The Best Marriage Advice I've Received
It has often been said that it’s the little things that matter most in this life. The littlest things can get you through the most difficult of days, and the littlest problems, when accumulated and not nipped in the bud in its early stages, can germinate and lead to big, troublesome ones. We are constantly called to look after these little things, to cherish those that make us feel loved, to address and resolve those that hurt.
To be honest, in all my life I’ve never really given this much thought. I’ve pretty much lived my life the best way I saw fit - trying to walk right by the Lord and others, and singing as my passion leads me. It was only after I got married did it make sense to me, this careful consideration of the little things, and how it not only benefits my marriage but can also do wonders in the other aspects of my life as well - family, career, faith.
Marriage is fun, but it is never characterized as easy. I would say that my two years and six months with the husband went by in a happy daze but there are times when I do want to strangle him, lock him up in a barrel tied to a tree, and wait for wild animals to scare the heck out of him, haha! (There goes my errant, imagined scenarios, eep.) With every dirty laundry of my husband that I have had to pick up, with every occasional curt glance of his that I had to see, with every fault of his that he couldn’t help, I could’ve chosen to be mad, to pick a fight, to spoil our entire day or evening.
But I don’t. I choose not to.
And I believe it goes the same for him. There are, most likely, moments when he wants to sequester himself from me, but the greater calling of being husband and wife far outweighs those little, irksome things. Compared to loving and being loved, to the peace of being in his arms every night, to the promise of growing old with this funny man, why bother to make the little things big?
And so here goes the best marriage advice I have been given, the one that applies most to me at this particular time:
“Don’t make the small things big, nor the big things small.”
In Filipino, “Huwag palakihin ang maliit, at huwag paliitin ang malaki.”
My husband has never been the type to profess his love for me on social media. With every birthday, anniversary, or Valentine’s Day that comes, I know not to expect a cheesy post from him, nor is he the type to turn our room / balcony into a romantic movie set, he just not is. And while I do sometimes envy other women who are treated to such or are given video presentations of how great, lovely, and treasured they are, I know that for my husband and me, in our marriage, these things are not needed to assure each other of our continued love and commitment.
It matters more to me how the husband reaches for my hand as he sleeps, how we both need to be physically connected before we drift off to dreamland. It matters how inseparable we are wherever we go, like Siamese twins joined at the hip, like he is a bee that is always attracted to my scent. He is thoughtful in his own sweet, little ways, like one morning when he noticed that I woke up really early and he told me, “Tulog ka pa.” It matters when he chooses to be patient with me in my most disagreeable state, it matters that however busy he may be, he still finds time to pick me up or drop me off at the airport, traffic or puyatnotwithstanding.
And I would choose these over all the social media posts he could ever make.
He may not be the best at giving gifts and he may be stingy with affirming words, but I choose to give thanks for and magnify the sweet little things that he does for and to me.
My most treasured little thing of his was during one recent lunch with friends. For the first time in a long while, we were seated apart as the boys sat on one side and the girls on the other. When our orders arrived and we all started to dig in, Joey took me by surprise by bringing his food to me so I could taste it. For me, it wasn’t necessary; indeed, in the numerous lunches I have had with other couples, I’ve never seen a husband bring his food to his wife so she could share in how good it is - only Joey had. And that is why I am so thankful for this sweet, funny, and generous guy who I get to call my husband.
These sweet little things that I blow up and store in my heart, to remind me that there is much to be thankful for, much to feel loved about. <3
And as I usher in the new year, I know that I will be more mindful of the little things, and I know that my heart will be all the more fuller because of it.
Happy new year, everyone! Wishing you and your families much love, deep joy, and resounding peace.
*All photos in this post were taken from our Europe vacation last November. See #bossaeuropa on instagram if you’d like to see more. :)