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  • 5 #MayForever Couples Share How They Survived the 7-Year Itch

    These 'kilig' love stories make you believe that marriage is not a romance killer (but it is hard work).
    by Carol Amistad .
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • The author and her husband Bryan now have two kids.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author

    My husband and I have been together for almost eight years, two years and three months as boyfriend and girlfriend, and five years and eight months as husband and wife to be exact.

    Our relationship has not always been about cupcakes and rainbows.  In those eight years, we have seen the best and worst version of one another. I know him so well as the back of my hand, just as he knew what makes me happy and irritated the most.

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    We are also different. I’m used to planning in advance, while he’s into last-minute things. He’s the quiet one, while I’m the more outspoken. He likes technology and math, while those were my most hated subjects in school. We disagree and argue about the littlest of things. We laugh about the silliest stuff. We’d kiss, hug and make love today then we’d fight like cats and dogs the next day.

    Amid all the disagreements, arguments, and challenges we faced and are still encountering, the idea of breaking up didn’t cross our minds. I guess that’s what marriage is: it's admitting that you are wrong no matter how hard you prove that you are right; it means you are willing to give up your pride to do everything to make it work. If there is a formula to a lasting marriage, it is about being there for one another no matter what.

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    Here are five kilig love stories who were able to surpass the so-called 7-year itch

    There shouldn't be a winner or a loser in a marriage

    Chris and Ree Dunton were in a relationship for a one month and became domestic partners for eight years. They've been married for almost six years.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    When Chris first saw Ree and got introduced by a common friend, he knew he wanted to get to know her more. They worked for the same call center in Makati but were assigned to different sites. Chris’ friend told him she was already taken, but he didn't know Ree's relationship was already on the rocks.

    As friends, Chris and Ree would go out for coffee dates. One night, they had drinks after office. “She said two bottles lang. Two bottles turned to an entire case. Nagkaaminan. That night, I got promoted to team manager. She’s my lucky charm.”

    For Ree, it was enough that Chris was there, and they were happy. They got married when they migrated to the United States. “I’m a very practical woman plus the fact that I have witnessed a lot of marriages fail around me. I was cynical. So, ako, okay na ako kung ano yung meron kami. He’s faithful, he’s a good provider, and most of all, he’s perfect as a father. We’re happy and content.”

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    Both agreed that communication is key to a longlasting relationship. Ree said they never go to bed angry at each other. “We had ugly fights, but we never ended our day without making sure we settle our arguments. We say I love you ALL the time. When we text when we call each other before we sleep. And we allow each other na pagtawanan ang isa’t isa.”

    Chris with Ree and their three kids. “You marry the girl, you marry the family. Also, compromise. There’s no need for one person to lose and the other to win. Both should win.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    You need to compromise to make a marriage work

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    Ryan and Lalaine Sari were in a relationship for 10 years. They've been married for more than 12 years now.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author

    Ryan and Laine met in June 1995 at Adamson University. “He would call me every day, at 5 o’clock in the morning just to wake me up. Then one day, it just hit us that we were in love with each other. We got married when we realized that we want to be together for the rest of our lives, that we cannot live without each other,” Laine shared.

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    Things were going great, but something happened that made Laine lose her trust in the man she has been in love with for so many years. “We have reconciled, but it has never been the same. We’re still trying, though. We know we can surpass any trial as long as we believe in each other. We pray together. There should also be open communication and patience with one another.”

    “If you really want to make your marriage work, you must compromise. Help each other in household chores. Go on dates like it’s always your first. Never stop giving surprises.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    Marriage is a vow of commitment you make every day

    Jack and Joy Diocson were in a relationship for a year before they became husband and wife. Their marriage is now on its 17th year.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author

    Jack and Joy met at a birthday party of a common friend. He introduced himself and asked for her number. Joy gave it right away with no hesitations. “I think I was hooked because of his personality and sense of humor.”

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    When Joy got pregnant at 18, she and Jack decided to get married, a decision Joy said she would never regret. Getting married that age though made them forgot to focus on their relationship as husband and wife. 

    “We just wanted to get by our day by day expenses and raise our children. We didn’t have date nights, no more movie time, no eat outs, no cuddle times. We forgot how to spice things up that it came to a point we treated each other, so differently even our children noticed it.”

    The couple started addressing their issues with a sit-down. “We talked about how to make our relationship better, and we also committed to change our ways in terms focusing on our relationship as husband and wife.”

    Joy advises, “Never disregard any marital problem, whether you personally think it’s big or small. Acceptance that there is a problem and continuously communicating on how to resolve any conflict.”

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    Joy: “It brings me so much joy serving and loving my family without expecting anything back.”
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    Marriage needs a constant renewal of trust

    Manny and Mae Biason were in a relationship for 11 years before getting married six years ago.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    Manny and Mae became childhood sweethearts, thanks to slam book and the Flames game (remember?!). They were still going steady when they went to college.

    Mae recalled, “We would always miss each other even if we just spent the whole day together. We dreamed and longed to get married. We envisioned our future — how we would take care of our kids, what and how we would work in achieving our dreams, and how we would grow old together.”

    Manny entrusted Mae with their finances when they were planning for their wedding. He knew she was a shopaholic, but he wanted to show Mae he trusted her to be responsible for managing their funds. Mae said, “He believes that as a wife, I will be doing a lot of budget planning in the future.”

    Unfortunately, things got out of hand, and Mae spent their money on stuff that was not for their wedding. “Manny got really disappointed. He told me he wasn’t mad because of the money that was spent, but because I disregarded my commitment to being accountable. Good thing this happened, though, because I learned not just how to manage finances but to also keep my and our integrity to the commitments we make.”

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    No relationship is perfect. But apart from their faith, Manny and Mae try to keep an open and honest communication where they can talk about anything under the sun — no secrets. After what happened before their wedding, the couple has learned how to take care of the trust that was given to them by one another.

    The couple advises, “Make love regularly. This is never absent in all preaches of the priests and pastors of the weddings that we attend.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    Marriage means you have someone who always has your back

    Danny and Keetch Ancheta were in a relationship for six years and got married 12 years ago.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author

    Danny and Keetch met in August 2000 during a college event that Danny was hosting. Keetch was in the audience and was impressed by his hosting skills. After the show, she went on a cigarette break while waiting for a friend. Danny spotted her and asked for a stick of cigarette. They talked for a few minutes, but it took a while for Danny to get her phone number. When he finally did, he took her out on a date at Dimsum and Dumpling.

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    In 2004, the couple started talking about their future. They were 26 and 27 years old at that time, and their careers were stable. Danny's marriage proposal was grounded and charming. “We decided we wanted to be life partners. We both felt we were ready and that we wanted it. So I proposed in the car after we bought groceries at Shopwise Libis.”

    In 2009, however, the couple lost almost everything when Typhoon Ondoy hit the country. They lived in Provident Village, Marikina where hundreds of lives were taken, and thousands of homes were devastated. “To lose almost everything was a big blow financially. But we just had faith, trusted each other, and helped each other to recover,” says Danny.

    “It personally devastated me,” Keetch recalls. “I never felt so displaced and out of control in my entire life. We both put our trust in the Lord, and by his grace, he brought us closer as a couple and as parents.”

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    “We both agreed that divorce and separation will not be part of our lives.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
    “Months before we got married, we both decided on a lot of things. We both committed this to the Lord and to each other that we will be together no matter what. We also vowed that we will not allow work to separate us physically. Living in the same house, postcode, and time zone has helped keep communications open.”
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