Good Marriage: The Bedrock of Happy Parenting and Financial Journey

Good Marriage: The Bedrock of Happy Parenting and Financial Journey

Aug 14, 2013
The author and family celebrating 24th wedding anniversary

On Monday this week I celebrated two dozens of married life with my favorite person in the world. Yup, that long. I’ve been married half my life! Since it was a long weekend The Honey arranged a three-day vacation/celebration in the country’s favorite summer destination. It was the first time we brought the kids along. Usually, we would go out of town, check in a hotel or do something special with just the two of us.

It was a wonderful experience being with all my boys, all four of them (that’s 3 sons + 1 Honey), eating breakfast, lunch, dinner together for three consecutive days, swimming, parao-sailing, riding ATVs, watching movies at night and just being with each other. My heart is full, “busog,” as I watch my sons and realize how they have grown up to be fine young men who are enthusiastic about life. It’s as if it was just yesterday when they were still very young and would quarrel everyday about the most trivial things, when I would tutor them in the afternoon and sometimes end up losing my patience, be happy about honors and awards brought home, listen to their day’s school adventures narrated animatedly, commiserate with their misadventures they call “Fail!” and be their nurse when they were sick.

I look at The Honey and can’t complain about how he still looks boyish, no beer belly, hair still there and most importantly, how he remains physically active after all these years. But the one thing that I’m very thankful for was articulated by my youngest son when he kissed us goodnight on our anniversary day, “I like how you kept your relationship strong and how you are still best friends all these years!”

Yes, we are still best friends. We were really good friends before we became romantically involved and I am so thankful that we have kept that friendship and respect for each other. When I was younger I didn’t really understand my mom when she said, “Respect is the most important ingredient in marriage.” Isn’t it love? But she said, “You can still love your spouse but once you lose your respect, it would be hard to live together under one roof.” She was right but I also add FUN as another important ingredient. The Honey and I respect each other’s capabilities and beliefs but I guess since we started off as friends who enjoyed each other’s company, that too has been an important ingredient in our relationship.

We are still each other’s favorite companions and we still enjoy talking to each other. Our second son noted this when he was still a toddler during a long trip, “What? You’re still talking to each other? Before I fell asleep you were already talking and you’re not yet done?” We told him how important communication is for husband and wife, and for all family members for that matter. Guess what? He’s now with someone he loves to talk to for hours and hours.

“Our oldest son said, “I remember what Papa said when I asked him how he knew that you were the one he wanted to marry, he said, ‘I’m already happy as a person but I knew then that I would even be happier if I married your mom!’”

I am really thankful for this wonderful marriage we are blessed with. It has been the bedrock of my happy parenting. As I encountered the challenges of modern day motherhood, I always found refuge in my husband’s comforting words and company. He was ready to do his part of parenting no matter how busy he got. When I decided to leave my job, I took a plunge despite some warnings of being a “housewife lang” and not having your “own money.” I’ve never felt that. My husband never made me feel that his earnings are just his. And I guess this has enabled us to really work on our financial goals as a united couple.

I am not saying that raising wonderful children and financial freedom cannot be attained without a good marriage. It’s just that in my experience I’ve come to appreciate how our marriage has been the bedrock, the strong foundation upon which we were able to raise our children and attain our financial goals happily.

Decades ago before I said yes to the marriage proposal, I read a book that says something like this: In a good marriage a sorrow is cut into half and happiness is doubled. And this is possible if you find the one you can truly share your sorrows and joys with, the stuff that life is made of.

Pondering upon our marriage while listening to Andrea Bocelli is giving me the goose bumps that I’m tearing up with joy as I write this piece. It must be the same feeling I felt four years ago when we celebrated our 20th anniversary and since this month is Buwan Ng Wika I wish to share with you that poem which I wrote in Filipino. It was my wedding anniversary gift for my husband.

Dalawang Dekada Na!

Dalawang dekada na pala

Napansin mo ba?

Parang kailan lang

Nang tayo ay magpalitan

Ng matatamis nating “I Do”

Noong ika-labing dalawa ng Agosto

Taong isang libo siyam na raan walongpo’t siyam

Siyam na buwan ang lumipas

At heto na si Martin ang ating panganay

Batang masigla, listo at malikot

Tuwang-tuwa tayo

Daig pa ang nanalo sa lotto

Makalipas ang tatlong taon

Ito na ang panahon

Para sa pangalawang biyaya ng Panginoon

Enrique ay sumulpot

Isa pang masigla, listo at malikot

Makalipas ulit and tatlong taon

Ito na ulit ang panahon

Para sa pangatlong biyaya ng Panginoon

Tinawag natin siyang Anton

Siya rin ay masigla, listo at malikot

Tingnan mo nga naman

Mga nanggaling sa atin

Ngayo’y mas malalaki pa sa atin

Salamat sa Diyos at

Likot nila’y nabawasan

Kabaitan, katalinuhan

At kaguapuhan nama’y nadagdagan

Ako’y masayang masaya

‘Di lamang dahil sa kanila

Kundi dahil sa rin hanggang ngayon

Gustung-gusto pa rin kitang kasama

Kahit na nakalipas na ang dalawang dekada

Masaya pa rin tayong nag-uusap

Tungkol sa lahat ng bagay

Lalo na ang ating mga pangarap

Sabi nga nila masuerte daw tayo

Maraming biyaya at wala masyadong drama

Minsan tuloy ako ay natakot

Naisip ko, “Paano nga ba kung

Ang tadhana ay dadagok?”

Sa tulong ng dasal at pag-aaral

Takot ay nawala

Napalitan ng tiwala

Alam kong ano man ang mangyari

Basta tayo’y magkasama

Tuloy ang ligaya

Sana’y ipahintulot ng Diyos

Na umabot pa tayo

Ng 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 o ilan mang dekada

Na masaya pa ring magkasama!

Oo nga pala

Nasabi ko na ba

Na mahal na mahal pa rin kita?

– Rose Fres Fausto, Ika-12 ng Agosto 2009