EMBRACING MARRIAGES

Do you know that married couples promised a lifetime even if...(insert scenario here)" when they said "I do"? 

I think that engaged or married couples should embrace two things: their spouses and the "idea of marriage". Marriage a.k.a being forgiving,  giving of chancessss, accepting shortcomings, not whining, allowing favors, loving and accepting their "troubled souls", being trusting, doing the first move... In other words, sticking with marriage no matter what... Crazy, right?! 



What is my hugot?

Bryan and I have been married for almost 5 years now.  Yes, I still love him soooo dearly, but do you know what is sometimes stressing me out? The whole idea and God's standards of marriage. Aaaccckkk!! 

For example....

(1)God said we should not let the sun down on our anger.  (2) He also said that I should respect (no whining, no raising of eyebrows and voices, no dabog, no anything that will make him feel disrespected) (3) Plus, He mentioned in the Bible that wives should submit even if we think they are making the worst decision ever.  

Of course, I would love to be reconciled to Bryan after a silly fight, but, after a day or two or at least when "I am ready". I also know I should submit to his decisions, but, I would also want to prove him I am right, and that I am capable of making the best decisions.  Lastly, I know he still loves me when he disappoints me, at the same time, I would love to make him feel he deserves this bad attitude because I felt unloved. 

But guess what? This is not how marriage should be.  If I will do my own thing, surely, I can still say I love Bryan, but do you realize that when we act not minding our partner, we are disregarding       "God's idea of marriage" ?  If this will happen, it would be like going to an office and only following the rules when we feel like it. Sounds a bad idea, right?

So what do we do now?  

 Look at the nitty gritty of marriage! Be sure you know your future spouse and the God's ways on how to make a marriage work.  Why? because we could be committed to our partners but not to marriage. To those who have already fallen to the wonderful world of union, always and always choose marriage.  Aside from pleasing your partner, try to discover what is the idea behind a real marriage and constantly work on it. Let us not think that working on marriage is tiring, because when we honor God in our relationships, He makes marriage possible and easy.

I can say this because I have experienced it.  It would be really impossible to unlove Bryan, however, I must say that the struggle to NOT think about God's standards of marriage is very tempting when you reach five years. This made me ponder on the idea that those who "fall out of love" do not "fall out of love" with their husbands or wives primarily but with their marriages first, hence the famous phrase "I love you but I just can't be with you" or "Mahal kita pero hindi na ako masaya". 




Our spouse is one thing, and our marriage is another. Let us not make the mistake of treating them as one.  Let us love and respect  our husbands and lovingly work on your marriage each day.

Again, going back to my illustration, if we want to stay long in companies, impress your boss and follow the office rules.  Same with the relationship you are in.  Be of your husband AND your marriage.

How are we treating God's design of marriage?  Are we aligned to it?  My encouragement is to stay put on the road that He prepared for us.  When we acknowledge that He instituted marriage, it will be easier to obey and trust His idea.



THE BEST PRACTICES IN HANDLING MARITAL DIFFERENCES

Did you know that Bryan married a poor girl?  

What I had was photos of my travel life and pairs of shoes.  I also had tons of places I was able to tick off my list and empty bottles of tanning lotion.  Yes, I was the carefree, spend (or shall I say swipe) it all, "I don't care if I will be hungry as long as I get in that plane" type of girl.

So when Bryan met me in Adamson (I filed a leave after a week of being employed because of a trip to Boracay), I had tan lines but zero money in the bank.   On the other hand, he was the guy who had savings, insurance policies and a debt free life.  Can you just imagine the shock of our lives when we got engaged and discovered this?

Well, I was thankful because he did not judge nor loved me less because what I only have was memories of the salary I received.  On the other haNd, I also did not abhor a guy who saved money all his life but was not able to go see places (insert sarcasm here hehe). 

Anyway, my point is, you will meet  or probably marry people in your life that are totally your opposite.   That is why I do not really believe in compatibility as a sole basis of an existing relationship, trust me, it will be a shakier ride.

So what are my other points?  

1.  If you planning to get married, disclose the skeletons in your closet.  Let your partner know your health issues, money/debt status, and others.  Haaayyy I have an epic fail story that I will blog about when my heart is ready ;)

2.  Ponder on the things you would argue about.  During our pre-marital counselling, we decided if (1) we can/should give monetary support to our parents - which we both agreed to (2) we will allow relatives/friends to stay for long periods at home - "yes" as well (3) going abroad will be our option (4) how soon will we leave and cleave (5) others

3.  If it is not a sin, let it go :)  Bryan splashes our whole restroom with water when he takes a bath, while I leave my coffee cups in different areas of our home.  Though it still makes us comment on this, we know we can both let it go because we can't brand these as "sins".

4.  Aside from accepting your partner for who they are, love them for who they are.  Do not merely accept them, love their flaws.  Be the missing gap on the things they can't do.  Appreciate what they do best and fill up their love tanks often.



5.  Differences and past(s) may come when you least expect it.  Look at the things that you do not agree with but do not put all your energy there.

6. Lastly, as early as now, discover what you do not agree about and ask yourself if you can REALLY live with this ALL YOU LIFE (e.g. guy does not want to disclose passwords or girl is still friends with her ex) . Do not think that they will change over time or when you start having kids.  Remember that you have to look at the current situation and not on what you think may happen in the future. Decide based on what is happening now.

Remember that the key is to LOVE your spouse and not only accept them for who they are.  Loving involves seeing pass their negative behaviors and focusing on what is lovely, admirable and Christ-like.




5 WINNING STRATEGIES ON HOW TO FIGHT FOR "YOUR MONEY" WHEN YOU ARE MARRIED

Sorry this is a trap!!

Do you know that when you got married you don't have your many anymore?
Yep, this is true...What you have is a money for the two of you.
 But since andito ka na din lang sa blog post ko, tapusin mo na :)

I have listed a few things on how we can avoid fighting about money.  I hope you find this helpful as well.

1.  Change your perspective.  Your money is now conjugal.  It is not yours, nor his, it is BOTH your money.

2.  For accountability reasons (in other words: taguan ng pera issues), disclose ALL salaries and ALL expenses.  Some couples who are both working have separate responsibilities or bills to pay.   For example, the husband pays for the mortgage and education, while the wife handles the utilities and food.  This may sound an equal footing when it comes to budgeting but if you would notice, when we have this type of responsibilities, couples will end up asking the following:
1.  How come you only have this left?
2.  Where do you bring your money? 
3. Bakit ito lang pagkain, tinitipid mo ba ko? 
4.  Tuition na ng mga bata, bakit wala pang pambayad?  

To lessen this, my suggestion is to, combine salaries then subtract ALL expenses.  This will also help the wife be accountable to spontaneous shopping and the husband will  have less temptation on womanizing (yes, you read that right).

3.  Decide on how to spend your money.  If you have spare cash, agree on how this will spent too. If you can't agree, divide the extra cash and let each other use it on how each want it to be , BUT STILL, let your spouse know how you will use it.

4.  Save up.  Financial advisers would say that 20 percent should go to savings.  Talk about this as well.

5.  Acknowledge that your money is God's provision.  Therefore, seek Him on how to use it.  We should be stewards of His gift dahil ito ay pahiram lang.

Remember that the goal is to not to have more to fight less but to have the same perspective on what money is.  With this mindset, you can win!!


WHEN YOUR FIANCE DOES NOT WANT TO LEAVE AND CLEAVE

Being married is work and it becomes more challenging when you live with your in-laws.  I know that the parents of your partner is kind hearted, generous and loving, but trust me, the dynamics will not be as stable as the months go by

Since you clicked this blog post, you are probably in this situation and have been seeing the possible effects on your marriage.  If this is beginning to be a problem, let me encourage you that there is hope and a solution.  

So, what do we do next?

IF YOUR FIANCE’ SAYS “NO, PERIOD"
·         If you are both Bible believing and followers of Jesus, I guess the discussion should be lighter.  You or a counselor should help your fiancé see and obey what Jesus said in the Bible.  Now, IF he still wants to stay in his parents or your house after you get married, this is one major concern.  This is alarming, because as a spiritual leader, your man should be able to see that this is not an option, it is a command.  It would be a poor decision if you would start your marriage refusing to comply God’s blueprint.

IF YOUR FIANCE SAYS "WE NEED TO SAVE UP FIRST"
·         Know your priorities and save up now.  IF you are planning to have a grand wedding, I suggest look into the your real and right priority.  Though it may be true that weddings only happen once in a lifetime, remember too that you will only be married once and one of the foundations of a blissful union is to leave and cleave.

      IF YOUR FIANCE SAYS "MY PARENTS NEED ME"
      Consider inviting his parents over your home instead of living with them.  Or live close by.

     IF YOUR FIANCE SAYS "MONEY THAT GOES TO RENT IS A WASTE"
     This may not be all true.  The money that goes to rent also pays for the following:
     1.  Your privacy and intimacy ANYWHERE in your rented house
     2.  Your say on how you want your home to look like
     3.  Your choice on what you want to eat and not eat
     4.  Your husband's opportunity to lead and your opportunity to serve 
     5.  Your decision of whom to invite over and what time to leave and go home 
     6.  Your call on how to discipline your child (if any)


7   
      IF YOU ARE THINKING YOUR SPOUSE TO BE IS RIGHT


      Let me  encourage you to leave and cleave because God wants you to enjoy His gift of marriage. Not leaving and cleaving is only enjoying half of what marriage is like; which can be compared to going to a theme park without an unlimited pass.  Make the most out of your marriage and follow God's design. Trust Him because He wants the best for your marriage.  You may want to write down the advantages and disadvantages so you can clearly see.  





    








HAVE YOU LEARNED TO BE ALONE?

My heart, soul and mind leaped when I saw this phrase on one of the pages of Vogue magazine. I heard the entirety of me shout "yes" with much gusto!! Too excited that I shared it with the two ladies I met up with after.

Yes, yes, yes!!! You need to LEARN HOW TO BE ALONE. You need to experience it, embrace it and love every minute of it. It has to be felt for ones betterment.

Sadly, some people ignore the learnings that they can get when they are on their own. They think that being by themselves is depressing, scary, unnecessary and shameful. They also believe that they need a significant other to be at their happiest. This may not always be true.

Don't be fooled because again "being alone is the greatest adventure one can ever have".



True that word adventure may entail ups and downs thus this makes it worth the journey. I believe with all my heart that one has to get through this phase in order  to value oneself, appreciate togetherness and get to see people and the world in his own perspective. 

My encouragement to those who feel alone is to savor this moment and learn from it. Most likely, this will not be the last you will be alone. Do you know that those who are married sometimes feel that they are on their own? Also having kids will also make you feel down (google post partum depression). So, if you are alone, make the most of it. Decide on your own, travel a lot, learn hobbies, invest in friendships and lastly, love it up to the point that you won't need a man or a woman to make you happy.

For those who are in relationships and are afraid of "losing their bf/gf" which ends up making him/her your world, stay away.  Stay clingy when you are with them but stop wanting them when you are doing your own thing. Get a life without him/her. Your view of life and love will be shady if you always see it in both of your perspective. See it with your eyes first then share it when you get together.
ance yourself. You will have unlimited time with them when you are married.

And now, for those who have been alone the longest time, have you really learned how to be alone? Have you enjoyed this journey? Because if you have, then you should not feel alone. IF you still feel bad about being single, then sadly, you have never learned to be alone. The goal is to be complete on your own. The plan is to be at your happiest each day. The ending should be to joyfully say " i am on my own and I am good with it". 

Marriage is an another roller coaster ride. Enjoy and learn from the ride you are in. It will be worth your time (whether you get married or not), I promise.