It seems that a lot of people were shocked and/or scandalized with my last post, because of my Goal #5. Hahaha! Sorry if it’s TMI. My friends actually told me it was so uncharacteristic of me. And that’s true. It’s not that I’m pa-demure or anything—it’s just that I’ve never been comfortable talking about sex. Back at one of my early jobs, one of my colleagues pointed out that when the topic shifted to sex, I would casually slide back into my cubicle and tune out. I wasn’t aware I was doing it, to be honest.
And then all of a sudden I’d drop a bomb like Goal #5. But in my defense to those who were scandalised, I’m already 33 years old, been married since 2008, and been a mother for 6 years. So yes, I can talk about consummating my marriage!
Anyway, because of that Item #5, my best friends insisted we see each other so they could interview me further, hehehe. On Tuesday, they picked me up from my office to have dinner before watching Die Beautiful. We had dinner at King Bee Chinese Restaurant.
Over dinner, our topic shifted to stories of broken marriages. And the numerous “lonely ever afters” made me realize why I haven’t been a great wife to Randy. Bad wife if you must. No, I’ve never had any affairs. No, hindi ako nagwawaldas ng pera. But for the past years we’ve been married, I’ve also never been submissive to him.
Perhaps for my millennial readers, you’re thinking, “You go, girl!!! Girl power! Women empowerment, blah blah blah.”
I was like that, too. Never mind that God blatantly commanded that the husband must be the head of the family. Never mind that Randy is older and more experienced than me. Never mind that he’s a self-made and responsible man.
For as far as I can remember, my goal has always been to be better than Randy. So I was always first to point out his mistakes. I haven’t also been very generous in giving him compliments even when I’m brimming with pride for him. It’s not that I didn’t love him—it’s just that I believed that if he thinks that I’m smart and I’m good for the business, then he’ll never ever let me go.
See, I was raised by a very strong, career-oriented mother. Growing up, my brother and I were never smothered in hugs. “I love you’s” from Motherhood were a rare commodity. We never go home the smell of freshly-baked cookies wafting from the kitchen (I’m not complaining—Mom has always been responsible, dependable and inherently good). But despite Dad’s way with women and Mom’s lack of affection, Dad never left Mom.
Conversely, I have a relative who has been the perfect wife. Mom even criticized her once because, “Pati ba naman toothpaste, ikaw pa ang naglalagay sa toothbrush niya!” She dedicated her life into being the perfect wife and mother. She put her dreams on hold for her family. Perhaps her domesticity made her boring or perhaps her husband was really just an ass, because her husband left her for someone else.
I guess that was my turning point—it taught me that career-driven women can have everything: fame, fortune…and their husbands do not leave them! Or if the husband dares to leave, who cares?!? They are independent! Whereas the domesticated wife who relies on her husband’s income and whose highlight of the day is the gossip she gathered from her kumare is nganga ‘pag iniwan.
That scared me. I would worry when I realize I’m spending too much time doing housework. I resented not looking formidable. I always gloated whenever I accomplish something business-related that Randy wasn’t able to. I would grumble everytime he would ask me to bring him coffee, because I felt insulted. Intimacy was my least priority, because sex is something that even an uneducated prostitute can do well. My brilliant mind should focus on more important matters that small minds couldn’t handle, dahlin’!
I didn’t want to make an effort. Because if I did and Randy still leaves me, that means I’m difficult to love, and I would feel like the greatest loser. But if I didn’t make an effort and Randy leaves me, at least my pride will be salvaged. Pretty much like my excuse when I was still a student—proud akong pumasa kahit hindi nag-aral, hindi tulad ng iba na aral nang aral pero bagsak pa rin lagi.
Yes, I am the awful wife of an awesome husband.
But some time last year, I unconsciously observed the interaction of a husband-and-wife whose marriage is decades strong. They kept on bickering and criticizing each other. They never held hands and never looked at each other lovingly. They are still very much together, yet they preferred the company of other people.
It dawned on me that that was where Randy and I were headed. It made me sad, and I suddenly craved a truly loving relationship ala Allie and Noah in The Notebook, or Carl (Mr. Fredricksen) and Ellie in Up.
At first, I thought it will only happen if he changes, improves. So I focused on trying to correct his imperfections. That just made things worse.
After big fights, I reluctantly read two books that have been criticized by empowered, modern women: Secrets to Fascinating Womanhood and The Power of a Praying Wife. Honestly, it was so difficult to me to embrace what these books were saying—that my prayer should be “Change me, o Lord” instead of “Change him, o Lord.” But that became my prayer.
Have I forgotten my theory that I will regret dedicating my life to my husband? No, I still haven’t. But I decided that I’m willing to take the risk of losing the chance at stardom (hahaha!) than pushing my husband away.
Little by little, I wasn’t so smug anymore. Little by little, I acknowledged my mistakes. Little by little, I no longer resented that my husband is above me. Little by little, naipagtitimpla ko na siya ng kape. 🙂 Little by little, I’m becoming his number 1 fan. Little by little, he is becoming sweeter and has been giving me more random hugs. All by God’s grace.
And little by little, we will consummate our marriage more frequently. Hahaha!
Have a great weekend!