You’ve probably seen it before , that beautiful picture of a loving family, bright sunny and unmistakably happy. You’ve also probably imagined yourself in that picture. It’s a pretty picture too and it is not unattainable.
It’s perfection, or looks like it; at least, and you want it. You want the whole works: wedding, love, kids, the beautiful home complete with the white picket fence or our Nigerian adaptation of it, gate man, nannies and a driver. But then you grow up and realize that life comes with a lot of bumps along the road of path to perfection.
Date: Tuesday, September 26th- Sunday, October 1st, 2017.
Time: 6 pm
Venue: Church Hall, Harvesters International Christian Center (Gbagada and Lekki)
First you have to deal with adulating; guys, nobody told us it was this hard. Nobody gave us the cheat sheet about bills, bills and more bills. We’re not really clued in to the fact that the path to our perfect picture of happily ever after, we have to deal with the possible loss of our individuality in marriage, and the building of that perfect home.
Many people have ideas of what to expect in marriage. They also have notions of what they plan to do, or not do. Mostly shaped by their background, their personality, and their current personal goals… at the time. For instance, some men get to the point where they feel they need to ‘settle down’. They are tired of playing the field, and just think ‘ah, it’s time to find that partner who is ready, willing and able to commit’
They may not be ready for it in many regards… (besides, who is ever truly ready for a lifetime of being committed to another person? this is not a Disney flick)
So back to our hypothetical man; he decides to marry the next ‘good girl’ he meets, or even more convenient, he chooses from one of the pack he’s dated before.
It’s the ultimate love story….
For a woman, the age of 30 has been greatly (albeit, erroneously) sold as the sell by date. So, every second that takes her in the direction of her 30th year on earth fills her with dread. Everything else is a blur- there’s just one thing in focus, at the time she meets our hypo Man: “I’m going to be married”
These unlikely two go into a marriage based on expectations – some realistic, others straight out of a romance novel. But they do it. They damn the odds, telling themselves if you don’t try, you don’t know. But marriage is not a lottery. Or rather, it shouldn’t be. It’s such a big deal that alters the course of your life. Even if you get divorced, and move on with your life, the experiment would at least cost you wedding and divorce fees – base costs.
So a few facts to consider when imagining your beautiful suburban, and picturesque future with a partner of your dreams:
How much of your individuality are you planning to bring to this union?
Are you terrified of losing your unique personality under the shroud of someone else? Does the idea of being a team player fill you with dread? Or do you see yourself as a collaborative person, able to bring this to a lifelong partnership?
What are your personal and career goals? How do they align with the person you see in that picture.
Are you good with money? Because, that lovely picture you saw yourself in was taken by a photographer -who needs to get paid. You have to be able to meet your physiological needs before you get to the level of sparing enough for photos. Meaning food, shelter, clothing and saving for health emergencies…. Say Cheese!
Often times, we underestimate just how much work is needed in marriage. It doesn’t help that there are so many people giving advice on what to do, coloured of course by their own experiences and biases. Having an opportunity to openly talk about expectations, reality and goals is so crucial, because each marriage is unique. No two pictures look the same – even in a photo stock collection.
Cultural demands also play a huge part in the unhappiness of many people. Behind those smiles in the picture you see (and so badly want to recreate) are people who just want to live.
And you should live.
Marriage is to be enjoyed and not endured. Picture or not.
The Harvesters International Christian Center (Gbagada and Lekki) will be leading hard/soft conversations about taboo & mainstream topics in marriage, single life and the occassional #YorubaDemons; and you are invited to lend your voice to the conversations. The planned breakout sessions have been designed to be as no holds barred and engaging as possible.
The sessions are free for anyone to attend, but you could also register to https://harvestersng.org/unbroken/, event souvenirs will be shared to registered participants only. Do bring a friend along.