Consider This! : Chapter 2 – On Marriage

4 Feb

Note: This is the first draft of chapter 2 of the book I’m writing entitled “Consider This!  Mommy’s Personal Manifesto, 33 Rules/Guidelines”.

Dear Lorin,

Your father and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary in less than 3 weeks.  When I really think about it, it’s not the wedding that we are actually going to celebrate.  It’s the five years of marriage.  What have I learned so far?  Not much.  Ha ha!  Seriously, when it comes to marriage, five years is not really that long.  There’s still a long way to go.

I intend to grow old with your father.  Your father isn’t perfect.  But so am I.  Surprise!  Who wants a perfect husband anyway?  Who wants all that pressure to keep up and to become a perfect wife?  Your father has his heart in the right place.  He has none of that macho pride that most men have.  He’s a hands-on father and does his share of the household chores.  And you know what?  He took care of you all by himself when I went back to work after my maternity leave.  He was working from home and taking care of you at the same time.  That’s quite a feat if I may say so myself.

Wait, I’m not telling you to marry someone like your father.  You and I are different.  Marry someone who’s a right fit for you.  Someone who will love you for who you are and not to try to change  you.  Someone who will not to try to control you or the relationship.  Someone who respects your strengths and accepts your weaknesses.  Someone who will value the relationship but will not depend on it as the sole source of his happiness.

You father and I didn’t have a church wedding.  I hope you will get married in church.  I hope that you don’t become a bridezilla though.  Someone who is too consumed and focused with the wedding preparations.  It’s a ceremony that’s going to take place in a single day.  Whereas marriage goes beyond a day or weeks or months.  A marriage needs more preparation.

However, I don’t think one can really prepare for marriage.  We were in a relationship for almost six years before we got married.  Yet, there were still a lot of things we didn’t know about each other.  There were a lot of surprises and discoveries during the first years of marriage.  Some were pleasant while some made me grit my teeth, want to bang my head on the wall or pull my hair out one by one.  Well, you get the picture.  I’m sure your father felt the same way.

These were the times when I wished we had our own place.  When you get married, I hope you get your own place and don’t have to live with other people.  Not even with us.  You don’t need an audience.  That’s the last thing a couple needs at the start of the marriage.  You need privacy.  You don’t need people watching your every move.  Knowing that there are other people around who can see what you do and hear what you say can be very stressful.

Your father and I don’t really have anything when we started.  We don’t have a house, we don’t have a car.  We just had each other.  Looking back, somehow it helped strengthen our relationship because everything we have now, we worked for together.  It was a journey we took and shared together.  That made it more meaningful.

I am aware of the fact that our marriage is the first thing that will give you an idea of what a marriage is.  We came from different backgrounds and were raised by different parents whose marriages were also the first thing that gave us an idea of what a marriage is.  That alone motivates me to make our marriage work and last.

A marriage is a decision and a commitment made by two persons.  Therefore, the husband and wife alone decide on matters that pertain to it.  Don’t let anyone else have a hand in making those decisions.  Learn to make a stand.  People will always have opinions, let them remain as just opinions and never as a right to have a say on how you go about your married life.  Make decisions concerning your marriage together.   Don’t decide for both of you.  Ask the other person.

Marriage requires a lot of letting go so that we can stay together.  Letting go of small annoyances and irritating habits.  We have to turn a blind eye.  We have to play deaf sometimes.  We  must know what really matters and leave the rest alone.  We must determine what is an issue and a non-issue.  Does it really matter if he forgot to turn the lights off?   Does it really matter if he forgot to change to his house slippers from his muddy shoes and walk all over the floor that I just swept and mopped?  They don’t.  So what matters?  What matters is that he knows when I’m tired or busy and takes over my share of household chores.  What matters is he knows when I’m having difficulties and helps me out.

Married people needs to learn to give and take, to compromise.  That’s fine with me.  However, I cannot and will not compromise who I am and what I believe in.   Married people also must remember to work on themselves and on the relationship, and not on the other person.  We cannot change another person.  I find it hard to change some things on myself.  How much more on another person?  It’s enough that I know my limitations and non-negotiables.  I draw the line on unfaithfulness, abuse and violence.

Our marriage is a constant work in progress.  Like I said, I intend to grow old with your father.  To enjoy our senior citizen discounts together.  He he.  To enjoy our retirement fund together.  To both be there for you when you graduate, march down the aisle, give birth/s, celebrate baptismal/s and birthdays.  We will be there together to support and guide you.  We will be partners in crime in spoiling our grandchild/ren.  Just kidding!

A happy marriage equals a happy home.  A happy home equals a happy child.  Happiness is what I want for you.  That’s one of my motivations of wanting to make our marriage last.

Love,
Mommy

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