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Our BCBP Marriage Retreat

By Sis. Joy Tagle, BCBP Alabang Chapter

A few months ago, I blogged about our Christian Life Program experience here. It’s been seven months since I’ve been regularly attending BCBP Alabang’s activities and it’s quite a ride. We’ve been invited to join the marriage retreat this year, and without asking me, my husband said yes again.

Gatmaitan AG at Angels’ Hills
L-R: Bing and Dimples Festin, Topet and Chinkee Chan, Vida and Chris Mata, Miguel and
Ardith Flores, Jeff and I, and Noky and Reg Gatmaitan

To tell you the truth, this is my first retreat ever. I am not a Catholic and my parents didn’t allow me to join school retreats, so this is really a new experience for me. It was held in Angels’ Hills in Tagaytay. I was there thirteen years ago with our school paper staff when we joined the regional journalism conference.

Jeff and I carpooled with our friends, Chris and Vida. We arrived at Angels’ Hills around 6PM, had dinner and attended the first session.

@misistagle: CLP 47 Table # 3 marriage retreat!

The next day was quite a busy one. I swear, BCBP is the only one that makes me wake up and take a bath early! I heard the bell at 6AM, and again at 630AM. Breakfast started at 7AM, and we had to be at the hall at 8AM. I was super duper sleepy during the first few talks so I had to keep on oiling (peppermint FTW!).

During the night session, we were asked to write a love letter to our spouse. Jeff and I were quite emotional, and so as the other couples. No eyes were left dry!

@misistagle: Tonight we were asked to write a love letter to our spouse, and later read it to them face to face. Funny how we are already too familiar with each other, yet writing down our feelings became a tough task. When was the last time you wrote your partner a letter? ❤ #BCMR2018

The Sunday session was short, but full of fun surprises! I couldn’t give away too much details though haha!

Marriage Retreat Takeaways

Honestly, I had a scheduled trip to Malaysia for a Young Living convention, which I had to cancel because there’s no question on who/what should I pick.

During the past seven months, I have heard a lot of people and couples in the BCBP community saying that you don’t seek help when you realize that you have marital problems — you should keep on investing on your marriage to keep it strong. Jeff religiously goes to church, but me? I haven’t been going since maybe 2009. God used my husband to drag me back to church, signing me up for the CLP without telling what it is exactly, waking me up on Saturday mornings to attend BCBP breakfasts, and now the marriage retreat. The Bible has repeatedly said that wives should submit to their husbands, and if this is not submission, what else is? Hahaha!

The retreat wasn’t just for our marriage. It also helped us determine the ‘extra baggages’ that we carried into our relationships. I have always believed that what we are now is a product of our childhood. And indeed, all those memories that stood out, the bad and good experiences, they all made me and Jeff today.

One speaker said that at one point, we are our parents. Speaking for myself, I am slowly becoming my mother. She’s funny, doesn’t have a lot of friends, workaholic, and lately, I chopped my hair very short too! My mother didn’t like spending for herself also, but will splurge on me and my siblings. And I guess, I’ve brought that into this relationship.

My favorite part was reading my love letter to Jeff, and he read his to me. I couldn’t stop crying because it took me back to the time that I married him six years ago. It made me realize that I’ve never looked at my husband that close since we had Taglet. I’m guilty of making our son my priority, instead of him.

@misistagle: We were told to hold hands during the three-day marriage retreat. Whenever and wherever we are in the venue. And I think Jeff and I have held hands more during the weekend than the past year. I swear I’m not a fan of holding hands because my palms get sweaty easily! This photo was taken on our way back to our home — long after the retreat ended. It was a fun, love, and faith-filled weekend. If you are married, with problems or none, go and join your church’s marriage retreat. You will never look at your spouse the same way again after. The jtags are renewed and now ready to serve together! #BCMR2018

Jeff and I, we also fight like normal couples. We don’t have serious marital problems, but what people don’t know is that we haven’t been sleeping in the same bed for about two years already. It started when his father passed away. He stayed in his mom’s room for a few months. I’ve been very vocal about Jeff’s snoring problems and it’s really one of my triggers, so we decided that he sleeps in the other room so both of us can rest. FYI, I’m a freelancer who stays at home and have been exclusively breastfeeding my son since he was born. Yep, no formula milk! And so it’s safe to say that I’ve never had decent sleep for three and a half years. And counting. On most nights, I sleep 2-3 hours only. I’ve fallen in and out of depression, just because I couldn’t sleep and I’m always very tired. Sometimes I just cry when the baby wakes up and Jeff wouldn’t. The night we came back from the retreat, Jeff finally dragged his mattress out of the other room because he’s officially back inside the kulambo!

@misistagle: During tonight’s marriage retreat session, we were asked a question — WHY DID YOU GET MARRIED? I never had to think. I knew exactly why I agreed to marry Jeff.
I’m the happier version of myself because of him. It’s easy to fall in love, or to love the idea of being in love, but it’s not everyday that you find someone who loves you back the way you love them. ❤ How about you? Why did you marry your spouse?

I would like to think that we came back home renewed. It made me look at my husband in a different light, seeing the good in him instead of the bad. I’m sure there’s a thing or two that drives us nuts about our spouse, but if we dwell on those small details and not the good, our marriages will be in trouble. For years, I have missed seeing that Jeff serves me and our family as best as he can — driving me here and there, running errands, delivering my products, and just supporting my endeavors. “You are the anchor that keeps me grounded, and my wings that pushes me up so I can fly and reach my dreams”, my letter said. Because he is. I couldn’t imagine a life without him. I feel horrible for never appreciating everything that he do for me, just because he snores (well, that and other things like he’s always on his phone! grrr!)

@misistagle: Marriage Retreat Takeaways
They say that you are most likely going to say all the awful things to the people closest to to you, your spouse included, if not on top of the list.
Maybe it’s overfamiliarity, or maybe it’s just crass attitude. Being with Jeff and Jeff alone over the past weekend, I’ve seen him in his most vulnerable and emotional state, and it’s now me who feels awful for being awful to him.
This man, who knows that I’m quite a handful, still decided that investing in our marriage and walk in faith is still a great idea.
My husband is truly my blessing.

It was an extra special weekend for me, Jeff, and our couple friends. Friends, go check your local church’s marriage retreat schedule because it’s so worth it. If you’re interested, you can also attend our BCBP chapter’s activities, mostly every Saturday. I swear, you’re gonna love them! <3

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