Thursday, August 20, 2009

Staying In Love

A few weeks ago someone asked me how I could still be so in love with Taufik even though it's been almost twenty years since we've known each other.
Hm.. sometimes I wonder too. I mean, after knowing someone for so long, and seeing him day in and day out, how is it that I never get bored of him or being with him? (but then, I also wonder why he's not bored with *me*)

Rather than giving you tips because I don't feel I'm qualified, let me just share what I do and how I feel about my husband Taufik. If you see something you can learn from, then, go for it. If not, consider it just entertaining reading (if it doesn't make you puke *lol*).

Focus on the good stuff
. I love looking at Taufik. He's very easy on the eyes, especially when he was younger. Even now that he's older, I still look at him as if I'm looking at a superstar heartthrob. I admire his good features and try not to dwell on the less appealing ones (not that he has a lot). I think if you look at person long enough, I'm sure you will be able to see the beauties in the person and appreciate them more.
. I look at him when we talk. I notice that sometimes I forget to look at him when we are having a conversation, perhaps because I'm doing something else. I recently make it a point to really look at him and absorb every little thing he says, not just with his voice, but also with his eyes, with his mouth (smiling? frowning?), the tilt of his head, his gestures. I think it makes me understand him more.
. During gatherings, sometimes I take a peek at him when he's across the room. I like watching him interact with other people, sharing a joke or discussing a serious topic. I give myself bonus points if I catch his eye and we exchange even a little smile or a slight twitch of the eyebrows.
. My most favourite thing to watch is when he's physically working on something. Be it mopping the floor, building me a closet, plumbing, gardening or mowing the lawn .. something about watching his flexing muscles just turns me on :). Sometimes even watching him hold a pen and write seems very appealing.
. I love listening to him chat with the kids. Especially when he's teasing them or sharing a joke. His laughter sounds so happy.
. Even though sometimes I complain about it, I am actually comforted by his snoring at night. Irregardless of whether it's just the sound of his breathing or the all out thunderous snorts, I would rather hear that than silence.
. Even though my husband may not be the sexiest man alive, it doesn't matter, because *I* think he's the sexiest man alive. I don't need other people to think so, just like I don't need other people to think I'm the most beautiful woman on earth as long as my husband thinks I am :)
. I don't know whether it's pheromones or his deodorant or what, but dayummm my man smells good...!

Keep in touch
. Whenever I miss Taufik, I would just open his closet and pick out one of his 'worn but clean' shirts (he has this habit of putting a shirt that he has worn for only one day but is not really dirty yet, back into the closet, to be worn another day), and bury my face in it and inhale. Heavenly.
. I love snuggling up to him just to get sniff.
. We're not the lovey dovey text messaging kinda couple. I would usually send Taufik an sms saying I've reached my destination or home, but mostly I would send him the list of groceries for him to pick up on the way back from the office. He would usually just reply with a short 'Ok'. Occasionally though, I send him a message that would make him reply "Be back in 15 minutes" and he would really be back home in 15 minutes ;)
. I believe in the power of touch, so I try to touch Taufik at every opportunity I can. I mean, who else can I touch but my husband, right? I don't grope him in public, of course. Even just tapping the tips of our toes under the table would satisfy me.
. Whenever I need a hug, I would just hug Taufik. I'd be guaranteed a hug back. :)

Communicate honestly and sincerely
. During the early years of our marriage, I used to be scared of telling Taufik how I really felt, because I was not confident of his love for me. But ever since moving to Saudi and having no one else to talk to but him, that fear slowly eroded away. I am now more honest and forthcoming about my feelings and opinions. I think Taufik appreciates it, because it takes a lot of the guesswork out of loving me :) and I am more satisfied in the relationship because he knows exactly what makes me happy. (Sounds easier said than done, but I keep working on it)
. I tell Taufik I love him, all. the. time. I use to care, but nowadays I don't, whether he says I love you back.

Take the time, and savour every moment
. Maybe it's because we were apart most of the time during our courtship and before Ilham was born, I have learnt to treasure every moment we spend together. If things needs to be ironed out, I try not to drag it for too long and resolve it as soon as possible, so that time is not wasted on arguing over something. With his job, I don't know when he'll be away next, and I don't want to regret not saying what needed to be said when he is away.
. When we were both working (me in PJ and him in KL), I would apply for half-day leave about once a month or so and ask my sister to pick up my kids (or pick up my kids and leave them with my mom or sister), then take the train to KL and have a date with Taufik.
. I don't have the luxury of leaving my kids with anyone in Saudi, so we haven't been on a date for a long time. We can still do activities together in the privacy of our own house, though. It can be simple things, like watching TV or reading together, but I take that opportunity to cuddle up or bermanja ;) (gedik dengan husband sendiri, dapat pahala tau!).
. I also love weekend mornings, when Taufik need not rush off to work and I need not rush the kids to school, and we both could spend a few minutes in bed talking about anything we want.
. I love taking it slow, savouring every moment, every single sound, every single sensation, every single scent ... just breathing and swallowing everything in.

Don't compare, be aware
. Just as no two people are the same, neither are two marriages the same. Things that work for other couples might not work for Taufik and me. I don't expect Taufik to treat me the same way my friends' husbands treat them, because I am not like my friends, and Taufik is not my like friends' husbands. I just have to accept that Taufik loves me in his own unique way, just like I expect him to accept that I love him in my own unique way.
. We've had our share of arguments, outbursts and sulkings (and we probably will always have them), but what I noticed is that, if I remind myself of what the goals of our marriage is, I don't waste my energy on arguing about stuff that does not lead us to that goal, and focus on resolving stuff that would.
. Whenever Taufik does something to hurt my feelings, I try hard to remember that he loves me, and that he doesn't do it out of malice, he's probably just not aware that he's hurting my feelings. I think it has saved me from a lot of resentment.

Hm .. this has been very interesting, writing all of this down.
I hope that it has been as much fun for you reading it, as it was for me writing it :) Hope you didn't puke too much.

p/s Happy Anniversary, Sayang :)


  1. Happy Anniversary to you and Taufik!
    From Kak Alia and Abg Shahrin..

  2. Awww.... so shweet.

    Indeed I have a lot to learn from the both of you.

    You are right about being out here, and having just one person as the insufferable sounding board, it has brought Anwar and I much closer than ever.Alhamdulillah.

    Nak merajuk pun nak lari ke mana kan? Hehe.

    I would like to think that falling in love with your spouse each and everyday is rezeki and heaven-sent. Hari2 dapat rezeki, dapat hadiah dari Allah kan? Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin.

    Imagine kalau tiba2 terpadam api cinta. Naudzubillah.

    It also helps that memang dari dulu kita pilih dia sbb hemsem dan baik kan? Moga-moga sampai bila2 la macam tu kan? InsyaAllah.

    You guys are an inspiration!

  3. Fida/Nefertiti3:50 AM

    Beautiful love story. :) Happy to know that everyone is happy.

    Ramadhan Kareem to you and family, Elisa. Kita orang sekeluarga berpuasa di Kelantan tahun ni.

    Take care.

  4. Alhamdulillah I found a lot of love in our small circle of blogging moms&dad ni.Good vibes all around.

    I tak puke pun reading, smiling adalah.

    Selamat berpuasa to your lovely family.

  5. Ehhhh, Fida ada sini.

    Susah betul nak catch che mek molek ni!

  6. oh my, so sweet!!!

    u opened up my eyes sis!

  7. Hanie Suriya6:18 PM

    i like what kak nazrah said.

    ooh and i get what u mean about looking at taufik across the room and catching his eye. when mr chip is across the room and we bertentang mata (puke now please) mr chip will kenyit mata konon2 nak berkenalan hohoho =) and the snoring part,i get nervous when mr chip *doesn't* snore.

    10 thn kenal, 4 1/2 thn kawin..byk lagi benda nak kene belajar,tapi siapa yang tak bersyukur kalau dapat suami yang *almost* perfect, sangatlah rugi IMHO.

    and it doesn't hurt when he has a *great* body kan?kan? hehehehe (gatai malam ramadhan)

    selamat berpuasa kak elisa!

  8. Kak Alia & Abg Shahrin,
    Thankyou... :)
    When is yours ya?

    I really hope I can keep up with the communication bila balik Malaysia nanti. The thing is, kat Msia, terlalu banyak 'distractions' that could keep us from facing issues head on :P

    Makcikkkk!! Where have you been lah? Senyak tuppah.
    Is Hisham(Hashim?) still in Yanbu kah?
    email me, FB me, whatever.. jangan menghilang begitu sahaja!!

  9. Aza,
    Itu kita belum dengar love story you lagi... *wink*

    Alah .. I'm sure you're doing all these things already lah.. :)

    I think you and Chip already have the good attitude towards love and marriage lah, Gerenti kekal hingga ke anak cucu!

  10. Happy anniversary Elisa & Taufik!! Tak puke pun la reading your blog, agree will a lot of what you wrote actually. Jim & I pun gitu jugak, dah 15+ kenal and almost 13 yrs kahwin but I love him more the longer I know him (now you can puke on my behalf pulak he he he)

    Selamat berpuasa for you & family too!

  11. Anonymous10:37 AM

    Kak Lisa..
    Happy Anniversary walau lambat.. so sweet... this entry makes me cry..

  12. Shirin,
    I guess when two people are meant for each other, they just are :)
    And I guess it helps if they look a bit like Andy Garcia too, eh?

    Dik Anon (siapakah ini?)
    Thankyou.. tapi janganlah nangis..

  13. elisa,
    happy anniversary! so sincere and sweet... :)

  14. Congratulations! You are obviously a woman who possess the ability to see the positive aspects of people especially your hubby. That's very admirable!

    With those good qualities, the people around you feels it and can do nothing but reciprocate the well meaning gestures and emotions that goes with it.

    Many blessings to you!

  15. i am soooo weeping...this is for me a very touching entry..I definitely did not puke...

    May I copy this into my blog, credit of course from you...just so when I am feeling down, this can help me cheer up... ye la cheer up and perk up a bit for my yet to be found otherhalf...

    as intan's very inspiring...

    happy anniversary to you elisa and May Allas s.w.t bless your wonderful family...

  16. Salam,

    This is my first time reading this blog and I'm glad to read this entry. No puke at all - something that is simple to understand and must be done in practice!Thanks Ms Elisa, and Happy Belated Anniversary! :)