I’m not a fan of telenovela but due to a bite of curiosity, I started following some video clips of this popular TV show “Halik”. Recently, it has caught the attention of many people, has been the talk of the town and got viral in social media.
If you don’t have any idea about it, the teleserye talks about a complicated story of betrayal, dishonesty and infidelity. I believe there’s more to it and I was interested to dig more. I would just like to view it on a different angle while I was looking for some lessons to learn from it.
In this story, Lino is a hardworking guy. He is family-oriented who doesn’t want to be separated from his family in spite of getting married. On the other hand, Jade is a typical Pinay wife who wants to have a secured life, an own house.
Understanding how the plot goes, I saw some marital issues that need to be addressed at an earlier stage. There were also some red flags that could have been fixed earlier. What could have been done that might not end-up this way? Were there things that they have missed as a young couple?
Although, I don’t want to downplay cheating, we have to also know why they happen and what couples should do to avoid similar situation. Lets pretend to go back few months ago when the TV show has just started. When there were two loving couples trying to work things-out. Now, let me tell you what I’ve found-out and perhaps share some practical advise as a financial consultant.
1. Be Financially prepared.
I believe Lino and Jade started the right way, just like any other normal young couples. Their arguments were just normal and negligible. Most of the reasons were about money matters. Obviously, Lino is part of a Sandwich Generation, where he is providing for his aging mother and also his sibling. Add in a wife and it’s no wonder it often seems that his income just aren’t enough for their expenses.
There’s a pressure from both sides and sometimes it gets messy. That’s what it can feel like if you’re providing for your new family and also the extended ones. It’s a difficult task and can create conflicts. I perfectly understand Lino’s situation. There’s no single right way to do this but proper financial plan can go a long way.
If you are part of a sandwich generation and you are about to settle down, make sure to count the costs. It would be much different when you are already building a new family. Talk to your fiancee first if she agrees. If that’s fine with her, have a plan to move-out from the original family as soon as possible. It’s okay when you are just starting, but there should be a clear exit plan.
One thing to be prepared for, is that, every wife really dreams to live separately. For me, that needs to be taken seriously.
2. Leave and Cleave.
I’ve seen too many marriages struggling because one couple refused to leave their family. They have continued to be largely influenced, and at times manipulated, by their parents rather than cleaving to their spouse and establishing their new family.
To leave means emotionally, financially, and physically detach. Some may have left the family home physically, but remained emotionally and financially bound to the family, which creates a lot of resentment within the spouse.
To cleave means to pursue hard on someone or being stuck to someone. This cleaving means that there should be no closer relationship than husband and wife, not with any friend or parent. When a husband or wife receives greater emotional support from the parents, rather than the spouse, oneness in a lot of areas of decision-making within the marriage is difficult. (Some Excerpts from: Relationshipmatters.ph)
3. Talk about money matters.
“For better or for worse… For richer or for poorer”
This is what most people promise to their partners when they pledge in marriage. But unfortunately, many couples today can’t seem to survive either richer or poorer due to poor money management skills.
Whether we like it or not, finances plays a vital role in a marriage. There’s a saying that says; “Money is not everything but it is relatively closer to oxygen”. So it’s a must to be frequently talked about. For couples, money will always be a big deal and these things should be a healthy topic inside the house. That’s a culture that needs to be slowly-developed.
There was a survey conducted in the United States few years ago on the main factors of divorce. Surprisingly, what comes-up top of the rank was not third party, but money issues. Being a couple, it is important to have the same financial wavelength.
Encourage one another to attend several financial seminars, talk to someone who is financially-savvy, or read some books about personal finance. Financial Education is now getting popular and you can follow good financial coaches and advocates in social media platforms. If you need help, you can also message me.
4. Support each other’s plans.
It is very important to plan together, both short-term and long-term goals. As I observed, Jade wanted a house for them but Lino was not that assertive to take actions on it or at least be proactive. It happens in real life and the best thing to do is to support what your partner plans in your family. It should also be done with realistic steps and not just empty promises. That’s a proof that you man-up to face the challenge.
Work together to come up with clear direction and find ways to accomplish those goals. Always encourage and build each other up. Be aware of your own weaknesses and strengths, and play off the strengths of your partner to bring synergy to what you are trying to achieve. It’s a teamwork!
5. Prioritize your partner than anyone else.
There is a famous mantra that says; “a happy wife, a happy life”.
There’s even a book by a Filipino author Chinkee Tan with that same title.
Your wife should always be your top priority. After you get married, automatically, your wife will be your immediate family and your family will now be your relatives-that includes your parents and siblings. Not the other way around. By doing that, you would know the right priority and you’ll avoid doing the wrong way.
In every decision-making, small or big, your partner should be always part of it. I’m not taking sides here, but at times that you hear your partner feeling unimportant or not prioritized, it should ring a bell. That means something. Always protect each other’s confidence.
6. Always do a temperature check.
When we are too busy at work, in making both ends meet, important things are sometimes overlooked. When there are signs that the relationship is going sideways, start fixing it. When there are misunderstandings at home, always give time and sit together to resolve it. It is better to attempt solving it onset, than seeing the damage has been done.
7. Continue to invest in the relationship.
Don’t get me wrong. It may sounds like I’m rooting for Jade, but I’m not. I’m rooting for them as a couple-their relationship. I believe in marriage, it so important that it needs to be protected and preserved.
In marriage, there are times that we tend to disregard our partners when things get rough and when relationship is tested. It could happen to any of us, so we must guard ourselves from pitfalls. Lets always revisit our commitment and remember what matters most to us.
That’s a challenge but if we continue to work on it, we will reap the rewards ourselves. Do not stop giving emotional investments and filling in your wife’s love-banks. Going on a regular date, doing corny surprises, making some small favors to your partner are essentials.
8. Be intentional.
Relationship is intentional, whether you feel like doing it or you don’t. No matter how easy it is to fall in love, staying in love requires attention and effort. Most people drift into love and marriage without a whole lot of conscious planning about the kind of relationship they want to have five, 10 or 20 years down the track.
Whether you are married, engaged or dating, it is never too late to be more intentional in your relationship. Being proactive in your relationship means setting relationship goals, actively seeking to be the better half and regularly reflecting on your relationship to reach your goals.
9. Always be transparent.
There’s is no guaranteed-fireproof marriage, but being honest with each other can be very helpful. By being the source of your partner’s confidence, it can build up more trust and reliance from both ends.
Be honest, there should nothing of a hidden agenda. Your life should be an open book to your wife or husband.
10. Be a source of your partner’s strength.
Too often in today’s relationships we give up easily. We stop trying; we get tired and move on to the next. Before that dead-end, we did not even realize that we have already thrown the commitment earlier. That your hearts have already been separated for too long, unnoticed.
Marriage doesn’t necessarily mean what it once did. We think the next relationship will be new and exciting, and that we won’t have to face the same issues in the future. We usually find ourselves stunned when these issues resurface.
Jade must have learned it the hard way. Of course, there will be some twists on this teleserye to happen. But one thing every couple should always remember: marriage is not a sprint. marriage is a marathon.
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