May 27, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on June 24, 2007)

Following the merry fiesta month of May is the marry month of June, soon to end in a week’s time.
This mean that the year is halfway gone, and before we know it, December will be just around the corner.


But before then, we shall be visited by a dozen or so typhoons, leaving havoc and destruction in their wake, even as some Bicol and Visayan provinces are still reeling from the effects of last year’s storm visitations.
For all her breathtaking and scenic beauties, mother nature can also be downright cruel each time she unleashes her fury.


But going back to the marry month of June will all its fashion depictions about June brides and bridal gowns, actually a take off from one more American tradition that underscores our colonial mentality – taking the so-called plunge can be quite hazardous for some couples the moment the stark realities of marriage set in.
Oh, for the record, December according to statistics, is actually the marryingest month, although it is unclear if the cool weather or the joy of the season have something to do with it.


Today’s Family Courts, alas, are filled with petition for annulment, spouses wanting out of marriage for reasons ranging from infidelity to physical abuse, and in some instances, minor grounds like drunkenness and irresponsibility.
I believe, however, that infidelity is a matter that can be talked about and settled among married couples, especially if the errant party is the man, which sounds a little like male chauvinism from a chauvinist opinion writer.
The ground rules in cases of physical abuse are somewhat different, if I may add.
When one or either spouse physically harms the other half, the injured partner should just pack up and leave, no ifs and buts about it, more particularly if it is the wife who is at the receiving end.
You forgive the battery and it will happen again – not once, but over and over.
Once should be enough, and a second chance should be rare and only under exceptional circumstances, like when the assault is the result of unwarranted provocation on the part the aggrieved party.


But nothing beats sticking together, and the secret is to fan the flame of love forever burning.
It may flicker a little, but keep it alive and not let the fire go out.
Make your wife happy all the time, act like you are still a suitor, and never raise your voice or hand against her.
Let her face glow every hour of the day, shower your beloved with kisses whenever you can, and if you can afford it, smother her with gifts and flowers, and always hold hands when you go shopping, or when dining out together, or taking in a movie.
Whenever possible, bring your wife along when you travel or go out of town.


As for the wife, all she really has to do is not to henpeck the husband, and to give him some space and freedom.
Nudge the husband gently if she wants him to work harder and earn a little more, and more than anything, to be fiercely loyal and ever supportive of her husband in all his endeavors.
Oh yes, never forget to pray. It is prayer that keeps the partnership and the family together.
Thirty-three years my Minda and I have been married, and we have never renewed our marriage vows.
We like to think that the first and only one we took is binding enough – “to have and to hold, for richer or for poorer, till death do us part.”
As the song goes, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”