My married life
Let's talk about marriage. My wife and I have been married twenty-one years now. Well, almost. We will be celebrating the 21st come April 20, which happens to be her nth birthday, too. In twenty years time, we've managed to raise four kids (of course, you know this by now), purchased a small house and lot (still paying for the amortization), an old but dependable Lite-ace, an antiquated computer which takes several hours to get connected to the internet and so on and so forth. Let's just say that we fancy antiques, okay?
What makes for a lasting relationship with your spouse? Try open communication, honesty and compromise. The success of married life depends on these three basic things.
The lines of communication should always be open. Each spouse must be able to say freely what he/she wants to say regardless of what the other might think. There should be no reservations. This is the test that you are comfortable with each other.
Honesty is self-explanatory. How can your spouse trust you if you have too many secrets? I don't. I tell my wife everything. Even those that are incriminating. "We went to this bar where there were dancers in the buff" (This was in Toronto with her cousins, hehe) well, something like that. Get the picture? Not once has my wife become jealous. (Sabi nga ng mga kaibigan ko sa misis ko, "yan ba namang mukhang yan ng asawa mo, pagseselosan mo pa?)
I say compromise because there have been a number of times that you cannot see eye to eye. You discuss everything before coming to a final decision. From what kind of nail to use to the latest re-modeling of the house you plan to undertake. This is especially true when it comes to child-rearing. Each one of you would have your own ideas, based on your experiences, on how to deal with your kids. Naturally, you would only want the best for your children, right? So, given the same motivations, it is in the implementation and the details that becomes a problem most of the time. In the end, what makes keeping a relationship hard are the minutiae. When noone wants to back-down on a decision.
As a teacher, my idea is always to teach my children a lesson, no matter how hard it may be for them. I will not waiver on my decision once I have given it. However, there are times when the wifey would succumb and plead for the children. Now comes a long, arduous battle of wits, argumentation and debate. Sometimes, it becomes a matter of who talks faster and louder... but we don't usually come to this. I usually go out of the house, cool myself down, gather more arguments but also looking at her perspective. YOu see, a good debater must know how to argue not only for his side, but also for the opponent's side. This way, you would know the strenghts and weaknesses of the other's arguments. I tell you, arguing before a judge is a piece of cake compared to arguing with your spouse. First of all, you don't have an objective arbiter. Who do you suppose can mediate between the two of you? Nobody. You have to come up with a compromise. And you know what? Nobody wins in a compromise. You both lose. In fairness to me and my wife, when I return home, we would have both cooled down, forget about it for a while, and come to grips later on and make a final decision. This ploy has made me stay in this relationship, I think this is how it's going to be till the end.
Lastly, it doesn't hurt to say "I love you" once in a while. Just when you feel like saying it, say it. But most of all, MEAN IT!