four years that we’ve been married I learned that our relationship is constantly changing and growing, may it be from adjusting to living together, to welcoming more members in the family.

I think it is important to check in with your spouse and be aware of the different languages they use to communicate. I know that something is bothering Ryan when he stops making jokes or asar. As for me, I tend to keep things in then go to the extreme of being very vocal (probably not a very healthy way of communicating).

Ryan and I are very different but we find that laughing at the silliest jokes and even making fun of each other are our best link. We try to find time during the day or week to have family time, and really with 2 kids below 3 years old that means hanging out in the living room watching some reality show (90 Day Fiancé or Naked and Afraid or The Voice). It can be the simplest things that make it work. Finding time for romance (wink) is a challenge too...sometimes we have to get creative in finding our “alone time”. And sometimes I can be just too tired to even think of it. 

 

Our relationship is far from perfect and the challenges can be overwhelming.

 

We put God in the center and ask for guidance always.

 

 

 

 

 

Danny & Alma

Married for 37 Years

 

 

 

Danny

What I learned from my married life is being able to appreciate the sacrifices done by my wife for the family and also to understand and adjust to each other’s imperfections. As the popular adage goes, nobody is perfect. Lastly, the fact that we both put God in our relationship makes our marriage endure the test of time.

 

Alma

We have learned how to be strong in times of trials and tribulations.

 

 

 

Pao & Anamae

Married for 7 Months and 13 days

 

 

Pao

I have learned from my marriage that it's really a partnership. You and your partner are the left and right part of a body, like the two arms, can work independently but do better when working together. I can be good at directions while Anamae is really good in directing me into which toll lane we should be in so we can go home faster. I may be good at cooking rice while she is really good in cooking everything else. I may be good at cleaning the bathroom while she is really good in making everything else sparkling clean. Like I said, I can work independently but work better when I'm with her.


Anamae

Pao has taught me one of my life's greatest learnings -- self love. Pao brings out the best in me and reminds me what is good in life, and what is good in me. In loving me unconditionally, I am reminded to also love myself. He is the personification of Love- Kind, gentle, and oh so patient. <3

 

 

 

Mario & Leony

Married for 38 Years

 

 

 

Mario

I have learned to love the wife unconditionally. To let her feel that she is loved, and is still the love of your life. Let her feel that she is beautiful as she was when you met the first time. We see to it that we have this routine everyday four Hugs & Kisses, one when we wake up in the morning, when I leave for work, when I arrive from work, and before we sleep. Believe me it is an assurance that both of you are still the one for each other, and it is a nice feeling that would last you for the day.

We are blessed with two wonderful, responsible and caring sons. And, we’re very blessed with three beautiful grandchildren (two granddaughters and a grandson).

Regarding living situations, we have some struggles but we were able to manage.

We have experienced the very tight finances. However, we see to it that our marriage will not be affected by it.

Our daughters in-law are also loved like our own children. We are so blessed that our sons are very close to their in-laws. We feel so happy that both our sons have found their true love.

 

 

 

Leony

I have not met anyone as fascinated to photography, as much, as my husband. It is an expensive hobby then and now. But something good and unique came out of it.

 

The time when my husband worked overseas, he mentioned to me that he plans to, kind of, document the growing up of his two sons (one a three-year old boy and one, in the womb that time), by taking hundreds and hundreds of pictures. And he did.

 

That resolution eventually became an annual photoshoot for our family, from informal to formal setting. The annual family picture, as we know it now, range from a visit to a photo studio, an offsite location shoot, an out of town trip, and eventually, an out of the country tour. Creating memories now is not just plain taking pictures as my husband used to do, but putting special events and adding family adventures into it.

 

Every year, we make it a point to make the best of our time together. With that in mind, we put effort in planning our year end vacation activities. By the way, my husband and I have always been a travel bug even in our earlier days. We took the opportunity to travel all over the key cities in the Philippines after the end of each engagement, while we both work as an auditor in an Accounting Firm. So, it is as natural as can be, that when we already have the chance and capability, we planned our out of the country travels.

 

First off, we want our children to experience and see the world even at an early age. These memories will serve them well in the future. This will give them a broader perspective that other people live differently from us, either better or worse, so we will always strive to live our best, wherever we are, however way we can.

 

We travelled to Asian countries when they were small kids and when they were young adults, they were happier when we brought along their special someone with us, to get to know them better. We celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary (25 years) with the complete trimmings of a church wedding again and gathering of friends and families. And this was highlighted by our first tour in Europe. And, we got hooked from then on.

 

As we so very much like to share our wonderful experience with our kids, we made a good excuse of handing them a gift of a trip to Singapore and Rome and Paris when they got married. So with all of us in tow, we made a threesome and travel as a bigger family, and make incredible memories again.

 

Life has a way of rewarding itself. Ours is having raised two sons who looks like will raise their own family the way we did with them. As we have allowed our children to see the world, so to speak, now, it is different with our grandchildren. We want to give the world to them as only grandparents can do. We want to give them as much, as they have given us, an indescribable joy. We planned so much for our big trip to Europe with our grandkids as the motivating factor. Just like our own children we started them young.

 

Our family is ecstatic and very appreciative of our yearly activity. We always look forward to it with anticipation. You wouldn’t believe that we produced thousands of pictures not merely hundreds as what my husband envisioned it. Somehow, our “Annual Family Outing” though how grand or simple it may be, kept us closer together, and closed the gap of days of separation. That our “Annual Family Pictorial” has documented our lives together and apart, that it feels like there has always been a thin line between the two. The resolve of my husband to do this year in, year out, makes an extraordinary impact in the way we live as a family. It made us overshadow our days of being apart and highlight the days we are all together creating lovely and wonderful memories together.

 

Our family trip to Europe last 2017 features and can attest to all of that. We traveled to seven cities with the entire family, with three grandkids in tow, a six-month old infant, a four-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. I am very aware that we were being watched by people around us, on, either, how well we manage the group or just the sheer horror of screaming kids or the funny way they fight for attention. I guess this is what you call spice of life. The exuberant challenge of being together in a different country, with unfamiliar surroundings, makes you more tolerant, patient, understanding and loving of each other. I believe, this is the very essence of why we always look forward to our next trip. We have kept so much of that in our bank of emotions (although not so much in a real bank) to last us for another year or maybe a lifetime of investment in quality time together.

 

In two years’ time, it will be our 40th Wedding Anniversary. See you, Spain, maybe? For sure, we will find a way to mark another milestone in our life. After all, we have to keep our family tradition going. Inshallah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roy & Yeye

Married for 15 years

 

 

 

Roy

Let me start with an old saying, ‘Terrorism strikes no fear in my heart. I’ve been married for years”

 

15 years of marriage is not bad at all. It has made me superhuman.  It is more than just a triathlon, with tons of household and handyman chores, a never-ending garden arrangement with unsatisfied wife, those demanding moments and silly discussions that you know you cannot argue at all and that is why “the best gift that you can give to your children is to love their mother” was invented! 

 

What have I learned from Marriage? I have gained all the other M’s of it.  Maglaba, magplantsa, magluto, maghugas, maglinis etc.  

 

Seriously, Marriage made me a better person, taught me a deeper understanding of responsibility and perseverance.  Especially being in a distant work, it gave our marriage quite a special set up – the trust and tenacity of holding on together despite distances. Moreover, nothing can beat the feeling of a homeward-bound trip after every assignment.    

As a family, we believe in God’s grace and we seek his wisdom in all our decisions and guidance for proper direction and true expression of love.  Our children are our priorities.  We are committed to raising them well and giving them our support and guidance.  Marriage is a never-ending learning and teaching process with each other.

 

Everyday is a journey, every moment is a miracle and every argument is a lesson learned.

 

 

Yeye 

You know that you are in a great marriage if you become a better version of yourself.

 

My husband Roy and I met when we were in our teens. I was a "bakasyonista" from Manila and he the "probinsiyano". Our 8 years of friendship blossomed into a 2-year romance and now 15 years as a married couple.

 

We have 4 wonderful children and for us it is an ultimate accomplishment. Our children are the bond that will always keep us growing together. Family is our top priority and the basis for all our decisions. 

 

It takes two to tango and marriage is all about love, faith, communication, giving and acceptance. More often, we disagree but then we must learn to compromise.

 

"Us" time does not need to be dining in a fancy restaurant. As simple as driving to do errands is already a "date". Any moment of togetherness should be cherished for we live to love and to laugh.

 

"Walang forever" but for me there is a "Happily ever after".

 

 

 

 

Royce & Aisa 

Married for 8 years


 

 

 

Royce

Being married and having kids changed me a lot. Seeing your wife and kids with their sweet smiles makes me happy and contented. 

Always make yourself available when they need you. Time flies so fast.



 

 

Aisa

We’ve been together as bf/gf for 10years and now married for 8 years. So technically, I’m with my husband half of my life hahaha 

 

We have 3 boys but the other one is in heaven and I just gave birth to a baby girl. So our life was really not easy. We had a lot of challenges at a very young age. Losing a child, financial challenges, communication problems, work and children issues. We can get lost. Marriage is not a walk in the park.

 

I have learned that marriage is a commitment. Commit yourself to your partner, your family. Give your 101% most of the time. 

 

Communication is also very important. Being open to your partner makes everything easier. In that way, you’ll be able to understand each other better.

 

Another thing, make your husband your priority. This was my mistake, because when we had kids, my world revolved around my children. They are my life. I realized that it was wrong. I somehow forgot that my husband needs me too.

 

At some point in our relationship, I felt that I lost connection with him. And when the kids grow up, they will leave us and it will just be me and my husband. So having a great relationship with him is important.

 

I also learned that love is a choice. No matter how bad it gets you always have a choice, to stay and fix the relationship or give up. In a world where there are a lot of temptations and divorce is lurking around, you always have a choice. There were moments when I just wanted to give up but at the end of the day, I choose my husband. I choose the life that we have then it gets better.

 

Last and most important of all is to have time for yourself. Have a morning walk or run, stay up late, go to the mall, read a book or meet up with friends. Having moments alone, you will regain your sanity and self worth. Sometimes we are too busy taking care of our family that we forget to take care of ourselves. We cannot take care of anyone if we are broken. We need to be healthy, happy and whole.

 

 

 

 

Dane & Jingle

5 years and 8 months

 

 

 

Dane

Marriage is a lifetime commitment. We are still learning how to live together and continue to discover new things about each other. We have to balance spending time as a family especially now that we have 2 lovely toddlers (with another one on the way). 

Basically, our schedule adjusts to the kids as much as possible and especially during weekends where we catch up on quality time with them. We also spend as much time during mornings like a routine drive around the area with the kids before going to work and playing with them at night. With regard to financials, I let my wife do the budgeting to make sure our income goes to the right priorities while still saving some for ourselves (which I also use for our date nights). 

Overall I'm excited on what lies ahead because we know that God is at the center of our relationship and He will always be there for us. There might be ups and downs but I don't regret experiencing all of this with my lovely wife.

 

 

Jingle

Marriage has taught me many things. I have learned to be more patient, selfless and stronger. I have learned to prioritize -- it should always be God first, then my husband and my children. I have learned that if you know your priorities, life is going to be simple. It's easier to make decisions, be it minor or major. All I have to ask is "will this make them happy?". Since their happiness is my happiness, everything I do is for them.

 

 

 

Eli & Yoly

Married for 9 Years

 

 

Eli  

That marriage to succeed entails a lot of willingness to accept the good and the bad in your partner and to forgive each other unconditionally.

I come from a traditional Chinese background where the man has the sole responsibility for maintaining and providing for his family. At the same time, he is given all the decision-making power when it comes to his wife, family and other family members.

On the other hand, my wife was brought up in a closely knit loving God-fearing family. Strict Dad, mum with a great sense of humour, and responsible siblings where everyone has a say in any decision making. So we have adopted this in many situations and it perfectly works.

 

Never teach your wife how to drive. It’s the root of all evil. Kidding aside, I have learned from her the virtue of patience, to be understanding and to take care of others. She is also very generous to a fault. She also believes that there are 3 phrases that makes one a true human being and to say them as often as required-I am sorry, thank you and please. Being Chinese, that’s a feat! 

 

My wife takes pictures of me when I get angry. She also said, “let me think“, when the celebrant asked her if she will accept me as her lawful husband during our wedding ceremony. Well I guess after 9 years and getting stronger every day, she has made up her mind.

 

 

Yoly

Marriage is the meeting of minds and souls of 2 different individuals whose lives should be rooted in God’s words, but it’s not without struggles. When things go wrong we always forgive each other. Forgiveness is the key factor why relationships last. It is not the absence of imperfection. We take the good times with the bad, knowing that the happy moments will serve as treasured memories later in life and learning from difficult times when we see the light of God shining.

 

Never argue with an angry and hungry man. Just make fun of him. I have learned a very useful laugh-at-life humour from my Mum and it helps me to understand my husband. We also adopt Pastor Ed Lapis’ take on love and marriage-it’s always to be rearranged, reinvented, and repaired.

 

When he is driving and accuses the GPS navigation device as giving the wrong direction. My husband is funny without being funny. Scratch the surface and you find some serious laughable matters.

 

We come from different cultural, social and religious backgrounds but have grown close together that our likes and dislikes have metamorphosed into one. Over and above is our belief that a good relationship with God is a major factor in a lasting relationship. We have the same passion for the arts, music and politics. On the few issues we differ, we give time and space. It’s a good relationship.

 

Marriage can be great again.

 

 

 

Lawrence & Charissa

Going 6 years

 

 

 

Lawrence

If the wife is sleeping, do not under any circumstance attempt to wake her up! (Except in a life or death situation).

 

Marriage goes beyond the grand wedding plans and “couple goals” that we hear and see all around.  It’s the daily, up-and-down life events that matter.   Learning to accept that there are imperfections and challenges with living together is the key for the relationship to constantly grow in love.

 

 

Charissa

I’ve learned to put more value on respect and compromise over the past 5 years of my life. These two with love will allow both of you to grow individually and together.

 

 

 

Paolo & Teng

Married for 3 Years 6 months

 

 

 

Paolo

What I've learned over my short career as a married person is that there are some factors above others that are key in making our particular marriage tick. These are: communication, respect, cooperation, understanding, and having a common view on the things that really matter in life. That, and never forgetting to have fun in the process. Laughing, supporting each other and staying away from pointless arguments, as simple as it sounds, goes a very long way in avoiding negativity in our lives together. Lastly I learned that seeing my wife happy makes me happy so I try to make her smile as often as I can. 

 

 

Teng

It used to be "just me" and my husband taught me how to be “Us!".  After that I never looked back at my old self again. I like the new and better me. I've also learned to never treat my husband as my "Frenemy" but instead I made him my bestfriend. A bestfriend with who I can say all the things I like to say, my confidant for life. Why would you treat your bestfriend bad, right?

 

I also made sure to overlook all his quirks when it comes to the house. Sometimes we tend to forget that it's their house too and we have our own quirks that need to be overlooked too! 

 

Sure, we get our "pikon" days but we make sure that we don't do it again and laugh about it after. One more thing, RESPECT! I think a marriage is dead without it. So always put your partner in high regard! 

 

 

 

Mark &Janice

Married for 20 years

 

 

 

Mark

Marriage is like being in a rain forest, beautiful but wild, learn, accept and adapt and you'll be fine. Learn from each other from what you both like and dislike. From putting the toilet seat up, to TV shows. Though I might not be able to adapt to watching korean telenovelas.


Acceptance is the hardest but very crucial. Mood swings, snoring and the dreaded monthly period these are some of the things we have to accept. Everyone's personality is different, but once you welcome each other’s personality, it's cruise control.
 

In marriage, the key is to meet somewhere in between. It shouldn’t be one sided, that's not a happy marriage.

 
Aside from that, be faithful in your marriage.


June 2, 1998, that was the beginning of our marriage life. After 20 years much has changed but one thing hasn't, Janice is still the gift that makes me complete.

 

 

Janice

I started a new phase of my life after leaving a relationship of 4 years, 3 months and 7 days. That’s when my marriage life began. I married the man whom I was with during those years. We had a long relationship before we really got together but it was not planned due to my pregnancy. I didn’t need to marry him though if he didn’t want to. I never wanted a shotgun wedding to begin with.

I never told my parents of my pregnancy but somehow they knew. My mom one day woke me up from sleep just to ask about it in a very gentle way. You know when you are caught off guard, denying it is impossible. Lying is my weakest point. I thought that when they find about my pregnancy, I would get beaten, cursed at, or any of those we usually see in movies. I know I had disappointed them in a lot of ways, but that could be the worst. I could not say anything to her and just burst into tears. Until now, whenever I think back to that time, I can’t help my tears from flowing.  Mom and dad never mentioned anything after that.

 

I was nearly 7 months on the way during our wedding day. Nothing fancy. No decorations, no wedding rings, no pictures. The only preparation made was the filing of the marriage license, picking our sponsors (we only have a pair), the Judge and the little salu-salo. Our guests were from each family’s friends and relatives and some of our parents’ political allies. I never even had the chance to at least invite my best childhood friends. That was it. The start of our marriage life.

 

I was 20, Mark was 24. We started off with nothing in our hands. Both being supported by both families. Never prepared to be parents, to start a family. But with the help and support of our families we managed to build one. The good thing when we started is that we at least knew the basic know-hows we learned while growing up.

 

We are blessed with three lovely children. Earvin, our eldest, who learned to love ballroom dancing just last year, is now in his 3rd year in Accountancy. Aleck, our unica hija, our ballerina, is now in her 2nd year in Architecture and Tyshaun, our bunso, the swimmer, now in his 9th grade.

 

I can never say our marriage is perfect coz there is no such thing. Being married for 20 years, many things have happened. When we were younger, we had petty fights that made me walk out with my kids. It was always like that. I know that was childish...I admit that. But we always kiss and make up in the end. It was either he went after us or I went back to him...no matter how late it was. It was how we resolved our conflicts then... One day, he was the one who walked out, I didn’t know where he was off to. I was too full of pride to call him and ask him where he was. When he came home in the morning, well, he said he went to our friend to cool off. I had a taste of my own medicine, I didn’t like it. Then we made a promise that no matter how big our fights were, no one’s walking out. Well, another kiss and make up for us…So much for fighting.

 

Let me also tell stories of the times we had good times and everytime I remember these they still give me that “kilig” feeling. Every year, we celebrate 2 anniversaries, our wedding and from when the time I said “yes” to start our 4 years. We don’t usually celebrate like preparing a party or anything like that. Sometimes we just go on a simple date like dining out, going to movies, or you know, spend time somewhere by ourselves. He loves making surprises. He did one big surprise on our February 26 anniversary in 2011. We had planned a trip to Subic and we stayed at the Grande Island for the night. I was happy and contented with that, I thought that was it. When we arrived home that night, I wondered why nobody was opening the gate for us. So I had no choice but to open it myself...Right there, when I opened the door, tears began to fall as I followed a trail of roses up to our bedroom. Rose petals all over our bed. I had found love quotes too! One I couldn’t forget, “I will love you 3 days after forever!” He conspired with my sister Joy and with the kids’ help to set up everything while we were on the island. From this surprise and an unexpected bouquet of flowers, he didn’t fail to make me cry. I know until now, I can confidently say that I am very much loved and I love him still...

 

During the course of our marriage, we learned that we can’t just turn our backs on challenges and just let those beat us. There were a lot of times that I wanted to give up, but then I thought, we had been through a lot already, I know more will come but with our love together with the fruits of that, we need to be strong. We had reached rock bottom once so there’s no hindrance we cannot overcome. We have learned so much from each other, and continue learning. Communication, understanding and compromise are needed for a healthy marriage. We believe that love doesn’t fade, it may become dormant but as long as you are faithful, kailangan lang siguro ng konting lambing to keep it alive. It’s what keeps ours going.  Anyhow, we made a vow, for better or worse, till death, “kami pa rin”. Through good times and bad times, there will always be us, Mark and Jan.

 

 

 

 

Gene & Nadine

Married for 6 months, but known each other for 8 years

 

 

 

Gene

I witnessed the true meaning of unconditional love. Despite all of my sins, my wife never left me. She showed what true love is, loving someone even if it hurts you. Maybe she saw something good in me and she knows that I can change. I am also now learning the art of always agreeing with her. Totoo yung happy wife, happy life.

 

Nadine

I always view our relationship from the day we knew each other, because basically we have had each other’s backs since then. I used to be a medical intern and he was my ka-duty IM resident. He was literally my teacher as he taught me medical concepts from computing medicine dosages down to developing my clinical eye. Who ever thought that our love for healing and caring for our patients would lead to love of our own?

My learnings include that husbands are deaf when they watch a basketball game, blind from their chin downwards (you have to literally put his things in front of him or place a giant arrow) and mute when the wife has the right argument (always, wink wink). Despite these imperfections, I also know that wives, deep down in our hearts, still support and love their husbands. I believe God has managed to put up the perfect recipe of partners to complement each other and unite into marriage.

One more thing, I have learned that in every interview or Q&A, wives have longer answers and have more attention to detail. Hahaha.

 

 

Ryan & Nikki

Married for 13 Years 

 

 

Ryan

Where to begin? I learned a ton from my wife from simple stuff such as color names beyond the rainbow to such unbelievably deep wisdom such as to not dwell on small potatoes. Well Nikki, my wife, is a lot smarter and wiser than me in so many ways, so there is a lot that I can learn from her. But, I also think it has something to do with the institution of marriage. There is no relationship invented by God or man more intimate than marriage. At its best, it is a merging of two different individuals in all respects, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and, of course, physically. At such an intimacy, one cannot help but be changed or affected by your spouse in some deep way. After more than a decade of being married, the more I come to perceive that people are universally wired for such a kind of relationship, to be one and known wholly by the other. So, when it works, it gives such a high, a feeling of completeness. It’s no wonder that people universally long for marriage despite its potential for failure. Yes, there are many ways it could fail and when it does, it is almost always catastrophic not just for you or your spouse, but also for your children and the people around you. I often ask myself and my wife, is it worth marrying when the prospect of failure is unimaginably horrible?  I wonder if a discussion for caution makes any difference. The longing for us to be one with someone is so intense that we heed no warnings anyway. Again, deep down, we know that we are made for such a type of relationship in the same way that, while we could live our lives as slaves, most of mankind will risk death to be free as most deem life without freedom as life not worth living. Strange is it not that self-sufficiency is often contradictory to being one with another? Could it be that truly being free means being one with another?

As with learning from Nikki, marriage has taught me so much more than I have time to tell. So, I’ll only share what I find most important. There is a reason why I say we were made for such an intimate relationship as marriage rather than say that everyone was meant to marry. Many have enjoyed their solitude with no regrets and have lived fulfilling lives on their own. Also, those who’ve found their high finding the “one” ultimately realizes that the feeling is so elusive. The reality is expressed by the cold expression, “The honeymoon is over.” I think I know why that is.  I believe it is because we long from our spouse, from our marriage, something only God can give. Despite my wife’s beauty, fortitude, and love, she is no God. She cannot fill the void that is missing in my heart. She’s only human after all, and so am I. As soon as we open ourselves to another, our notions of perfection will be disabused very quickly. My longing for her to complete me will often end with unmet expectations. So then, is it still worth pursuing marriage, when in truth any person is going to fail you miserably in your deepest need? Well, there lies the wisdom of marrying traditionally, at least in the Christian context. Marriage was meant to be as close a model as we can get to the kind of relationship God meant for us with Him. Only by having a true marriage with God, with all the intimacy of a relationship afforded by Jesus Christ, knowing all of who we are, warts and all yet loved, can we offer the same love to our spouse. Unless we have that already, we’ll just be suffocating our spouse and our marriage and still not feel whole. When we have that “marriage” through Christ filling the void in our hearts, relationships with our spouse and any enjoyable things in this world for that matter, are put in their proper place, namely a gift to enjoy when the opportunity comes but not something we can squeeze to fill the emptiness God is meant to fill. In holding to our common bond with God, we are held by something stronger than we ourselves can fashion. As we commit our lives to Christ, we find it’s the only way Nikki and I can truly be one, the only reason why marriage can be worth pursuing.

 

 

 

Nico & Shiela

Married for 3 years and 7 months

 

 

 

Nico

Marriage is no joke. It’s the greatest gift of God but it’s also challenging. You learn how to be selfless and care about others more than yourself, especially if you have children already. I learn that me and my spouse should always work as a team and make decisions where we agree together. I learn from her the virtue of patience and selfless love.

 

When we had kids, I saw her determination to give what is best for them. I saw her persevere most especially in breastfeeding. I adore her for how she does not only breastfeed our babies, she pumps and donates them to institutions to help other babies who needs milk. On her taking care of us three boys, my wife does it well, even though she doesn’t have enough sleep then she works in the morning she make sures that  we are well taken care of.

We both agreed that for both our parents to be happy, we make sure that we visit them once a month so they can see their apos.

 

 

 

Shiela

Getting married was one of my greatest dreams when I was still single that’s why when I met Nico, I prayed a lot for him, for us. And happily, I got to marry the man of my dreams (naks ;P) in December 2014. With our three years of marriage, I learned that marriage is a give and take process, appreciating your spouse’s strengths and at the same time embracing the weaknesses. I also learned the value of being grateful for what I have. Nico is a very loving family man and prioritizes family over anything else. He makes sure that he gives time to our kids and a date night for us. We also have our share of tampuhans but Nico and I always make it a point to reconcile before we sleep. 

 

Having kids is another thing, and it taught me how to be patient. I guess the saying’s right that you’ll do anything for your kids! Good thing I have the best and the most patient partner to deal with my two boys. <3

 

Marriage has taught me a lot, but what I learned from it the most is how to love selflessly. 

 

 

Photos property of contributors

 

 

 

 

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MANTRA

Love, Have Fun &
Be Kind

TRAVEL

Here,There& 
Everywhere

PEOPLE

You, Me,
Anybody

FOOD

Nourish Your
Body

ANIMALS

Because Pets are Family
Whoever, Wherever, Whatever

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