That Contract Called Marriage

The past is only the future with the lights on.

“Baby Come On” by +44, written by Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker 

There will be a point in our lives where we look back to moments we tried so hard to forget. That point has finally arrived for me and right now I’m forcing myself to remember every detail of those moments.

I remember how we met and the circumstances that led us to meeting each other. I remember how I saw the red flags and warning signs but choose to ignore them. I’m in love or so I thought. I remember how the truth finally sink in because someone finally told me. I remember my reaction after being told the truth: I accepted my fate. I remember how I continue to defend him and make excuses for him even if my heart could take it no more. I remember losing sleep, feeling tired, burying myself at work because that was all I can hold on to. I remember how I finally snapped out of it: I packed my things and left with what I could carry. And he still had the audacity to threaten me.

Looking back, I realized how I toughened up. How I stopped being a people person. How I cleaned up my friends list and started touching base with people who knew me when I was just a harmless little girl. I started to re-connect with my college best friends and primary school classmates. I kept my inner circle small and professional network wide. I stopped keeping it all inside me and started sharing my inner struggles with someone who truly understood me.

Next week, I will start all over again. I’m going back my home country and the trip has some twisted irony in it. I’m going back to see the end of a marriage I’ve been fighting so hard to get nullified and bear witness to another marriage contract being entered to by a dear friend.

I have nothing against the institution of marriage. I’ve been guilty of making a mockery of that institution myself. Me and the other person who got me into it. And I’m sorry for that. I’ve come to realize how powerful the piece of paper called marriage contract and marriage certificate is. So here’s my piece for anyone who plans to get into that contract: Sign the contract if you can’t live without the other party. Sign the contract if, despite all his inadequacies you still want to sleep and wake up next to the other party. Sign the contract if you’re committed to it even if the other party isn’t and no matter what you will still fulfill the terms and conditions of that contract. Sign the contract if you don’t mind sharing whatever asset you acquire while being bound to the other party. Otherwise, get a lawyer to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement. Sign the contract if you don’t mind having to decide on everything with the consideration or consent of the other party. Sign the contract if you’re honestly capable of unconditional love. If you can’t do a third of those conditions, don’t sign. Don’t put yourself to misery. Don’t put the other party to misery.

A favorite song of mine has this line: “The past is only the future with the lights on.” Mark Hoppus is spot on! I’ve learned a really nice lesson the hard way. I can talk about it as casually as the weather but deep inside, I can still feel a tiny prick at my heart. I can’t say I’m no longer in the dark but at least I have fairy lights ahead of me now.

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What’s Good Enough?

Today is Valentine’s Day and I though I’d make this post a little something about the most awaited–and most dreaded day of the year.

These past few days have been marred with a few disagreements between me and Jason. Mostly because I think he plays too much Xbox while he thinks I dabble in too many things. But the most striking line during our exchange was said by him:

“No one is ever good enough for you.”

So what is indeed good enough for me?

Disclaimer: This is my personal list of what’s good enough. It might be different from what others believe in. Hey, it’s a free country. Feel free to write your own thoughts on the comment section.

A man is good enough for me if…

He is a responsible person.

Being responsible is a big deal for me. I have my parents to thank for that. Being an adult is difficult enough as it is but being an adult with family is even harder. When you have monthly bills to pay, being irresponsible will be a hard blow on every relationships. Even if you don’t have kids, you still have adult responsibilities to fulfill: taxes, bills, rent or mortgages. Being responsible is not only limited on the financial aspect of life. I want my man to be responsible enough to live a well balance lifestyle. I’m not too keen on being a widow.

He dreams big and gives his best shot to achieve them.

I always believe that people who dream big have 90% chances of living the life they want. The remaining 10% is the effort they put into achieving it. If you don’t dream big, what’s left to achieve?

He knows how to have fun.

You can be responsible and still have fun. I can’t be with someone who doesn’t know how to have fun. I would die…of boredom.

He’s great with kids.

I have 3 little boys. He has to get along with them 80% of the time so that’s playing, eating and playing again. 20% is left to parenting and that covers pep talks and sermons.

He’s good at time management.

I’m not even good at this myself so he has to be good in it. When I’m running behind on everything else, he has to help put me back on track.

He’s neat and always pleasant to be with.

Who doesn’t want to be with a well dressed and fresh smelling person?

He loves me for what I am, faults and all.

Selfish but this is the person we’ve all been looking for: Someone to love us back the way we want to be loved. I’m not saying that he cannot complain about my faults because he can. I would try to improve myself but I won’t be doing it for him, I would be doing it for myself. When we love, we cannot force the other person to change. When we love, it means we’ve accepted that person without any conditions or reservations. It’s tough but that’s the very definition of love as God has taught us: unconditional.

We’re ok now. Like any arguments, they always blow over. But I still would like to say if there really is no one good enough for me. Because there is. And he’s that man.

Papercutting 02 (1 of 1)

Happy Valentine’s Day Jason!

 

#5years

A lot of things can happen in five years. It may be just half a decade but for some, it can feel like another lifetime. In five years, one can get pregnant, get married and settle into a domesticated lifestyle. In five years, one can have a girlfriend, marry that girl and have child with her. All pretty much normal occurances in any person’s life. In five years, you and your ex can work for the same company. You had a bad break up so you never make any effort more than a polite smile when the need arises. It rarely does as you both make conscious effort of avoiding each other at all cost. You don’t want your colleagues to get caught up in awkward situations nor would you want to give your current partners any reason to get alarmed.
Now why would you think that? You’re married and you have kids. Marriage may not be a walk in the park but you already have someone.
Five years of routine then someone or something breaks it for you. You suddenly feel like you got married too soon and never took your time to know more about your partner. You get annoyed with little things. Then the little things are not so little anymore that you start to feel that five years is enough for you. It started to feel like a lifetime. The worse part, someone actually made you ask yourself your What If’s.
What if five years ago, you made a wrong decision? What if you made an effort to find out what went wrong? What if you tried harder?
After five years of circling around each other, you and your ex decided to finally catch up with each other. It’s not that you don’t keep tabs on each other’s life. It’s just that all information you have on each other are all secondhand accounts from common friends.
Then your “What If’s” finally have answers and you realize your ex has been asking the same questions all along.
You see, a lot of things can happen in half a decade. But our lives are not measured in chunks of time. You can go on living a life you don’t want or you can finally let go and start a life you actually want. People’s lives are measured in their quality of living–not the monetary and tangible kind of quality but the intangible quality of life: your value as a person, as a family member and as a member of your society.
It took me and Jason five years to come full circle. I don’t regret the five years I’ve spent married to another man because those were my “learning years”. A lot of things can happen in five years. It can change a person.