A couple, who had been married for 15 years, celebrated their wedding anniversary recently in my church and since the celebration fell on a Sunday, they had the honour of being called out, prayed for, and asked to share some life lessons, marriage had taught them.
Starting with the husband, whom I will call Femi, he noted how his wife was the epitome of patience, not only with him but also with their children and extended family. Her patient attitude had countered his own fast paced attitude to life and even profited the family at crucial moments, when waiting made all the difference.
By now, everyone was clapping and cheering. After the applause died down, he shared how he had almost walked out on his marriage, how he had been frustrated and tired of his wife, and just wanted to be done with it.
What stopped him? It was his father, who had been a single daddy from when he was 10 years old and had raised him and his younger siblings all by himself.
His father had looked him squarely in the face, as Femi wandered home that night and told the old man he was tired of being married, and said, “Do you want my life? A lonely life, because I tell you, you will not marry another wife as long as I live, if you leave Shade.”
That was all his father said, and that was even too much for a man who rarely talked, so Femi knew leaving his marriage was out of it. He headed back home but not before stopping over at a bar, for a much needed drink…or two.
It was two days later that he had ‘the conversation’ with his wife. He shared his feelings of being caged, his professional struggles, which had spilled over into his personal life, the seeming competition between his family and hers, over who was more helpful to them. It was a whole lot of talking, but it worked in the end, as they created healthy boundaries between themselves and even their family members. They realised they were more important than their biological families, where the issue of their marriage was concerned.
Femi and Shade are not the only ones who had had challenges with their marriage; in fact, challenges are an unavoidable part of marriage, except you want to live in fairy tale land.
Thankfully, it is possible to overcome challenges if both parties are rowing in the same direction. More couples shared that definitive moment that saved their relationship.
Having new individual experiences saved our marriage – Jeff and Wunmi
Jeff and Wunmi got married less than a year after meeting, and went on to have four children in quick succession.
For a long time after that, they were parenting and raising their children and pretty much giving next to no attention to their marriage. The kids had all their attention. They were neither sad nor happy. It was just a flat feeling.
Which I think is the most dangerous feeling, where marriages are concerned, because you just can’t decide on what you should do. Anyways, by the 18th year of their marriage, with most of their children in the University or boarding house, they realised they really didn’t have much in common, nor liked each other that much.
One would have thought an empty house was an opportunity for them to bond, but far from it. They were constantly grating on each other’s nerves.
It got so bad that they both decided to go their separate ways for a while. It seemed like madness for a couple who had been married for close to two decades. But there was no dissuading them from taking a breather and trying to rediscover themselves as individuals.
During the eight months of the separation, they stayed in touch and had dinner a couple times a month. But now that they were having new experiences, there were lots of issues to talk about when they got together. Instead of thinking the other had nothing fresh to share, they were enjoying each other’s company.
One night after dinner, Jeff stopped by his home and just never went back to his ‘bachelor’ pad.
That was five years ago and they have been going steady since then.
The takeaway: They are careful not to let things grow stale.
Taking a less paying job did the trick – Jemila and Dayo
For this couple, it was a really hard choice they had to make to save their marriage. It was a choice between Dayo keeping his high pressure job, having no hand in raising their three children, earning a fat income, but Jemila being unhappy, or him switching to a less paying job, being an involved parent and having a happy wife.
After much consideration, they decided on the latter choice. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but it was the best for their marriage and family.
Yes, it’s been difficult financially, but they are a whole happier as a family unit, than they were when Dayo was mostly absent.
We jazzed up our bedroom activities – Nnenna and Joe
The strain on Nnenna and Joe’s relationship started in the bedroom, so, for them, it made sense to deal with it from that standpoint.
Never a couple to have sex daily, or even twice weekly, so when the times they had sex dwindled even further, they didn’t catch on quickly, but when it wasn’t even happening in a month, Nnenna knew something was not right.
It was obvious in the distance that had started to grow between them, and the snappish attitude they both exhibited.
Taking matters into her hands, Nnenna started taking lessons in lap dances. It was just a random choice, but also something she would not normally do, so it was perfect.
After a few lessons, and watching videos, she was ready to try out her skills on her husband, and did it work! Oh boy! Let’s just say he asked for a repeat performance and the sex that followed was in a class all of its own.
To keep things sexy, Nnenna regularly whips out her sexy lingerie and does a private show for her hubby.
Nnenna’s strategy sounds sexily interesting, but it’s not for everyone and definitely not possible in every clime, but if it’s something that can work for you and your spouse, and it is available, then by all means pursue it.
If not, stick to what works for you.
That is essentially the gist of this article. Besides, it’s obvious that different marital challenges deserve different solutions.
Again, be inspired but do only what works for you and your spouse.