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Bacolod City, PhilippinesSaturday, December 8, 2012

How do we get
that ‘spark’ back?

Dear Tita,

My husband Abel and I have been married for 18 years and we have two kids, a girl and a boy, who are now in their teens. We are both working so we can give our kids a good education and a comfortable lifestyle.

For some time now, I’ve noticed that Abel and I have somehow lost that ‘spark’ in our marriage. We hardly talk about anything but our financial problems or the kids. When we go out to eat at a restaurant, we don’t chat like other couples do. We just sit there looking at other people until our food arrives and when we finish eating, we go back home. He then watches TV while I am at the computer surfing the net until I go to bed.

This is so different from us when we were sweethearts and newlyweds. Then we could chat all day and there was always something to talk or laugh about. Now, nothing.

A few months ago, we became friends with our new neighbors, Aida and Mon, a couple who are both in their fifties with no children. When we are with them, I noticed how sweet they are to each other. They have their private jokes and enjoy their conversations. Mon loves to tell a joke and Aida laughs out loud, even though she probably heard it many times before. He is very considerate of her and treats her like a sweetheart. I can see they have kept their love light burning all through their marriage (24 years).

Tita, how do you keep the spark in a marriage burning? How I envy couples who are so happy together, even though they have been married for so many years.


Dear Frustrated,

A spark doesn’t burn for a long time. It lights up suddenly and it burns out quickly. But an ember burns quietly for a longer time and it is the hottest part.

That is what these lucky couples have – a burning ember. Nobody is to blame for the lack of excitement in your marriage. This is what usually happens to couples who have become predictable in their routine.

Why don’t you try to come up with something new to do together, like a weekend out of town or a day at a resort. Leave your worries behind and spend the day talking about things that interest both of you.

When I was abroad, I used to enjoy bushwalks with a friend and I often saw senior couples walk around holding hands. To me, it was such a beautiful sight seeing two elderly people still in love, growing old together.

Try to have little surprises for each other. And when Abel talks to you – LISTEN! Never take each other for granted. As the song goes, “If love still can remember, the spark may burn again….”



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