Meet the couples mission of the Feast Pasig Couples Ministry. One of the couples here is the Villaruz couple, bro Junie and sis Ana who are both in their forties. They have three girls where two of which are high schoolers and one a youngster.
One night after our couple’s caring group meeting, right after I arrived home, I received a text message from bro Junie, saying,
“Thank you bro and sis for waiting for my Ana.”
That day, we waited for like 2 hours for sis Ana for our meeting. But what really caught me was how bro Junie called his wife as “my Ana.”I wonder how many older couples still use such endearment to their spouses.
If there is one thing I learned from this couple, is that to treat your husband/wife as your boyfriend/girlfriend forever. Why? Let’s admit it. While we were still in a dating stage, being intimate and affectionate to our partner is as easy as falling in love.
But after a few more years of marriage, concerns like children, differences, financial and work started to seep in the relationship. Thus the once affectionate and intimate connection is slowly fading.
So what can married couples learn from the dating couples?
1. They talk and listen attentively to each other.
Do you know how to spot a married and dating couple in a restaurant? It’s fairly easy and I’ll teach you how.
The couple where the distance between them can be passed by a truck is the married couple, while the couple wherein even a single needle can’t pass through between them is the dating one.
The couple whose eyes are gazing anywhere or fixated on the food is the married couple. While the couple whose eyes are nailed to each other is the dating one.
The couple who talks or gossips about other people inside the restaurant is the married couple. While the couple whose conversations revolve around themselves is the dating one.
We all know that in life change is the only constant thing. And it also applies to you, to me and to our spouse. And the only way for us to stay connected and updated to our husband’s dreams, feelings and disposition is by constantly getting to know each other.
2. They send courteous, thoughtful and sweet text messages to each other.
Sometimes I’ve typed a text message to my hubby this way, “bili ka pang-breakfast, wala na tayong pang-ulam sa umaga.” “Buy some food for our breakfast, we don’t have any viand in the morning.”
But then, remembering what I learned, I edited it this way. “Daddy, bili ka naman ng pang breakfast naten, wala na tayong pang-ulam sa umaga,” “Daddy, please buy some food for our breakfast, we don’t have viands in the morning.”
Just adding a few words in the message can already make a difference.
Whenever baby and I have a monthly 3-5 days vacation in Malabon, where my family of origin lives, I always text hubby in the morning a message like, “Morning daddy! Mwah!”
Or when he hasn’t arrived home yet and it’s already getting late, I text him, “Where are you na daddy?”
Mind you, it’s a deliberate effort for me now. After three years of dating and after getting married, I realized it’s hard to maintain being sweet and chummy. But when I am furious, my text message is, “ALL CAPS!!”
If we can’t be sweet with how we text or how we talk to our spouse, at least let us be courteous. The way we are courteous to some VIP’s because our partners are no different from them. In fact they are the most important person in our lives, and our kids come next.
3. They find time to date each other.
In our couple community and in other catholic community such as Elim, they highly encourage a weekly date for married couples. In fact it is even included in their program for couples.
But as I read on online forums and other mommy blogs, I noticed that most married people don’t pay much importance to this one.They worry about their kids at home or they don’t have much time.
But really, this is one aspect we shouldn’t miss out in our marriage. If we have an opportunity to date with our spouse then we should grab it. Remember whom we place right after God when we get married? It was our spouse. Not the kids, not the work, not other people.
In cases where kids are still dependent on mommy, like a newborn who is breastfeeding or no care taker is available, a baby must be prioritized of course.
The date doesn’t need be expensive, you can even date in a “turu-turo” or even a dinner at home with just the two of you. What matters is we give our undivided attention to each other.
4. They overlook their partner’s flaws
They say when you’re looking for a lifetime partner, you should open your eyes widely. And during the marriage you should make it half-closed.
But why do we do the opposite? Our eyes were half closed to their flaws during dating, but then in marriage our eyes are widely open to their mistakes and weaknesses. Is it a natural tendency? I digress.
When we noticed some negative things about them, we made excuses that he will change, he will change, he will change. But the truth is almost always, they will never change.
So now that we’re already married, instead of making an excuse or having false expectations, let’s learn the art of acceptance and of half-closing our eyes.
But do we really need to reminisce and relearn these things? We already know the drill. We’ve actually been there for years.
And yet most of us have already forgotten about that phase. We’re too preoccupied, we’ve lost the drive to even bother. We’ve placed other things and relationships more important than our marriage.
So let’s not be surprised if one day we wake up and find ourselves beside a stranger whom we once made a vow with. We ask ourselves, “What has happened? Why do I suddenly don’t know the innermost being of this person anymore? Where have the years gone by?”
But we can avoid it from happening in our marriage. We can avoid estrangement if we will choose to act now.
And now the question is, was your boyfriend-girlfriend stage a successful relationship? Of course it is! Otherwise you wouldn’t be married in the first place.
If it has previously brought success and happiness in your relationship, it can still do wonders in your marriage. And now, I’m grateful to sis Ana and bro Junie for sharing this invaluable marriage tip to us, of making your husband/wife your boyfriend/girlfriend forever.
Do try it! =)
So What About You?
Do you have an additional to this list? Where are you strong and weak at?
Doing this is definitely a challenge for me. But it’s something I want to work on this year.
Nova Cruz says
Go go go sis mitch! It’s really an effort specially if it doesn’t come naturally =)
ning llorin says
I am guilty on the ALL CAPS part. I am usually the sweeter than J. But I admit I usually look for flaws and sometimes complain also. But there is a part of me telling myself to accept it. But I usually tell him what I don’t like and he tries his best to mend his ways.
Nova Cruz says
Sometimes they do change and then go back again to their old ways LOL! There are certain qualities (especially temperamental ones)that can only be fine tuned but could never be changed. =)
Filipina Explorer says
Haha! All true, lalo na yung pag kumakain sa labas. Marriage is really no walk in the park. The 4th one is the hardest really, and I am still having a difficult time accomplishing that most of the time. But as a priest said during a friend’s wedding, “When you say I do, you don’t just do it to your spouse. You do it with God, for God, and to God…Only when you put God in the marriage can you forgive your spouse’s sinfulness so you can be with him or her till death.”
Nova Cruz says
I like what you shared sis, “When you say I do, you don’t just do it to your spouse. You do it with God, for God, and to God…Only when you put God in the marriage can you forgive your spouse’s sinfulness so you can be with him or her till death.” I instantly remember the wedding I just attended where they adopted a Croatian bridal march and wedding rite, hmmm… will share it sometime.
Whenever I get bothered with hubby’s flaws, I am also reminded of my own flaws. So when I am left with no option, I just tell myself, “quits lang” LOL!
Roxi @ Mr. Jacob's Mom says
I’m pretty proud to say that my husband and I still treat each other like boyfriend-girlfriend! Though sometimes I feel like we’re being too silly and maharot with each other that maybe other people will think we’re so immature even though we have a child already! Lol. But I like it because we still treat each other like nothing’s changed from 10 years ago. Only now we have a son to take care of and the never ending bills!
Nova Cruz says
Wow! You’ve been with each other for quite a long time! That’s nice to hear that you’re like “tropa” with your hubby =) Keep it up in all the stages of your marriage =)
I wish we could go out on dates as often as we could but we are both caught up finishing our courses and building our careers.
Nova Cruz says
that’s ok sis Ditas, for as long as you’re both keeping abreast of each other’s inner lives your emotional intimacy will still be fine =)