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Mofoluwaso Ilevbare: Building Unstoppable Marriages

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While we were dating, I made it clear to my husband (then boyfriend) that I preferred handwritten cards and letters to gifts. I still do.

Looking back, as far back as the mid ‘90s, I remember the many times I interpreted his gesture of sending me gifts as a way of buying my love. If only I knew that deep down that was not his intent.

Whenever he visited and brought me expensive things, I would give them away instantly, sometimes even right there in his presence. It must have been tough on him but I didn’t really care how he felt. So much for emotional intelligence, you would say.

Knowing what I know now, I probably would have handled many scenarios differently, especially when I think of those straight-from-the-catalog dresses and Italian shoes and designer bags I gave away back then but can’t afford to buy now. Anyway, the sweet guy was in love with me.

I remember the time he bought me a beautiful mug with the inscription “LOVE BEARS ALL THINGS.” I loved that mug and kept it for many years until the day it fell off the kitchen table and broke into pieces. Maybe I didn’t give away that one because a part of me knew he was sending me a decoded message – “No matter how long it takes, I love you and my love can bear all things “

Anyway, fast forward to our married life together. There are times when I feel my husband should know what I’m going through. After all, I’m his wife, and if our hearts truly beat as one, he should know when I’m happy, sad, sick, excited, and when I need him to just sit still and hold me tightly. Well, sounds more like a perfect chatbot than a human being, right?

I have come to realize it is too much to ask of a person when I can’t do exactly the same all the time. So, don’t assume. Tell your partner how you really feel, how you want to be held during sex, what turns you on, what doesn’t, and all the unfinished conversations you’ve been suppressing for months.

When I hear a story of a friend who gets involved in a flimsy love affair with an ex or a colleague at work, I’m not quick to judge, as most times what triggers it is a friendly conversation. The feeling of being able to laugh and share jokes with someone else freely without thinking you’d be judged can be very liberating, but if that person begins to get more attention than your spouse, if not careful, it could lead to a bite of an apple from the wrong tree.

Do you know your primary love language?

Do you understand that of your spouse?

Do you find yourself holding back from having an honest conversation or truly expressing how you feel? What is stopping you?

If you learn to address what’s holding you back, you will free yourself from feeling miserable every morning like you’re feeling even right now. Expressing how you feel and what you think has a lot to do with confidence and trust in your relationship.

Are you capable of being loved? Are you capable of loving someone else unconditionally?

These are important conversations to have in the bedroom – pillow talk if you like.

Couples must be intentional about creating moments to have “pillow talk” – it doesn’t have to be prescriptive but it must be genuine especially in marriages where both partners are busy juggling careers and business travels. Plan “special dates” like you did before you got married and take it seriously. Dress up for the occasion and have fun.

Why?

Because marriage is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.

My husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. We’ve endured many storms, enjoyed some sunshine, gone through valleys of the shadow of death, still got lots of prayer points, but we love each other more. If you want to hear juicy stories of how we started and critical lessons I’ve learned along the way, I’d love to hang out with you.

Mofoluwaso Ilevbare, a.k.a. the Unstoppable Life Strategist, is a Best-selling Author, Speaker, Leadership & Lifestyle Coach who works with ambitious women, entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to be unstoppable at work and life without sabotaging faith, family, or self-care.A soulful thought leader, wife, and mother of two, Mofoluwaso loves God, family, coaching, and also has a healthy appetite for chocolate cake. She is a member of the John Maxwell Team, a Cherie Blair Women Mentor and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Executive Women, and Channels TV Nigeria. Visit https://mofoluwaso.com/ to learn more about Mofoluwaso and also connect with her on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram and LinkedIn

6 Comments

  1. tolu

    June 18, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Nice writeup mofo am just like you i dont like gifts though mine is because i am very detailed about what i like so its hard to pick a gift of my taste and my first love experience the guy would buy gifts for me and i would sell or give them out and shockingly the gifts i would keep (some i still have) are the cheap nothing much gifts because i feel more connected to them with the belief they actually have a sweet message and will keep good memories and they are heart felt gifts. I also prefer my man writes me a letter on a paper and send them through someone to me i find that soooo romantic, i think my kind of romance is classic and vintage lols. I think the reasonmwhile most couples no longer have that spark is because they thought being intentional with sex, conversations, dates etc is boring or uninteresting but the truth is for ones marriage to work you both have to create time for the things you both can do together and will love to do together ie schedule them and follow them then the love will keep growingGod bless you

    • Fofo

      June 26, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      You’re spot on, Tolu. Thanks for adding your perspective. I wish you great happiness in your marriage. Love, Fofo.

  2. Anne

    June 19, 2018 at 12:15 am

    I honestly agree with the fact that communication is key. Many women bottle things inside which escalates into different negative thoughts. Eg He doesn’t love me anymore or he does not care about me. And yes if your husband calls you stupid or dumb, you need to let him know that is not funny, it’s a no no but many woman keep quiet and continue hurting inside. For how long please. Do you want to be miserable at 60?

    • Fofo

      June 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      Anne, Life is meant to be enjoyed not endured. May we have the wisdom to make life matter.

  3. John

    June 19, 2018 at 12:49 am

    “When I hear a story of a friend who gets involved in a flimsy love affair with an ex or a colleague at work, I’m not quick to judge, as most times what triggers it is a friendly conversation.”
    ………………
    I noticed tgat Every woman that makes up this kind of excuse for her friend ..actually ends up having the same affair…bcos deep deep down she knows they are all the same and will do it in future …bcos cheating should not be tolerated from anyone..no excuses ..no justifications.

    Infact , any cheating individual should be cut of from your life.

    Even me as a man…I know a lot of guys I no longer relate with on a close level…not bcos I am good guy..

    But I remember what

    My father told me ..any person that can cheat on his or her spouse can betray and do alot worse to you both in business , deal or agreementt or any money related matters….if the heat is too much ..just divorce …and that has helped me alot in my company.

    and The fact that you wrote that statement with a straight face shows me that your marriage needs fixing as well…and a cry for help

    I dont want to hear stories that touches the heart or that stupid statement “that nobody should judge you” bcos I will.

    • Anne

      June 20, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      John being a man and not condoning adultery. There is hope in this world o. Praise God.

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