By Ron and Sherrylyn Vivero
When we were asked to share our marriage experience and give insightful tips to others, we were hesitant at first. We had questions such as, “Who are we to give and share our ideas with others? What gives us the right? We’re not even close to our 50’s or 40’s yet. There are other people out there who are more qualified than us.”
In the end, we finally agreed to share our experience to help couples who might be struggling in their marriage.
We narrowed it down to five things we call C-R-A-V-E.
CELEBRATE each other’s unique traits.
I believe in the sayings that “Opposites attract,” and “Birds of the same feather flock together.” People partner with others who share their important values. Sure, we have different traits that drive us nuts, like, one is a planner, checklist oriented visionary, and one is laid back, practical realist.
Even though we have differences, we share and value the same life principles. We’re both God-fearing, family-oriented, and frugal in living. We’ve set realistic expectations from one another. For example, since women are excellent in multi-tasking, I don’t expect Ron (not anymore) to do as much as he can at the same time because men, by nature, focuses on one task at a time (that’s how their brains are programmed).
For years we’ve struggled with our differences. But instead of fighting about it, we learned to celebrate each other’s uniqueness.
RESPECT one another no matter what the circumstances are.
Ron and I had dated for four years before we became married in July of 2008. We believe in the saying that “Marriage is a friendship set on fire.” I love the idea of treating your partner with utmost respect no matter what the circumstances are.
I can be who I am when I am with him and vice versa. At times we argue, raise our voice, and exchange heated debates just to let off steam.
Respect to us means: No calling names, no cursing, and physical or verbal abuse is a big no-no. Divorce conversation is not even an option. Because the reality is – it’s hard to live alone. Divorce is hard and painful for everyone, especially for the kids.
We also stick to our rule, “Ours and Ours alone”, which means whatever challenges we have as a couple we’ll handle it first. We discourage each other from sharing it with other people. If we can take care of it as adults – we solve it first. We pray about it and then listen to each other. Communication is key!
One thing that makes our bond extra special is that we have compassion for each other even when we are in the middle of a conflict. To be honest, we don’t feel romantic all the time, but our respect for each other is constant. Respect is the backbone of our friendship.
AFFIRM and show (no guessing game!) your affection.
With regards to showing affection, we love the following: back rubs or massages, hugging, kissing, dancing (while I’m doing something). Ron will just approach me, and together we’ll dance to our tune). We go for a date once a week. We encourage each other and say words like “You can do it, honey. You’re excellent in what you do! I’m just here beside you if ever you need me.” With Ron, he always views me with a slight positive bias. He will say: “You’re beautiful even though you just woke up.” Or, “You’re beautiful even though you don’t have any make-up on.”
For ten years that I’ve known him, he still makes my heart beat a little bit faster. I even want to clone him so I can share him with others who are looking for a wonderful partner (haha!).
Our church community and the book titled “5 Languages of Love” played a big part in keeping our marriage strong. We learned that our love language is “Words of Affirmation.” So every time we have the opportunity, we make sure that we verbalize our affirmation, especially when doing mundane daily tasks. We say words like, “Thank you, honey, for taking out the garbage, I appreciate your effort.” Or “Thank you, honey, for the excellent meal, it’s yummy!”.
VISUALIZE a common goal together.
We believe in feeding our minds with positive ideas.
To help us remember, we made a simple mantra that we always recite after we pray at night and before we close our eyes:
I – I am an instrument of God’s love
B – believe in my business because I think big
O – optimistic about the future because I focus
U – unstoppable
N – no (the power of)
C – choose wisely because I build wealth
E – enjoy life to the fullest!
ENJOY life to the fullest.
Last but certainly not the least, we are mindful of enjoying the simple things in life. Spend time with our children and family. We build memories and cherish every journey (it’s not always the destination that matters). We eat a healthy balanced diet, drink plenty of water, read books, dance Zumba, laugh a lot, be silly at times, play sports and enjoy our sex life!
I remember running away on our honeymoon night because it was our first time to enjoy the “gift of sex” (but there’s nowhere to go, we’re on a cruise ship!). It was indeed worth the wait.
Now, we are passing the torch to you.
“Marriage is not an easy journey, but if you listen to all the passengers and know where you’re going, you’ll have a fun and enjoyable adventure. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!”
Ron and Sherrylyn are based out of Calgary, Alberta. They’re an amazing couple, successful entrepreneurs (photography and video), and passionate about their church and the community. They are a great role model for young couples! Visit their website: www.viverofilms.com
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