This love month is a good month to not only celebrate our love to our partners, but to also analyze our relationship, the way we give and receive love, the way we show and say it, and the times when we mean it, (because every married people knows there would be times when you just don’t like your partner).
It’s not always butterflies, agreed. And you can’t expect your spouses to be in full-on romantic mode 24/7. I can’t even ask mine if it only for a whole day.
But it doesn’t really mean it’s not there. When I became a mother, I also realized that showing love takes more than kisses and laughter. It has to be a lot of little things that you put together to create that huge masterpiece, like a painting that needs all the colors, even your least favorite shades of grey or black.
When my son cries, I try to assess the situation first: is he hurt, hungry, sleepy? Is there something that he needs that I need to provide. Most of the time, he would cry out of just simply feeling sad or miserable. A loving mother in me wanted so bad to comfort him, tell him it’s okay to cry. But also, I wanted to discipline him, knowing that he needs to realize that there’s nothing wrong and that it’s not always alright to cry.
I avoid telling him to stop, but I explain the scenario to him, hoping he’d understand what I was saying. It’s not for me to have a quiet time, but for him to better himself, understanding the situation and reacting in a proper way.
Same thing goes with marriage and love. Most of the time, I tend to tell my partner to stop getting excited or angry or sad. He would also do the same. But I realized that a better way to approach our emotional turmoils is through asking more, understanding the reasons why we feels such ways.
I thought, I cannot just ask him to stop being mad, because I definitely would not want him to just order me to pause my anger if it were me. There must have been more behind our times of feeling peeved. Bad day at work? Horrible traffic? Whatever could have cause that negative emotion, we must realize that it could affect our vibes at home. Of course, no one could just flick the off switch to feeling mad or down, but it would be better if we would also understand why we feel such and is the reason good enough to drag the family down.
This emotional understanding became another way for me to be mature about our relationship. I used to bring in too much tantrums pre-marriage era, but I definitely can’t be that spoiled girlfriend anymore. Ok, maybe I engage on mini-tantrums but that’s just every now and then. Everyone deserves to have an off-day, let off some steam.
This month, I also reflected on the topic of romance. I can’t help it, I’m a die-hard romantic, and I have loved the ideas of huge gestures and surprises. If I were a guy, I’d definitely be every girls’ dream boyfriend on Valentines.
When my husband and I were in our 2nd Valentines, and he’s got nothing but a visit to the mall, we came up with a reasonable compromise to always celebrate the occasion even in the simplest form. I made him a list of all the kinds of dates that we should do. Then, we got married. And suddenly, Valentines and dates doesn’t seem as important as before.
One might think: “Well, there goes an unhappy woman married with an unromantic man. She’s bitter and doesn’t want to show it.”
Honestly, I envied my friends photos they uploaded last Feb. 14. I even cried, thinking, “Oh my God, my husband doesn’t have flowers or chocolates, and he has no intention of doing anything tonight.” Then, he started the car and asked me out on a date. We drove all the way to Nuvali, with him being patient, trying to survive the Valentines traffic going to the only romantic place for the locals in the south.
You might really believe the quote: Romance dies after marriage. For me, though, it just took a higher level of compromise and comprehension. When I got married, I realized romance isn’t just huge gestures of love, flowers, chocolates, dates and all that. We would spend a whole day fighting about something small, and then went to the room to actually talk about why we’re mad at each other. One time, we would go out and walk for hours in the mall, and we take turns entertaining our son – I would go to a cafe with our child while he looks freely for a shirt, and he would bring the little one to the toystore while I look for my make-up. He would try his best to clock out of the office or deal with clients as fast as he can so he could go home early. These things, believe it or not, brings butterflies to my stomach.
What can I say? I’m an easy woman to please.
Writing in braids,