High school sweethearts. This is the most common label we hear from our peers whenever they ask about our love story.
It’s true; I met my husband in high school. We were sixteen, he was my junior high classmate and he had the biggest crush on me. Haha! 🙂 Although technically speaking, the term “high school sweethearts” would not be that accurate since we became a couple in college already. We were eighteen then.
So yeah, basically I have been in a relationship with the same guy for thirteen years and counting. It’s only been four years since our wedding but I knew him for more than a decade already! From that hopeless romantic boy who only began as an admirer, he became my best friend and confidant, and then grew into the man of my dreams, and now father of my children.
It was never an easy journey filled with puppy love giggles and love notes. There were certainly many bumps and trials along the way. We went to rival universities (he’s a Green Archer, I’m a Blue Eagle, go figure!), we met a lot of different people, and even found ourselves pursuing very very different career paths. And yet here we are, happily married, and building our own little family, the best possible way we can.
I am no expert when it comes to love but with thirteen years of experience, perhaps I could share some valuable lessons I have learned to keep a long lasting relationship.
Here they are:
- TRUST AND COMMUNICATION ARE KEY ESSENTIALS YOU CAN NEVER DISREGARD
When you engage in any relationship, you build trust. Trust may not be developed that easily and is definitely something that needs to be earned. But once that trust is fostered, there is no turning back. Both parties need to take good care of that trust. Obviously, the one who earned it must not do anything to break that confidence given to him; But at the same time, the one who one trusts should completely yield without any hesitations. There is no such thing as semi trusting or partially trusting someone. You make a conscious effort to let go of your insecurities and believe in your partner and your bond. Without trust, any relationship is destined to crumble hastily.
The same as trust, communication plays a vital role in building a successful relationship. It’s the most basic tool we use to show confidence in someone. It is the foundation of a successful bond. We do not communicate with strangers or everybody we meet but we do tend to “tell everything” to our close friends, parents, spouses. However, let us not be mislead into thinking that communication only means talking to the person about anything, constantly calling him to tell you where you are or how your day went, and telling him your secrets. Communication also involves respectfully knowing when to say what. Sometimes, saying what you want when you want it is not the best form of communication. Be honest, tell your partner the truth all the time, but be respectful and mindful of the timing.
- LEARN THE VALUE OF COMPROMISE
“Love is suffering.” That was my thesis statement for my Philosophy oral exam back in junior college where I got my lowest grade – the only 2.5 in my report card that cost me my dean’s list for that semester. I confidently said that love is not suffering because love is kind and it conquers all. How ignorant of me! While love may conquer all as dreamily believed by most of us, love IS indeed suffering because love involves sacrifice. Like a father who works doubly hard to provide for his family, like a mother who sends her only child away to follow his dreams, like a sibling who chooses other things to give way… When you love someone, you don’t only think of yourself but the other person’s welfare.
Hey romantics, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Love will still prevail and it will not be a total “suffering” if you learn to compromise. The nature of give and take will beautifully save us from distress and foster a deeper love for one another. It can be as simple as deciding on a middle ground when the wife wants Japanese but the husband wants burgers. And it can be as complicated as deciding to adopt a child or not. Everyday decisions will test the give and take relationship of husband and wife. It’s up to us to decide if our love is worth the value of compromise. 99% of the time, it’s worth it!
- MAKE TIME AND SPEND QUALITY TIME BUT ALSO LET YOUR PARTNER DO HIS OWN THING
With all the demands of the world – whether at work or at home, a lot of us suffer from the lack of time for leisure. Husbands are usually preoccupied with work related activities, while wives have super hectic homemaking schedules. Personally, we have that current problem because my husband is a doctor and I am a nanny-less work at home mom expecting a second child. When was the last time we went out on a real date? Don’t ask. And that’s the problem.
No matter how busy we get, always FIND TIME. Always find MARRIAGE TIME. It doesn’t always have to be a fancy date. It can be a simple wine and cheese night at home with home service massage while you take the kids to their grandparents over the weekend. Never let your schedule get in the way of your marriage. Nothing else is more important.
However, we also have to remember that apart from spending quality time with our spouse, our partner also needs to unwind on his own. My husband plays basketball on Sundays with his friends. It’s his way of de-stressing and I respect that. Even if I frown upon the idea of it being on a Sunday afternoon, I let him because I know it will make him happy and relaxed. As long as he does not miss Sunday Mass and any important family gathering because of it, we go back to tip number 3, we compromise. Trust me, your partner will love you three times more when you let him do his own “boy thing” once in a while.
- SWEETNESS AND AFFECTION WILL SPICE UP YOUR CONNECTION
Human beings innately desire affection. Who would not fall for someone who shows you fondness and regard? It is the most basic physical demonstration of love. Any form of affection will definitely spice up your connection, whether it’s a kiss on the cheek, a tight hug, or intimate sex with your spouse. Furthermore, simple acts of sweetness will surely please any woman. So make a conscious effort to insert a dose of sweetness in your daily activities. Show your spouse you care and it will surely be appreciated.
- KEEP GOD AT THE CENTER OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP
This by far is the most important yet most underrated secret to a successful marriage. From the moment we set foot at the Church and declare our vows, we have made a commitment not only to each other, but also to that Higher Being we know as God. Marriage is not just about making each other happy but making each other holy. With everything going on in the world today and so many external factors around, sometimes, Divine Intervention is the only thing we can depend on. Believe me when I say, we should never underestimate the power of prayer. Praying together as a couple and keeping Him in your relationship will offer direction and peace of mind.
I hope these learning points find way to your hearts. They have really done little miracles to protect my relationship with my husband and keep our bond stronger for longer. ♥
Just like Del’s secret to a long lasting fragrance, a successful and enduring relationship is a perfect blend of these love-saving practices. You cannot just pick one or two good things. It’s like formulating a perfect recipe with the best ingredients.
We have been using Del Fabric Softener in our household as the final step in our laundry. We rely on anti bacterial stain removing detergents for cleaning and disinfecting our clothes and then get some extra special treatment with Del Fabric Softener. It really takes care of our clothing and offers a loving touch of softness and a burst of fragrance. It’s just like giving your spouses that extra love and care they deserve! Now, it even has 15x longer lasting “bangooooo” versus a regular detergent brand based on consumer test in Metro Manila. You may learn more about the product here. So now, not only your spouse, but also Del’s long lasting freshness is here to stay! ♥
Here’s to hoping all our relationships last and may they be filled with Forever Joy and Forever Love! 🙂
– – – – – – – – – – –
This is an entry to Del’s Blog Contest in partnership with NuffNang