BUILDING YOUR MARRIAGE, ONE BRICK AT A TIME

Sadly, not many would admit having shaky marriages. One would just come out of the story when they have decided to end their relationship. By the way, when I mean by shaky, does not only mean when one party has a relationship with another person or when the union is about to be split.  Having a difficulty in marriage has the following symptoms:

1.  You are together but not really together.  You could be in the same car, same room, same dining area but there is minimal or zero connection

2.  You do not dream together.  The only futuristic thing that you talk about are the bills.  The tuition fee next month, electricity bill this weekend or the family gathering next week (that you don't intend to come)

3.  You end up fighting every time you try to talk

4.  You have not had intimacy in months

5.  You go out together for the sake of the kids

6.  It has been months since you laughed together

The first brick that I would suggest you pick up is the brick called "911".  Picking up this brick means you accept that you and your marriage needs help (regardless your husband/wife agrees or not).  If you are still not so convinced that your marriage needs "saving", BUT you want to be more intentional about your relationship with your spouse, then you can still pick-up this brick.

So, the question now is, do you need help?

THE PRACTICAL WAYS OF SHOWING LOVE TO YOUR IN-LAWS

I know my last post (part 1 here, part 2 here) was kind of hardcore. So let me give you a follow-up post and enumerate a few ways on how we can practically show our love to our in-laws.

1.  Allow them to love (and spoil) your kids in their ways.  Their job in NOT to rear your kids, that is yours.  So just accept how they would lovingly "do this", and "give this" to their grandkids.  In our case, in my parents house, Risen is being fed with Pandesal with sugar as palaman (spread).  I know, your eyes will roll, but we let them be because it is their house. Their house, their rules.  So what do we do when we are in our own home?, we tell Risen "that is only allowed with lola and lolo, not with mom and dad".  This is also why I discourage couple to stay with in-laws.  It is challenging to rear kids with grandparents because, in any house, there could only be one queen mother.

2.  Bring your kids to them (assuming you do not leave with them).  They love their grand kids, and to be honest, it is okay for them not to see the parents!haha  So please, please, bring your kids to them!

3.  Initiate family lunches or dinners.  My favorite part is when I tell my in-laws we would eat out without Bryan knowing it! I feel it is extra special, when I, their daugther-in-law and not their son invites them out.  I also pay for it, of course! My husband on the other hand, would sometimes buy treats for my parents (without me knowing) just because.  

4.  Get to really really know them.  How often do you chika and intentionally get to know them?  Their lives, love story, work, childhood, growing up years? When you know a person really well, you get to understand their ways and means.  Sometimes, we are too judgmental because we can't get pass our biases.  Impressions do not have to last.  Remember how you cheer fellow women who got married, finally became pregnant, gave birth, breastfed, worked or resigned for the sake of their kids?  Guess what, your mom-in-law did all this too!

5.  Accept that your in-laws will never be perfect, and so are you

6.  If you are doing it differently, do not only explain, educate them.  I remember when I gave birth to Risen.  The Pedia told us that "bigkis" (cloth wrapped around the waste to protect belly button) is no longer accepted.  This came to a shock with the two lolas for in their time, it was allowed.  I had to sit down with them and not only say "the pedia said no".  I offered the disadvantages and carefully explained each of them.  There is definitely a gap, so try to fill in and adjust to that.

7.  Remember the goal is not to be BFFs.  You do not have to be bessies, but the goal is to have a harmonious relationship with them.  That you don't cringe every time you see her nor fret when she visits you at home.  However, if you can be bessies, why not?! :)

8.  Get up and love again in the morning.    Let us not be historians.  You and your in-laws probably took off at the wrong place at the wrong time.  It is okay.  It will be okay.  Tomorrow is a new day to serve and love.

image from here







DO WE REALLY HAVE TO LOVE OUR MOTHERS-IN-LAW? Part 2

BUT IT IS DIFFICULT TO LOVE MY IN-LAWS!!!

I know that some set-ups can be a bit crazier.  However, God allows "impossible situations" to let us know that we really cannot do it on our own Hopefully, the situation you are in will make us dependent on God and on His Word.  Remember that our "feelings" toward the person may not change over night, but our perspective and attitude towards him/her may be changed.  Just continue loving even if  it does not feel right.  Sounds fake?  If the intention is making it right, then you we not being plastic.  If we are certain  in the deepest of our hearts we want to have a very peaceful and harmonious relationship with our in-laws, I am sure that God will honor that and one day, emotions will follow.  Obviously, I do not believe in cutting off people in our lives. More so, in settling to be forever civil with the family members around us.  God is pro forgiveness and reconciliation.

This world would tell us to "do whatever works for you".  Sometimes, we bring this idea even with our in-laws, family members, friends and basically in our relationships.  I would like to challenge us to take the bolder and scarier way of dealing with them, and it is by choosing to intentionally loving them in difficult ways. Do this not because of your husband or your kids but because there is this "man" who died for you and who commands you to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR.

With God's help and the support of your spouse will be able to do it.  Consider this prayer at the end of my blog.


Dear God,

Thank you for the people you allowed me to be surrounded with.  I am sure you handpicked them from the very beginning.  I lift up to you the relationship I have with my in-laws.  I pray that you will work in my heart to forgive, be reconciled and have a harmonious relationship with them.  May it be that in the days to come, I will learn how to love and honor them.  Thank you for the help. 


 In Jesus name, Amen.

DO WE REALLY HAVE TO LOVE OUR MOTHERS-IN-LAW? Part 1

A wedding coordinator jokingly told my friend that he offers a wedding package with groom at a very low price!!   Why is it low?,  because the mother of the groom is still alive ;)

I have heard, read, and saw how some wives and husbands struggle with their in-laws.  They  either complain, or question, or rant, or tell stories on how their MILs (or father-in-laws) could be insensitive, hovering, too critical, overly involved, always needy, and the list goes on...I have also observed how these struggles often lead to silent treatments, discussions, civil or casual communication, or worse major conflicts.  Sad truth, right?

Why do these issues happen?  I am kind of sure it can be either of the following:

1. You are still staying in the home of your in-laws
2. Your husband or wife puts their parent/s first in many occasions 
3. Your relationship with your husband or wife is not good
4.  You have not really tried having a relationship with your in-laws

Now, let us go back to the title.  Do we really have to love our in-laws? Here are my answers:

1.  Yes, because our in-laws became family when we married our spouses

2.  Yes, because your in-laws are the parents of your husband or wife and the grandparents of your kids

3.  Yes, because he or she reared the person you married

4.  Just like your husband or wife, your in-laws were also hand picked by God from the very beginning

4.  Yes, because God said in Mark 12:31 ...


The second is equally important: 
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
 No other commandment is greater than these.”