Most love stories are sweet, happy and jovial. But not so like ours.
We fight almost everyday. I cry most of the time. We even got to a point when it got physical.
"Why do you stick it up with him?", is the sort of question I get asked all the time.
"Because I love him, that's why" is my almost ready, jaded reply.
Looking back to our high school days, many many years ago, I never noticed the guy that was destined to be my future husband.
I had a boyfriend back then (young love I can say) and he had a girlfriend as well.
We were in the same circle of friends but we were just more of just acquaintance as we were busy with our own family and friends, plus all the activities at school.
Then in the year 2010, we met again as he voted in the same voting poll centre where I volunteered as an election watcher.
Unknown to us that time, both of us where actually wondering if we were dating other people or we were in a relationship. We started some kind of a closer friendship after that.
We were both working in the Philippine's financial CBD at that time and he would often visit me or pick me from work and walk me home.
That was when he formally started courting me.
A CHOICE BETWEEN TWO LOVERS
There was another guy who was also courting me at that time. He was a seaman who was also good to me.
The only hesitation that I had was regarding his job, as most seamen spend months and months away on duty and I decided a relationship with that guy would not be easy.
So I chose Algine, my future husband who was working as real estate agent at that time. He was also good to me and made lots of efforts in winning my heart.
The choice between two lovers was won by the real estate agent.
THE BEGINNING OF TROUBLE
Our relationship was not smooth sailing even from the start. I would have problems explaining to my parents why he did not have a permanent, regular job. Why I have to support him on taking some caregiver course using my own money even paying for our dine outs and dates during that time.
His being involved with some known troublesome friends did not help as well. My parents would complain about things they hear about this or that.
I just kept an open ear. In on one, out the other.
THE DAY I SAID GOODBYE
I left the Philippines for Dubai in March 2013.
My family was so adamant for me to break up with Algine because they said it was going to be even harder for us to maintain our relationship and I needed a fresh start.
Against all odds, we continued our relationship.
I am a good daughter (I believe it yes) but I also love the guy. I was not ready to give up our relationship.
LOVERS IN DUBAI
It only took about 4 months and Algine also followed me to Dubai. I thought it was such a great development for us and for our relationship because we can be together and spend more time with each other.
Apparently, we were wrong.
We both succumbed to too much work pressure. We had different shift work schedules that we barely saw each other.
I'd finish work after office hours working for a logistic company as a receptionist while he did shift work for a cinema.
He'd go home in the wee ours of the morning just before I start preparing for my day job and when I got home, he was not there.
His new-found friends in Dubai also was becoming a problem for us that we started fighting almost everyday.
Fighting about petty things. Fighting about serious ones. We just fought.
FAITH DIDN'T HELP EITHER
Yes, we came from the same Filipino culture but unfortunately, we have different religions. We would argue about traditions, his views on things, most of which contradicts to mine.
We continued on with our relationship no matter hard it was. Then one day, I received a message on Facebook from someone.
She claimed she was the aunt of a girl.
A girl? I asked her and myself. What does it have to do with me!?
Yes, your guess is as good as mine.
The worse thing that could ever happen to a relationship is when another gets involved. And that's what really happened.
My then boyfriend, in one of our fights had a one night stand with another girl after a drinking session.
That one night stand went on to a few more sexual encounters that the girl's aunt had to send me a message that day to reveal the affair.
I asked him if he loves her but he said I was the one that he loves. Only me.
THE HARDEST DAYS
The days that followed was my lowest point in life. I would cry the entire day. Then cry again the next.
I blamed and asked myself for what happened.
I even blamed God for my misfortune. But then again, after lots of praying, I realised I was still alright.
Maybe I was saved from future hurt by getting this kind of pain now.
Maybe God was saving me.
My boyfriend never stopped saying sorry to me. He made the effort to make amends but I was not going to get any of it.
I was so badly hurt and torn apart that I never thought I can be whole again.
Lucky I had family and friends who were with me all along. They carried me during my darkest days and I depended on them during my lowest point.
My boyfriend would call me everyday. Try to talk to me everyday and try to apologise about what he did.
A few months after that, I was invited by Algine to go see a movie. Since I had nothing much to do, I decided why not.
When I arrived at the cinema, I realised I was one of the only few people there.
Then the screen turned on and it showed a slide show.
A proposal slide show.
Then in front of the cinema my boyfriend walked in towards me.
Ring on his hand, he knelt down and asked the question if I would like to marry him.
With a heavy heart, but one that is still in love with the man, I said yes. I said yes but with on one condition that he would never break my trust ever again.
I know, many of you would say, "seriously, you said yes?!" but yes I did.
It was not a selfish decision but more of a sacrifice.
Yes it is. A sacrifice that I needed to do because I want to save not only our relationship, but my boyfriend.
I knew he needed me and that he needed my love to be there for him.
I can't just abandon him now after everything that has happened.
That was my decision and I stuck with it.
Past forward to the present, we are married now for a few months. Our relationship is far from perfect and we still fight.
We still argue, we still hate each other some days but;
Our love has survived it all. The good and the bad, our love has been through that.
We vowed to be loyal to one another and that's one of the things I am holding on for now.
My only hope is that our love, tumultuous as it was, serves as an inspiration for those who are in a relationship to fight for your love, never give up, even if it hurts sometimes, as long as you believe your love is true.
Even if it's against all odds.