I would be an idiot to say that our marriage doesn't have problems - as every marriage does. However, Tino and I work through the ups and downs. As the picture to the right aptly says, "...A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person". I guess the best movie to show how one can fall in love many times with the same person is 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Although the movie is a bit on the corny side, it has a deeper message. If you truly love someone, you'd go the distance for that person, plus it featured SPAM. Yes, SPAM (Spam fried rice sounds good right about now). Getting back on point, if someone were to tell me that their marriage is perfect - I'd simply tell them they're in denial. The "Happily Ever After" books are fantasies - simply that. Nothing in life is easy - everything requires work. And if you are lazy, your marriage will simply fail. Here's what I've analyzed so far about my marriage. As a wife, I must invest in my spouse as he invests in me. You may ask why I choose to use the term invest. I chose this word because invest means to spend or devote for future advantage or benefit. So yes, I need to invest in my husband. I must constantly let him know how special he is to me even when he already feels that way. The moments when I felt vulnerable, he protected me from what can harm me. I mean that in not only a physical way, but an emotional way as well. In my eyes, my perfect marriage is allowing the trials we face as a couple strengthen that sacred bond we share. I've already found love. Life is too short trying to find the Happily Ever After knowing it doesn't exist unless you make it exist.
The other day I found out sibling #3 and in-law #3 made a trip to Splitsville. It's been a rough couple of years for my family at Splitsville Lane. First my sibling #2 leaves in-law #2... then sibling #1 is going through a divorce. And here we are in the present with sibling #3 with a new mate while in-law #3 is left in devastation. I just know when I return to Guam, it'll never be the same. Sibling #3 says they feel happy for the first time in 13 years. I just don't know how long it will last. Sibling #3 is suffering from a severe case of infatuation with highs of the following natural drugs: adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. Which by the way, all three are temporary and the crash is hard when it's all gone.
I used to work with psychologists. I remember my boss, Renee, telling me about the stages of a relationship. How true they are!!! Although it refers mostly to a marriage, I think it can easily be applied to every type of relationship. Let me break it down to you as she has and also Dr. Marty Tashman:
- Stage 1 (The Honeymoon): when everything is perfect - your partner is perfect in your eyes.
- Stage 2 (Accomodation): when you realize your partner isn't as perfect as you thought and you learn to compromise.
- Stage 3 (Challenge): when you and your partner face trials together such as family or money problems.
- Stage 4 (The Crossroads): when you and your partner have been through challenges and know how each other reacts to certain situations. This is the stage where most people part. According to Dr. Tashman, a couple can negatively react by: 1. Being resigned to sticking with the bad decision of staying in the relationship; 2. Emotional withdrawal; 3. Trying to force the other person into being different.
- Stage 5 (Rebirth): This is when a couple has survived stage 2, 3, and 4. This stage is basically also known as the new marriage. Couples learn to appreciate and love each other again.
22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansinga]"> her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body.