Married 40 years, and going stronger
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - December 23, 2018 - 12:00am

Today is my 40th wedding anniversary. People call it Ruby and often say we should be celebrating this milestone wearing red flaming clothes, toasting with red wine, and celebrating with guests in some five-star hotel. But we choose to spend this day serving our parish church and giving gifts to 40 urban poor families in the vicinity of our BF Homes executive village in Parañaque. We praise and thank the Lord that, after 40 years and five children, three children-in-law (soon to be four), and three grandchildren (soon to be four), our bonds remain strong and grow even stronger, in the service of God's people.


We were married in Sacred Heart Parish by three priests, my three closest friends who joined the priesthood. I would have been a priest too, but I was neither called nor chosen. My wedding sponsors were my idols, then governor Eddie Gullas, president of my alma mater, UV College of Law; former governor Francisco Remotigue, the only Rondahanon to become governor; and a number of lawyers and friends. I recall former mayor Mike Rama was my secondary sponsor together with fellow columnist Atty. Aven Piramide. We are all Visayanians. It was two days before the Christmas of 1978. I was a very simple provinciano who was just appointed by the president of the Philippines as Labor arbiter at 27.


It was not an easy journey for 40 years, being married to a lady whose personality is completely opposite mine. We often clashed, argued, and quarreled on many issues and things, but in the end we reconciled and arrived at a modus vivendi where each or our unique personalities are respected and tolerated while we continued to understand where the other comes from. We are so different that people often ask how in the world we came to love each other and managed to stay together and survive the temptations and odds. Well, opposites really attract, and when there is love, nothing is impossible.

One very essential factor is that we both decided to put God at the center of our marriage and family. We agreed there is no success in career or business that can make up for failure in the family. Next to God, our family always comes first. Governor Gullas in the late ‘70s, wanted me to run for mayor under the very strong and powerful support of the KBL. But my wife vetoed it, and so, that was it. I am only a lawyer, she is the judge. I was offered to become ambassador but again my family disapproved, and so I submitted to the sovereign will of what matters most to me, my family.

My wife and I have blood incompatibility. All our children, five of them, had to undergo a very delicate and expensive operation, erythroblastosis fetalis, or complete blood exchange, or else they wouldn’t survive. But they are all healthy now, strong physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our blood incompatibility which divides us, is nothing compared to the love that unites us. Forty years, by any language is longer than life sentence or reclusion perpetua. But I have learned to enjoy marriage and appreciate my wife even more each day. And that is what matters most.

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