WHAT makes a marriage last?
Gabino G. Perez Jr. met his wife, Sanie Mae, when both of them were just in college, more than three decades ago. Gabino is from Bohol while Sanie Mae is from Misamis Occidental.
They said love moves in mysterious ways, but for them it's the fate that worked for them.
He was introduced to his future wife in 1981. It was not love at first sight per se for these former lovers, now husband and wife. Theirs was developed from being friends to lovers.
"He only approached me after three years since I was introduced to him," Sanie Mae said.
"She was famous as she was the muse of the school," Gabino explained.
But until now, the wife still has the love letters her husband wrote to her way back in 1984. She has kept these after all those years. A proof that she really loves and intended to be with Gabino for the rest of her life.
And when the two realized they don't want to be separated from each other, they decided to tie the knot on April 8, 1989.
Theirs is not an entirely blissful and without-problems sort of a relationship. For after all, it's not healthy if a relationship has no problem at all, all married couples would attest.
"In our first year of marriage, it can't be denied that there were ups and downs," Sanie Mae said.
Now, when she recalls the problems that beset them way back then, she can attribute the source of their problem as a period of their adjustments.
"It's just normal to a newly-wed couple. Adjustment period, that is," she said.
Both of them, though, accept the fact that marriage is a not a guarantee that they will be together forever.
"It's only a paper," Sanie Mae said.
Lasting this far in their married life, both of them said "you have to work for it."
As the cliche goes, marriage is a "two-way street, not a highway and a bike path. If you really want to be with someone you have to be willing to make some sacrifices and work at it a little, otherwise the relationship will never work."
And like all relationship that lasted to "forever", they have worked on the problem that came their way.
For them love is never enough to make your marriage strong and lasting.
"It takes love, respect, trust, understanding, friendship and most of all faith in your relationship to make it last," both of them advise would-be husband-and-wife.