True Love

A few days ago, a friend of mine was a little down. He was having some problems with his long distance relationship. His girlfriend have suddenly changed into a gold digger and it is getting rather obvious. I actually told him that it was a blessing that all these behaviors are surfacing now before he “sign” his life away. I even encouraged him to pull the plug and dump her.

In all seriousness, I cannot tolerate such nonsense. I told him that love goes both ways and he should always find someone that will complement him. A wife or husband should always bring out the best in his or her spouse. Together they should be a very strong team to face life’s challenges together.

Since I was very young, I have somehow developed a passion for beautiful love stories. I am always captivated by how loving people are and I like seeing good people falling in love.

Probably because of growing up in an environment that does not allow a boy to cry or show weakness, hugs and kisses usually and probably stopped at age 4 (I don’t remember when exactly). Perhaps for that reason, I grew up yearning for affection.

Then, puberty hits and it was cool to date. I was generous in sharing my heart and often times, things didn’t quite work out. And it hit me at one point of my dating days what I should look for in a serious relationship – I was 17.

The question was so clear – “WHO WILL I TRUST MY LIFE WITH?”

You see, sometimes a relationship can hang on a very fine thread. In today’s materialistic world, it is all about “WHAT CAN I GAIN?” and then there is the ego side of things – I wouldn’t want a cheapskate for a husband.

Generally speaking, it is even harder for those from a “face preservation” culture. Many things can bring shame to the family and anything shameful equates to “losing” one’s face so to speak. People tend to compare each other’s fortune and misfortune. A little less in dowry is seen as being shortchanged by the bridegroom. There are many small talks among fellow villagers and relatives that eventually pressure the bride and her family to “buck up”.

“You will only marry off your daughter once, so make sure you get as much return on investment for the years raising her” is not uncommon among the conservative community. I really do not see marriage as symbiosis in nature because if it is, one will suck the other dry and leave him/her eventually.

Don’t get me wrong and I must emphasize that I am very lucky because I was not born into an environment like the one I stated above. My parents may not show their affection physically through hugs and kisses but they are quite liberal in other areas. They were so proud of me on my wedding day.

My wife?

The most amazing person on earth and I can say with conviction, I CAN TRUST HER WITH MY LIFE.

We have been through a lot together and each challenge in our life together, made us even stronger. She is the best team mate I can ever ask for.

I met her when I was 14…

Right after asking myself “WHO WILL I TRUST MY LIFE WITH?” at 17, I decided to ask her to be my love…

I married her at 25…

We couldn’t afford many things back then.

There were no “professional” photographers. Our friends were helping us take regular photos. Some of them ended up being professional photographers themselves – talking about discovering one’s passion by accident. We couldn’t afford fancy invitation cards either so we designed and printed them ourselves. We couldn’t afford fancy wedding reception. We had a beautiful wedding mass in church and a simple luncheon.

I must say that our best moments were made through journeying together as husband and wife. We did not have that wedding hangover with debt haunting us. We did not have shortcuts – it was sheer hard work building our lives together as one unit.

Uncertainties are still aplenty but we trust that “God will provide” and we will survive whatever challenges that lies ahead of us – TOGETHER.

I can only count my blessings and thank God for a decade of blissful marriage.

I guess that to me is True Love?



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