“Be Generous With Compliments”: Couples Married For Over Ten Years Share How They Got This Far
Here's how to keep the spark alive.
In marriage, it is normal to face hardships and slip into low points at some point in time. Remember that in your vows -- “for better or for worse”, “in sickness and in health”, and “for richer or for poorer”, you promised to stick around even through the tough times. Married couples will tell you that no matter how big the problem is, you can overcome it as long as you have each other’s back.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Heed the advice of those who know better, like these long-married couples.
Bea and Jarom, married for 13 years now, began their love story by being “phone pals” for a week before going on their first date.
Even when their second child was born with congenital hydrocephalus, they were still grateful because they had the chance to give their daughter the best five years of life.
“We did not consider it a problem, but [rather] a blessing and a challenge. Through that experience, mas lalong na-strengthen ‘yung samahan namin at ‘yung faith namin as a family,” Bea says.
Even during the pandemic, Bea and Jarom still find ways to go on simple dates before doing the groceries together. They also like watching movies together and Bea likes to surprise her husband with small gifts she usually finds online.
Bea describes Jarom as, “very responsible and he makes sure that we have all the things we need and not too much of the things we just want.” Jarom, on the other hand, says, “Bea is child-like and patient. Just like a child, she has many beautiful attributes: she is simple, sweet and forgiving.”
Relationship advice from Bea and Jarom:
- It’s okay to have misunderstandings because you are two different people with different personalities.
- Always go back to the day you were married and remember the covenant you made.
- Always show appreciation and know your partner’s love language.
Lea and Oliver celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary in January and they are blessed with a daughter who is now 13 years old.
They share that their fights as a couple were much less after their 10th year together, and that they have gained a deeper understanding of each other over time.
“Kapag may maliliit kaming problems or konting tampuhan as a couple, palagi naming pinipili ang mag-usap nang maayos. Kahit ako ang nag-uumpisa, siya pa rin ang nanunuyo at gumagawa ng paraan para maayos agad ang maliit na tampuhan,” Lea says.
To keep the spark alive, they sometimes go on dates or even just short walks, and make it a point to prepare gifts for each other on special occasions. “Kapag namamasyal kami, ’yung kwentuhan namin parang mag-boyfriend at girlfriend pa rin,” she adds.
Lea describes Oliver as, “super understanding. Never niya akong pinagbuhatan ng kamay at nirerespeto niya ako sa lahat ng bagay.” “Understanding,” is how Oliver describes Lea. “Kung mayroon man akong gustong gawin, hindi niya ako hinihigpitan basta’t magsasabi lang ako sa kanya.”
Relationship advice from Lea and Oliver:
- Be open to each other and avoid keeping secrets.
- If you know you’ll get into a fight over something you will do, do not risk it.
- Always choose to communicate and to understand each other no matter what the problem or situation is.
Marifi and Reynaldo’s “jeepney” love story has blossomed into a 17-year marriage.
When they almost lost their firstborn, Marifi says she never felt alone in the battle as her husband showed his full support and unconditional love all throughout the challenge.
They both love gardening and planting, cooking, motorcycle rides and even trekking. Marifi says, “Kapag special occasions talagang hinahabilin namin ‘yung dalawa naming anak sa mga in-laws ko o sa mga nanay ko. Lumalabas pa rin kami, sabi nga niya [Reynaldo], ‘Let’s keep the love burning.’”
Marifi shares that what she loves most about Reynaldo is his being family-oriented and responsible. Reynaldo says of Marifi, “Siya yung lagi kong dasal.”
Relationship advice from Marifi and Reynaldo:
- Put the Lord at the center of your relationship.
- Appreciate each other and be generous with compliments.
- Keep doing the things that you both enjoy doing.
Lyn and Michael’s relationship has been tested many times over during their 26 years of marriage. But, because of hard work and their love for each other, overcoming them was a lot easier because they stayed together.
“After [all the] hardships from the past, we do not fight anymore. We are spending our days meaningfully by doing motorcycle rides, eating at restaurants, and having good conversations,” Lyn says.
According to them, being able to know each other first as neighbors then friends provided comfort and trust along the years of being a married couple.
“He is the serious type, but also has a good sense of humor, and even though he is not showy, [we] can still feel his care and love for us,” Lyn shares. Michael describes his wife as, “loving, caring and understanding. When your wife knows she is deeply loved, it makes life even more meaningful.”
Relationship advice from Lyn and Michael:
- Always respect, trust and protect your partner.
- Make time for good conversations.
- Besides being a couple, be each other’s best friend too.