Why I Married My Wife

The men answer this time, telling us about what went on in their minds, and hearts, when they pursued the woman they wanted to marry.

If you are from my generation you’d know the movie starring Mel Gibson, “What Women Want.” It is a hilarious romantic comedy film in which the lead guy wakes up one day with the gift of hearing the innermost thoughts of most women. Now when I saw that, I thought they also ought to make one for the ladies: “What Men Want”! Because really, what do they want?

Often, when single ladies come to me for advice on love and romance, I also solicit the advice of my husband. I do this so they can hear the process that goes on from the other side. The same goes for when I need marriage advice myself. As much as possible, my woman mentor speaks to me in the presence of her husband, that I might gain a more comprehensive perspective.

The Olivia Team wishes to also do the same for our readers, so we decided that since we asked our married women about “the one” two weeks ago, why not ask their husbands to also join in the conversation? So we had them answer the question, “How did you choose the woman you wanted to date or pursue for marriage?” Here are their answers.

Mike Blanding, married almost 2 years

A wise friend of mine once gave me the advice that a man should “use his singlehood to make himself into the one that the woman he is looking for would be looking for.” Sound complicated?

Simply put, he was telling me not to focus on searching for Mrs. Right, but instead to focus on making myself Mr. Right. I figured that my dream girl would probably be looking for a guy who loves God and serves his community. So I got serious about my faith and I started volunteering. And sure enough, one fine day, while volunteering at a feeding program for street kids, I met the woman who would eventually become my wife.

Fidel Kakilala, married 2 years

It wasn’t complicated for me. I just wanted to be with someone who loved God above all, who was my friend, and someone I really really liked. I also made sure I had godly married men, whom I looked up to, to mentor me and keep me accountable.

Jon Henson, married 3 years

We were really good friends.

We enjoyed talking and loved each other’s company, even before there was romance. The more I knew her, the more I liked her, and the romance grew from there. This is when I knew that we could grow old together, and that my liking for her was more than physical. I would love for her to be my best friend till I was old and gray.

She was strong and complete in Him.

Growing up I always imagined finding a damsel in distress and being her hero, so I always imagined a quiet, unassertive woman as my future partner. When I started spending time with Chrina, however, it was her strength, confidence and security in God, which attracted me to her most. She was not out of sorts and looking for help all the time. She was out serving and helping others instead. She gave and didn’t take, she lived for others and not herself. She was whole and I loved that about her. This is when I understood how marriage truly is a partnership between two whole individuals who didn’t need a relationship to complete them, but came into the relationship to give of themselves and to be a part of something greater.

She loved God more than anything.

More than anything. I wanted a wife who loved Jesus. Just before we started dating, Chrina gave up a successful job, friends and family support, and the comforts of everything familiar to move to another country all because God told her to go. She didn’t care if people thought it was crazy. She obeyed because she feared God and pursued Him more than career and even a relationship. She left at a time which seemingly didn’t make sense from a relationship standpoint. But she obeyed anyway because God was her number one. As much as I loved to fight for Chrina and be her hero, I knew that I will never be able to take the place of Jesus in her life, and that she wouldn’t let me.

Bojo Bonifacio, married almost 6 years

The decision to choose the woman I would spend the rest of my life with was one of three decisions I was taught would be the most important I would make in my life. To make the long story short, I found myself having to choose between a crush and Ronna, who was a good friend of mine and someone I started getting close to at that time even though we were high school classmates. After talking to a couple of people about what to do, the best piece of advice that helped me make a decision was something Pastor Steve Murrell said, “Don’t marry someone you can live with, marry someone you can’t live without.” After hearing that I realized that Ronna was someone whom I enjoyed being around and wanted to share future conversations with. It became easier to make one of the most important decisions in my life. And it’s a decision that confirms the quote, I married someone I can’t live without.

Joseph Bonifacio, married 7 years

I didn’t have a long list of criteria that I was looking for in a girl. I had a short list of completely non-negotiable qualities. 

First, she had to have strong faith in Jesus. Carla had already demonstrated this in her personal journey as a Christian. Secondly, we had to agree about what direction we were going and what was most important to us. I found it surprising that despite the great differences between our backgrounds, we were aligned in the most important matters of our life–calling, family, career, etc. Thirdly, I just found her so captivating–beautiful, intelligent, funny, secure…. I would find myself talking to her for hours on end, thinking about our conversations when we were apart, and planning the next one immediately. I thank God that ever since we got married, those qualities have only grown stronger.

Dennis Sy, married 12 years

Choosing Thammie was the best decision I’ve made. When I was a single I was praying that God would give me a wife who loves God and that woman would love God more than me. When I got to know Thammie I saw her love for Jesus so I knew this is it!

Paolo Punzalan

How did I choose?

1. Someone named Jenn.

2. Someone with the last name Mercado.

3. Someone who is as pretty as Jennifer Mercado.

(Editor’s Note: And everybody at Olivia Team said, “Awwww.”)

Seriously speaking, I chose her using these questions:

1. Vision – Do we have the same passions and desires (values, priorities)?

2. Direction – Are we going the same direction or we will end up living separate lives?

3. Communication – Do we click? Do we understand each other? Do we like being with each other? can we discuss things, our passions, together?

Photo by Pat Dy

Mrs BO is a wife, mom, writer, mentor, innovator, daughter of God. She is now the founder of Olivia Women and author of devotional materials, after more than two decades of professional performance on Philippine TV and cinema. Next to Jesus, she says that she cannot live without her husband, son, and good coffee. She absolutely loves caramel apples and hates small talk. She blogs marriage, motherhood, and travels, on www.mrsbo.ph.