Tag Archives: marriage

God Help Teh Ninih!

I know everybody is talking about this hot gossip, so making a blog about the Preacher of A Million People will not be special, but I can’t help wondering what the hell happened on Teh Ninih’s mind!???

Here’s what happened.

1987: Aa’ Gym marries Teh Ninih. They have 7 children, and slowly but sure, Aa’ Gym’s career skyrocketed with enormous job offers from all over Indonesia. He is also known as the owner of Islamic School of Daarut Tauhid in West Java, and became extremely famous as The Preacher of A Million People (dai sejuta umat).

November 2006: After almost 20 years of marriage and 7 kids, Aa’ Gym marries second wife Alfarini (Teh Rini). Being a polygamist, his career began to fell down but it doesn’t stop the couple from continue creating a happy family, and gave birth to a baby on November 2008.

June 2011: Aa’ Gym divorced Teh Ninih, due to different preaching style. Rumors said it was also heavily influenced by Aa’s decision to marry second wife Teh Rini.

March 2012: Aa’ Gym (re)marries Teh Ninih, and said that everything has been arranged by God. That it was all a matter of destiny, and it should be good for religion and for all mankind.

According to Teh Rini, she will not stay together with Teh Ninih because they never stay together anyway. Teh Rini stays in Jakarta, while Teh Ninih stays in Bandung. She said “Everything shall return to previous arrangements. Aa’ will stay in Jakarta with me, from Monday to Wednesday, and then goes to Bandung to be with Teh Ninih until the next Monday morning. Let’s pray that this will be good for everyone.”

Here’s what I think..

Aa’ Gym might have said a lot of wisdom to all his followers during his lectures. But a man’s character is based on his actions, not just words. Especially when his words are contrary to the fact that he treats his wife like sh*t. First, you told her you want to marry another woman. Even when she gave you her approval, you still filed for divorce and leave her with your 7 (seven, yes he have seven for God sake!!!) children alone.

Now you finally see that she’s the best thing that ever happened to you and you simply go to her house, asked her to marry you again, and then went to the KUA and mention your ijab kabul.

Not only you’re being a complete hypocrite, you hide yourself behind your religious covers, saying that God is the One who arranged this, and that everything is simply a matter of destiny.

It’s not destiny, you idiot hypocrite! It’s the wisdom of a woman name Teh Ninih who have a very big heart and endless patience to deal with man like you!

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A Knock On The Door

Back in 2004, I was a college girl, with a busy schedule between playing with several independent rock bands, working in a computer store and completing my final university assignments. He, on the other hand, was a 30 year-old guy who spent most of his days playing computer games with his friends, and had a great time enjoying unemployment.

We were busy with our own lives, until that bright day, when I took one of my friend to this cafe where me and my band love to hang out. To my surprise, she suddenly said, “Wait a minute.. I know this place!” ..which I replied, “Of course you do, didn’t I told you about this cafe for so many times but you always refused to come?”

“Not that cafe, but that house next to it. My boyfriend once took me there to meet his friend. There’s a guy there, his name is Egi. We spent an entire day there, playing computer games and watched movies!”

So there I was, in front of an old house and waving to my friends at the cafe, telling them to wait for a moment. We stood in front of his door, and my friend began to knock. He was sleeping, but then had to wake up because of my friend won’t stop knocking. And finally, there he was, opening the door with a face full of curiosity.. “Yes?” he said.. and my friend easily replied, “Hey! Remember me?”

And so begin the awkward moments. He finally let us in (he remembered who my friend was), but I didn’t stay for long because I have friends waiting at the cafe. My first impression of him was, “Damn, something about him looks similar to Johnny Depp, and yet he just woke up from an afternoon nap..”

yup, he wasn't like this, except for the hair, i think.. (Google Images)

Yummy.” I said to myself.

And ever since that day, it was one excuses after another. I have to see him again, but I must find a good reason!

The first thing I did in the morning was always sending text message to my girl friend, asking her to take me to that house again, “Don’t you want to play those computer games at his place?” or preparing other silly, stupid excuses such as, “There’s something wrong with my computer’s hard disk, I need him to fix it and you must take me there!!”

Which, of course, I believe he knew there’s nothing wrong with the disk. If there was anything wrong at all, it was my heart who was beating heavily everyday being around him, and how I can’t get him off my mind. I still don’t know whether he felt the same way about me when we first met, until one day I stopped at his place after attending one of my friends’ wedding party. I wore this pretty dress, and my friend forced me to put some make-up on my face. I had to look prettier than usual, then he began to made his moves.

I can’t really remember what happened next, the details, and how our relationship started, all I know a year later I was at his mom’s house, surrounded by his family and everyone was busy starring at me. “What’s your problem, people??” I thought to myself.

Then he said, “I was told,by my family, to marry you in January 2006, which is 4 months from now. What do you think? Can we make it in such limited time?”

And well, we did, sort of make it, anyway, despite the fact that he was unemployed when we got married. But then he got a job, and our marriage have survived until this very day. On May 2009, we have another member in the family, a baby boy, named “Bintang” (meaning bright star), a male version of myself with some of my husband’s character inside.

Taken during our vacation, October 2011

Our marriage may not be perfect, but I have a husband who thinks I’m the perfect woman, wife, and mom, despite my laziness to clean the house, to exercise, and to wear make ups. And for that, I’m so glad that me and my friend have the courage to knock on his door and woke him up from his afternoon nap, 8 years ago.

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(Wrote this blog as requested by friend blogger Ms Susan Amestoy, supporting her for “So… How Did You Meet Anyway?” a collection of stories from couples around the world.)

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Marriage Rules That I Believe..

I wish I knew then, what I know now, when it comes to this special kind of relationship between a man and a woman, called “marriage” there are rules that you cannot break..

#Rule no. 1: A good marriage begins with a good financial condition, no debt, and sufficient monthly income.

In December 2005, I have a job, a monthly salary, some credit card debts, an unemployed boyfriend, and a request from his family that we should get married soon, like in January next year.. Without thinking too much about what will happen, I said yes.

I thought.. “Okay, so I have a jobless boyfriend, no money for the wedding ceremony, so what?” I used my credit card to pay the expenses.

Turns out, it was a horrible way to start a journey. Your income becomes limited because you have to pay the credit card debts, hence it is insufficient to pay for all your (and your jobless husband’s) monthly expenses. Instead of being financially ready, I was financially DOOMED.

The stressful condition, lack of money, and the reality that my husband is still jobless, drove me crazy. I never thought that the fact that “I have a jobless boyfriend, and not enough money for a wedding ceremony but I decided to marry him anyway” can lead to such enormous problems! At the end of the first year, I was devastated, and I was ready to end my own marriage a couple of months before our first anniversary.

Lesson learned: You don’t have to be rich to get married, but if you don’t have enough money to make a ‘normal’ wedding ceremony, please be reasonable. Keep it simple, affordable, and do not give a damn about what other people say! Stay the hell out of DEBT, and make sure you have enough money to pay for you-and-your-partner‘s monthly expenses!

#Rule no. 2: A healthy marriage begins with a healthy mind, healthy emotion, and healthy way of communication from both person.

Before marriage, me and my husband were dating for almost two years. We’ve been having disagreements but were always able to solve it. But after marriage, both of us (especially him) started to show our ‘real side’ and domination. Every discussion, every question, and every decision were always made with tears (my tears). Like I said above, as the main breadwinner, I was dominating, and he was defensive.

I didn’t remember how we solve this problem, but I do remember telling him that I want this to be over. I wanted to end our marriage. I was clueless, and I didn’t have anything else on my mind but to be free from him.

That’s when he promised to change. After giving some thoughts, I decided to give him a chance. Several days after our first anniversary, he finally got a job and have become a so much better person than he was before. Hopefully, he can say the same about me. Ever since that day, my husband have become a completely different person when it comes to struggling, decision making, and working his ass off. He truly have changed.

We have a solid communication with each other and we know our obligations. We both contribute to our household expenses and share the same amount of responsibility when it comes to decision making. I’ve been less dominating, and he started to show more control.

Second lesson learned. My marriage was rescued by our willingness to change, our willingness to accept each other mistakes, the belief for another chance, the willingness to communicate, and equal share of responsibility in decision making.

I am so proud of my husband, and even though it’s not the best, I am also proud with our marriage. Looking back to 2006, I am grateful and amazed on how much our financial and mental condition has improved for the both of us. On May 2009 I gave birth to our first son, and on January 2012 we finally have enough money to buy our own house. We’re still paying 15 years of mortgage, but we have plan to make the years shorter.

Those are the rules which I believe will create, and save, a healthy and happy marriage. I know things might not seem well at the beginning, and you feel like giving up your marriage, but it doesn’t mean that things will not change. In the end, it takes more than just a boyfriend/girlfriend to marry someone, it takes a life-time of adaptation.

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Chapters

January 15, 2012, my 6th wedding anniversary. I’ve been preparing two cups of coffee for the same man, for six years.

this wedding ring looks pretty similar to mine

I’ve been staying in different places for six years. From renting a room with shared bathrooms which I paid monthly, to a small house with two bedrooms which I paid every two years, and now to a house that me and my man shall own by ourselves, well, after we’re finished paying 15 years of mortgage, where I will be 47 years old, on the year 2012 + 15 = 2027 !!

I’ve left my parents’ house six years ago, I brought nothing but my old motorcycle, some clothes, and a 160cmx200cm spring bed which we received as a wedding gift from my father’s friend. I still sleep on the same bed until today, with my man and my son cuddling next to me.

I’ve been with the same man who was previously jobless, but then was able to collect enough money to pay hospital charges due to the birth of our son, bought a motorcycle, bought an old/used car (though we sold it later), stereo sets, a flat screen TV, household appliances, gadgets and smart phones, and eventually, paid the down payment for our first house.

I’ve fell into the deepest hole of credit card debts, been running from debt collectors ever since, and was forced to meet them again when I must pay all the debts I owed, due to mortgage applications.

I am now in the next chapter of life, with great anticipation I am entering the year of the dragon, where my son will be 3 years old next May. Perhaps I will send him to early education centers, perhaps I will move to another company and start a new career with better salary, who can offer me a car, give me better challenges. Or maybe I’ll be a part-time teacher somewhere. I have plans, I have hope, and I have my man next to me.

Too bad goats and dragons DON"T get along.. *sigh*

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Two Cups of Coffee

Tracy McMillan wrote an interesting piece in The Huffington Post about single women and why they aren’t married (yet). From my own point of view, none of us should judge single women for their condition, whether they’re still single by choice or (please-please-pretty please- forgive me, for saying this) by fate. She believed there are 6 reasons why a woman is still single, and I found no. 2 (you’re shallow), pretty interesting, to disagree with..

When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.”

Hmmm.. really?

We all know that Brad Pitt (who seemed to have such a strong character when he dated Jennifer Aniston) ‘eventually‘ cheat, with Angelina Jolie. I don’t think character can guarantee anything, or that it had anything to do with staying committed. People change, both men or women. All we can do is try to maintain our relationship with keeping a healthy communication, honoring trust, and self-reminding ourselves about the importance of staying committed. Applying this healthy-style does not guarantee anyone will be faithful, but at least it can make our daily marriage-life better, not a living hell. And sometimes, experiencing the hurt of being cheated is an effective way to prevent someone from cheating. It sounds rude and confusing isn’t it, I know, but that’s just the way it is. We live in a sick world.

I also personally believe that couples who have equal financial portion in the household are less likely to cheat or be-cheated. For me, financial matters may (although not must) determine the domination pattern in a family. Those who contribute more money, will earn the power to dominate more, and have the right to treat their partner like sh*t, the right to cheat, because they’re the main breadwinner. Not all couples are like this, of course, but this domination pattern ia pretty common and is happening around me.

My advice to all of you single ladies, don’t search for someone who is a lot richer, look for someone equal to you. And don’t search for someone who makes less money than you, because you will be easily tempted by other more-financially-stable men. This way, you can minimize the risk of being cheated, and resist the temptation to cheat yourself. I know my tips sounds hilarious, insensitive and with no support from any research we can all forget about it, but think about it again and try to take a look around you. Try connecting what I said to what is exactly happening around you, hopefully you’ll see what I mean.

Now back to Tracy, she also said that most single girls (or men, too) suffered a delusional misunderstanding about an idealistic imagination of marriage. This is real life, you know. We’re not in some romantic movie.

I believe every woman -who wants to- can find a great partner. You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry. ~ Tracy McMillan.

That is true, Tracy. Marriage is NOT going to make you happier. It just changes your status from ‘someone’ to someone’s husband/wife, someone’s daughter-in-law, sister/brother, and so on. You’re still the same person who will have to wake up in the morning, go to work, and eat, and breath, and took a bath. Except now that you’re married, you’ll see your partner doing the same thing around you, and you need to make 2 cups of coffee instead of one. I consider myself lucky enough to have a not-so-demanding husband who allows me to be completely who-I-am even after we marry. Some people have to change their daily habits to match their partner’s. It’s okay if they willingly to change, but those who change by force, be brave!

Marriage is about sharing your most valuable possessions: yourself, and your income. It’s about giving, giving, and giving, without asking anything in return except maybe 80% of your partner’s income, which you can’t use to buy things you love, but to pay for household expenses. The good thing is, you no longer sleep alone at night and you got someone to hug you in case of a bad dream (but not everyone likes to wake up in the middle of the night for something unimportant). Bottom line is, women, single, in a relationship, or married, are still the same person. You’re not single because you’re uglier than your married friends, not because you’re less lucky, but because nobody share the exact-same life story with others.

But if you’re a single woman who desperately want to marry soon (perhaps you got your biological clock ticking?), doing a self-check won’t hurt, right? You can check yourself out with Tracy’s “6 Reasons Why You’re Still Single” article and perhaps there IS something wrong with you. But don’t worry too much about it, you still have time to change yourself, right?

Have fun.

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Gay Marriage, An Abused Ideal?

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Until now I still have mixed feelings about homosexuality. But lately, things got more complicated when the same-sex marriage is being approved in New York City. As a married woman, I find it difficult to understand the reason and purpose behind this breakthrough.

I always believe that a marriage starts at the very moment when a man said his vows to a woman’s father during the ijab kabul process. This system has put men and women in different positions with different responsibilities. Prior to being married, the responsibility to protect a woman in terms of mental, physical and financial, lies in the hands of her father. But when a woman is being married to a man, her father will transfer all the responsibility to her husband. This does not mean that a woman must rely their life to men all of her life, it is okay if she can be independent and self-financed but still, she can rely to her father or husband for protection.

But apparently, in the same-sex marriages we will not find neither the bride nor the groom. Instead, we will possibly see two grooms, or two brides. In this situation, who will act as the husband (and say the vows), and who will be the wife (whose father will transfer the responsibilities) if I may ask?

Well, it’s a common question for anyone with religious beliefs combined with the influence of the so-called patrilineal culture. But for me, the arrangement of a father transferring responsibilities to men does have magical benefits in creating and maintaining a safe, secure, and sane marriage. If all men understand what it means to marry a woman, they will behave according to their own vows. And we will have no question about their commitment. But in reality, well, every marriages will have their own problems, some can find a solution, some will have to end in divorce.

The approval of same-sex marriage undoubtedly gave a new challenge for two people with the same sex, who wish to legalized their “love-based” relationship into a higher level. But at the same time, it has also abused my ideal portrayal where a marriage is supposed to be a transfer of responsibility from fathers to husbands.

When it comes to my own understanding of a sacred marriage, I know I will never be able to relate it to same-sex marriages. But if you see a marriage as an individual right, perhaps I have to force myself to accept the fact that everyone deserves the chance to share a life together as married couples. No matter what their sexual orientation are.

I surely hope I can. Good luck and congratulations, anyway.

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The Search For A Soulmate

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Today, with internet access and the rapid development of communication technology, do you still believe that your fate in finding your perfect match, the one person whom you shall marry to (and spend the rest of your life with, a.k.a your “soulmate“), lies upon God’s hand? In Bahasa, this aphorism of “Jodoh Di Tangan Tuhan” is still widely used and have different interpretations. Not just for single people, but also to those who are in a relationship, engaged or married, this understanding on how God has prepared someone –for us to love ’til death do us part— seems to have been misunderstood and thus confusing.

During my teenager years, this phrase have been somewhat helpful to rescue me from a stagnant, boring, going-nowhere, and on-off relationship. I once told myself, “Okay, I had enough of this battle and I’m gonna leave now, if he’s the one for me, then someday we’ll meet again, as arranged by God.“— I can no longer do this though, because I’m married.

You can’t simply get a divorce after having a dispute with your spouse and said that it is part of God’s plan. You can’t marry someone and then cheat with someone else just because you think they are your true soul mate.

And the fact is, we can never know for sure whether the person standing beside us right now is the one sent by God to be our soulmate, or NOT. It is something that you have to decide by yourself. For me, it doesn’t matter whether I’m married to my soulmate or not, what matters the most is the commitment I have with him. We can make them our soulmate, if we want to, if we choose to believe so, and if we are willing to do whatever we can to make it real.

I know that many of us believe that this “soulmate” thing is part of our destiny. But it doesn’t mean that we can use it as an excuse to hurt anyone by cheating. And if you’re among the single people looking for your “other half” please don’t solely rely on this phrase and then forgetting the elements of hard work. Your life partner is out there, but if you spend your days in front of your PC, what do you expect? That they will someday come knocking at your door asking you out on a date?

I believe in destiny, but above all I believe that it is hard work that will take us to our destiny. Otherwise, we will be like those people who dream about something so big, but forget to wake up to make it happen.

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