By Jonah Nyoni
WHEN I made a decision to tie a knot ten years ago, I had a belief that marriage was a sweet ride. It was after the honeymoon stage when the new learning process started. The mistake I made in my thinking was to assume that marriage will forever remain with that ecstatic boyfriend-girlfriend feeling. There was a time when that feeling seemed to go away and reality struck.
When reality strikes at times you begin to question yourself because that is when you start to clearly see the weakness and the dark side of your partner.
You are left with questions such as: Is this the real person I wanted to marry? Is this really what I bargained for? What if my ex was better? Will s/he ever change? Why don’t they have my traits?
This becomes the most important stage when you start to learn. At this stage that’s when you should know that love goes beyond a feeling, but it is the ability to stay with a person regardless of their shortcomings.
True love is when you appreciate a person despite their shortcomings. Remember, everyone has his/her own shortcomings or weaknesses.
Conflict is inevitable
When the honeymoon stage is over, that is when conflicts start. These must be managed and communication becomes the best tool for us.
The flairs of anger kick in. But does that mean you should give up? No, it’s time to learn and mature.
It is not the time to win arguments and see yourself as a winner. You might win an augment, but you lose your relationship.
Remember, at times you might be right, but for the sake of your relationship learn to apologise.
Sex as a tool
Last week we talked about sex in marriage. Some people use sex as a tool to beat their partner into submission.
What I have learnt is that even when you are angry, you will still need food. So is sex, being angry does not quench your appetite for sex. Don’t starve your partner, but find amicable means to resolve issues.
Again, learn to understand their sexual needs. Understand their libido or sex drive. Generally, men have a higher sex drive than women. Don’t be self-centered, when you are thinking about sex your partner needs sexual satisfaction as well.
Don’t assume you have reached an orgasm and that’s enough. Ask your partner if they have reached orgasm as well.
If not, ask them what it takes for them to reach sexual satisfaction. The best way to learn about sex is by asking your partner.
Master yourself first
Everyone has a level of ego. At times we are self-centred. We always think that we are right, but that’s not the truth.
At times we want our partners to be exactly like us, but that’s never the case. We are built or wired differently and that flavours our marriage. If we are the same, our marriage might become mundane and boring. So, master your emotions and moods.
How do others respond when you are angry? When you are moody, what’s the reaction of your partner? When you are happy, do you still want your partner to be happy as well, even though you might have wronged them?
Master your emotions and learn how to manage those for the sake of others around you. Remember, what you love might not be what your partner wants or loves.
Let them teach you to love
Your partner has their likes. There is something that turns them own and have you asked them that very thing? Allow your partner to teach you how they want to be loved.
What makes them feel loved? What makes them feel appreciated? What is sex to them? Take time to explore them so as to understand them.
There are small but important actions that matter to your partner. Learn the small things that contribute to great results. After all, it is the small things that matter.
Also, it is the small things that grow into big problems, if they are kept unchecked. Remember, most of the problems in marriages started as small things. Learn what your partner’s likes and dislikes are.
The best way to learn is through listening. In marriage, listen to the unspoken word. These include moods, attitudes, and feelings. Listen to the spoken word.
At times the spoken word might be said inversely. When she says she is fine, she might not be fine. Listen attentively.
At times what we need is just a listening ear. Not every spoken word must be responded to.
Parting point: In marriage, we never stop learning. The more you learn, the better equipped you are to resolve issues and grow in love. Myles Munroe said: “Marriage is a school of learning.” Keep learning!