Friday, January 11, 2008

God, My Marriage Is slipping Away.

When someone is in difficulties, the usual tendency is to develop an impenetrable defense. They see you as an invader of privacy on everything you are saying. The first thing is trying to penetrate their fortress of suspicion. Show them you care and then let them play with it. Every word they utter should be used to further the conversation. Most couples are looking forward to a joyful year because the previous one was a cup of gall that was brewed and forced on the table for them to drink daily. They did but complained to relatives, friends, strangers, pretenders and others to no meaningful avail. One of those ingredients that gives a very bad marriage especially among Africans is relatives or call them in-laws. I have written on in-laws drama (In-laws Drama ), but this time I am taking one aspect of that drama to show you how to confront and conquer it. It is about time to be hoping rather than experiencing bliss in an institution. God promised felicity. Before you plan to get married, make sure you have drawn a boundary between your family and your right as a head of a family no matter what number you are among your siblings.

In life, try to trust someone whom you know truly cares and can help. Sometimes the friends you have may not provide any solution so try to look outside. For those who are married, the most tricky or grievous mistake they do is bringing in their relatives to live with them and then give them power in their marriage. In troubled marriages, the people try to live by presumptuousness that they call faith. Faith goes with works while presumptuousness goes with existentialism. Faith will move us to work and do something to make it work while presumption will encourage us to abandon or only nurse feelings or abandonment.
If you don’t have children, you shoug not fret. You did not get married for children. You got married because it is not good that a man should live alone, especially if you all knew your situations before going in. If you knew all the dynamics, then be the captain of your boat and stir your marriage to happiness in the absence of children thereof.

Do not allow your family or relatives to speak to your spouse any how. Do not sit with them to talk about your spouse when he or she is not there. The things you say will be used against him to play with your conscience in a tacit and subtle manner. Many have done these mistakes of taking their private things from their homes to the general family not knowing it is a drink that will produce bitter tastes in a long run. Your family does not need to like or love your spouse for them to respect him or her. You made the choice, and it is you who cares. By respecting your spouse, they are respecting you, so you make them understand that disobeying or hating your spouse is hating you because they should not put assunder what God has joined together.

Sometimes they may bring excuses like they don’t understand her language or we do not like the way he dresses. You shoud not forget that you made the choice and knew all of that. If a relative comes that they do not like the way your wife dresses, you tell them you like it. First, she should dress to her taste, yours before theirs, considering all societal decorum.

When a relative comes to live with you, sit them down and tell them not to cross the boundary, and that boundary is not being rude to your spouse. I have seen this happen that at times a sister in-law comes in and thinks that she would commandeer the house while the wife of the brother sits aloof on the couch watching the TV. Two rams cannot drink from the same pale without locking horns.

When your in-laws come to your house try to sit them down. Make them feel loved, accepted and valued. Make them feel you are approachable that they can talk to you as their new member of their family. If they complain you don’t speak their language ask them to teach you. Show them you want to be an integral part of their family, and it shall be well. You will save yourself from in-law drama.

Indeed we do not have the same sanguine temperament. Just try sometimes to reach them with little jokes and transferring responsibilities so that they feel like they are playing a role too in the family. When things are not going well, call everyone living in the home and speak to them. Do not try to brush things under the rug. Dirt underneath the rug only makes the house to stink. It is always dangerous and risky to bring your beautiful sisters and female friends to live with you for along time. If toying with a little child before a lion is dangerous then it is also dangerous and risky to have your handsome brothers and male aficionados to come and patch up with you for along time. The spirit may not want it but the flesh is weak. Those are things one has to carter for no matter how close they are to certain people. Some people may tell you that is bad though but seeing that these same situations have converted from mouth to mouth respiration to pregnancy it is necessary to be forewarned.

When you have problems the first thing is not to think of divorce or talk to friends. Sometimes some single friends and relatives suffer from schadenfreude that they will want to see you suffer or stay single like them. So be careful from who you take advice. If you are a Christian and you have problems, take your entire family to prayers,. Let them all pray and study the bible. Speak out your grievances in your lauds and vespers and pray over them. Let no one leave when they are angry. They should be able to make up. If you are the head of the household, initiate reconciliations and temper down those who are raising up their voices. Raising up voices is a recipe for introversion because some would not want to voice out their grievance for fear thunder and lightning strike them.

Don’t try to be a good person outside than you are at home. Make it a devoir to crave a polished image at home than outside because the recommendation of those inside is worth more than what strangers say. You need people who can sit on your sickbed and say you were nice person and should have company even if you are a leper now. Taking for granted we have to be nice to all people but be nicer more at home than outside. Some people act as angels while their spouse goes through the cousin of the devil. What good is it for you to have company outside but return home to be lonely; I mean like an obanje by the banks of a river.
The secret of a successful home and marriage is in your hands. You can either take it or leave. You may rejected it and go for more popular and zeitgeist approach but then you will soon be a statistics counted in the court as divorcee. Yes, probably ready to walk through two, three and four marriages or even copy the example of Elisabeth Taylor who is now intending to marry husband number 9. Perhaps you will tell me she is very happy. Good for her. If that is happiness I wish you double. But I can tell you Dame Taylor is still seeking for the happiness that has eluded her as a young woman till today. If not then take the simple steps and may your life joyful.

Until then, I wish you a wonderful marriage.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

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