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Of "battered men"

A lion was getting married in the jungles and a reporter saw a mouse jumping up and down with
joy. Curious, the reporter approached the mouse and asked why he was so happy. My brother is
getting married! said the mouse. Who is your brother? asked the reporter. The lion, replied
the mouse. How in the world can a lion be the brother of a mouse? asked the astonished
reporter. The mouse, hiding in shame said, I used to be a lion before I got married! He, he, he,
arent we all?
A man came over the office and sought advice claiming he was a battered husband. I said no
such thing only buttered men!
The New Civil Code and the Family Code had a whole chapter on marriage aimed to make it
ideal and perfect. In real life, however, there is no hard and fast rule to keep the marriage in
peaceful bliss. Admittedly, conflicts and problems are common between husbands and wives.
One of the causes of these problems is the lack of knowledge and understanding by either or both
of them of their rights and obligations. In 210 SCRA 688, Judge Alicia Gonzales-Decano said,
Wives generally are conscious of their rights but they are not so with respect to their
obligations. True to most Filipino women, they always demand respect and love but more often
than not, they do not give the same love and respect to their husbands.
Many young girls and boys wanting to get married believe that marriage is a status of paradise, a
state of milk and honey, not knowing the intricate rights and obligations that lie ahead of them.
Many are not aware that marriage is not a mere ordinary contract but an extraordinary one
because it is an inviolable social institution, which public policy cherishes and protects. It is the
foundation of the family and the origin of domestic relations of utmost importance to civilization
and social progress; hence, even the State is deeply interested in maintaining its purity and
integrity.
One of the additions to the mutual rights and obligations of husband and wife falls under Article
68 of the Family Code. It provides, among other things, that husband and wife are obliged to
observe mutual love and respect. The duty to observe mutual love has been added because
every marriage must be founded on mutual love, a love that is not just a feeling but a deep,
abiding unity, maintained by will and reinforced by the grace which both partners ask and
receive from God, a love that they should have for each other even at moments when they do not
like each other, especially when one feels a lack of space between the two of them.
The duty to observe mutual love is a welcome reminder to spouses, especially to those who have
been living together for many years, that it is not only during the celebration of the marriage that
they have to affirm their love to each other. It must be throughout the marital life and for as long
as the marriage subsists. Indeed, if love could only be legislated (as Rocky suggests that first
thing I do when I assume my congressional seat back (?) is to file a bill requiring the renewal of
the marriage contract every five years), there must be more of it to instill to the spouses, that
what bound them first, must unwind them last. Besides, marriage as defined is a permanent
union, so that it goes without saying that love to each other must be permanent, too, to preserve
the sanctity and permanence of the marriage. Without it, the marriage may fall and break.

It is said that mutual love must survive the tests of time and be unyielding to the touch of age.
Mutual love and respect cannot be compelled, elicited, or imposed by court action. If the ardor of
affection between the spouses has cooled after some years of marriage and the parties forget or
neglect to do the little things manifesting their love for each other, neither party can go to court
to make the other love him or her again as before. Inferably, respect and love, must by both
spouses, be reciprocally and mutually observed. The wife is under obligation to give respect (not
obedience) to her husband as head of the family, and the husband is under the same obligation to
respect (not obey) his wife as the queen of the home and the mother of his children. Likewise,
they must mutually respect each other as individuals. Mutual respect is based on mutual
understanding and tolerance between the spouses. Literally speaking, mutual respect is the
mutual regard or concern and love of either spouse to the person, dignity and integrity of the
other. It may refer to the high regard for ones feelings, opinion, interest, sensitivities, and ones
beliefs.
Each of the spouses has the duty to respect not only the person of the spouse but also the
spouses dignity, pride, ideas, and opinion. Getting together well also demands that one has to
follow the golden rule, if only to foster that feeling that one is as important human being as the
other. So there, foes.
And as they say, I am the boss in my house, and I have my wifes permission to say so. Sigh!