Saturday, July 30

ten relationship (and marriage) tips from mom
(...and you don't know my mother! hahahaha!!!)

i get tired hearing my family talk about this female cousin of mine, who is about to turn thirty, and her boyfriend. well, the bottom line is that they don't want the guy for her, for reasons that even the most unjudgmental side of me seems to accept as valid. i can't blame both parties, i just hope they get to settle this soon and make it somewhat a win-win situation for all of us.

my mom and i, no matter how close we appear to be, are not open with matters of the heart (well, my heart). during my dramatic moment in the office two weeks ago, i confessed that mom really doesn't know about my personal life. i don't know how it could happen for people who barely spend time apart, but it just did with us. surprisingly, apart from superficial crushes on this and that artista or politician, my mom never knew my real life affairs until i get to introduce the person to her.

however, the mother that she is, i know she senses if i'm into something, even if her thoughts are not always accurate. through time, she kept on reminding me, directly or otherwise, of the following points to ponder, about relationships and taking the plunge at married life:

1. it's easy to get married, to stay married is not.
i guess it says it all.

2. a partner who physically abused you never ever deserves another chance.
this one i firmly believe in. although some would argue that the abused party probably provoked the abuser, then again, it's never justified. my mom strongly advised to leave my partner if i received a slap or a blow, and run to her (how sweet). kaya lang, knowing me, and my very poor anger management attitude, i will not leave easily. pag sinaktan mo ako, i'll make sure na bago ako umalis, sasaktan din kita, i.e, gigilitan ng leeg, damn you! (this is what my parents are afraid of; something that they talk about as a joke in front of me. baka instead na ako bugbugin, based on my very short temper and low tolerance for ignorance and habitual lying, baka ako ang bumugbog sa asawa ko. hmm...something to think about. pero seriously, may takot naman ako sa Diyos.)

3. always save. work, if it fits the compromise.
i do not belong to a well-to-do family. we are happily middle class and it's always a reality that money is a very vital component to subsist. although my mom never really had an 8-5 job but only little home businesses from time to time, my mom instills in me the importance of saving and hindi 'ubos-ubos biyaya', and to have money of my own, if and when my future husband prefers me to stay at home. even when the dream of being a housewife and a mother dawns on me, i think i will not be totally an unearning statistic. syempre, i know nakapag-aral naman ako and this work experience i have now, would help me do things that can generate income kahit nasa house lang ako. in a more realistic setup, if i continue working, i guess i have to step up and work harder to be the "super multi-tasker" that working moms and wives always are.

(the next three are somehow related...)
4. get along with your in-laws, sincerely.
for probably a lot of people, this is kinda hard. no family is perfect. i know that there will always be that "someone" in the family that would object to you, question you, meddle with your relationship, but my mom tells me that i have to embrace those kind of people. in turn, my partner naman will do the same with my family, which is so far from perfect, and also has glitches in many aspects.

5. the "it should only be the two of us" illusion is not possible.
now, my mom does not mean i should welcome meddlers and unsolicited advisors to penetrate my marriage. i somehow get her point; it's true tlaga that yung union ninyo ng partner mo really has peripheries, and those are the relatives. it should maintain a proper balance of dealing and loving the peripheries of each other's lives while working on our own marriage. i should be prepared daw to understand na my partner will still have to help his family, in many ways na nagtatapos sa "-lly", because i will need to do that with my own family too.

6. be open to my partner about my family.
now, this is more personal, and it directly relates to me. see, my family is not your conventional father-mother-children setup. it's pretty complicated that at one point sabi ko nga, rational and emotionally intelligent people lang ang makaka-appreciate sa akin (oo, bawal ang tanga at narrow-minded sa teritoryo ko, kahit gaano kita kamahal). i will admit i still have traces of insecurity about it and there are moments when it's an important criterion na yung partner ko should come from an equally dysfunctional family. during an ass-brain moment like this, ang reasoning ko is that, kahit unconventional ang family ko, we managed to rise above it at okay na tlaga kami ngayon than what you expect, relationship-wise, so kung mas magulo pinanggalingan ng partner ko, mas konti ang insecurity ko. ang labo ano? ang gagong logic. pero minsan, ganyan pa din ako. but hindi naman super unconventional ang family ko. it's just your case of having many partners and many children, pathetic relatives...for all you know, marami na ring ganito sa mundo that real deal families will feel so alienated already! hahaha!!!

7. never be ashamed of our family and where i came from.
now, this is corollary to number 6. kumbaga, my mom tells me never to sugarcoat things sa getting-to-know each other phase pa lang (parang regression ng relationship ang numbering ng tips na ito no?). pero hindi naman yung i will blab about it. parang matter of fact lang, eh kasi it's the truth naman. apart from the family set-up, never pretend about our financial situation. while we are not downright poor, we're not rich either. if i sense that my partner does not like it, or is kinda ashamed of it, i should drop him. lalo pa pag ang nakialam na eh yung parents/family. it's fundamentally normal to be surprised by it, lalo na if my partner comes from a conventional family, and i cannot blame them. my mom tells me to accept these initial negative reactions but never allow them to step on my person kasi i don't owe them anything. i had a personal experience with someone like that and while i don't hate that guy's parents anymore, i guess it made me stronger. atsaka, sa kanila na yung anak nila, may p and f defect naman sya eh, that ass (hahahaha!!!). mom said to pray for people who will accept me as i am and yung mga hindi judgmental. dapat din daw, bigyan ko ng chance yung parents/family to absorb and accept yung setup ko so in time, they will change their perception na rin. kaso, sa mga ganito, hirap ako kasi meron akong mentality na "kung ayaw mo sa akin, mas lalong ayoko sa 'yo! goodbye!"

8. choose a man who is God-fearing.
kailangan pa bang i-explain kung bakit???

9. "hindi baleng mahirap, basta masipag at hindi ma-pride."
constantly, i hear this from my elders, not just from my mom. syempre parang cliché na kasi yung kailangan guwapo at mayaman na lagi namang hindi nangyayari no? i strongly agree with this and when i meet people, i always try to see first kung ang isang lalaki ba ay may direksyon sa buhay. yun man lang bang alam nya ang plano nya in case this and that happens. at please, wag lang tamad. you know, it's been a running joke in the family that i am lazy, tipong wala kang pwedeng ipintas sa akin in terms of proper decorum, mapagbigay din ako, (for my parents) matalino daw, pero ako ay dakilang TAMAD. which is not 100% true! well, arguing on this assumption deserves a separate blog entry, but i work to make sure that food is put on the table, and i will find ways to help them more, hanggang kaya ko. iba yung concept of my katamaran that my mom is pertaining to. this could be based on the cultural belief that a man should provide for the family, so mom is very keen on making me understand na wala akong mararating sa isang taong tamad, na tipong, "live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself" ang drama sa buhay---yes, kahit mayaman at kahit pa prinsipe sya! bawal ang tamad sa pamilya namin. kahit gaano ka kaguwapo o kayaman, pag tamad ka at walang direksyon sa buhay, naku, umasa kang lagi kang topic ng usapan pag may handaan. ang sama! hahaha!!! pero hindi naman mataas ang expectations ng family ko. we don't have the right to be like that. someone, especially for a man, who tries to constantly give the best of what a simple life has to offer, commendable yun sa amin.

10. for the meantime (habang hindi ko pa nakikita yung future husband ko), prepare and improve myself so this future lucky guy will greatly deserve me.
o syempre, galing to sa mommy eh! pero in truth. my mom never made me feel na i'm flawless and the most special person on earth---bukod nga sa "kaya lang tamad" punchline, she's been vocal in saying na, "buti na lang anak medyo matalino ka kasi hindi ka gaanong kagandahan". hahahaha!!!

i just wish that some mother out there is giving her son tips that run along the lines of what i wrote. at sana mameet ko ang "son" na yun in my life's journey (",).