Yay! We made it through our first year with only a few scratches.

The Good …
1. We have maintained our marital “duty” at an average of 3 times a day.

2. We had a romantic vacation in Bohol while filing for permanent residency (see The Bad#1 below)

3. We established a business relationship with a really nice guy in the U.S. which takes care of our financial needs

4. We were able to get the money due to my wife from her work at Writers.Ph after an intense conflict with the company (see The Bad#3 below)

5. My step child has made HUGE improvements in maturity, independence, and his ability to deal with life in general.  I’m certain having a father figure in his life has made a huge difference.

6. My father-in-law’s health has stabilized (see The Bad #6 below)

7. I was approved for probationary permanent residency

8. My wife learned to cook!

The Bad…

1. Our Bohol trip ended badly as a new family member to me seems to think that it is OK to use a GUN to intimidate family members.

2. Our attempted business relationship with my brother-in-law’s girlfriend ended in  a lawsuit.

3. Someone from Writers.Ph attempted to defraud my wife (see #4 above).

4. Two major medical issues, one was a battle with Dengue, and the second was being diagnosed with COPD.

5. My wife is not yet pregnant.

6. My father in law was extremely sick for a short time due to severe heart problems which led to difficulty breathing.

The Ugly

1. My wife learned that husbands fart, and before blaming the world for a suspicious smell, it’s best to first ask if her husband is the one to blame.

2. My wife learned to fart and cough in front of me. It took about 6 months before she was confident enough to let me see her cough. As for the farts, she announces them ahead of time. People fart, holding them in is not healthy and considering that if our marriage is successful, we will be changing each others’ diapers one day then there is no reason to hide this natural body function.

3. My step son somehow managed to invert his penis.  He is only 6 years old so its not like he can get aroused to pop it back out. After some hot packs, the “little guy” came back out.

The Dirty…

1. My wife now experiences regular orgasms from me where she previously was never able to have one unless she gave it to herself.

2. My wife’s body has adjusted to mine and no longer needs any healing-time.

3. We have expanded our sex life to include things which are new to us.

The Future…

1. We need to apply to have my probationary permanent residency amended to full permanent residency

2. We have started planning for retirement.

3. We are still trying to have a baby.

4. We are still learning new things about each other, and learning better ways of relating to each-other.

5. Our love for each other grows as we learn to accept our differences and embrace the things we have in common.

Lastly I wanted to mention the benefits of marriage over co-habitation.  I have been in a few co-habitation relationships so I think I’m qualified to talk about the subject.  When you are co-habitateing either person can leave at any time with no-strings attached. This easy-exit option is a constant threat to the relationship which can steadily cause the relationship to deteriorate.  When you are married, parting ways is a complicated task, which involves many legal issues and dealing with many family members and friends.  For the most part when your married family members and friends are more supportive of keeping the relationship together, where the opposite is normally true for co-habitating.  When you are married it is easier to stay together than to separate, and when you are co-habitating it is easy to part-ways than it is to stay together.  This causes life to be much more peaceful as there is an improved sense of stability in your life. The biggest benefit is when dealing with jealousy.  When you are co-habitating your guard must always be up when it comes to other people, this leads to many fights, the typical … “Stop looking at that girl!”, “Stop flirting with that guy!”, etc. When your married this still happens but the fight is easily resolved by stating the facts… “Just stop! We are already married, you have nothing to worry about!”

The next benefit is when it comes to cheating opportunities.  When you are co-habitating there are ample opportunities for cheating, it really seems that women are more attracted to, and more aggressive with men who are in a relationship. Men on the other hand are more direct with women who are in a relationship, always trying to steal the unmarried woman before .. “It is too late…”. When you are married everything changes.  Most people shun any violation to marital fidelity and because of that most women and men don’t make any attempts of having a relationship with a married person.

The last benefit of being married is the sex. When you are married there is NO guilt about having sex, family member’s rarely say anything against it, and normally encourage it because they want to see babies born to the marriage.  Most religions and governments have rules regarding marriage where the husband and wife are required to provide sex when the other wants it.  Because of this when you are married there is rarely any sexual frustration and stress levels are largely reduced. When you are co-habitating, sex is optional. Most religions and some governments have rules against it. There is no guaranteed sex, and because of that there is increased stress and sexual frustration.  When co-habitating if one person wants sex and the other doesn’t, there is a sense of violation when the reluctant party gives-in. When a married husband or wife gives in there is a sense of duty involved where you feel better about yourself for giving-in as it is seen more as a sacrifice  than as a violation.

As you can see… After our first year together we are happy, and while I can’t speak for my wife, I am much happier now that I have found her and made her my wife.   We have our problems, the same as anyone else, but if nothing else, we have hope for the future and provide a sign of hope to those who may think that all hope is lost.