Relationship Advice

Don"t Keep Score in Marriage to a Filipina

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There are some interesting dynamics in a foreigner and Filipina relationship, especially in marriage. You often but not always, have an older man seeking a younger woman. Regardless, they are from different cultures with different life experiences. It is likely their financial situations are vastly different and she could be moving thousands of miles away to be with him. His family, possibly even her family, could be against it. This can lead to the problem I want to talk about today.

Please subscribe to Love Beyond The Sea so I can help with the transition from being with a woman from your own country, to being with a woman from the Philippines. It would be great if you would leave a comment and don’t forget to get notifications for upcoming videos. Let’s talk about not keeping score.

Of course, a relationship isn’t a game, a competition, so no one is keeping score, at least they shouldn’t. Keeping score means making a mental note of the good things one has done for the other, and making another mental note of how many points the other person has and comparing the two. This makes for a mental scoreboard. When this happens, one of the two people comes out on the short end of the stick; they lose.

What results from that is they both lose. I am not even referring to remembering what the other person has does to hurt us, and considering when they have fully made up for it. This is about thinking one is a winner of sorts because they contribute more than does the other.

The reason this is prominent in a foreigner and Filipina relationship is that the man could make the mistake of thinking that because he has more money than the Filipina does, then he wins. Or that he comes from a wealthier country, so he wins that comparison. He might also make the mistake of reasoning that he after all, is the one initiating a petition for her to move to his country and paying for all the expenses, therefore, he racks up a lot of points. The problem I have with this is that the Filipina can never win if this is done.

What can happen if the westerner keeps score is he will treat her like she owes him “points” because of how he is helping her have a better life. I am not disputing he is giving her a better life, he should, the thing to watch out for is having an attitude of superiority i.e. being the winner.

I feel this happens quite a bit when the foreigner strings a Filipina along without intent to marry her. He feels she should be honored a foreign man is gracing her life with his appearance. In other words, she owes him, he has already done enough for her. Of course, no one is going to come straight out and say this, but I think this kind of thinking exists in some situations. I’m not sure I would even consider that a relationship. I suggest this kind of mindset instead:

Luke 17:10 helps with this-“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'"

I am supposed to love my wife, whoever she is, wherever she is from, I am to give up my life for her. I wish I could do that perfectly. Even if I were able to, my attitude should be as if to say “No big deal, I was only doing what I was supposed to do.” To a very high degree, I believe my focus should be on how hard am I working to be the very best husband I can to this woman I consider a gift from God. I confess and repent when I fail, and when I succeed, it’s no big deal, I am expected to do that. That’s an attitude that does not keep score.

Philippians 2:3-“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” Sure, that’s a blow to the ego, but that’s what needs to happen. Attitude is everything, it drives behavior which affects results. Many act this way, presumably because they are from a first world country and she isn’t.

She needs him, I am not disputing that. If he gets too carried away, he will believe that she owes him for that. I hope you can see how this can be real temptation when an older foreigner is matched up with a younger Filipina.

Let’s make this personal. When I was looking to marry a woman from the Philippines, I knew two things. One was that I really needed a wife, and another was that I wanted someone who didn’t have much, who could not help me financially. I knew how things were in the Philippines, and that was fine with me. I could help someone, I could give her a better life, I considered that my duty and one that I would never be able to do as well as I would like to.

I also knew that what this little woman could give me was of immense value. I mean come on, I was 53, she was 26 and a lovely Filipina. She is smarter than I am. She is stronger than I am in some ways. She is a complement or completion to me, not a competitor. This is the way I need to see it. I always feel gratitude for her and I tell her often and try to show her that I mean it. I feel like I can never give her enough love.

She has helped give me a storybook end of my life to look forward to. I have heard many comments from men who feel like this about their Filipina wife. That is because they appreciate them and know how lucky they are, how blessed they are with the Filipina in their life.

This is easier to do when there is no conflict in the relationship, but that’s always right around the corner in some fashion, that’s just the nature of human relationships, and the most hurtful one to us is the one we cherish the most and who we are the closest to-our wife.

When some kind of turmoil arises, that is a very tempting opportunity to point to the scoreboard as it were, and say that the “game” isn’t fair, that the scales are not balanced, someone has some ground to make up, but that is competition, keeping score, and both will lose.

When things aren’t going the way we want, that is especially the time the foreigner should consider the things she brings to the relationship that attracted him to her to begin with. I have screwed up so many times in about seven years of marriage, to last the rest of it. I need to borrow some points if we are keeping score! One of our sponsors told me this, what he learned early on in his own marriage. That was to focus on changing yourself and let God change your wife.

If someone is not a Christian, that piece of advice will have little impact, but for me, I knew it to be true. I can’t change things, I can mess them up, and I believe God wants to work on those things, and he feels the same way about my wife. He doesn’t need me to point out her flaws. God knows the real score anyway.

I chose this topic because I think it happens and I wanted to raise a perspective that I think can’t lose, it always wins.

At the end of the day, I feel like a winner with my love beyond the sea!

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