5 Real-Life Marriage Takeaways We Learn from “A Second Chance”



It was 2007 when the romantic film One More Chance took the Philippine Cinema by storm and yet the phenomenal success is still apparent up to this date as its sequel “A Second Chance” reportedly earned a whooping P300 million in just 6 days (and still counting), according to Star Cinema as of November 30, 2015.

The record-breaking iconic film is played by one of the well-respected love teams and bankable stars in Philippine showbiz, John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo, playing Popoy and Basha (which has become well-known household names). The characters already evolved this time in “A Second Chance” as a young married couple caught up with marital issues and real-life struggles and how the movie imbibed that no matter how hopeless the situation is, love conquers it all.

One thing that you have to expect if you haven’t seen the movie yet is the fact that the film is not your usual romantic movie, loaded with sugar-coated lines and “kilig” moments but more of “hugot” lines and heart-wrenching scenes depicting the real drama of marriage (of which can be very blatant and nasty to some) and how these struggles almost crumbled the relationship of Popoy and Basha.

The same successful formula was adapted by writers, along with director Cathy Garcia Molina engaging the viewers that what they are seeing is a film focusing more on the other side of the love story --- all the struggles, conflicts and issues and how the characters overcomed them. So be prepared with your tissues as tears will definitely stream down when emotions are high.

I was with my husband when we watched “A Second Chance” last Sunday (we just had a nasty argument days before). Seeing this film together was an eye-opening for both of us as it helped us understand that our own struggles are actually universal; thus, it helped us address and acknowledge our nagging differences and how we talked about our approaches to effectively deal with it.

I will be highlighting 5 real-life marital issues that “A Second Chance” had covered (along with the quotable “hugot lines” derived from the movie) and what can a couple do in order to overcome those:


Issue of Trust

I lost count on how many times the issue of trust has been brought up. And it was brilliantly enthralled into several scenes like trusting your spouse in decision making, losing trust after several betrayals and the fear of trusting again. The different facets of trust issues were unveiled and I am glad that they did because this is often the cause of arguments in a relationship.

Trust is the most important factor that a couple has to bank in order to make their marriage worthy to fight for. The lack of complete trust and presence of trust in marriage will cause unhappy and unhealthy marriage.

May it be issues of infidelity, betrayal and constant lying, or lack of trust to your partner due to previous failures; it can drag the relationship down. Trust is the foundation of a peaceful home environment and once it is broken, it can create a lasting negative impact towards your kids, spouse and your entire family.


What can you do if it is so hard to trust your partner again?

Yes, it is so true that it is hard to trust again especially if we have been betrayed or cheated. It is easy to forgive but so hard to forget. Constant doubt and lack of support due to trust issues will surely estrange your relationship towards your spouse. It creates ghosts which will haunt you every time. You wouldn’t find such peace of mind if you are always uneasy, and always find yourself worrying constantly, suspecting that your spouse is doing something behind your back.

In case you are in that situation, the best thing that you can do is to take a chance by trusting your love towards your partner. When you trust your love, it gives you hope….and with hope, it leads to forgiveness, and by forgiveness, it surely will progress for you to trust him or her again.


According to the article Trust in Marriage: How to Build or Rebuild Yours:

“Building trust in marriage does not happen overnight. It simply takes TIME. It will require some effort especially if either you or your spouse have trust issues from past relationships or marriage(s). To make complete trust a reality in your marriage, start by simply being honest with your spouse.”

In order to maintain trust in marriage, you have to be open and honest with each other; this leads to building intimacy. Intimacy, not just in the physical sense but more on being emotionally and spiritually connected to each other in a way that it becomes a lifestyle. When you are honest with each other, it promotes security and comfort towards your partner. It may be impossible to achieve it in real-life but why not give it a try and make a difference just like what Basha did to Popoy?


Financial Struggles in Marriage

Issues of financial stability and how it affects the marital relationship has also been clearly discussed. And I have to congratulate the writers because this personally is something that has to be opened for the public to create awareness since a lot of married couples part ways due to issues with finances.

“A Second Chance” had pinpointed the disadvantages of wanting more and how it affects the relationship of Popoy and Basha; and in reality it can happen to anyone. Although there’s nothing wrong to dream of a sufficient life together, just be aware of the negative effects of investing all your time working and the desire to earn more in order to fulfill that dream to the extent that you have no time for you and your spouse to bond anymore, not to mention the physical exhaustion, lack of intimacy and sex and even the stress adhered to it.

In the film, Popoy took a lot of projects until his plate was so full; thus, he wasn’t able to manage it well that caused them to lose a lot of clients to the brink of bankruptcy. And eventually he sees himself as a failure for not being able to build the dream house and to provide the life that they want.

What wrenched my heart is the melancholic irony of an architect and an engineer staying in a small house when they can have the best house that they want. The pain in John Lloyd’s eyes was so raw, embodying the disappointment of not being able to deliver what they’ve dreamed of.

And that leads to another nagging issue - disappointments in the relationship. Every couple has high hopes of how they want their married life to be before they even tied the knot. And sadly, not everyone really gets what they have hoped for, or dreamed of which leads to disappointments. And when a partner is disappointed with the kind of life that they have, he or she tends to divert the blame to the spouse as the reason for the failure. And surely, this will snowball until they question their capability of fulfilling the life that they want to be. And eventually, the what ifs” will take place.

Last Sunday worship (before we watched the movie), our worship speaker discussed about how a simple comparison can cause someone to complain, and when you complain, you become so unsatisfied and unhappy with your life leading you to covet, until you always want more to the brink of trading your faith with the love of money. It will then result to living life as if it is a race or a competition until it becomes a threat to your relationship.


What you can do to combat money taking its toll to your marriage?

Stop setting high standards and expectations that are too hard to meet. Instead, take things  one at a time and be contented and grateful of the blessings that are coming in. Again, there is nothing wrong if you dream of wanting more, but it is best if you petition it together as a couple to the Lord instead who is the Greatest Provider.

Let money not drag your marriage down to the point of giving it up because you don’t get the life you think you deserve. Remember, God brought you in that circumstance to test how faithful you are. His timing is always perfect. Stop chasing what is not meant for you but instead, trust the Lord and He will not fail you.


Those “What if’s”…

From financial struggles and disappointments come the “what if’s” in a relationship.  The film effectively illustrates the damage that it may cause when you no longer appreciate your current standing. It subtly covers the importance of contentment. The “what ifs” in a relationship is not healthy. It will not even help you in any way. It leads to doubts and fears of uncertainties, making you think things over and questioning yourself if being married to your spouse is the best decision you ever made.


When things become so heated and nasty, there are instances you second guess yourself which can even lead to regrets.


In real life, marriage is not always a bed of roses. Sometimes it becomes a battleground. Those “what ifs” honestly just resonate regrets, disappointments, and being ungrateful. And you have to stop it right away when you see the first signs of it.




I will quote an article from Inquirer.net written by Cathy S. Babao:

Embracing life’s what is, whether in relationships—be it with a spouse, a partner, a friend—or in one’s job, or in losses that take place, is living what Rilke wrote about beautifully: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

“What is” is the celebration of all the things that you have right now whatever state you are in. It is the contentment of your heart regarding your present circumstance and being grateful of what was given by the Lord than wishing what you do not have. “What is” is about living the most important time of your life, and that is NOW. What’s more important is what you have right now and what will you become together as a couple. So be contented, forget about those "what if's" and embrace the "what is" towards a positive "what will be".



Accepting Each Other’s Flaws and All the Ugly Parts

As the cliché says, “change is the only constant thing in this world.” Change is inevitable. People grow and evolve. It can happen to you, your family, friends and so as your spouse. Factors like stress, pressures, responsibilities, obligations, work, family, kids, marital conflicts, and life experiences can contribute one to change.

Dave and I just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary last November although we were a couple for 8 years. Now that we’re married, we saw a lot of attitude, practices, annoying traits and habits we haven’t seen before that shocked the both of us. There are instances (especially during those times that we have petty arguments) that I often wonder what had become of the man I fell in love with 10 years ago.

The tricky part of being in a relationship is that, during the courtship stage, you and your partner are always on your best foot forward. Thus, you fell in love usually with those beautiful qualities. Sadly, what we saw that made us fall in love with is not really the whole of which he or she really is… it usually is a façade. Once you move along, get married and live in one roof, traits and habits that had been well-hidden from each other will eventually surface.

Sooner or later you will see the worst of your spouse. Now the question is, will you still love your spouse despite those ugly flaws?

Marriage is not just about hand-picking those great qualities you like the most about your spouse. But it is about wholeheartedly accepting your partner of who he or she is, even the ugliest parts. It is a package that you have to deal with. The fact is, it is so easy to love the lovable traits, who wouldn’t right? But the real essence of unconditional love is to embrace even the craps.  It is you standing next to your partner even on his or her worst that truly measures how unconditional your love is.


Continue to Fight And Save your Vow

Marriage is a holy matrimonial, a vow. It is a covenant both in legal and spiritual terms. Because of the vows, couples are united as one, both in the eyes of the society in which they live and before God who spiritually joins them together. It is a commitment that a couple has to fulfill for the rest of their lives.


A relationship without struggle is not a relationship at all. When you love someone and you promised through the matrimonial sacrament, it means that you have to guard your covenant at all times and whatever it takes. It is a commitment of being with your husband or wife, in sickness and in health, in richer and in poorer and the Lord will be the ultimate witness.

Loving someone and being married to “the one” is not a guarantee that you will be happy all the time. To love someone means you have to undergo a lot of painful processes, petty arguments, avalanche of problems, issues and struggles, tests and trials, flood of tears, and even hatred or anger in order to bring the best of your relationship. It is a diamond in the rough. Loving your partner sometimes can be hurtful. But that’s what love is…you have to learn to sacrifice in order for you to both grow. Just make sure that no matter what, no matter how hard life can be, whatever trials that you will both go through, you will not give up the vow that you both made, and instead do whatever it takes just to save your marriage.

Personally, I learned that having a relationship with the Lord and surrendering your marriage to Him is the most important thing in order for your relationship to thrive. Our spirit can be weak. There are instances that when things are overwhelming, all you want is to just give it up. But with God as the center of your marriage, He will always make a way for both of you to be reminded of your matrimonial vow.


Conclusion

What made Popoy and Basha well-loved by Filipinos to the extent that tickets are selling like hot potatoes from day one onward is due to the fact that people can relate to the characters. Every couple is a Popoy and Basha personified. We all have our own relationship struggles, conflicts, and differences in opinions, which are inevitable.

Overall, I really love the sincerity of the movie and how it touched moviegoers. John Lloyd and Bea once again had exceptionally justified the characters, their emotions are raw and real and how they made us feel about every struggle of Popoy and Basha (as individuals and as a couple) is definitely unforgettable.

 “A Second Chance” is all about fully accepting the flaws and the ugly parts of a relationship. Yes, there are differences, disagreements, disappointments, financial difficulties, failures, hurtful verbal clashes, tears and gritting of the teeth; they are all inevitable, and they are all part of the package.

“ A Second Chance” emphasizes the reality that marriage isn’t a fairy tale that you see in movies but is a love story  worth sharing nevertheless and that every one of us has a unique love story to tell. It is what you both make; it is how you fight for it and not losing hope. Marriage and relationship is more important than money and pride. It is more than just a second chance. Marriage is not worthy to be given up because of our stubbornness, of those “what ifs” and uncertainties, financial issues, personality differences, shortcomings, egoistic attitude and those high standards that are so difficult to meet. It is about giving chances over and over; to continue to trust, to continue to fight for your relationship, to continue to believe, to continue to hope and to continue to love against all odds, for to love is the greatest!
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