In a couple of months from now, my marriage will reach yet another milestone. The mister and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it has already been five years since the day we exchanged vows and promised each other our forever in front of our friends, families and of course God. The last anniversary post I wrote was almost three years ago, telling the things I know for sure about marriage. I read it and I’m happy it still stands true up to this day.
Looking back, being married for 5 years is not all kilig, walking in the park, holding hands and whispering sweet nothings especially after two kids. There were times when we get too overwhelmed with responsibilities. Responsibilities at work, at home, at others, at each other and at ourselves. There were misunderstandings. There were adjustments. There were fights. There was miscommunication. There were sighs and blah moments. There were disagreements. There was the fun part, of course, a lot of it. There were dangers of collapsing and chances of rebuilding. If you are married, chances are you’ll understand me if I say that a healthy marriage is not all about the heavy or deep stuff. Sometimes, the silliest issues and pettiest quarrels, if left unexpressed and unattended could lead to Splitsville. So, be wary about those seemingly trivial matters as it could cause you your marriage. Whether it’s the big stuff or the small ones, I think what’s important is that you communicate with your husband or partner your idea of marriage-breaking grounds.
Sharing with you 4 marriage-breakers in my mind, from the 3 most unsuspecting to the most heart-breaking:
1. Smartphones. Unsuspecting diba? This is my current pet-peeve with the mister. Smartphones are really good at taking away people’s attention. Don’t you just hate talking to a person whose eyes are glued to their smartphones? My husband did not own a smartphone until I give him one last year. The reason why I gave him one is because he meets a lot of people and being an IT guy himself, an old cellphone does not seem good for his professional image, so I really bugged him to accept my offer and besides he needs a reliable phone for calls and messaging. However, sometimes I regret that move. He liked it too much and downloaded movies and apps. I guess, they really are addicting! I started to miss his full attention when we are talking. I told him about it already and initially, he shrugs off my observation but I will keep on making him realize that too much use of smartphones can kill personal relationships. I’ll update you on this. Recently, I came up with a house-rule regarding this — use of smartphones or any gadgets while lying on the bed is strictly prohibited unless it’s a call or text.
2. Work. Work is good. It provides for our needs. It keeps us busy. It makes our bodies move. It exercises our brain muscles. It expands our network. It gives us opportunities. It develops our potentials. However, too much work not only burns us out but also consumes our non-replenishable most precious time. Key here is a balance. You should set your priorities and honor them. It’s never wrong to work hard, but it’s best to work smarter. That way, you will have time to enjoy other activities and people other than your work. My husband (he’ll probably hate me if he reads this!) is a diligent worker. It is as if he knows nothing else but to work for his office. No vices, no outside peer, no club memberships and no recreation outside work. That’s how he was until he met me and had a love-life. If not for me, he’ll have a perfect attendance. If not for the kids, he’ll have no lates. He used to live to work but when he had us, he started working to live. I sometimes find myself throwing tantrums at my husband for his lack of time for me and our marriage. Of course, I believe that I’m on reasonable grounds. He thinks otherwise. I think he’s working too much that he no longer has adequate time to the most important things in life (that’s me!). Thankfully though, we always end up in a compromise.
Always remember the reason why you are working hard. When you know who you are working hard for, it will be easier to make balanced decisions. We all have responsibilities, and work is just one of those. There is a lot more to life than just work. Also, when you die, your work won’t miss you. It will just find one to replace you but it’s your loved ones who will mourn and grieve for you.
3. Kids. Kids affect the marriage in both ways. It either bonds you even tighter as partners or it separates you two like strangers. Having kids will give way for you to know your partner better. How you respond to what you will learn about him or her is up to you and is what will affect your marriage. Sometimes it’s a relief you married the right guy. Other times it will be a proud moment for your choice. But usually, there will come a time when you will be disappointed. I think that’s highly normal. Some partners become too focused on the kids that the other partner feels neglected while some partners would always find ways to avoid the hard parts of parenting (feeding, bathing, cleaning the poo, vaccine dates, the gastos, etc.). Raising kids will take much of your couple time and much of your energy too. Family-life can be as demanding as any works could be. The fun part becomes elusive at times. It happens, folks! Raising two kids under two is one serious, exhausting and stressful job especially if you don’t know how to make it fun.
4. Infidelity. Infidelity may be one of the most heart-breaking reasons behind a break-up of a marriage. It takes away every memory you built. It overshadows every love and care one has given. There are many reasons why someone gets into an illicit affair but I have no interest or whatsoever justifying it. For me, as of this moment, infidelity has no valid excuse. To be cheated is painful. I don’t know if it is too for the one who cheated. I used to tell my husband never ever attempt to cheat on me because I’m not so generous in giving second chances to a cheating husband. Thankfully, he shows no signs for five years.
I first read in the Internet stories about couples splitting up due to gadgets and its apps or games. At that time, I thought it was silly. But now, I understand that those little technologies can sometimes be so annoying and can really kill personal relationships and interactions. Work, on the other hand, can take up too much of our time and energy. Kids per se do not break a marriage, unless of course it is born out of an infidelity. Kids, however, could cause intimacy death and that could break a marriage. While this may be true, I’d rather focus on kids making the bond between the parents tighter and stronger and kids creating so much joy and laughter to the family. As for the cheating part, not all are lucky to be given a second chance so don’t even think about it. Kill the smoke before it turns into a fire. It’s still one of the top reasons why marriages do not last.
Anything you want to add to this list? How about you? What do you consider as a real deal-breaker as far as your marriage is concerned? Somehow, the thought of our 5th wedding anniversary makes me giddy! Any suggestions on how to celebrate this another milestone? We may not be in Hollywood but you know what they say about marriage? — 5 years is forever!
Have a good week!