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Agie and Ejhaye: enjoying each other’s company and support, whether in crisis, or during fun times.
Several months back, our youngest daughter was confined in the hospital due to bronchial asthma. For an OFW family, this is a very hard time. Lalo na kung on-board si daddy.
First question sa Emergency Room: “Mommy, may kasama ka?” Ito yung panahon na masasabi mo, “Sana andito si daddy.”
It is hard, it is draining. But more than being tired physically, it is emotionally exhausting.
But as individuals, and as a couple, Ejhaye and I have our own ways of dealing with crisis. Together, as a family, we can surpass whatever challenges come our way. How do we do it? We try to work as a team, and we listen to each other.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask each other, so you can identify what is going on in the heart and mind of your partner, and how best you can support each other. More importantly, listen to your partner’s replies.
What do you feel in times of crisis?
He says: It is very difficult, feeling so helpless.
She says: There is this different level of sadness when there is sickness in the family, but in times like this you have to be strong for your spouse, for the family. You can’t even imagine what you can endure to assure your spouse na kakayanin, lilipas din yung pinagdadaanan niyo.
What’s the best way to make you feel better?
He says: Keep me updated on what’s happening with you, the kids, and the household. Accept my offers of help. ‘Acts of Service’ is my love language, and when I feel that you appreciate what I am able to offer, it makes me feel that I am a part of what’s happening, even if I am far away.
She says: Keep communication lines open, so the kids and I can talk to you. I feel less stressed when I know that you are online, and when I hear you encourage me. My love language is ‘Words of Affirmation,’ and I feel better when I can talk to you.
What can I do to help?
He says: We always do everything together; it doesn’t matter if I’m not physically with you. I appreciate how you manage everything, but that you never decide without asking or seeking help from me.
I know that you’re a superwoman—you had a near impossible routine when our child was in the hospital. Overnight at the hospital, back home early morning to prepare the other kids for school, back to the hospital to meet the doctors, then back home to meet our girls when they got home from school, and tuck them in, before going back to the hospital again for the night.
I know that that you are so capable of doing things on your own, and it means a lot that you ask my input, my advice
She says: Help keep me on track. For every disrupted routine or schedule, I need someone to remind me of stuff to do. Also, help me with some of the chores or work that you can do from afar. I appreciate it when you offer to pay all the bills online, teach the kids, and so on. That week that our youngest was confined in the hospital was the same week as our two older daughters’ first quarter exams. Imagine how stressful that time was.
How can I show you how thankful I am for all that you do for the family in times of crisis?
He says: You always tell me how grateful and blessed you are to have me, it is like I am also there with you in those hard times. It is not just after crisis that you show me how thankful you are, you always make me feel that I am appreciated and loved every single day.
She says: I clearly remember you asking me, “Pag na-discharge si Yam, gusto mo mag-mall? Mag pa-massage ka? Kunin mo sa joint [account].” You always thank me with gifts of experience, and I truly appreciate it.
Do you have words of advice for other couples in similar situations?
He says: I’m not really words kind of a person, but I tell my wife that I’m always here for any help that I can give. I remind her to pray, that God is always with us; that these challenges are ways to strengthen our family; and God is telling us that we are loved and blessed.
She says: In every crisis you are go through, what is important is you are in this together as a family. Pray for your spouse, as prayer and strong faith in God is the best support that we can get.