Last Sunday, I and Rod had lunch at home. Mama ate first as she wants to have a look at Marshall (read: he was sleeping. Yes!) Left with Rod at the table, I was thinking that it would be one of the few moments we can have a proper meal as Marshall is not around to mess up.

Unexpectedly, Rod said to me, “ikaw pala yung kumakain ng may tunog.. dba tinuturo yan dun sa mga trainings, etiquette.. blah blah blah..” And I was like, “huh..?!”, holding an adobo chicken feet on my left hand while grabbing rice on my right. Not sure if I was in denial but I answered back, “Ngyon lang naman kasi andito tayo sa bahay saka masarap ulam,” continuously munching the chicken feet. Rod further added on, “Sinasabi ko lang para aware ka. Dati ko pa napapansin.”

Feeling humiliated though it was only the two of us, I quickly finished what was left on my plate. I burst anger inside. In my mind I was thinking, after everything I’ve done for you and Marshall, now you only noticed the way I chew. How about the times like this when you finished your food and then you have nothing to do but watch cartoons or anime, while I do the dishes, wipe the table, sweep the floor, refill the water jug, etc. Has he noticed also the nice smell of his clothes after I do the laundry then iron those? Has he seen how clean the toilet is after he has showered? Or has he even noticed how I take care of our son, feeding him, bathing him, playing with him, reading books with him, putting him to sleep, though I am exhausted with all my paper works and exposed to radiation with minimum 3-4 hours a day? Does he appreciate all of those? Do my hugs and kisses still bring attention to him? Probably not.

Because he’s busy either on his laptop or cell phone. And yes, he can only hear the sound of my mouth when I chew and swallow those chicken feet!

I wanted to tell him all of these, but I chose not to. Suddenly I asked myself, why am I thinking all of these? I am a wife and a mother and it is my duty to do all of those without apprehensions. Was I really hurt because of his comment on my table manners, or was I just simply agitated to him that it boils down to further exasperation.

For the past few days or weeks, I felt that my husband was physically present yet emotionally unattached to me. I am not pertaining to sexual attachment or intimacy, but rather more of a personal or psychological connection. I wonder if other couples also go through situations like this in which despite daily conversations, you still feel a little bit distant to your partner. I was bothered and I knew that if I wouldn’t be open to Rod about how I felt of his absence, we would definitely be in a relationship crisis.

So the next day, I sent him a long message saying how frustrated I am, feeling worthless and least prioritized. While waiting for his reply, I prayed in silence and asked God for forgiveness for being dishonest to my husband that instead of telling him what I’ve been feeling lately, I kept it to myself. Surprisingly, Rod told me that he actually felt the same thing. In a way, he felt disregarded as well. Aside from work-related stress which is most probably the biggest factor of it, I knew for a fact that likewise, there must be something with me that made him act as that and I do apologize. I must have been selfish as well and perhaps my feelings and concern towards him weren’t transparent. And in that case, we were both occupied on each other’s negativity.

From that moment, we agreed on understanding each other’s point rather than focusing on each other’s faults. We draw up a plan to be better and to have more quality time with each other. We concurred to be more mindful in our words and actions towards each other especially in front of Marshall.

Earlier today, we started our weekly date as what we have agreed. Initially, I was hesitant to leave Marshall at home since it’s weekend. But I controlled myself and perceived that we need this kind of quality time. In marriage, there may be times like this that we may fail each other or do something hurtful, but in God’s definition, loving each other deeply covers all.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,