By Eniola Ake
I realised after being married for about a year that certain things were probably not discussed fully or let me say enough light wasn't shed on the concept of marriage. Not that already married couples didn't want to share but let's say they forgot to mention just a few points that I would be sharing with you briefly.
Let me say that of course they remembered to mention one particular point which is "marry the right person as marriage is fun, lovely and peaceful when you do".
I can say with no iota of falsity that that statement is true. You don't know what you are getting into(of course,you know) but you can't really tell how it feels and what goes on after the aso ebi,the jollof rice and the parker and bowl souvenir has been shared because you have only been looking at it through the lens of old couples that have been married for five years and above without considering the work they've put into it.
Marriage should make you grow spiritually, mentally and of course physically(that's after giving birth to the angels) but it's not like that for every woman as certain things weren't put in place before marriage.
What it is that married couples didn't say about marriage?
1) Financial Challenges: Sincerely, this journey is not a day's journey nor for the faint in heart. Not to scare you, but realistically you can't do this alone without the support of a good man and your own hard work.
From pre-wedding pictures, to wedding preparations, pregnancy, childbirth and the raising of kids (parenting), you can't help but be spending money right from the start. This is not just about "I love you" and food will appear on the table or the kid's school fees appears from the blues, it is about real life responsibilities.
These can't be achieved if you're not up to the task else you are on your way to experiencing stress on another level and this stress is not exam preparation stress or that of making the decision to get the best clothes for that dinner party at work. This is real stress which can only be conquered if you tap into your potentials to generate money for the family.
2) Spouse Differences: You know one thing about love, it is not a romantic comedy where the quirks of the lovers are always funny. In marriage, sometimes you love that person so much that you can spend your last kobo that could have been used to buy yourself a nice t-shirt or a new MAC lipstick on them, other times you just dislike their behavior.
That is real life, real life teaches you that life can't be perfect. Your spouse will annoy you, you would quarrel on somethings and there are times laughter will be far from your lips. So before marriage, you better realize that you are on your way to living with an imperfect, completely different human being.
Therefore, you don't want to get it wrong by saying "I do" to someone you can't laugh with, quarrel with and still throw pillows at (well,I believe that still exists).
3) Unconditional Love: In this journey (I hate to call it the institution that you can't graduate), you will experience some scenarios where your love for your spouse will be tested. If you said "I do" on that day with your gown flowing and your eyes glowing, then you have to learn to practice to say "I do" continuously, through thick, thin, better and worse.
Your spouse can make huge mistakes like cheating on you, losing money in a bad investment, an accident that takes out ability or physical looks, etc. Are you strong enough for the worse of marriage?
4) Support System: Who you go to for advice will either make or mar your relationship. Of course you need support when situation gets out of hands or overwhelming, you seek the advice of God, then professional marriage counselors (not counselors that apply unrealistic measures or religious sentiments).
Please, you don't need your friend, parents or loved ones advice infact you don't need to involve them in your family business. Never make this mistake because they mostly worsen the case rather than help it. Be wise.
5) The Third String: Let God into your every decision. Let your marriage be built on the solid foundation - God because with Him, you are guaranteed of having great success in your journey.
When the third string is present it will be difficult for the storm of life to take over.
6) BE Yourself from the start: unfortunately so many women don't observe this and they get caught up having to please everyone(hubby, in law sand maybe neighbours) because they weren't true to the person they love from the start. We try to act like we are good cooks and up to the task when truly we are still learning. Never try to be who you are not because it might fall back on you later.
7) Don't get too comfortable: As a married woman you can get too comfortable that you lose focus of certain necessities like prayer, getting a job or learning a trade, improving your life and being independent.
Don't get tempted to solely depend on your man apart from being too unfair on him, it is very risky too. No one is praying for untimely or sudden death or termination of appointment at work the risk involved is way more than just enjoy asun or pepper soup with chilled drink. You need to get a life! Your husband's life is his, yours is yours even though you are one, bring in your own half to make it whole.
I wish you the every best in this journey as a single who is thinking of being married, or young married woman. Your marriage can be a blessing so continue to love your man unconditionally.
Peace and Love,