FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR MARRIAGE


Sometimes, life doesn’t function with a definite principle and that is why we must not always expect to get the exact results another person got even if we do things the exact way they did it. Life is not like some mathematics that uses one or two formulas, there are several formulas to life and each is unique to individuals. Sometimes, we only make these discoveries as life progresses.

What worked for Mrs A may never really work for Mrs B. For one person, early marriage may be a launchpad to destiny and for another person, it would be a limitation to a purpose. Some people couldn’t further their education or even follow a career path after getting married while some were able to do so in marriage. While one person became very successful as a single person, another person’s success may be tied to his or her marriage.

In Mr A’s family, Mr A loves cooking and cooks most times for his family. In Mr B’s family, Mrs B wants to own the kitchen and she doesn’t complain about doing all the chores. In Mr C’s family, Mr and Mrs C have duty rosters and often do chores in turns. For all of the above, their marriages are working perfectly fine but what works for Mr A isn’t working for Mr B, their marriages are working because they have an understanding that makes it work for them.

When Mr B’s family decide to run on the model of Mr A’s family, their marriage may crash. Marriage involves two persons and there must be an understanding between the two for it to work. This understanding should be mutual.

For example, if you don’t love cooking or you believe the woman belongs to the kitchen, don’t marry a woman who doesn’t believe so only to end up forcing her to do all the chores alone. Look for a woman who believes that her place is in the kitchen, make her your wife and the both of you will enjoy that aspect of marriage because there was an understanding. If you are a woman who believes that the man and his wife are equal in a sense, don’t marry a man who believes the woman is an afterthought and man’s subordinate because both of you will always have issues over whose words count.

This is why it is wrong to model your marriage based on the testimonies and experiences of another person. For example, a woman was in an abusive marriage, she was being raped and battered by her husband but she remained in the marriage without even involving a third party. One day, her husband had an encounter that made him change his mind and he started treating her fine. This same woman may use her experience to encourage another woman into staying in a marriage that is abusive and this woman may be patient enough to allow her husband to beat her to death! Both had the same experience, one had victory and another died in it!

Another example is a woman who married a man because he had money and the marriage turned out fine, they both grew in love and her husband treated her with the utmost respect! Another may make the same choice and fall into the hands of a rich beast who always brag about how “I brought you out of the gutter.”

While there are guides that can be applied generally, we must ensure that before we journey into forever with someone, we share similar values! When we start thinking of marriage, we must pay attention to the values of our partners. If it is not compatible with ours, we need to take a walk. As a woman, it is not a problem to be opinionated but don’t give yourself to a man who finds a problem with that. It is not wrong to marry as a young man who hasn’t hit the jackpot yet but marry a woman who will understand that and is willing to walk the walk with you regardless of the weight of your pocket.

When you eventually marry someone who doesn’t share the same values with you, you will be forced to bow to their own values if they are stronger than you! Don’t also make certain decisions simply because you saw it working for someone else, it may never work for you, it may be destructive!

Personally, I believe that a woman is equal to her husband, I admit that couples are unique and different but as humans, they are equal and deserve equal respect, equal love and equal accountability with respect to one’s individual strength. I wouldn’t want to end up with a woman who will turn me into a god, a woman who won’t move until I say so and a woman who bows at everything I say without questioning the ones that deserve to be questioned. Well, not every woman wants my kind and not every man wants the kind of woman I want.

To know the kind of partner you need and what will work best for you, look inwards, study your own values and discover yourself. Only then can you find out the formula that works best for you. Read books on marriage but when they are using their own experiences to guide you, be careful not to replicate what they are offering you, it may crash your marriage! Your formula is unique, discover it!

GREEN ORANGE, YELLOW-RED JUICE


Have you tried advising married audience and they suddenly acted defensive citing that you’ve got no right to talk to them since you aren’t married and without experience? As a young fellow who has been particularly interested in the subject of relationships and marriage, I have written on topics associated with it and I’ve always gotten such approach from some folks.

At some times, I try to understand them and at some other times, I realize that they aren’t standing on that school of thought because they want to protect themselves from wrong counsels but because they are proud and arrogant. Let me bring something to your notice:

Brain and wisdom are not marital gifts, one doesn’t need to be married to be able to know more. The experience will definitely help, it will help broaden perspective, it will help build trust from the audience but experience in itself isn’t a yardstick to measuring wise sayings. Marriage doesn’t certify wisdom, the experiences can make or show you wiser but the act of being married in itself doesn’t truly signify wisdom.

It is like parents who ditch every good content on parenting simply because the creator of those contents don’t have kids or isn’t married. We were all once kids who have grown and some of us have realised what our parents didn’t do well while raising us and how it has impacted us negatively, we have also seen what they got right and how it is helping us; isn’t that quality experience in itself?

When you stumble on wisdom and very helpful words, embrace it and put it to work. Stop seeking “certificate of experience” where it doesn’t matter. You don’t learn how to be married in marriage, you learn it before getting married. One reason why experiences aren’t the great yardstick for measuring wisdom is that we are all peculiar and our experiences will differ in context. The circumstances surrounding our experiences are very unique and how we dealt with it may never work for the next folk.

For example, some women got married to a bully who was on it for several years before finally coming to his senses. Their advice for other women who are experiencing the same thing would be to stay in the marriage and be patient. While they may all share equal experiences, they don’t share equal personalities. While one person had a changed husband, the other may have a husband who isn’t willing to change. She may die in his hands just because she was waiting for the day his mind will change.

There is information that is general and anyone possessing it can share it to those who care to receive it. I may not tell you how I’ve handled my marriage because I’ve never been married but I can suggest things you may want to try in your marriage, things I trust will work or things I’ve learnt from others or even my parents. Some information is golden whether it is coming from the mouth of a baby or the mouth of an old man. If I happen to study more on marriage than some folks who are married, it is normal for me to know much more than them and it isn’t out of place if I share what I know with them.

Rejecting counsels simply because the counsellor hasn’t had the experience before would be foolish, counsels should be rejected because they aren’t practical and applicable to our circumstances, it can be rejected because it is bias and unwise but if the only reason why we reject it is because the counsellor or advisor has no experience, then we are threading a foolish path.

I read a story in the Bible where Peter and other colleagues have toiled all night to catch fishes but to no avail. Jesus came and instructed them on what to do, Jesus had never fished before, they have never seen him around before but since they were experiencing failure using their own method, the best thing to do wasn’t to question an opinion but to see sense in it and try it out. They experienced net breaking miracles!

Just like Jesus, some people have unusual wisdom, it may be a revelation or insight that had come from studies! Sometimes, our helpers don’t often appear in the form we desire, they may not come in the status we had envisaged. Some people know what works but they haven’t applied it to themselves because opportunity hasn’t called for it and some people know what works but haven’t applied it because they’ve not disciplined themselves enough to be practical with what they know. When such people share what they know, those who grab it excel with it regardless of whether former has benefited from his own knowledge or not.

When we stumble upon relevant counsels that is full of wisdom and glaring truth in all ramifications, our reception of that counsel should not be based on what the experiences of the counsellor are. Jesus was speaking to an audience concerning the teachers of the law when he said

“So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.” – Matthew 23:3 NLT

There is a difference between harkening to a wise counsel and following the examples of the counsellor. The counsellor may not be a good example but can be a good teacher. This is applicable to people without experience, they may have no experience that you should follow their examples but they have words that you can listen to and learn from it.

My mother doesn’t like beans, she may not eat it when she doesn’t feel like even at gunpoint but she encouraged us to always eat beans because of its protein nutrients. By example, she wasn’t eating beans and if we were to accept her counsel based on what she does, we may have ended up not eating beans and missing out on its nutrients. Her counsel was for our benefit and not being able to eat beans was her own problem and not ours.

I may not have eaten an apple before but I know you should wash your apple before you eat it. Not eating an apple is my own issue and not yours, asking you to wash an apple before eating it is for your own good and not mine. If you decide not to wash your apple simply because the counsel came from a man who hasn’t eaten an apple before, the health risks are yours to bear. Any day I decide to eat an apple, I may go ahead and wash it before eating or I may also not but the risk is mine to bear too.

Embrace wisdom! Sometimes they come in words and not in practicality. Be able to recognise it and when you do, don’t despise it. That the orange is green doesn’t mean the juice isn’t yellow-red!

Blessings!

Is It Love?


I was in a meeting when a woman was asked “your husband seldom stays at home due to the nature of his job. How do you cope?” And she replied, “well, it makes no difference to me as long as he drops good money on the table”. Well, she just disclosed why she got married, it wasn’t for love but for money and as long as she is concerned, her marriage is working because he drops money on the table. How about if he stops dropping money on the table? How about when circumstances change, will she still stick to him?

Sometimes we wrongly think that being crazy about someone equals love, we think that because someone misses us means we are loved but all those aren’t enough and does not necessarily indicate love. There are people who might miss you so much but these people are very unwilling to make serious sacrifices for you, they adore you and they are loyal to you but they will never make any sacrificial effort towards you because you aren’t the reason why they are with you, they are with your for themselves! They only serve your interest at their own convenience but they only want to be with you just because of themselves.

I figured out what the problem is.

If you claim to love someone without the zeal to make sacrifices and go out of your way for them, it may be something about them that you like and not necessarily that you love them. If what you like about them is taken away, you surely may not want them again. It is true that we always ask people “why do you love me?” But if there is “why” to that love, then, it is not love! We can be attracted to people for a reason, we can be endeared to people for a reason but a love that has reasons attached will bail out when those reasons fade away!

It’s possible to want to have someone without even loving them, there are various reasons you may want to have someone; it may be about security, it may be the care and attention you get from them, it may be their intelligence and creativity. You want it for yourself, it’s all about you and has nothing to do with them. If the security wasn’t there, you won’t want to be with them! If the care isn’t there, you wouldn’t want to be with them.

You can be crazy about someone but the craze is about what they have and how it will go a long way to meet your needs, it has nothing to do with them, you miss them simply because of what they put on the table. It is true that some things can attract us to people but it isn’t fair to make decisions based on mere attraction. If they lose that stuff, will they remain?

For me, love is a decision, a decision to stand with someone despite the odds and the surprises that will surface. It’s okay if you want to be with people because they have what you want but it is wrong when you label it love, it reduces the meaning of love to mere selfishness! Love goes out of the way of self and puts another person first. Love doesn’t think of “what will I gain from him?” It thinks of “what will he gain from me? How do I make him better?” Love is more of others than it is more of ourselves.

Maybe, we need to review our relationships again to know if it’s love or just about ourselves.

Blessings.

WINNING BEFORE THE FIGHT


Never live your life on chance, don’t put yourself at the mercies of fate. Be intentional with your life and don’t let the flow carry you away. Doctors don’t learn their profession when emergencies happen, they learn it before emergencies! They take their time, spend several years in school and prepare for emergency cases if they really desire to be a solution in that field!

Have you seen a pilot who started driving the aeroplane by accident? Life shouldn’t be about trial and error all the time! To fly a plane, you must learn how to drive it. Otherwise, you may not just crash and kill yourself, you may kill others too! Like I will always write, opportunities can happen by accident but success is prepared for.

Show me a man who learnt how to ride a taxi in the face of an opportunity to be a taxi driver! They learnt it earlier and then were able to take up the opportunity to drive a taxi when it called! Whatever you face tomorrow should be what you’ve conquered yesterday. Why wait till you feel sick before you learn how to take care of yourself? Why wait till you’re married before you learn how to be a partner? Why wait till you have a child before you learn how to parent?

Some knowledge doesn’t have to wait till the need arises, you’ve got to gain them before the need arises. There are prayers we are praying today that we should have prayed earlier, avoiding damage is better than controlling the damage. You don’t learn your numbers when the need to count money arises, you learn your numbers and when money starts flowing you can count and do basic calculations.

You have no business with what you haven’t learned, you have no business with a task you never prepared for, you have no business with a marriage you never trained yourself for, you have no business with a profession you aren’t skilled on. Well, if you must venture into it, you’re taking a careless risk! When you buy a car before learning how to drive, you may not only crash the car, you may die with it!

That prayer point, sacrifices, and knowledge shouldn’t wait till you’re married. Pray that prayer now, make those confessions now, make the sacrifices now, gain the knowledge now! Today isn’t too early to learn what will drive you through a phase of life in the future.

The best way to solve a problem isn’t when or after they happen but before they happen. Wise people project problems and start solving them! Projecting problems don’t mean being negative or hopeless, it means you understand life and you are ready to face it squarely. We will be living in falsehood if we think that there won’t be any problem or challenges in this life.

In marriage, for example, there are issues that will arise, there are misunderstandings that will happen! Wise people don’t let these things happen before figuring out a way out, they get ready for what is to come and when it comes, it won’t overwhelm them.

Some challenges will never overwhelm you when you were prepared for it!

Blessings!

She Don’t Like Cooking


“I am dating a girl and we are planning to get married next year. She told me that she doesn’t like cooking or doing the house chores with the excuse that she is a career woman. We’ve not always been together but I noticed it when she visited over the weekend. She didn’t sweep nor cleaned the house, she didn’t bother herself with the kitchen too. It was nothing for me though as it was my routine. I love her but am confused, I am wondering if I can cope. What do I do?” – Name Undisclosed (Originally asked on Gwen Divy’s Wall)

Young Man,
Love is a beautiful thing, we all need to love and be loved. But there is something called commitment. If love is true, commitment to that love is inevitable. Commitment to love is what truly proves it. People don’t always have to do what they like all the time, I get to do my laundries every weekend but I hate laundry! I get to go to work every day even when I don’t feel like, I type on my blog sometimes when I feel inspired but don’t like to write. The sense of responsibility should be able to make people do certain things that they are supposed to do even if they don’t want to do it.

True, you aren’t getting married because you need a cook and you aren’t getting married because you need someone who can wash your clothes. Marriage is about companionship.

That said.

I say again, commitment to love is what proves love and not the affirmation of it. Nobody truly likes cooking, but everybody likes eating. If she can’t cook, that’s not the problem. If she is not willing to learn, that’s the problem. If she can cook but doesn’t like to cook, that still isn’t the problem but if she only does what she likes, then there is a big problem. She can also wake up one day and tell you “I don’t like children…”

The reason why she must take care of the house with you when you get married to her is that she is also living in the house and the house needs to be taken care of. The reason why she must have to take part in cooking is that she eats too! It would have been great if she said: “I don’t like eating.”

If she isn’t showing any sense of commitment in this relationship, it means it’s worth nothing to her. She’s a career woman and that’s very amazing! We love career women but, you’re also a career man. Which rule says career people don’t cook or do house chores?

No one is saying that cooking belongs to a woman. God knows I’ll always compete my wife in the kitchen unless she’s comfortable doing it all by herself and she wants to but aside that, I’ll always wake up in the morning when it’s my turn to cook and serve her on the bed. But, if she isn’t ready to do the same, crosses her legs and tell me she’s a career woman… Then it’s a no-no,  we aren’t and can’t get married!

It’s still early to redefine what you want. Marriage is a lifetime thing, going through a divorce and living with it isn’t an option you’d like to choose in case things go south after marriage. It’s better to sort it out now than trying coping for a lifetime.

I hope this helps.

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