Some of you have been married know what it is like to have those arguments that result in sleeping alone. After about three months we had our “break in” argument. The kind that makes me realize we really are married, and can’t just get away. I would never want to hurt her but years ago we had the first time we had to deal with a big conflict with each other.
Subscribe to Love Beyond The Sea, where you will find down to earth help for those marrying a Filipina, and honestly, any woman. See the description box for the link to the Word Press blog for LvBTS Twitter, Facebook, a relationship forum called the Community Corner, some videos by my wife, and some commentary from MrE who designed the wonderful site. Today, let’s talk about that first row, that initial argument you have that you know is coming, but dread that day.
You can say “The bloom is off the rose” and it is going to happen eventually. At some point you are going to have a big-time disagreement with your Filipina fiancé or wife, and you may not even be totally sure what it is about. In our case, if I raise my voice in frustration or utter a few bad words, even if they are on the mild side, she will be very upset with me. After we were married, I told my wife she could talk to me about things I did that upset her because I needed to know so that I could work on those things.
By this time in our relationship, I knew I screwed up, and learned how it affected her. This was my first jam to work out of, by asking her to forgive me, but also by resolving to become the man she wants me to be, and that God wants me to be. I believe God gave her to me partly to help me to become more Christ-like, and vice versa.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, I just felt like I should balance things out a bit with the “other side” of any relationship. Yes, I believe marrying a Filipina is a great choice if you find one who is committed to a godly marriage. She may be sweet, hardworking, polite, professional, respectful, loving and a great companion, but she is still a woman very far from home and getting used to being a wife to a man she likely hasn’t spent a lot of time with, who might be a good deal older than she is. She still has her sin weaknesses that may be exposed only after you are together, which is really no surprise.
Even though I believe I have made improvements, I bet my wife still feels like I have a ways to go. Maybe I am not as aware how I act as I should be. I can tell you that she is watching me when I talk to a customer service representative, who I often get mad at (not necessarily them but it can be so difficult to get a simple thing resolved). She has heard me blow up. The worst is if the rep is a Filipina! She feels the same way if I am getting upset with an automated voice system!
It seems like she has a high bar for me, and after I think about it, that’s what I want her to have. When she calls me by my name instead of a term of endearment, I am in trouble, and have some explaining to do. I am NOT talking about nagging here, I am talking about wanting me to behave in a better way. I have no problem with that.
As the head of the relationship, it is up to me to take the lead in exercising self-control and learning how to relate to my wife in harmony. I am to set the tone for our marriage in how conflict is handled. If I want her to respond the right way, then I am to take the lead in that.
Eventually, this relationship with a Filipina, one that you might think is your last chance on earth, like any other relationship is going to have some conflict. You just have to expect that. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. I am on record as telling my viewers there will be struggles with a Filipina, even with a fine one. This reality does not mean it should be avoided or not sought after because a man needs a woman, with few exceptions.
One day while teaching her to drive, she had a bad driving day, and I lectured her a bit with a louder voice than she wanted to hear. I figured she would understand my point better but I know that it doesn’t matter with her, she doesn’t like me raising my voice, ever. If she feels I am rude to someone else she will tell me that it offends her. So far that’s about it, those two things, being rude and raising my voice. It matters to her, she doesn’t like me temporarily when I do that, in any circumstance. I should learn to do better. I used to wonder if she was kidding with me but nope, it bothers her.
It seems that all of our clashes are about relatively unimportant things and involve each of us wanting our own way or involving our pride in some way. Now that I am learning “which buttons not to push” that upset her, and by noting her reactions and how it affects both of us, I am trying to become more patient and not try to prove I am right about something when she thinks she is right.
We rebound by apologizing and asking for forgiveness. I pray out loud with her for God’s help to love her better, to be more Christ-like. She isn’t mad at me for long and has never used outright tampo. The Bible promises “trouble in the flesh” in any marriage, and now we have come to that place and are learning how to be a good husband and wife. It is inevitable we have some spats, but I am fine with that since it will help me mature, which is another way my wife is a godly helper to me. I love her very much and want to be the man she needs me to be.
We survived the first salvo, that’s what matters. Each time we disagree about something is an opportunity to learn the things about each other that we didn’t have the chance to do being almost 10,000 miles apart. With an extremely long-distance relationship like this, it is even more important to be sure you are marrying a Christian. I believed that my wife had the “raw material” to be a good wife and helper after communicating with her. All she needed was a man to propose and come over to meet her family and marry her.
It would be easy to assume that being married to a good Filipina never has any problems or issues that come up, since they have a reputation of making good wives. The problems are the same kind as any other marriage. It isn’t the distance, it isn’t the lack of being with each other in person, it isn’t even the age difference or cultural difference. It all boils down to wanting the best for her, making her your top priority, apologizing and asking forgiveness, being unselfish and considerate. I am quite sure about that.
I have learned a lot about how to live in harmony with my Love Beyond The Sea!