E and I have been doing the marriage thing for almost a year now. Sa awa ng diyos, di pa naman kami nagpapatayan.
Kidding aside, I am very much in-love with this old man, and intend to be so until at least our 5-year term review when we have agreed to revisit and reassess our relationship.
I think it’s quite liberating being married to an older man. Not to mention that he is a career officer in the military, which makes it all the more sexier in my book. He’s already accomplished and therefore has more time to focus on me and our little family – compared to a younger man or someone who is still finding his purpose. I am who I am and have always had my own aspirations and goals. I have been swallowed up by the lives of the ambitious and hard-working men I have been with in the past in my desire to “make things work”, mostly because I was raised to believe that was what I was supposed to do as a woman in a relationship. What I have with E works because I have never felt that he views what I do as any less relevant or important than what he does. We literally have sincere and earnest mutual admiration for each other. I appreciate the immensity of his responsibilities and he encourages me to pursue my goals.
Medyo mas realistic approach naming pareho sa pagiging mag-asawa. We’ve both had the roller coaster ride relationships, the ones that kind of punch you in the gut and still make you come back for more — tapos na kami don. Not that those relationships weren’t real, and not that they were not worth having, but those were the ones that were transient. Luckily, we both found each other at the exact same time when we were ready for the long-haul ride – and it doesn’t hurt that he loves my rack, and I love squishing his tush coz it’s like a bouncy monay.
Just now, while I am writing this he asks me: “Anong pinaggagagawa mo dyan”, as he poured me another shot of empoy… and I lovingly replied: “Shut up. I am trying to rekindle my love for you.” And he gets it, and gave me a little extra in my glass.
We may not have been married for long, and I won’t be giving any kind of marriage advise on this entry, but I will tell you what we have learned so far:
1. Everything is worth talking about. Speak up or forever hold your peace.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: You have to spell everything out to a man. Every. Single. Time. My husband can strategize 5 to 6 moves ahead on a chess board, but will never figure out that he has to put his keys on the key tray when he comes home so he can always find it, unless I tell him to.
And it’s not always easy sharing a living space with anyone. I have learned that unless I express what I feel, then I will just keep feeling annoyed and irritated when he does something I don’t agree with. And he is the same with me. So better save both yourselves the heartache and just TALK.
Also, LISTEN. I love that E listens. Maybe because he has learned it as a life skill, but I know it is generally not a common attribute in men. And I always try to answer if he calls during the day, when we are both off doing our own thing. Sometimes he needs to vent. It’s generally cheaper than therapy… I’ve checked.
2. He is not giving up his backpack.
I’ve tried. It’s an old, grey, beaten up back pack. He carries it around EVERYWHERE. Old single soldier habit. He lives out of it. I have cleared out an entire closet just for him. I have given him an adult man’s duffel bag. He still comes home with the damn grey back pack.
The man is set on some of his ways. He takes comfort in some sense of consistency.
I do not like that backpack. It is a blight in our living room whenever he leaves it there. But it’s him. And he is the backpack, including all the mess and conundrum that is in it. And I have chosen to love that. There is no sense in attempting to change him. And I am no walk in the park either: I throw a tantrum when I can’t find the damn scissors where I want them to be.
Point is, the little things count, but they don’t count so much that it should disturb the peace of our household.
3. You will get fat together. Just love it. (But never tell your wife that she’s fat. EVER. Even the hint of it. Otherwise, RIP.)
We eat and we drink. And we do it a lot. And it’s more fun to do it together.
I have to put my foot down at some point about all the rice though. Kain sundalo pa din kasi tapos sasabayanmo kasi it’s the polite thing to do. Ugh. Love it, live it, lump it.
Ah well, YOLO.
4. Don’t require him to come home… and he’s gonna want to.
Honey, I may be married, but I also still have my own life. And so does he. Maybe that was part of the upside of being friends first and knowing each other’s quirks before jumping in.
I knew he loved to hang out with his friends and that he likes spending time with his family a lot even before we started dating. I had a glimpse of his habits and his preferences, and I guess he had a glimpse of mine. So when we got married, except for one very specific time when he actually called me to tell me he was on his way home, I have never demanded that he be home a certain time or that he even comes home at all.
He would always tell me if he is out drinking or hanging out with his friends. And I would always remind him: “Sleep it off and you don’t have to come home. Have a good time.”
Look, we don’t have kids. Our lives basically revolve around our careers, our relationships and our convictions. The man deserves a break. I deserve a break. If spending time with friends and colleagues and family will help my husband lead a full life, then “Yes, please.” I want him to be happy.
It just so happens though, that he prefers to be happy with me, and I him. He finds a way to come home whatever happens. And I always believe him when he reminds me that he will always find his way back to me (Hopefully, before I get home too, from my own late night shenanigans…).
5. Value values. I watched a Ted Talk which emphasizes that what dictates a person’s choices are really his deep-seated values. According to the expert speaker, for you to know how a person will ultimately decide on anything in life, you need an insight on the person’s values.
So it only makes sense that having similar values with my husband helps us stay focused on what really matters. Our common values are: service, loyalty and defending our own. It helps us understand the choices that each of us makes, and be confident that whatever those choices are, they will be towards upholding those same values. So whatever happens, resbak kami para sa isa’t isa. And really, isn’t that what we are all looking for in a relationship? Unqualified, unconditional resbak?!
I am so excited for the rest of it. The arguments, the things we will achieve together, the changes and the hurdles the universe has in store for us. After a year of being married to an amazing human being, to someone whom I am not only attracted to, but someone I admire, respect and aspire to emulate, all WE can really say to the Universe is: BRING. IT. ON.