5 ways to make marriage work
10 April 2015, 16:14
Nairobi - I am not married, but I could write a guide book on marriage
just from all the marriages I watched growing up and those marriages I see now.
What better place to learn other than your own backyard. I
watched my parents, I watched my relatives, I watched my neighbors- basically
if you in my sight, I watched you and took a way a thing or two.
I like learning from other peoples experiences other than
mine call it, me proofing myself. I do not need to make the mistake myself in
order for me to learn from it, your mistake will do just fine for me.
One of the most hilarious comments that my mother makes when
she is on a rant and she does not feel appreciated by the lot of us is, ‘Other
people would like me to be their mother, you just do not appreciate me.’ If the
bullet is intended for my father then it will go something like, ‘Other people
tell me they would like me to be their wife.’ Then she huffily walks off, still
talking to herself.
My comeback to her always is, those people would like you to
be theirs right now because of the experiences that this marriage has given
you. If not for those experiences then you would not be the woman that you are
today. I do admit that my mother works hard and it can be overlooked even
unappreciated by my father at times. My thinking is that, if my father had been
that rich man who is busy tuning her
in the streets then she would not have been the woman that she is today. She might have been stupid and lazy because
she would have been getting everything handed to her on a silver platter. In
which case such a person would not have looked at her twice today.
I have learnt a lot from my parents’ marriage and they gave
me a guidebook without even knowing it. Not just them, but I will try to
compile a list of what I think any marriage would work better with.
Silent treatment will only get you so far
One bad habit I have noticed among grown-ups that are around
me is that when the other had done something wrong to the other, the one who is
wronged just keeps quiet and does not talk to the other person. They do not say
what may have angered them. They do not sit the other person down and tell them
what their problem is. So the other person is trying to figure it out at times
even asking but they get no reply at all. After a while, they start talking
again until the next time the mistake is repeated and the cycle continues.
Problem is, in a marriage, it is long-term and you end up building bitterness
over something that you never actually talked about. One day everything just
explodes and the other person is wondering where it is all coming from
I think that is part of the reason I am always on the
defensive, I cannot keep quiet if I see you trying to be a fool. I just let it
out. Sort it out, that way you know that I am not about to take that kind of
nonsense from you.
That is what married people should do. Do not go to bed
angry at someone and think that they will figure it out on their own and
complain to other people. How will they help, it is not them that committed the
offense. It is better time management when you sort it out when or as it is
happening. The earlier the better.
Talk about money
Beating around the bush earlier on in the marriage is what
gets people in trouble. You are married, you are planning to have children. Sit
down and tell the other person what you expect of them. Who is handling fees,
who is handling food, who is handling rent and who will handle amenity fees? Or
will the both of you have a joint account. Or you could even set up a joint
emergency account and one for household expenses where everybody makes a
contribution. If on the other hand one person clearly outlines they will take
care of something and asks you to do the other, then negotiate. That is how it
works. My parents and a couple of other marriages I have witnessed did the
mistake of never having such a sit down. My mother was naïve and figured out
that the man is always the head. It created a tag of war later on in the
marriage. Because one was not able to do something while the other could not come
up to scratch as the other felt the other one had more money. Deal with money
issues early, have a contingency plan for in case one of you loses their job.
That is the only way people recover from such bad situations. The other person
already knows what is expected of them until the other one can recover.
Shutting up is only good for one thing when you have nothing
sensible to say.
Maintain independence from your partner
One thing that is bad
about marriage is when people literally take that line…you are now one and blah blah blah…’ Especially women that is why
majority of them wonder why the man keeps going out after he is married. She
forgets about her friends, her family, things that she used to do let’s say
hobbies that actually drew him to her.
Men maintain their independence while women do not. Just
because you are married does not mean that you completely lose your identity.
That is how marriages become lackluster. You no longer do what was once a
passion of your and it shows by the way. You become a nagging trooper who wants
the husband to always be within her sights. If he is at work, you want him home
buy 5 because you are also at home. You become bored and you are not even sure
why because you spend even more time with you soul mate since you got married. You thought it would become better
but it never does. You chose to lose yourself.
Do not give up yourself. Go for those field trip with your
friends once in a while. Have dinner with a workmate or your single girlfriend
because he said he will be late at work. Sitting at home chewing on nails and
enacting thousands of scenarios where his secretary is playing a lead role
never helped anyone. It might be happening but it might also not be happening.
Do not involve children in your drama
I have noticed that a lot of parents in a bid, to win over
the children on their side, they start making the other parent look bad. The
child is not even interested but you are there narrating you latest tragedy
with their mother or father.
Sometimes it might not be intentional but you end up making
the other parent look negative. Do not involve children in your problems. Let
them have a chance to grow up. Do not
give your partner silent treatment then go ahead and start using your child’s
shoulder to cry on. It is in bad form. And taste.
No one needs to know your business
Even the money. No one needs to know. Discussing your issues
with all and sundry will only make you look like an idiot for putting up with
it and settling. Even running to the church elders every Sunday, they also get
tired. If you can solve it on your own, then deal with it. At times we need to
put up a front especially where family is concerned.
There are only those few significant cases that
you need to ask for outside help or advice other than that, keep it in the
inside. Do not air yourself.
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