By Mon Paulino
As a normal couple we encountered many problems especially during the first ten years of our married life. Different problems need different solutions. I need to eke a living to financially sustain my growing family.
Evelyn, my wife didn’t know how to cook at that time so I did all the cooking. One time while I was taking a bath I heard a loud explosion. I hurriedly went out to check what happened. She boiled a pot of water and it had dried up which resulted to an explosion that catapulted the pot skyward. It was a good thing nobody was hurt. This is just one of many funny incidents we encountered that made our union exciting. We complemented each other perfectly. I was on the talkative side and she was the silent type.
That was at the start, but now it’s the other way around.
One of the most challenging segment of our married life was the last quarter of the year 1988. My wife was pregnant then with Melvin and I was assigned as a Store Supervisor in Baclaran. Our manager was Charlie a certified womanizer.
Charlie’s wife was a very feisty lady; the staff would all come to know when they had a fight the night before because he would be wearing a long sleeve shirt the following day to cover the fingernail scratches he had received from her.
He would always ask me to do things for him. It came to some point that I had to wait for him in a bar with a woman he was wooing while he was trying to escape from his wife’s close guard (ala Jaworski).
He would leave home only clad in undershirt to avoid suspicion. He would already prepare a formal wear waiting for pick up at our branch’s guardhouse. Got the picture?
I almost always arrived home late at night reeking with alcohol that led her to suspect me of having an affair with another woman. Our fights became so frequent that made me think of doing it to justify her suspicion. She became the woman I never knew she would become.
We can’t stop.
The feelings to strong.
We’ve got the will to hang on.
We struggle and fight to survive.
Keepin’ the love alive.
Christmas Party, December 31, 1988
I was in high spirit that morning because I have made a promise to my wife that I would go home early for us to be able to attend the midnight mass before eating our Media Noche. I informed my boss of my promise to my wife and to my two children, he gladly gave his consent.
But as Fate would have it, while in the middle of our Christmas Party, my boss was caught by his wife sitting on a lap of a saleslady in a compromising situation inside the office. We all knew what would happen later in their home.
My boss would be fighting a losing battle but before he rushed home he instructed me to wait for him before going home myself as I had promised my wife. I had no option but to wait for him because our party was being held inside our store.
I have lost count how many bottles of beer I was able to consume while waiting for the arrival of my boss.
I felt helpless and quite frustrated I could not contact my wife to explain my side and I knew she wouldn’t believe me. I am a man who always keep my promises but now I felt a different man under Charlie’s leadership. So many promises I made were broken for covering up for him.
Two big slaps on the face awakened me that brought me back to my senses. Seeing the face of my wife made me think I was home. I was trying to recall how I managed to come home. Before I could utter a word she disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.
Seeing all the shoes around me made me realized I have slept in our store and my wife came for a visit and had delivered those stinging, hot slaps on my face.
After a few minutes more Charlie arrived telling me how sorry he was and that I could go home and spend my day off.
I arrived home finding all my stuff inside two suitcases. Our door was closed, she won’t let me in and she wanted a separation. I was totally devastated because she won’t listen to my explanations.
God may have all His angels keeping a tight watch over me because this problem was resolved in a week’s time. This is a classic example of a problem that goes out of hand not on your own making, but by circumstances beyond your control.
We must not let our emotions overrule our mind in making decisions. Give your partner the chance to speak up and have an open mind while listening.
Then February 28, 1989 I was promoted and was assigned to handle our Taytay branch. Another problem happened as I wrote here: When my Faith was tested
In all those challenging struggles of our married life, I never asked for help from my in-laws and neither did she.
I had worked so hard for the financial needs of my family that you can name any business with earning potential and I had joined them.
I even became a manager of Tupperware – a direct selling business in a record time of 1 1/2 months after joining them. The picture at right shows my promotion to Baby Manager; Year 1999!?
It was also at this stage that I believed I had earned the respect of my in-laws. They are now encouraging my wife to work so that she could help me in raising our family.
Of course I objected because I promised myself that I would do everything for her – in keeping our love alive; for fighting for our love till death do us part as we have said in our marriage vows.
She’s now a good cook who could whip up Chinese, Ilokano and Tagalog dishes. Her specialty is mami and I can boast that it tastes like you’re eating at a Chowking Restaurant.
Yes there were temptations in my line of work but my strong belief in the law of karma always reminded me to stay on the right path. “You reap what you sow”. I don’t want any member of my family suffering because of my past sins.
Presently, we just enjoy each other’s company and always do the things we love to do – such as cooking.
Being open with each other helps a lot too.
We never fight over money.
We try to solve every problem that comes our way in a more diplomatic way.
There were usual fights like ordinary couples but I never inflicted physical harm even in the heat of my rage.
I remember one time, In my anger I punched our kitchen door made of double plywood. I hit it so hard – ala Manny Pacquiao – that it broke – and so did my arm. I never repeated that again. Sakit ata nun!.? (that had been an excruciating pain)
We are now planning to build another room in the ground floor of our home in preparation for the time that we could not climb to our second floor room?
Old age is fast approaching!
We never got rich but we are happy and contented with what we have. We have 5 grown up kids and three of them are now professionals, 2 more are both in High School.
The financial pressure of having a family somewhat diminished.
As I see it now, after 25 years of blissful marriage, we are still the same like when we were young.
Only the number of our age changed but feelings are still the same. Our constant communication over the phone or through text is a practice we never planned/wanted- but it became a habit.
Last July 10, 2009 we celebrated our 25th Silver Wedding Anniversary in Singapore. My daughter Mae gifted us a trip not to Jerusalem, but to Singapore.
A four- night- 3 day- visit to the Lion City -Singapore that started from July 10 – 14, 2009.
This has made this wedding anniversary special.
So friends I appreciate all your greetings, prayers and support but this time I prefer to accept cash. Hahaha!
Please don’t forget to sing “One Day in Your Life” for me and my wife!
Mon as fondly called by his online buddies is a down-to-earth, passionate and indefatigable blogger. He is the vibrant apogee behind the blog – “Fatherlyours”.
He says: “I am Ramon, 49 years old writing for FatherlYours.com to share my experiences, frustrations, happiness, success as a Father to my 5 healthy and Lovely creatures called Sons and Daughters.”
I admire Mon for his dedication and loyalty to his family and friends. He is the responsible man that every family wish they could have.This story depicts family life and how it should be.Thanks Mon for this extremely significant contribution to the Inspirational Book. Family should always take the topmost priority in our lives.