I recall vividly, the thoughts I had about marriage; how a prince charming will come sweep me off my feet; and be at my beck and call; ever wanting to please me… Bringing me breakfast in bed… Extremely bothered if I sneeze (honey, are you alright?)… Cuddling me when I’m feeling sad… Oh, and always supporting my opinion. He should not as much act like he does not agree with me. Gets me a present ‘just because he loves me’. Always remembers our anniversary and gets me a gift. . .Is the prayer warrior of my home. Always ready to chair the morning devotions and I’m eager to learn at his feet. Gives me a hand when he realises I’m stressed. Stays up at night with me when our baby decides she wants to go on a vigil. Always tells me I look great, even if I look like a drag queen. .. one more thing, i absolutely love flowers, so yeah, he sends me flowers at work, leaving my colleagues completely envious (you know when others gosh about you being lucky, you feel like you are walking on water!).. I'm willing to bet you're saying" OMG! Ife, i didn't know we shared similar idealistic thought patterns" :-D. What can i say? It must be the -perfection is attainable gene. ;-)
For the guys, lets try to visualize your dream of marriage, most obvious start will be the proverbs 31 woman. The lady who never gets tired. Gives you a kiss when you toss your socks in the living room and picks them up for you. Makes your home look presentable even if you are making it ‘unpresentable’. Picks up after you with joy and glee. Takes off your tie when you get back from work and a wonderful dinner placed on the table already; set for a king. Always does your laundry (washing and ironing) before you even realise that you have a pile of dirty clothes. Always eager for sex (mmm) and gets turned on at the sound of your voice (classic M & B tale right)! Never argues with you when you state that this is what you want her to do. Always obedient, even when your demands are extreme..(I must admit that even I, am so impressed by and in love with 'this' woman!)
Okay, coming back to reality, most of the time, marriage isn’t what we expect. We get into it with lots of expectations and when they are not being met, we begin to make life uncomfortable for our spouse.
Don’t get me wrong. Marriage is a beautiful union between two imperfect people who have promised to love one another (though they really don’t know how they’d fulfil those promises) come what may and they are ready to lay down their lives for each other.
Note that I said two imperfect people. So the likelihood of your perfect dreams coming to life is ALMOST UNCERTAIN.
The most basic thing each marriage should have is two people, committed to becoming better people and encouraging their partners to be better people. You encourage your spouse to be a better person, don’t tear them down. I don’t believe in negative reinforcement, most of the time, it does more harm than good. I know that if you love and nurture someone, the person grows, if you throw stones at the person, they can choose to fight back or just shrink and feel you don’t believe in them.
We all have that ability to beat ourselves up when we feel we’ve made mistakes. But if we have people who hold our hands and say, ‘let’s move on, I know you can still do this’; we practically feel like we have been given the wings to fly. When you encourage someone positively, the person sees what he/she failed to see previously. When you give negative reinforcement, the person sees a competition, wants to prove you are wrong or worst case, chooses to prove you are right by sitting back and doing nothing. Words build or mare a marriage! Nurture yours with encouraging words, loving words etc. Don’t fall into the pit of trying to hurt your spouse as much as he or she has hurt you.
In wrapping this up, I'd like to say this - a happy marriage is not dependent on how your spouse makes you feel. It is fully dependent on how you CHOOSE to feel. Your happiness is not tied to the strings of anyone’s pants or belt .
It is important to know that you are not perfect, neither is your spouse. If you keep focusing on the imperfections of your spouse, it would look bigger than a mole hill. But if you choose that irrespective of what this person does, I’m enjoying my marriage, I ain’t whining or complaining. You’ll realise you’ll have less grey hairs.