Marriage: Surrending Ourselves Forever

Sometimes I feel I’ve been married forever and other times it seems as only a moment has passed since the “I do’s” were pronounced.

First and far most, I need to point out that I’m utterly in love with my husband, maybe so much more than I was all those years ago. The truth is that I don’t know even why? It’s suppose to be the other way around isn’t it?

Mom's wedding 1964 - Copy s

Probably it is, because I haven’t seen much of a sparkle in any of the eyes of a lot of couples I know.  You know the “infatuated” kind of sparkle, the one that shouts I’ll die if you don’t have me kind of thing.  Do you remember way back then (maybe 10, 15, 20 or more years ago) how you felt?

Marriage brings out the best and worst of all of us. We want our husbands to know what and how we want things, and the most dangerous of them all, we expect them to know how we feel.  We create expectations that in many occasions are just to damn hard to live up to and then we have to lay down in the bed we’ve made up for ourselves.

Probably because at the beginning of our married lives we choose to see what we want and whisk away the things we don’t like.  As those same things catch up with us we begin witnessing the flaws we didn’t want to work with making the initial sparkle fade away to an unwanted background of no return.

That said,  it’s not hard to believe that staying married is hard work now a days.  As our relationships have become more and more disposable, it’s easier to just let go and walk away.  It’s harder to work on our relationships.  We walk into this blissful state without really knowing what we’re getting into.  A philosophy professor I had once (which by the way was a Catholic priest) said that when we get married we surrender ourselves forever.  We no longer belong to ourselves, but entirely to another person.  We lose our freedom to the other person.  Is this true?

Is this the reason the Center for Disease Control and Prevention published on its site that 6.8 per 1,000 total population marry and more than half of that same population divorce (3.6 per total population).

Do we become aware of this and just do an about-face and run!

The interesting part of my professor’s view was that marriage was a two person deal.  In other words, all our loss was his or her gain and vice versa.  Our significant other hold our freedom, but we at the same time hold theirs.

This could work!

I have his happiness within my hands (a break it or make it kind of thing), but he also has mine.  We are two halves drifted apart and rejoined in a perfect circle where the line between us is invisible.  Both become one, united in love, friendship, care, compassion, tenderness and passion.

Is it to hard to stay in love?

With the passing of time we forget all about the things that drew us together.  Many fall in lust and not in love.  Nevertheless, many have found love out of lust because they’ve been lucky enough to build their relationship from there on.

Relationships are all about finding our way around them.  There is no book, or rules, or anything in fact that can teach us how to make it work.   Funny to say from a person that buys a book almost for everything I need to cope with. 

If you look back and can still see in that forsaken background the sparkle that united both of you together, reach out and fall in love all over again.

It’s more than worth it mis queridos amigos y amigas.

El amor siempre lo es………………..

Memoirs of Carlos's Liver Transplant

Silent Witnesses: How they helped me along the way!

Those who accompanied us were standing quietly inside our church,  just looking forward as the minister asked us to stand together facing our guests as he presented us as a newly formed family. We were joined into the Quintana-Martinez family that day.  For better or for worse we had become a unit, a whole number.

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It was 1988, the year we married.  As  we walked down the aisle as husband and  wife  for the very first time in my life, it wasn’t about me.    The brief moment where we  stood there together,  facing everyone passed, and to be honest it was scary as hell to have that responsibility on my shoulders.

Little  I knew that five years along the road of marriage we would need to stand together facing the challenges Carlos’ illness would bring into our marriage.

“Life is about adapting and moving on.”

We stood  together for some time, but somewhere between his stomach surgery and his constant gastrointestinal bleeding I began to stand alone from time to time. It would have been so easy to just walk away.

It would have been so easy just to say,  “Hey, you know what,  I can’t really help, I have three children to take care of and just can’t deal with this, let his parents take care of it.”.

Nevertheless,  the silent stares of those standing as we were introduced as new family played in my head.   Taking a giant leap of faith I embraced whatever circumstances I had and  moved  on.

1984 Boqueron 2003 (8 years after the transplant)
1984 Boqueron
2003 (8 years after the transplant)

It didn’t matter if longing, sorrow, doubt, or problems were always holding hands with happiness, joy, faith and resolve. Life waiting for a transplant to happen does that to you, bad and good cohabit together like good  old pals.

After all, It was fine if I was the only one standing because he no longer could stand by me!  Life is about adapting and moving on, never dwelling in the past, instead looking with hope towards the future.

Time moved on like it usually does, and hits like “Scream” (Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson), “Always” (Bon Jovi), Waterfalls (TLC), “Have You Ever Loved a Women” (Bryan Adams), and so many others were playing on our radios;  movies like Batman Forever and others were big box office hits during 1995.  The year he finally got his transplant.

We had made it through a two-year wait and finally the moment we had been waiting for arrived.

The year where we stood once again together facing family and friends as we re-owned what being the Quintana-Martinez family meant,  as those same silent observers smiled approvingly of what we had become. A family that would stand by each other no matter WHAT!

A couple that made it through a very difficult time standing tall above it all as a unit.


What does honesty have to do with anything?

Recently I read a post on FB that talked about honesty and how it wasn’t related at all with marriage or any other sort of relationship.

It basically said that “….I don’t believe in marriage, but I do believe in honesty…”.

It has kept me ticking ever since, and it’s been a good two or more weeks since I read it.  To top it all it had a good number of likes.

Is that our reality?

Isn’t honesty an essential element of our marriages?

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If your answer is NO, don’t worry it’s not the end of the world!  All you need to do is build new bridges of communication with your significant other and include honesty.  Doing the honest thing is the hardest thing of it all.

You don’t have to necessarily have an affair to become the despicable dishonest one, it can be as simple as avoiding hard topics just because you’re not honest enough to discuss the issues.

Having an honest to God confrontation doesn’t hurt any relationship it helps mend fences if you ask me.

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Because when everything is said and in the open we will face our issues and deal with them as earnestly as we can.  That’s when we are faced with the wonderful opportunities of reconstructing a relationship that has gone wrong.

Well, if you want to.

For some not dealing with their issues is just an excuse for broken relationships, then you would need to ask yourself,  who is the dishonest one here?

Marriage is basically a life sentence with someone of our choosing.  Since it’s a life venture honesty is crucial for its success.  Even if being honest brings a bit of hurt to one of us.  Marriage is the first stone in building a family.  When the couple suffers, the family that was built because of it also suffers.

A movie that portrays this cause and effect relationship would be It’s Complicated because even though their children seemed to be fine with their parent’s divorce the sparkle of hope that is born when they witness their parents new relationship is heart breaking.

Children don’t need to be a casualty of any broken relationship.

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Next time you want to fiddle with the concept of honesty in our relationships, please let’s give ourselves a hard look from inside out and maybe we will be able to see that if we were honest with our significant others all the time our relationships would be healthy even if we did part along the way.

Honesty is an important part  of all our relationships, let’s just not forget it.


Are children the casualties of broken relationships?

I’ve heard many times over the years that children are the innocent victims of divorce.

This can be avoided if both parents take time to talk to their children and put their animosity aside for just a moment.  It’s important to remember that children have nothing to do with the divorce.  You know how basically everything is written out For Dummies, well divorce also has a slot there.

For Dummies presents a series of simple suggestions that you could of come up with by yourself, but maybe are to overwhelmed to think about.

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As adults we are teaching our children how to deal and face problems in life.  In many occasions children act with more maturity than their parents.

Well, you can be thinking, “What makes you an expert on divorce, you are married?”.

Yes, this is true but years dealing with children coming from broken relationships maybe has rubbed some experience on me.  Keep in mind that children don’t understand many of the problems their parents may have.

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We automatically think about small children, but even young adults facing their parents divorce can act up in a way that shows their disapproval.  For instance, some time ago I was discussing with my 22-year-old son a recent breakup in our family and he told me,

“If you and Dad get divorced I would move out by myself.  I wouldn’t live with you or with him.”  In other words, he would not want to deal with anything related to our imaginary divorce.

Small children and adolescents don’t have this choice.   So, it’s very important that parents are open and cooperative with one another.

If you did indeed begin your divorce with the wrong foot it’s never to late to make amends.  You can repair the damage you’ve done talking honestly and openly about everything that’s happening.

Coming myself from a dysfunctional family I would have preferred my parents would have gotten a divorce and not stayed married throughout the years because my brother and myself became a casualty of a broken relationship that stayed together.  Which is by far worse than filing for a divorce!

If you are considering a divorce, be very careful with how and what you do because children don’t have to be a broken relationship’s casualty.


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Finding the Perfect Recipe to Stay Married

Today as we shopped for our groceries, my husband asked me a simple question as we filled our shopping cart.

“Why do we still get along so well after all these years?”

“I really don’t know.”.  Was my answer, and to tell you the honest truth I don’t.

After almost 30 years together, this is something that still dazzles me.  How we are able to get along and share most of the things in our lives without bickering or getting into futile discussions that led nowhere.

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Many of our friends or family have asked us our recipe.  But, we really don’t have any to share because there is no specific way we do things.  The only thing I do know is that we would never hurt each other (at least not on purpose).

We’ve had our fair share of troubles, but they have been external things.  What I mean by external are things that have happened to us that we have no control over whatsoever.

We just get along, never ever say hurtful things to one another, never use derogatory names for each other, never be cruel, or harassing, or vengeful.  He’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and I might say that the feeling is vice versa.

The other day as I visited a friend her husband came from work, the way they said hello to each other lacked warmth.  Hey, they pet their dog with more tenderness than they showed each other during that brief moment.  Each time me or my husband leave we embrace in a good-bye hug and kiss, then we do the same thing when we get home from where ever we were.

My kids usually say,  “Get over yourselves!!!!”.

Yet at the end, we’re two ordinary people who live like everybody else.  There is absolutely nothing special about us, except the fact that we love each other yesterday, today and hopefully tomorrow.

My husband has carried a picture of our wedding day in his wallet ever since we married.
My husband has carried a picture of our wedding day in his wallet ever since we married.

Probably that’s our recipe.  What’s yours?