Disclaimer – If you are looking for a post about a nice girl who went on to become the perfect wife please look away now. I don’t come out of this smelling of roses :-(.
Two weeks ago I started a marriage series. I decided to get some of my friends to share the challenges they encountered in the early days of marriage. So far 3 people have shared. You can catch up on the series here. OMG! They are getting married Part 1 – Naomi Falusi, OMG! They are getting married Part 2 – Sarah Mbadiwe, OMG! They are getting married Part 3 – Bayo Daniels. So here we go with my experience which I have titled
OMG he did what? He decided to marry her 😯
I have been somewhat apprehensive about writing this post because I am not sure how much to share . I find it very difficult to lie or sugarcoat the truth. Once I start writing it all comes tumbling out. There for everyone to see forever. My relationship is so complex, it has even me tied up in knots. I would try not to bore you and keep it as simple as possible and not repeat stuff said in previous posts.
I met my husband when I was at Uni. His cousin and I where in the church choir. She thought we would make a lovely match and decided to introduce us. A decision I am sure she must have regretted over the course of our very complex relationship. When we met I was just 17 and marriage was the last thing on my mind. My husband however ever said from the beginning that he knew he was going to marry me. Sadly, the relationship didn’t work out then, he was a party boy who loved a drink and after one to many I just couldn’t take it anymore so I bailed. We didn’t really see or talk much for the next two years although I remained friends with his cousin and sisters. I went on to date someone else (who I actually thought I would marry) and so did he. However our respective relationships didn’t really work out. Till today I don’t know what made him call me out of the blue, I think it was my 19th or 2oth birthday when he called. I remember him saying to me “this is the year we are going to make it work”.
Giving it a go: I would like to think I gave it my best shot. I had pretty bleak views on men. I am not sure at what age I started to shape my views, I know age 9 I was already telling my mum that I had no use for them and would rather have a child out-of-wedlock than get married. I had met men both my age and those supposed to be in position of authority who had tried to take advantage of me and I thought I knew what all men where after and my reasoning was “if you could just string them along, keep them wanting you can manipulate them for as long as you want”. Couple that with the attention seeking nature of a middle child (I was bang in the middle of 6 siblings and never really found my voice as a child) plus a choleric temperament and I am not sure there are any polite words for what you get. I think the only thing that saved the relationship is ; I am by nature a very caring person so once in a while I allowed that side of me to show (2) I am very good at grand gestures. Even at that if I was a boy I won’t date me. Anyway we plugged along dramatic break ups, make ups, weeks of malice, me wanting to date other people, several tantrums which consisted of broken phones, tearing stuff and loads of drama. Most of the problems we faced in marriage were issues we already encountered whilst we where dating. We just never resolved them. We would often resolve the problems then by either breaking up or not speaking to each other for a while and then getting back together when we missed each other too much because despite everything he was and still is my best friend.
Which version of the bible are you reading? The only specification the bible gives for choosing a spouse is that the person be born-again. So in theory if the person is a born again christian this shouldn’t be a problem. My husband is a born again christian however, we come from two different *brands* of christianity. I come from a *brand* of christianity that believes “the violent taketh it by force”, fire-brand tongue speaking, John the Baptist model which I have been attending since 1987. Practically since I was born. My husband however was from a more subdue Anglican background. This was the only area that caused me to have doubts when he asked me to marry him. Because I firmly believe once God is driving your affairs any challenge you have can be overcome. Never mind that he was born again and was exhibiting more of the fruit of the spirit than I was. If he didn’t have my fire-brand kind of christianity then he didn’t know God enough. I was surprised when my father who is a pastor said this wasn’t true. However, I wasn’t prepared to listen. After all he didn’t know him like I did. For a long time I tried very unsuccessfully to get him to my own way of christianity, why don’t you dance in church (he never dances anywhere), you need to be more forceful when you pray, no you can’t have heard from God cause you are not spiritual enough, bla bla bla. Letting this go and understanding that he is the spiritual head of the home was a big challenge to me (truth be told I still struggle with this sometimes). However, he has proves that God hears him and has testimonies to the effect so who am I to judge him. I am gradually learning to mind my own spiritual business. Focus on my own christian journey (there is a lot I still have to learn) God would minister to everyone in his own unique way. If there is anything I think he needs to learn pray about and leave it to the Spirit of God because no one can change anybody.
Did you say it isn’t the Mira show ? Being quiet a dramatic person. Marriage isn’t all about me. Even when I think I am trying to make it better the other person thinks there are also trying to do so too. I have a very serious personality and frequently make a mountain out of a mole hill. I am predominately choleric while my husband is mostly phlegmatic as you can see our personalities are at the two opposite ends of the scale. Our reactions to issues are pretty much opposite. For example , I am a very tidy person and if you read my blog you would know I am obsessive cleaner most of my free time is spent doing one form of cleaning or the other. My husband on the other hand is more carefree in his approach to a clean house. His motto is “leave everything within your reach that way you never have to look for anything”. You can see how this would be a problem for someone who is likely to give the bathroom a good scrub before she has a bath. When I wake up especially on a weekend I have an agenda in mind. Sort out the washing, scrub the bathroom clean, clean, clean and the first thing I do is to delegate a role to each family member. I forget its weekend and they want to rest. I am also guilty of forgetting breakfast. I used to get so upset when I tell my hubby to get up and clean and he would just ignore me and say when I am ready. As far as I was concerned we should clean first, have a bath, eat and the rest. However, I have learnt that the more I nag and use not so subtle reminders the more he resists. I started observing then when I just let him be he would eventually do it. Joyce Meyer said she has learnt that men have very bad short-term memory so the more you remind them, the more they forget :-).
I am not sure I would ever be totally relaxed about an unclean house. This is something I inherited from my dad. In his case it became a prayer point because it was making him so unhappy. He even gave a testimony when he became free of this. People often say to me why can’t you just let go. The thing is I have a very physical reaction to an untidy place. I get goose pumps on my skin, I have trouble thinking and every problem just seems magnified. For my husband it is a matter of control. I have a very domineering personality and when I try to plan his weekend its like I am trying to control him. However, gradually I am learning to let go. I observed this weekend, I told my husband everything I wanted him to do in the morning, only reminded him once and by evening he had done everything I asked. Thanks love ♥
Talking to me? Put an address on it and mail it to someone who is interested cause I am not. In the early days I used to give my husband the silent treatment when he offended me. I wouldn’t speak to him for weeks. I quickly learnt that I wasn’t doing myself any favours. God doesn’t answer the prayer of someone who has unforgiveness in their heart. This has saved me several fruitless prayers and fasting (yes I used to keep malice even when I was fasting and on the way to church). When we meet each others eyes across the room we both start laughing and that’s the first step to that issue getting resolved. Obviously there is time to address an issue and time to let it go. Bayo has already discussed that so I would leave that for now.
Tomatoes, Tomatos who cares so far we have stew. Having a choleric temperament, I feel I am always right and I am constantly trying to fight my corner. I can’t count how many times my husband would be leading us down the wrong route with the map on his phone and I worked along arguing behind him. People crossing the road try to get away from us. I don’t know why *winks* but we argued about direction a lot. How long it took to get there, who’s way was quicker etc. Most of the time it was things that didn’t matter. We were constantly on Google trying to get it to pick who had won. Sometimes I would ask myself how did we get here. Why are we arguing about this, does it really matter? I am slowly learning to pick my battles. I still think I am right *winks* most of the time but I have learnt that my husband always realizes when I am right and does things my way when he thinks I am right. To be fair he respects my intelligence and is constantly banging on about me. However, I have to let him be right as well because sometimes (on just a few occasions) he is right as well :-). Most important, we are on the same side and we are both trying to make it work. It doesn’t matter how long it takes so far we are happy during the journey.
Money matters. We did have a few challenges with money. Again this was down to us having different ideas about money. My husband is a saver. He sees money as some kind of security. For me I feel I work so hard and have very little time to play, once in a while I need to let my hair down. For a long time I stressed about always organizing days out, buying presents etc. Basically I wanted my husband to be my dad who is very good at buy presents and stuff. However, I soon realised if I am good at buying presents, clothes, organizing days out then I might as well take ownership of that. As a woman I still want to get wined/dined and have romantic days planned for me. However, I have realized that we all have a part to play in our relationships. The reason we match with people who are complete opposite to us is because they complete the part of us where we are lacking. The funniest thing is once we have them we start trying to change them to be more like us. I am sure if my husband was more like me with money our finances would be in trouble. So learn to appreciate the difference in your spouse because most likely it’s making up for one of your weaknesses.
Mentors. My father always said the only 3rd party in your marriage should be God and if occasion demands your children. I have never been good at allowing anyone to have to have a critical look at my marriage. Maybe its the choleric in me who wants to think she has everything under control or the fact that my dad has drummed this into my head so much its set in stone. Also, I am not very comfortable with people who say they have a perfect marriage and they never argue bla bla bla. I know this is possible, however I think it’s mostly due to the person’s personality. I have a friend that never argues with her husband. She would rather tell me what he did than have an argument with him. I find that really hard to understand. That said I have a friend that I occasionally speak to. The person is a christian and no husband or wife bashing is allowed. I am free with this person because sometime they share with me so I feel close to them and I feel I can relate to them. The best advice I was given by this person was that as a family we should always pray together every night. Because of our different schedules my husband and I only prayed together at weekends. However, we took this advice and it help us greatly. You can’t be fighting and praying can you? My advice for mentors is pick people who have similar challenges and temperaments as you. That way you can relate to their challenges and you wont always feel condemned. If you find submission difficult and you choose someone who doesn’t have any issues with submission you are not going to benefit much from that mentorship. Because you would wonder how come they find its so easy and you would always feel condemned. My spiritual mentors are Joyce and David Meyer. Joyce is a choleric and David a phlegmatic need I say more. I also love Jentezen Franklin because he too struggled with things I did, patience, anger etc. Kissing everyday (I promised to do this in 2013) also helps as you can’t kiss someone you are angry with.
There are several other things I could add but I don’t want to make this post too long. Things like sex (I did a post on that so you can catch up on it by clicking the link). Taking each other for granted etc. However, all these might require a new post.
Please get in touch if you have any questions. Remember to share this post with anyone you think might need it. Feel free to email me personally @firstname.lastname@example.org if you are too shy to drop a comment. I would really love to hear from you. I hope you enjoyed reading