People say that marriage changes you, and they aren’t talking about an age gap marriage to someone from another country. I married my Filipina wife in May of 2015 so we have been married long enough to have gone through the usual ups and downs and are committed for the long run. Please subscribe to Love Beyond The Sea for content relating to a foreigner and Filipina relationship with the goal of helping it to be a rewarding one. I am going to list some changes I have made, or maybe it is better said changes that have been made to me, by virtue of marrying a Filipina that caught my eye on March 17 of 2015.
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I figured that marrying a Filipina would be a good thing because I believe marriage is a good thing. Having a companion and lover is a wonderful circumstance to be in, just on its own, but I have discovered there is more to marriage than not being lonely and sexually frustrated, and that is it can build up and mature a person. I would like to think that when God created the first man and woman and gave the woman to the man to be his wife, that it was for more than his happiness and companionship and population of the world, that it was to change or reshape or reform each person.
Later in this video I will explain how marrying a Filipina changes me differently than marrying someone from America. First, I will detail some changes. Your comments are welcome and if you would like, feel free to comment on a way a Filipina has changed you in a good way, if you are dating or are married to one.
One change I wanted when I got married was to have someone to have fun with, and I want to be with my Filipina more than anyone else, she is my best friend. That was a big change. Having physical intimacy was another need and I am more relaxed and less uptight having a partner for this, another good change. All the shared experiences we have had are small changes for the better. Doing things with friends is good, but doing the same things with my wife seem more special.
I needed changing in certain ways and marriage might be the best way to reveal what needs to be changed so I can be a better person. Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it, and marriage will test us and reveal shortcomings we have, and for that we actually should be thankful. If we are open to this kind of change in marriage, we can embrace it as necessary for personal growth and that is where I notice the most powerful changes since I married my little woman from Davao City Philippines.
More relaxed-I am much more relaxed or less intense to put it differently. If we are getting along, I feel cheerful and talkative, but if there is some conflict it gets me down but we can still work on that situation. When I was single for so long it didn’t seem like that would ever change. The disagreements and conflict are simply just going to be there and we need to keep them from escalating into something more serious.
More satisfied-This is different than relaxed in the sense I was referring to a physical relaxation, being calmer, not distressed or depressed. By satisfied I mean to say I feel like something important has been accomplished. There is a sense of relief. This ring I have on my hand reminds me to be satisfied, the woman that slipped this on my finger has changed my life. The big goal of getting married has been replaced with other goals.
Future goals-Before I got married, I had some idea of what I might do at retirement, which I didn’t intend to do until I was 69 because I wanted to work for 50 years. I was single and thought working helped keep my mind off of being alone, so might as well work as long as I can. Since getting married, I am seriously considering retiring seven years earlier at 62, so we can retire in the Philippines. I just think my wife would be happier there. God may have other plans, but we are looking at that.
Purpose-I previously had a big goal of getting married, that was a goal I put a lot of effort into despite the lack of results for a long time. Once that goal was accomplished, I didn’t feel like there was a large space or gap that needed to be filled, and there was no post victory let down either. In sports, you know what it’s like for your favorite team to scratch, claw and climb to the top after putting out great effort to win a championship. Then, after that, there is a natural decline it seems in intensity and the will to repeat it seems strained, the motivation that drove the team to win gets put to the test because they accomplished the ultimate goal, but then what?
After the euphoria of getting married wore off, I developed deep feelings for my Amazing Aiza, something I was not anticipating. I am not sure that I gave much thought to my purpose after marriage, because so much energy was put into getting married and we got married very quickly. Striving to find a wife was a goal. Since that got accomplished, something more important came into view, and that is purpose. So, it could be said that my new goal is to find and execute that purpose for the future and here are several of those.
My wife’s well-being-This is a broad area as it encompasses physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. I have spent much of my life learning about physical well-being especially as it applies to my own medical needs, but now I get to use that experience to help my wife to be healthy. She wasn’t used to going to the doctor in the Philippines and sometimes I have to sternly tell her that she needs to take advantage of the healthcare we have here in America.
I helped her find a female doctor and remind her when it is time for her annual checkup and encourage her to make an appointment for something that needs to be checked. If she needed to take medication, I would make sure she knew her options and what the side effects were, even how they worked, because I care about my baby. It can be frustrating to me because I know that the best time to get something checked out is right away in case it turns out to be serious.
I help her mentally and emotionally by wanting to know how her day was and to listen when she is having trouble with something or someone. I tell her I am her biggest fan. I tell her she is more important to me than I am. I tell her that her welfare is my biggest concern. I try to apologize when I have hurt her and forgive her when she has hurt me. I help her spiritually by taking her to church and now and then talking about life and how it relates to the Bible.
My wife’s happiness-An aspect of her well-being is her happiness. I am not referring to material things since they don’t bring happiness, but generally her being able to look forward to each day with as little worry and concern as possible. I want her to know that she can visit the Philippines when she needs to because I know how happy that makes her. I want to be good to her family and take an interest in them because it makes her happy. I try to support her whenever possible.
If she wants to travel, I will make her destination a bigger priority than going somewhere that I might want to go. This didn’t happen overnight and it isn’t necessarily easy. We are both paying for a house we built in her hometown to stay when we visit and Lord willing, if we can retire there. This I consent to because it makes her happy and more importantly, is better for her than staying here with me until I die, which had been our plan.
These decisions and sacrifices I make are for her good. I tell my wife that I need to do what is best for her and for us. I have to plan for the future that same way. If this sounds to you like I am ignoring my own needs, there are times I have. I am supplanting them for hers and ours. I am reprioritizing my plans for the future, which is moving fast like a runaway freight train. Sometimes my wife will ask me “Hon, are you happy?” I think she knows the answer to that question because she can see it in the things I say and feel it in the way I hold her. Does it seem paradoxical that someone can emphasize someone else’s happiness and well-being above their own and be happy? Maybe so, but it is true.
The Bible says to give and your will receive more back than what you gave. That sounds like a contradiction, you give away, but you end up with more. That is a reason I don’t want to discourage my wife from helping someone or helping her family, because I want her to be blessed and she will be blessed in her giving.
If I haven’t lost you by now, I feel compelled to include another concept that helps energize and support my new purpose to do whatever is best for my Filipina wife, and that is esteeming others as better than ourselves, which is a biblical principle. It is condescending in a good way, being more concerned about the welfare of others than we are about ourselves and no one exemplified that better than Jesus Christ when he rescued people from their sin debt by enduring hell for them…so they can be with him in a far better place, for all eternity. In my small way, I want to pursue the best for my wife, and I care less and less as time goes by, about what matters to me. Amazingly, I feel more fulfilled and look forward to life.
This is a good time to interject what affect marrying a Filipina in particular has had and what changes have happened.
New Financial priority-My wife can’t help she is from a country that is not as materially well off as here in America. She was working and supporting her family in the Philippines when I married her. That means I may have removed their main wage earner and I owe it to them to be sure I or we replace what is being taken away. That’s only fair. When marrying a Filipina, you might as well expect you will have to be helping her family back home, which you would not anticipate if you were an American marrying an American.
That will alter your financial plans for the future. Are you willing to do that? I would love to utilize my wife’s earnings to bolster our future here in the United States but that is not realistic and doesn’t account for her need as a Filipina to help her family by sending money back that she earns. That is a change I had to accept.
International travel-When you marry someone from so far away, it is only natural to believe she is going to want to see them from time to time, and hopefully you are able to do that, either by your own financial means or by her own employment. If you don’t go with her this will mean spending time alone, likely several weeks or more. If you do go with her, you might not take well to the heat of the Philippines or the lengthy travel itinerary. I have visited twice with my wife since we got married. I think it shows respect to her family when her foreign husband visits with their daughter.
Acceptance of strong family ties-If the man isn’t used to this, then I can see it being a big adjustment. In my case, here we have my mother who lives with us as the only relative in the city. Her sister and my cousin have moved to a nearby smaller town. That’s it for all intents and purposes. Not anything like my wife’s situation. She has many family members she wants to communicate with on social media. I need to communicate with them too and I want to.
Acceptance of social media-A Filipina likely has quite a few friends too, that she will want and need to stay in touch with on social media. This will also take time away from you being together that might not be the case with someone from the same country and the same age. Unless she spends a ridiculous amount of time on social media, I would suggest letting her decide how much she needs but don’t be afraid to let her know you value time with her too. I just accept this as a necessary element to marrying a Filipina and another way of honoring my wife.
Acceptance of what comes with a younger wife-We know the obvious benefits of her beauty and energy but having a younger wife could mean that she may want to use that energy to work, as she will want to send a sizable amount back to the Philippines for her family. You really can’t disallow it because that is her prime (not only) reason for marrying someone from overseas. Once that can be accepted, things go smoother. Because she will want to work, if you are older then you will retire sooner if you haven’t already, which means she won’t be as available as if she was older. An older western wife wouldn’t likely feel the need to spend as much time on social media as a Filipina would, so that is a change you likely weren’t expecting.
If she hasn’t had a baby, having one with you will in all probability be very important to her. I wasn’t expecting to be a father and I might not end up being one, but my wife wants a baby and we have tried to make that happen.
Her interests might be different than yours, you may have to compromise on what your entertainment will be. These are some of the ways I can see where marrying a Filipina would differ than a woman from your home country, and therefore a change in forecast for the relationship. That isn’t a bad thing, but will require the foreign husband to be more flexible with his future marriage to a Filipina. Here are other ways marrying a Filipina has changed me. We are getting closer to the one I would rank as the most significant.
Helping my wife to grow (My wife’s potential)-I am 58 years old. How much time do I have left? All things being equal it is a lot less than my Filipina wife. I can decide that I should spend the rest of my life squeezing everything I can out of it and doing what makes just me happy, OR I can put my blood, sweat and tears into helping my wife learn and develop skills and experiences. Is that a bad thing? Am I shortchanging myself? What if focusing on my wife’s future greatly expanded the capacity of my satisfaction? I’ll take that exchange.
I want to build her confidence, encourage her to develop skills and make friends. I know my wife can be a leader in her work department, I can see it in other ways that I know are transferrable into her employment. I observe this when I see her with her family in the Philippines, I notice it when I see her interact with some people at work. I know her priorities. I tell her that she has so much potential.
I want her to be able to have confidence. I want her to develop her skills and her ability to be a leader at work with her attitude and work ethic and people skills, so she can take all that to the Philippines someday and go from there. She is shy and from another country. She needs my support. I want to encourage her dreams. That excites me. That gives me purpose.
My focus (My wife’s future)-Another way marrying my Filipina has changed me as we advance to the finale, is, as I have just described, my focus is off of myself to a high degree, and on my wife. Since marrying her my priorities are God, her, us, me. It has taken some time since that day in May of 2015 to get a clearer focus.
Becoming less self-centered-None of these things I have listed can happen without the # 1 change that has occurred in my life since marrying my Filipina, which is becoming less self-centered. That is not easy to accomplish, because it is in competition with what you get used to when you are single, and that is having the opportunity to blaze your own path, to decide what things you want to prioritize. I had my interests back then, and a single guy can wind up with a regimented lifestyle where he tends to look after himself first, and really, I don’t blame him. And since I didn’t marry until I was 53, I am sure I was set in my ways.
I have made some concessions to my wife I would not have been able to make right when we got married. We talked about us staying here when I retired and my wife going to the Philippines after my death, only to have me decide that it would be best for my wife if she spent those years in the Philippines instead, so I would need to go with her. On the day we married I would have said “absolutely not” to the idea of retiring in the Philippines. I would have said the same thing to building a house there. I would not sign off on a work shift that lessens the amount of time we can be together. After weighing out the pros and cons and praying about it, I felt she could pursue this.
Those are the biggies, but my general philosophy has evolved into favoring what is best for my Filipina. I don’t make these decisions lightly, they are difficult. I try to see it this way, that what is good for my wife will be good for me, and for us. These changes are so profound for me I wonder if the friends I had when I was single would even recognize me!
A lot has changed, for the better, being with my Love Beyond The Sea.