This December, show biz couple Gelli de Belen and Ariel will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.
Asked to share their secret to a lasting relationship, Gelli said: “We, the wives, will always want relationships to last. We will do everything to make our marriages work. Women are naturally nurturing and loving. Men are different.
“I feel that I’m just blessed to have met a man who also wants the same thing in life—to prioritize family.”
Gelli added: “I’ve found my match. If I were with a different partner, I guess the relationship will not be as harmonious. I hope that he will be my forever.”
The 44-year-old mom said she would always remind their two sons—Joaquin, 18, and Julio, 16, who are now both studying in Toronto, Canada—“to treat women the same way their dad treats me. He respects me by letting me be myself, by supporting the decisions I make.”
“I don’t want my boys to end up being womanizers,” she said. “They would do well without having such complications in their lives.”
Both her sons claim to be single at the moment. “I guess it’s better that way for now. They are embarking on a difficult journey, a different episode in their lives. It’s really their decision [to study abroad]. We didn’t influence them.”
Joaquin plans to take up aviation and become a pilot. Julio is still in high school.
The boys left for Toronto last year, but Gelli confessed to still feeling emotional when talking about living here in Manila without them. “Adjustment was very hard for me because I’ve always been a hands-on mom. I would cry every time I speak with them on the phone. When I visit, I’d stay with them for three weeks.”
The “La Luna Sangre” cast member added that her sons are living with their paternal grandparents, so she does not feel so worried about them. Ariel’s Canada-based siblings are there, too.
Gelli and Ariel have allowed the boys to study in Toronto because “we want them to be more independent. They can be themselves when they’re there. You see, there are pros and cons to being our children,” she pointed out. “The setback is that, in spite of whatever achievements they have, they will still be tagged as our children here. At least, they are themselves there and whatever they do will be attributed to just them.”
Since the kids are far away, Gelli said she could now focus more on being a wife to Ariel. “The boys’ decision to leave had an interesting effect on us—we’ve become clingy to each other,” she shared with the Inquirer.
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