Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Married Life is Really Like

Greg and I met in a pen pal column। After exchanging several letters to each other he decided to meet me in person and flew to Philippines. It was kind of unusual situation for me to meet him in person because he is a foreigner. After a long run, we end up building our relationship into the next level. We got settled the same year we met. He was 38 that time and I was 21.

Now, at 24, I considerably better groomed, and my embarrassment at being one of those people I look down on for marrying early is tempered by the knowledge that I couldn't imagine someone more perfect for me.

I am a feminine girl who can happily spend hours baking and cooking in the kitchen. I have a compassionate soul who thinks seriously about issues in life. I am free spirited and outgoing person. Greg is a computer geek, who likes to intimidate me by asking some hypothetical questions. But suitably we have common interest in music, movies, traveling, dancing, and we love to play games that shows our competitive side.

In fact, Id say were perfectly match. But “perfect” and “marriage are two words that should never appear in the same sentence. Perfect is an outcome and marriage is a process. Those of us in good marriages are usually reluctant to talk about our problems in public-perhaps to avoid seeming disrespectful to our spouses. Greg and I may see eye to eye, but were married all the time.

Our differences give us ample fodder for conflict. I love to organize things and if necessary I labeled them. Greg do everything by trial and error and get squirmy sometime. I am a stickler for every traditional manners – the hostess gift, the thank you note, the Christmas card, and everything I could think that people would appreciate me as I would appreciate them. Greg is vocal and I am not, which sometimes I drive him nuts.

Inevitably, these differences sometimes lead to fights. But some of these exchanges end up as jokes, and any lingering grumpiness can usually be resolved with some timely sex. Greg crave immediate resolution once a conflict erupts. He believed that “you should not go to bed mad”. I am more circumspect, I find myself too emotional. I walk out and stay away until I figure out exactly what I need to say, though it takes few hours for me to let it out.

We fight over our individual characters, our finances, my insecurities, and our differences. As alien as we can seem to each other during a fight we couldn't be more alike in the ways that matter the most. We both love kids and fortunately we have one of our own. We both love to do things together as a family and share our plans. We both take time consistently and we compromise in many ways. We both have the same faith in God which bring us together and made us stronger day by day.

Above all, were both rationalists at the core। If you can convince me, through reasoned argument and evidence, that your way is better than mine, then you get to have your way, and the same goes for Greg. But most of the time, I'd like to do my way even if he doesn't agree (just don't complain!).

In a world where more than half of all marriages end badly, you hear an awful lot about passion cooling over. But among the many things Greg and I share is a belief that we can overcome those obstacles. I maybe a little immature, like most women my age, but I am working on it. Neither of us, however, is lazy, or incapable of reflection. A couple that is not afraid to work at it and talk to each other can become happier, more in love, more aware, more harmonious over time.

The most important aspect of our relationship is that we continue to grow together. And even our relationship has gone through bad times. But if you can survive them, you'll have an even deeper connection.

I know, because we've managed it so far. Even if we are the kind of people who came from a different culture. I am grateful that Greg is so comprehensive at all time