WHEN I walked down the aisle in June nine years ago, my wedding veil did not cover my face. I figured, I will go down this marriage with a clear view of things.

Of course like any other woman, I had hoped it would be a fairy tale of happily ever after. But the practical part of me keeps buzzing, "What fairy tale? You are not a princess and you are not marrying a prince. Even Diana got divorced. And you will eventually die or your husband will, so technically, there will be no forever - for you or anyone else."

I stalled about marrying for a good seven years dearies. And when I finally told my dad I am going to marry, he asked me, "Sure ka ready na gyud ka sa kaminyuon?" Funny he should ask that. But my father-in-law also asked me during the pamanhikan, "Wala na gyuy atrasay?" I don't think my husband was asked these questions.

But when I walked down that aisle, I was prepared to take married life head on. Oh yes. But boy, was I in for a lot of surprises. Let me spare you soon-to-be-wedded folks.

Here are some five things you should know about being married.

1. It's not always hot sex. Sometimes there will even be no sex. Sometimes you will both end up laughing when you try new positions. Sometimes he will finish first and you end up frustrated. Sometimes you are so hot for it, but she is having a migraine. Sometimes you have to quickly put an end to it when the little one wakes up. But sometimes, there are those moments when you feel your souls connecting, when mutually pleasing the other becomes the objective and the sex turns into making love.

2. The prince charming snores, farts, picks his nose and scratches his testicles. The princess would do the same except for the last part - hers is called a vagina. You can't always go to the bathroom to release excess air in your tummy. And you share a house, a bedroom and a car and at some point, that booger will be subconsciously picked and it will sometimes itch down there. Nothing makes a prince charming more human than hearing the sound of his loud fart and smelling the aftermath.

3. You will master the art of harmonious quarrelling. In fact you will be able to discern the type of quarrel that you are having. You will know if it's a "mahay" type of quarrel that can easily be resolved with the sweetest, "Sorry na gud." and the sweetest kisses. There will be the I-am-making-a-point quarrel where the other has to promise a specific change in behavior and might need a little cash outlay for flowers or a dinner surprise. Then there will be the epic quarrel where hurtful words will be thrown, tears will be shed and long silences will have to be endured. In this case, a sorry, a promise and a bit more of cash outlay might be needed. If you are married long enough, you will know which buttons to push that will really spark anger. You will also know when you have hurt the other enough. And you will also know when you are both ready to forgive and move on. You can't avoid quarreling, but you can always try to master harmonious quarreling.

4. There will always be something to stop you and your spouse from leaving the marriage. The earlier you know these things, the earlier you can nurture them and the higher the chance of survival your marriage has. Over the years, you must never lose sight of what keeps you and your spouse from throwing in the towel.

Once you do, a failed marriage will be the consequence.

In my own marriage, there were times when I told my husband I want to end the marriage. And there were times when he did. I guess the thing that kept us from separating is that we never agreed to separate at the same time.

5. You will realize there is really no forever. But you are grateful for having the chance of sharing a lifetime with your spouse. Each night you plead to God to prolong the lifetime because you could never imagine spending your lifetime without your spouse.

That's it dearies. Cheers to married life!

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