In this my little life I like to think I have seen quite a lot. No, I am not married and I don’t have the first hand experience, but as I have often said you don’t have to wait till you get to a bridge before you learn how to cross it. My perspective on marriage issues is not drawn from just hearsay or a bystanders point of view; rather it is from things I have seen people go through and those that have been shared with me. I also have a tendency to poke my nose into marriage counselling, so all of these have informed my opinion on these topics. Dear future hubby if you’re reading this, I’m well informed and ready to go, so you can show up now 🙂
I will be talking about these 3 things I have learnt from married people as factors that can make or break your marriage:
Whether or not it has to do with marriage, money changes things and it definitely changes people. An elderly woman once told me “it’s better to have never had money and later come into wealth, than to have had and lost it” If you want to know the true nature of a man who is currently well to do, wait till he goes broke. Then all sorts of demons start showing up. Also for a man who is currently broke and seems humble, wait until he hammers then you can recheck that humility. Changes in financial status would also reveal a woman who is in for the long haul. Money does solve a lot of problems and it is harder to express love where there is a lack of it – thus making it one of those make or break elements in a marriage. Even when they say it’s the thought that counts, sometimes an expression of those thoughts also goes a long way. You need money to express all those great ideas you have on how to spice up your marriage. You may have started your marriage on a platter of luxury, but reality check would sneak in every now and then. What happens when, maybe, the husband loses his job, or the family business goes bad? I think people in this generation particularly ignore the “…for worse” part in those vows and are hardly prepared for the financial changes that may occur in marriage and the effects they would have. Thus the trending divorce rates.
In case you do not know, this is a very common and legitimate ground for a lot of divorces. I feel like this is one topic that is lightly glossed over during marriage counselling especially in religious settings. It is not talked about in details, as such discussions might be seen as mundane. Not to go too PG18, sex is very crucial. From a Christian perspective I know we’re not meant to experiment before marriage, but shouldn’t you? So you just go in with faith and readiness to accept whatever is offered (coughs). But this is the thing; questions like ‘what if he can’t perform? or like my friend Mo would say: what if your good looking tall and bulky guy’s little junior is the size of a Mac lipstick? Damn! (Yes, Mo is a case!) What if one of you guys really likes sex and the other doesn’t? What if someone is more experienced and the other person is unable to meet up to the required level of satisfaction? These things hardly come up; and seemingly trivial issues as these have been known to break marriages or lead to adultery (not that it is justified)
Also a lot of people dealing with infertility issues can also be traced to poor sexual performance, emission of dead sperms, incompatibility of organs or hormones, and so on. Many people do not see the need to check for these things, until they are already in the marriage.
Inasmuch as I do not advocate premarital sex, I think it should be properly talked about before marriage, discuss your insecurities in that regard, your inabilities – if any, your sexual preferences and all that. So you guys were on a Fifty Shades of Grey level when you got married and a couple of years in, missionary style sef has become hard work, you have to re-ignite that spark!
So a man walks into my mum’s shop one day while I was on saleswoman duty and unconsciously he started lamenting about how he had to spend a lot more on food… because he had unwanted visitors in his house. He jokingly asked for advice from a fellow customer on how to get rid of unwanted visitors a.k.a his in-laws. Then he went on about how it was easy for him to check his own people, but when it came to his in-laws they were such a thorn and he had to be careful about how to deal with them or caution them to avoid trouble. Then we both concluded that in-laws are such a necessary evil. You can’t just shake them and you can’t just get rid of them.
There is a Yoruba adage that translates that “you can risk having a bad spouse but bad in-laws are ones you shouldn’t have”. For those who have wonderful in-laws you better count your blessings.
In-laws in this part of the world are regarded as family, so the way you relate with them would impact on your marriage – especially if your spouse is deeply affiliated with his or her family. Having issues with them can mean a direct confrontation with your spouse.
I used to say “I am not a family person o, so no in-law is going to turn my house into a hostel. Come, sleep a night and go, that’s it”; but I have been told this is naive talk and now I think I agree too. Especially if you’re from a big family or married to someone from particular tribes, where it is part of their custom to take in relatives. You have to deal with it carefully; but what happens when you have that deliberately annoying in-law who despite all your tolerances seeks to frustrate you? How you deal with such can determine the longevity of your marriage?
As I said I am honourably single and I haven’t had a firsthand experience when it comes to marriage. Yes, I have been told I have a 21 going on 50 kinda soul, so blame my over-sabi tendencies on that; but as with all other life situations when it comes to these issues “wisdom is principal to direct” you can’t just go in heads first.
Think before getting married, and if already married, remember it is about you and your spouse, you took a forever oath and that should be worth every fight against all odds, that is lack of money, bad sex and terrible in-laws notwithstanding.
So please, as an intending married woman you married folks should kindly advise me. Which of these three is most critical in a marriage or are there other crucial factors I may have left out? Share with me.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang)