Most definitely you are wondering how can a person be a place at the same time. Or maybe thought that I made a grammatical error there putting the word “Rome” instead of “Roman.” Or mistakenly put the article “a” instead of “in.”
Well, I guess this is part of the perks of being married to a man whose surname is spelled similarly to that of the capital of Italy. The only difference is that the surname is usually pronounced as /roh-me/ or ro:me.
This article though is not about my new surname per se but more of being a Mrs. Rome – the real deal. And of course, to commemorate our first monthsary as a married couple. Just a glimpse on how we fared as a newlywed couple since a lot are asking how it is so far with us. 🙂
Two different personalities living in one roof. Yes, basically any married couple will agree to this. We completely have opposite personalities and backgrounds. And funny it is that all the married couple I know who have been married for quite some time now also possess the same opposite personalities. My Mom and Dad’s relationship is the closest example I have.
At night my husband easily gets cold, I prefer it colder. So we don’t share a blankie. Though when it gets really cold and I am sure I am about to freeze to death, there goes my “human fireplace.” 😉
I am a night owl and wakes up late, he is an early riser and sleeps early. Now, this is really amusing. Because you can imagine me in bed at 9pm, which is the start of my “creative hour,” so there I am lying beside him tinkering with none other than the most handy gadget of everyone, the cellphone – writing a blog post, editing a photo on IG, reading articles and new recipes to try, listing down my things-to-do, and a whole lot of other things. Yes, that is how a phone is essential to me lately. He doesn’t like it sleeping alone so that’s where I come in to keep him company.
But here’s the bad part. I don’t like it waking up early because well, I slept late. 😀 But he wakes up early because he sleeps early. He is all “clownish” and kiddie-like in the early hours of the morning, hyperactive, energetic and all and there’s me grumpy and grunting every time he would disturb my sleep. But I had to cook him breakfast and well, I love him being the happy him, so I just make up all the lost sleep I had when he leaves for work.
One very obvious opposite though that we had a hard time dealing with, as it really is far too obvious to dismiss, is my being obsessive compulsive and him being laid back. I am always on the go doing anything that I can while he loves to take such great time in doing everything. I loved everything spic and span while he loves to just put things wherever he wishes to. And the long list goes on and on. 😀 I’ll be sharing more about how we dealt with this in the latter part of this article.
Another is managing our quirkiness like he removes the skin of a fried eggplant whereas I ate everything; I drink half a cup of any vinegar sauce/dip while he watches me with mouth agape. And we let it stayed that way. I mean, it doesn’t harm any of us when we do it. But I really wonder what is the difference of removing the skin of a fried eggplant when he eats the skin of an eggplant in a soup? Probably the same way he is wondering what joy/health benefits can I derive from drinking vinegar sauce. The best thing to do really is to let those quirky stuff about one another stay as they are. They are what makes us unique. 😉
We have opposite interests too that seem to complement like he plays the drums, I play the guitar. He wants to learn how to play the guitar, I want to learn how to play the drums, we want each other to teach one another – we don’t have the time. So yup, we kind of complement each other there having no time at all. 😀
We do have our common interests too like we were so engrossed watching the previous episodes of The Walking Dead at night that we suddenly realized it’s been more than a week since we had our cuddling and romance time. Yes, forsaking romance over a TV show. We just laughed at the idea for we both know cuddling and romance time will always be there. Well, as it is written in the bible, everything has its own perfect time. 🙂
Those were some of our personality differences and commonalities. Here comes the adjustment period or what we commonly know as “compromises” or meeting halfway. And just a heads up, it really is not as easy and as simple as it sounds. This is where the true test of character and faith in God enters in.
We grew up in different family backgrounds, system of values and upbringing which includes personal relationships with our parents and our siblings. Mine was sort of the traditional, reserved and independent kind while they are more of the intimate, really close and dependent with one another kind. This became a big struggle for us both especially on his part as the time has come he has to let go of those attachments and I know it will never be easy. I already made this letting go of attachments when I came here in Manila to study in college and left my parents in Bicol after the first 16 years of my life growing up with them. It was also a tough decision to make but I had to do it, my parents had to do it. It was painful, it wasn’t easy. There will be tears, there will be heartaches and my husband had to deal with it just now.
It took me a while to understand that, like how my siblings were patient with me when I dealt with my homesickness. I, too, should offer the same kind of sympathy, understanding and patience to him. Sometimes conflicts would arise because of this – but God’s grace always intervene enabling us both to consider what really matters at the moment. He helped both me and my husband understand what needs to be understood, what needs to be accepted and what needs to go. Slowly, the changes happened bit by bit and will continue to happen. It is all a question of who should we honor in this relationship – you, me, them or God?
Adjusting to one’s personality is difficult. That is why I would always explain to my husband that it is true what was shared in the Marriage Preparation seminar in church that it is best for newlywed couples to have their own “kingdom” because if it is already difficult for two different personalities to live in one roof, imagine if you are staying with your families, that will be multiple personalities in one roof – it will call for a major clash and chaos.
Sometimes there will come a time wherein adjustments, changes, and compromises do not come as you wish them to be. You have to prepare yourself for deviations, unfulfilled tasks or obligations and unmet expectations – a lot of those will happen which will fuel heated arguments, sleepless nights, crying spells and sadness. BUT take note that they should only happen for a certain duration of time. My brother and Mom told me that both you and your spouse have the choice to make the marriage work at ALL costs and it is only through your joint efforts that you can change the course of your marriage from something bad to something good. Well, it always has been a rocky start for any newlyweds. That is why my husband and I resorted to one best weapon to protect our marriage – PRAYERS.
We have both decided to make it part of our daily tasks to pray during the night before sleeping and in the morning when we wake up. I get to pray at night since he is already tired from work, and he gets to pray in the morning because I am still sleepyhead at that time. 😉
Indeed, I can say that prayers are really so powerful that it never ever, ever failed to lift us up each and every single day. We would notice that when we skip even just one night or morning without a prayer, things don’t go as well as they should be. The attacks of the enemy are greater. So we made a promise that even if it is so tempting to just lie down and not pray or just skip praying and hurry going to work, CHOOSE TO PRAY.
And there really is something about praying that moves the Spirit within us. It always leaves you amazed. For example when we pray, we don’t usually talk what we would pray about, we just leave all of the praying to the person in charge. This way, we let the Spirit lead the prayer. And sometimes when it is my husband praying, I just want to cry at the middle of it. Because he would pray EXACTLY about the things that my heart wanted to pray for. They were not things about the marriage per se so I wonder how could he possibly know that that was what I wanted to pray too. So yes, after the prayer, there I was with a huge smile ready to greet him when he looks up. And when you say “Thank You,” you know that you are not only thanking the person in front of you who prayed for you both, but you are also saying your gratitude to the Spirit within him who made him utter that prayer.
And I have also proven the fact why men were appointed by God to be spiritual leaders. My husband prays very concise prayers while I, being the multitasker woman, with neurons simultaneously working with one another, I forget what I am praying in the middle of my prayer. UGH.
Ugh indeed. 😀 It is a good thing my husband has been listening attentively to what I am praying, so when I asked him what was I praying about with all the giggling and the laughing, he would tell me where I stopped – with all the serious look on his face. 😀
This makes me stop giggling, say my apologies and resume praying. I admit that it is very embarrassing. But how can I help it – me being the amnesia girl always and a lot of things going on in my mind always. Indeed, it is a matter of male and female brains – the male brain was created to focus and be good at one task while the female brain was made to be good with a lot of tasks but not so good in each of them. Men know how to decompartmentalize, while with us, women, well it is all chaos. 😉
Here’s an example. I asked him to chop the ingredients we need for a meal I am cooking. And when I saw it, he got to finish it half the time I usually spend to finish it and he does it with the perfect cuts. I, on the other hand, I get to cook in one stove, prepare the table, wash the rice but with some mistakes here and there.
This is where he becomes my superhero/knight-in-shining-armor Adonis. He does some of the tasks that I can no longer accommodate with the heaps that I am currently doing or about to do. Like after cooking, he does the washing of the dishes. Or if I wash the laundry, he irons the clothes. Like there is one time that though I have listed all the ingredients I needed for a meal, I still missed one important ingredient. So there he went out the door buying that one ingredient. Good thing there is a nearby market from where we live. 😀
This wasn’t all too easy for him, the chores I mean. Since they grew up wherein everything was done for them even until now – from cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. But that was how they were raised so I needed to respect that and yet as my partner, I would need him to help me out with the chores too. I grew up the opposite wherein I learned things quite early in my teens and doing them now is just a piece of cake for me. So the adjustment there was me, handling a bit of an extra work load, as there will now be two persons living in the house instead of only me while he gets to slowly learn how to do things here at home. It required both of us to really exert all the patience, understanding and endurance that we could muster.
And yet God reminded us to do everything with love not as if you are doing it for men but for God. 🙂
I am just grateful though that even if the schedule now for me is pretty hectic balancing everything here at home from budgeting to chores, to reading articles, doing research for my thesis, plan meals, etc. my cooking did not suffer – this is what I dread the most. 😀 I admit I am no very good cook although I do know how to cook. But after getting married, I now was given this responsibility to serve good and delicious meals to my husband and my future family. And if I’d be too tired already, I know I wouldn’t be able to serve the best meals. But because everything should be done with love, the output contains love. 😉
It is enough compliment to see your husband munching and gobbling his food away, texting you after breakfast saying his gratitude for a hearty, delicious breakfast and for taking good care of him and this last one, which I really laughed out loud when he told me this:
“Honey, please don’t cook food that good so we won’t get fat as I don’t go to the gym anymore.”
Now that really cracked me up. I was having hysterics when he told me that and even more when he said that he really was serious. I mean, how do I cook bad food?! 😀 I did not learn how to cook just so it would taste bad. LOL But oh well, that is my sweet husband back there – yup, my sweet, completely opposite partner in life. 🙂
So the question I asked was, do we have to be really completely the same to get along?
This is where God comes in. If God wanted us to be the same, He would have created us with the same personalities. But we all know that that was not part of God’s universal design. No single creature in this world is the same, not even identical twins. I guess we can settle in the fact that God intended it to be that way because He created each and every one of us unique and beautiful in its own way.
A marriage demands patience, understanding, endurance and most of all forgiveness. A marriage is not about yourself anymore, but more about the other person you married. It is all about giving and never about getting. The most important thing is respect to one another and the differences you have and the willingness to adjust to a routine, agreement or compromise that is comfortable to both of you. I just want to share what we have learned in the Marriage Preparation seminar for it really comes handy when the need arises.
“3. Being united to your spouse requires Christ-like attitudes:
- When a habit irritates, choose MERCY.
- When a hindrance frustrates, choose GRACE.
- When a hurt grieves, choose FORGIVENESS.”
There will be heated arguments, disagreements, failures and mistakes because a marriage is about two imperfect and broken people being joined by God’s Grace. God’s Grace and protection thru prayers will lead the marriage. For God is love and love is God. Without God in the marriage, it is impossible to give our spouses the love that they deserve.
God intends to teach a married couple only two things: for the husband, leadership and for the wife, submission. 🙂
As a wife, I have a lot of questions, fears, doubts and worries. And yet God would always assure me to never worry about tomorrow but just listen intently to what God instructs you to do for today, for the moment.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:34
You will never learn the nitty gritty details on how it is to build and protect your own family without the wisdom shared by the families you came from. I love my family and my husband’s family and I wish to honor them as one of God’s appointed blessings in ushering us in our married life. 🙂