Marriage is not a joke. Period. To have an idea of what it really entails, I spoke to eight married people. Some have been married for a year, others 5 years, and some for fourteen years.
Here’s what they had to say:
Kay/Male/Married for 5 years.
Basically, money. Money brings peace of mind and also love. Money even makes it easy for your wife to compromise in a lot of situations. In marriage, a busy man with money is better than a broke man with time.
Victor/Male/Married for more than 10 years.
There are a lot of factors that keep one married but the most important ones are Trust, Communication, and Friendship.
When trust is broken in marriage, a lot of times people go their separate ways. However, as soon as it is broken, if you can accept your fault, you can immediately turn it around for good.
Communication can never be overemphasized when you are married. Communication is likened to accountability. Say where you are at each time. Know how each other’s day went. Talk about everything and anything.
Friendship is enjoying each other’s company and not the company of an outsider. Do everything together. You must like them as a person because love is not enough.
Olaitan/Female/Married for 1 year.
See, we are just winging this marriage thing. Sometimes, you want to go back to being single because you can take decisions for yourself and by yourself alone.
For instance, if I want a particular kind of house and I can afford it, as a single person, I’d definitely get the house. In marriage, if my partner doesn’t like that kind of house, I have to consider his feelings and look for common ground. I can’t do agidi and say this is what I want.
However, I also try not to compromise all the time so that I don’t lose myself. Sometimes, I try to get my way. Especially on issues that affect me personally – like my dressing or stuff. But not on big issues that affect both of us.
If you want to continue being selfish, please don’t get married.
Chi-chi/Female/Married for 8 years.
I realized that for you to stay married, you would have to start preparing yourself from when you’re single.
What do I mean?
I encourage every person to find their individuality. To learn more about themselves. What makes you happy? How do you want to be loved? What irks you? How do you show love? Know these things so that when you see it, you’d identify it. Not knowing would mean having to discover and love yourself in marriage. This is a recipe for disaster and definitely requires more work.
Also, you have to be prepared to love. Love in spite of. Because asides from seeing the things you love in your spouse, you’d discover things you may not have anticipated. Another thing is to be committed to loving your spouse especially in the way he/she wants to be loved.
Damola/Female/Married for a long time.
One word – Tolerance. With tolerance, both spouses can understand each other and then create a strong bond. Tolerance entails respect, acceptance, appreciation. It’s just the same way you tolerate roommates in school.
Habeebat/Female/Married for 4 years.
Before I got married, my mum and aunties told me that three “soft skills” are important for a lasting marriage – patience, perseverance and overlooking. They shared so many examples of how they handled issues that I began to think I was better off in my father’s house after all.
From my own experience, I have found out that communication is vital. It’s a life skill to know when to let a matter rest, and the appropriate moment to bring it up. I had to learn to not drop a matter “as e dey hot”. It’s also important to look at issues from your partner’s perspective and acknowledge it, even if you don’t agree with it.
Finally, patience and perseverance doesn’t mean losing your self respect. It’s a balance between understanding where your partner is coming from, and waiting till they reach where you want them to be. Especially in your requirements of love. Lastly, you must be able to overlook things like in-laws. Those ones are the part of the marriage package.
Patience, sacrifice, and a lot of unlooking should do the trick.
Emmanuel/ Male/ Married for 11 years.
At the end of it all, regardless of all what you do, there’s an element of luck/favour/grace to this marriage thing. You can marry who you think is right for you at that time, and life changes them. They start to become different people over the course of the marriage. At the end of the day, there’s no rule to this thing. Just enjoy each day as it comes and one day you’ll see that you’ve been married for a long long time. If it doesn’t work out for you, it’s not the end of the world.
Having a failed marriage is not a death sentence.
What do you think? Share with us in the comments section.