J and I have been together for ten years, happily married for six.
We're in no position to give out relationship tips. We don't have the key to supposed marriage secrets. We know that every couple is different. What works for us, may not work for you, and vise versa.
But being one of the happiest couples we know, I do wonder -- what makes our marriage work?
Could it be our solid sense of commitment? Since we were girlfriend & boyfriend we've always been on the same boat -- it's always been "all or nothing" for us.
It was never a half-way kind of love. We both believe in loving yourself 100%, and loving your partner 100%. The 50-50 (or 60-40, 70-30) ratio is B.S. Believe in your immense capacity to love. You can love yourself fully and still give everything to another person. We both see no point in loving if you're holding back.
I've seen relationships turn sour because the couple's not looking at the same direction -- only one party is into it, only one party is working towards bliss or forever.
Could it be that we share the same values? On the surface, we're so opposites attract. But as J said, "we walk the same earth." (One of my most favorite lines!)
We're both fiercely faithful, we love taking care of each other, we'd rather live enriching lives than rich lives.
Could it be that we love being together? We're office mates (working for the same network, in the same department, on the same floor!). We're each other's favorite travel, shopping, and food trip buddy. We're best friends.
We're often asked -- Don't you get tired of being together? No. Ours is the kind of relationship both of us have always dreamed of -- yung walang issue sa time. In case you're wondering, we do Me Time. Lots of Me time. We recognize the wisdom in Kahlil Gibran's line, "Let there be spaces in your togetherness." So no, we can't relate to "nasasakal" or "nagsasawa."
Other than ourselves, we're each other's company of choice. =)
Could it be laughter? Women love funny men. And my J makes me laugh. Every day. Every minute.
He's the one who taught me the truth behind happiness being a choice. I'm blessed to be married to a genuinely happy soul.
We laugh when life is good. We laugh when things are bad. We laugh while getting lost in our travels. We laugh during tipid times. He allows me to cry but more importantly, he knows how to cheer me up. We laugh through sickness and health. We've laughed together through a 'life and death' situation six years ago.
Could it be talking about the big things before we actually got married? Nobody had to tell us to discuss religion, money, having children, career plans, family / relatives / the in-laws before marriage. We just did.
We laid out our cards early in the relationship. No games. And guess who's winning? Us.
I can't believe how some couples discuss the Big Things only after being married. Some have actually been married for years, hindi pa rin pinag-uusapan ang mga dapat matagal nang pinag-usapan! Major red flag!
When J & I decided to become life partners, it was not just a tag or title. We took the partnership to heart. Isn't it common sense -- how can you claim to be life partners if you can't talk about LIFE?
Could it be because we're living the life we want? Allow me to repeat a paragraph from my "No Kidding" entry last May 2009, "...our happiness is not a result of being childless by choice – I hope that's clear. We are happy because we're living the life we want." And what do we want? We share the same dream -- a simple, happy, beautiful life together.
Tell me, what makes your relationship work?