For better or for worse


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