Lessons from our marriage II

Glad to be back again and sorry for unable to pen down last week. I started my week with power outage then once the hurdle was over, internet connection problems… but finally, here we are! Ha!

The last time we left on lessons from our marriage and touched on teamwork, solving issues urgently and the element of friendship in a marriage. I want to talk on five lessons so we will wrap up with the remaining two

Lesson 4: spending time together is not communication necessarily

Communication in a marriage can never be understated. Communication means both spouses speak the same language, understand each other and are on the same page. Chatting per se is not communication. The first two years of our marriage, I really understood that concept. Say, you have gone to a restaurant and ordered with the waiter that you want a plate of rice with no salt, corn with butter & steak with pepper and onions. Your meal comes in thirty minutes: salted plate of rice, corn without butter and steak with pepper but no onions. You can say there is no communication between you and the waiter because he didn’t understand you and you both were not on the same page concerning your menu. With marriage, it is patient work getting to know each other, reading each other’s moods, that is, when is a good time to talk and also getting the attention of each other and understanding what was said. So when we communicate, we make it a point to repeat what was said to each other to check whether we both are on the same page. Knowing your partner’s love language and personality aids in better communication. You can enjoy, laugh together, have fun together but not on the same frequency when it comes to certain quarters of your marriage. That is the mystery of marriage: communication is hard work which will demand time

Lesson 5: money matters because money matters

According to an article I read, 21% of divorcees cite money as the cause of their marriage breakdown. It takes faith to plan and have a wedding but once that event is over, and you are now in the institute of marriage, faith will not be enough; money talks and counts. That means there should be a regular stream of income to keep it moving. Money is a topic that should be treated intentionally and consistently. Not talking about it doesn’t mean problems will suddenly disappear. We have on our calendar a particular day of every month set on our phone reminders to have a Money Date. This implies we talk about money at least twelve times in a year. This idea is from David Bach, author of the popular and best selling book, The Automatic Millionaire. When you go online, money date questionnaires and templates are available that you can sort of use as a guide in your discussions. Our date is not wine and dine but extensive talks which means we cover all our bases, set some targets and deadlines ( if it needs be) till the following month we meet. If you don’t set the time and the place to talk on and about money, you will fight about it. To earn money comes from working; to be rich requires financial literacy. Knowledge is the key! Please get information on what to do with your hard earned money. The internet is a great resource tool. I use it a lot when it comes to this area. I don’t know about your area, but in mine, they do free financial seminars for the community so if you have the Eventbrite app, it is one of the best ways to search for such information in your location and do attend for insight if you have the time

For those about to enter into marriage, wish you the best and arm yourself with these keys of knowledge, and to those of us in a marriage, keep keeping on and upgrade your knowledge base to keep the union fresh and from stagnation

I hope you have enjoyed my take on what I have learnt as a married man. I will like to hear from you and know what you learnt and also share with us any experiences or lessons you have which can benefit us all

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

Lessons from our marriage

Wow! Good to be back after a four week hiatus. Missed interacting with my audience via this medium. Wow! We are in the tenth month and all too soon, we will be drawing a closed curtain to the year

Last week was a great one because my wife and I celebrated another milestone in our union. We are grateful to God, our mentors and friends who have all impacted us in diverse ways. Thinking about our marriage made me want to pen certain truths we have all learned along the way. I am not a marriage counselor nor have I been in this journey longer, but been in it long to understand at least the dynamics of a marriage relationship

Lesson 1: it takes teamwork

A marriage will work when the spouses involved become a team. Doing things solo in a relationship sometimes widen the gap between the two. A successful marriage understands that to get the best out of each other, there has to be a synergy of one’s strengths and weaknesses, upsides and downsides for the journey ahead. You can cover each other’s weaknesses and complement each other’s strengths when that synergy takes place. A marriage where the fault of one partner is glaringly loud to the outside world communicates wrong signals… there is no cohesiveness.

Lesson 2: solve issues in the immediacy

Every marriage has fights and conflicts. You may be courting or newly married reading this so it will be hard to fathom that! Believe you me- that day will come. One advice I give to people marrying or newly married couples is you shouldn’t be afraid of having quarrels or disagreements- that is inevitable. Rather, be more concerned about the unresolved issue that brought the fight in the first place. As a pastor, one of the “not-so-cool” things to be involved in is the implosion of a marriage. Nine times out of ten, it reaches there because of an issue that wasn’t resolved and has gained deeper roots which can be the source of resentment and anger. One skill every couple should have is effective conflict resolution skills. It starts by being honest with each other. Let your spouse know “this hurts me and I am not happy”. Honesty is the base on which conflict resolution takes place. Also, try not to be too cutting and direct with your speech when solving issues- it does more harm than good! Speak the truth in love. Truth is a sharp sword so sometimes coat the edges with love so that it is easily assimilable.

Lesson 3: still be friends

When you marry, that should not be the end of the courtship process. It should continue. Love on her like when you were chasing her, be excited at him like when he was wooing you. Too many marriages die a slow painful death because of familiarity and taking each other for granted. You have to be intentional not to let that happen. Have scheduled times where you can sit and chat, take annual leave together and do the same things that you were doing when courting. Women especially complain about the “settled” attitude of husbands when they have “succeeded” in marrying the woman they wanted. I am not saying women are not capable of that but in most cases, the culprits are the men. How do friendships last? By investing time. In that same vein, invest time in your marriage and make your partner feel appreciated. It takes a lot of time to still stay friends in a marriage

Let us continue next week because I am getting long winded and it is showing in the size of the blog. I will wrap it up with two more points next week

Will love to read your comments, answer questions and know what you think

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love