Two weeks ago my cousin got married. Marriage for us is always a family affair. Anyway, the whole “MACEREN” clan went to the wedding. Every time somebody in the clan gets married, the great patriarchs are always entitled to a “no-time-limit” speech. So my grandfather, the great Atty. Silvino Maceren Jr. gave his famous speech, which I heard for more than a dozen times already. He also gave this speech in my wedding. The speech has already sunk so deep into my mind that I am thinking about writing a book about it.
According to him, the secret to their more than 50 years of marriage with my Lola Patricia is SALT. He usually begins with this story:
There was an old king who one day asked his three daughters one by one if they loved him. The first daughter replied that he loved his father as much as she loves all the gold in the kingdom. The king was so happy to hear how much he was loved by his first daughter. The second daughter said that he loved her father as much she loves all the silver in the kingdom. The king was so delighted with this. Finally he asked his youngest daughter how much she loves him. The youngest daughter replied, “Father, I love you as much as I love salt.” The king was so angry why her youngest daughter compared her love to that only of salt so she banished her to serve in the kitchen.
While serving in the kitchen, the king’s youngest daughter told the cook not to put salt in all the king’s dishes. As the days passed along the king slowly loss his appetite for the food that was served until finally he became very sick. When he asked the cook why the food did not taste as tasty as before, the cook explained that it was his youngest daughter’s instruction not to put salt in all the meal that was served before him. The king was furious so the youngest daughter was summoned. When asked to explain her actions she told her father that she was demonstrating how much she loved him. The king finally understood her daughter’s point. He finally realized that his youngest daughter loved him so much because he cannot live without salt.
My grandfather then continues to explain that the key to a successful and loving marriage therefore is SALT. You have to love you spouse as much as you love salt. He then gives a definition for the acronym S.A.L.T.:
S – Share – When a man and a woman enter into married life, they have to remember that they are considered as one flesh. Each of them must not have a selfish attitude. Each one must share with each other whatever blessings may come to their life. If the husband or wife is invited to a fancy restaurant and taste a good meal, he should plan to bring his or her spouse there someday to share the wonderful experience. Sharing does not only speak about the blessings or the good experiences in life. There should be also a sharing of the burdens and responsibilities in the marriage.
A – Attention – While it is normal for the husband and wife to spend some time with their friends or their interest, they must give the bulk of their attention to each other. Sometimes the wife complains that the husband just comes home and sits in front of the T.V watching sports. Or the husband complains that the wife keeps on chatting with her friends on the phone.
L – Live within your means – Statistics has shown that the number one cause of quarrels between couples is money problems. Before and after marriage, each couple must sit down and set some guidelines as to how money should be handled. In order to avoid any serious conflict, a budget has to be set and expenses should be contained within the budget without also forgetting to set aside some money for emergency savings and investments.
T – Trust – Trust is the most important factor in a marriage. Distrust shatters another person’s confidence. But if spouses continue to trust in each other then they will continue to achieve greater heights.
My grandfather is such a great speech giver that everybody in the room always keeps quite and have their eyes glued at him. My grandmother, also a great speech giver, always gives a follow up speech. Her speech has no outline but it is usually a story of their actual experiences and how SALT has helped keep their marriage together.
The principle of S.A.L.T may be simplistic but it worked for my grandfather and grandmother. It is my hope and my prayer that you will learn something from it and it will work for your marriage too!!!