Learning To Love Each Other Again

A guest post.

Image: Bryan Apen

I used to be pro divorce bill five years ago because I wanted a divorce too. Annulment seemed hard because there seemed to be no grounds for our marriage to be annulled. We had marital problems like all married couples do. Five years ago, there was not a single day hubby and I did not fight. I had a feeling he did not love me anymore and I had no more love felt for him. I was always angry. It affected my work. I got irritable, always angry and easily burst out into beast mode with anyone.

I went out with friends and avoided spending time with family and would come home late to avoid confronting my husband. Each time he would leave home, I felt relief. This went on for five years. I did what many wives would do: kept quiet and stayed angry and built up a lot of resentment in my heart. It came to a point I told my parents I wanted to break up with my husband. I was tired of fighting and the shouting matches and the jealous fits of rage. I thought I was going crazy. My relationships with my family and friends and work greatly suffered. I was often angry.

I was depressed. I thought at that time that separation was the solution to our problems. There was a lot of mistrust and animosity between us. I could no longer take it. I told my parents I wanted an annulment… but they were not supportive.

In July 2016, I went on duty for 24 hours and didn’t return home. He left to go somewhere else and didn’t return home either. The kids suffered greatly. They missed their Papa. Their grades went down. So, I consulted a psychologist friend. But Mama had other things in mind. She referred me to a priest friend of hers. I didn’t want to talk to a priest. They would only say things that to we were unrealistic, like sticking out my marriage vows. I am no saint, I said to myself.

But instead of asking me about my marriage, Father focused more on me. He asked me how I was as a child. What were my frustrations? How do I deal with rejection? How do I ask for help? How do I communicate? What makes me happy? What makes me sad? What makes me angry and what makes me calm? By doing so, he was telling me that it was no fault of my husband that I am angry or that I no longer am happy with him. I could still be unhappy even if the marriage is over. It is all about taking things in perspective and having the right attitude when conflict arises, because conflict arises whether we like it or not. There is always tension, even among friends and loved ones. How we deal with it would change the outcome.

I started to focus more on what makes me happy, what would benefit the family and not just me. I avoided responding to my husband’s sarcasm. I lowered my voice and kept my temper. I avoided checking his cellphone and Facebook account. I maintained a happy and cheerful disposition. I avoided telling him negative stuff. I started being kind towards him and instead of resentment, I felt compassion.

I started focusing on the things I used to love. I went back to playing music, drawing and painting. I went back to working on my profession, finding time to take care of my kids and my husband. Slowly he started inviting me to join him on his business trips. He no longer raised his voice towards me. By changing my behavior and my attitude towards him, he too changed. I did not like to do household chores before, even when I was single. But I started enjoying cleaning the house, sweeping the front yard, washing the dishes without complaining that I was tired or exhausted from my job. I ranted less. I practiced gratitude more. He too responded in a more pleasant manner. He started to kiss me again each time he came home. The quarrels and the fights became less frequent. We were not hitting each other anymore. He started giving his salary to me and we started to work together as a team once again.

But all these I could not do it on my own. It took a lot of faith and a change of heart for this to happen. It took years for our marriage to be fixed. And we still face challenges every day. But we put God First in the center of our marriage and pray for each other.

God has created in me a clean heart which makes me love my husband all the more even during the worst moments and difficult moments of our married life. God is a great healer. We should all pray for all the married couples out there, no matter how happy they may all seem. Chances are they are all struggling too like me. All marriages can be fixed if one of the two partners have a close relationship with God. Because marriage without God in the center of it is an uphill climb.

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