The day began with tears from the sky. Everywhere was wet but beautiful to behold. I stared out of my window pane yawning (I guess I must be hungry or sleepy, either of the two but not sure which in particular). As I looked on, my mind drifted to her as she was lying on the sofa looking beautiful as ever. Gosh! She radiates just like an angel. I was tempted to steal a kiss from her succulent lips but would rather let her have her rest. What have I done to deserve such a gift? I have pondered this on many occasions and all I could hear was a still voice that kept answering “mercy and compassion.” If this is the reason; the Supreme Being up in the sky deserves a wink and a thank you.
Many individuals don’t value what they have until it’s long gone, this lesson I hold dear. In the advent of not losing my precious jewel, I have over time thought of what must be done to ensure a safe keep. Marriage they say is not bed of roses that I quite agree, (it’s the only institution that certificate is collected before the lesson starts). It sure does have its own topsy-turvy, hurdles and mountains that must be surmounted but a pity many are overwhelmed by this hurdle, allowing room for depression and frustration, which eventually leads to suicide (the latest arsenal). The thunder clap interrupted my thoughts. The creator of the universe sure did a wonderful work; everything created was indeed a glorious acumen. The drizzling of the rain, the dancing of the leaves, the colors that accompanied the sound of thunder and lightening makes one heart skip. Far in a corner ahead is the beautiful rainbow – a reminder that never again will the ‘master artist’ destroy the world with water. I stretched my arms for a few second before my attention returned to her – my wife (Rosslyn). My gorgeous one, my very essence whose presence I treasure. Her breath is the reason I live. As I stared intensely at her I heard a voice asking “is love truly enough…?” Is love truly enough? I muttered to myself. Love? Enough? I asked myself again. “Is love truly enough in this relationship?” The question came clearly this time. I looked around to see if there was another being in my apartment apart from my wife and I, because it was so loud and intense, but there was none. I began to ponder on this. Is love truly enough? I asked. What then is needed if love is not enough? “What are the ingredients that make up a healthy relationship?” I asked myself again and again. It gradually began to dawn on me the reasons behind these questions. For a healthy relationship there must be: I began to type on my iPad as I heard from my invincible lecturer deep within.
Love is the foundation needed to nurture any relationship. It starts with a likeness or fondness. It starts with a spark; just a little spark. “Love is anticipating a need and meeting that need” according to Myles Munroe. The need of your spouse or sibling in that relationship must be anticipated or discovered so as to meet it. A good percentage of people in a relationship pretend to be blind to the needs of their spouse or people around them. They turn a deaf ear to their pleas, yet we want the relationship to work. Not meeting the ‘little’ needs or even ‘larger’ needs of your spouse could warrant room for anger, frustration and a third party interference or intervention. If one claims to love a thing then the responsibility attached to the ‘love’ must be met, otherwise its mere infatuation or lust. Understand your spouse’s ‘love language’ (shall be discussed in the latter part of this article). What are the things your spouse value? What are your values? Think about this, anticipate the needs and meet the needs to have a healthy relationship.
Your commitment in a relationship must not be questionable. Commitment is being bound emotionally/intellectually to a course or action or to another person/other persons. It is the state of being pledged or engaged. If you crave for a healthy relationship, you must endeavor to be committed with all of you. Love is truly not enough if you are not ready to be committed with all that you are and have, this is the little price you must pay.
Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. According to Mother Theresa, Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” The seed of faithfulness sewn will germinate to yield great dividends. A spouse who is faithful to each other has no qualms or cause for alarm. You will attract the very best of things life can offer. Show me a faithful spouse, I will show you a happy and healthy relationship, such home is a home where even the ‘kettle’ whistles joyous songs of perfect tranquility. “It is better to be unfaithful than to be faithful without wanting to be.” Brigitte Bardot. Love isn’t enough, your commitment and faithfulness will help you soar above the rim.
Trust one another, this is the key needed to overcome all travails and rumors spread by rumormongers. Tongues will sure wag. It is extremely important to verify before you falsify because there will be reactions for every action. Trust your spouse. When you are not clear on an issue ask questions, don’t assume. Stop assuming! “If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.” Orville Wright. The race you’re running is different from mine, therefore our destinations sure differ. When you listen to people you are not to, you waste such energy on irrelevances. You’ll be drained emotionally, physically traumatized, psychologically handicapped to forge a plan of escape. It makes you lose focus as a result of distrust. Trust is essential, guard against its infiltration. For a healthy relationship don’t extinct the ‘trust factor’ otherwise you’ll cause more harm than good to your spouse and family.
“Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” Jim Rohn Communication is the concept or state of exchanging information between entities. It is an instance of information transfer; a conversation or a discourse. Communication is the act or process of using words, sounds, signs or behaviors to express or exchange information. Good communication is the bedrock (foundation) for a healthy relationship. It is important to talk and not yell at your spouse. Yelling is not an act of communication, if you do this you are simply sending a wrong signal. Let there be room for feedback during communication. Remember, communication is profitable when the message is well understood. Learn to keep your emotions in check so as to be productive in your relationship. Communicate effectively, weigh your words before you let it out. Words can break or make, watch what you say in order to avoid ‘crack in the wall’.
Be a man and woman of integrity. Integrity is the state of being wholesome; unimpaired. It is a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” Bob Marley. Spouses should know that a single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity. Do that which is right. Avoid attitudes or characters that are questionable. Your spouse should verge for you in the face of adversity when it beckons. “One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” Chinua Achebe
Empathy as defined is the intellectual identification of the thoughts, feelings or state of another person. Simply put in a lame’s man definition ‘it is putting yourself in other person’s shoe.’ It is better to keep afar from an attitude or word that will hurt your spouse.. “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other.” Meryl Streep. Show empathy, learn to sacrifice. The work load shouldn’t be on one person. Unburden. Unwind. Egoism should be put aside. Do that which will encourage and bring out the best in your spouse.
8. Love language:
Understand your spouse’s love language. There are five major love languages which are;
Art of service
Words of affirmation
Pay attention to the little details. It goes a very long way. What are the likes and dislikes of your spouse? Know it and keep to its confine.
10. ISSUES SHOULD BE SETTLED ON TIME, AMICABLY AND ADEQUATELY.
Don’t be at loggerhead. Always settle your differences, when it can’t be resolved, see marital mentor or a marriage counselor. Learn to be ‘the fool’ at times this will allow room for peace. Express grieve when you are in control of your emotion, not when you are terribly hurting. Words are like eggs; don’t ignite a grenade with it. “Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence.” Pythagoras says.
I believe that everything happens for a reason.’’ People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you were told lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
“Babe, what are you doing?” her sonorous voice brought me back to reality. I smiled at her as I drew her closer. A warm embrace was highly welcomed at this point. I looked into her dove-like eye and said “I am learning to be a better husband”. She smiled and wrapped her arms tightly around me. That alone gave me succor and a hope that irrespective of the happening instances on this journey, we will like two fools in love who will grow old and cranky together.