“I promise to be true, to give my all to you…forever is just a start, forever is you and me”- excerpt from the chorus of The Vow by Timi Dakolo.
Several men and women take these vows every now and then, promising to stand by each other through thick and thin in the presence of the congregation and God as witness. With beaming smiles and tears of joy in their eyes as they harken to the words at Genesis 1:24 about the man leaving his parents to stick with his wife and becoming one flesh as they imagine the ‘happy ever after’ life after their wedding.
At this juncture, a definition of the word itself wouldn’t be out of place.l although almost everyone has a thing or two to say about it. As defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary , it is the mutual relations between married persons. This begs the question, why do people get married?. Below are some of the reasons why they do.
To begin with, stating the exact words of Tom Petty, “Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you and then you’ll be a happy person”.
Contrary to the popular hearsays about the increase in divorce rates in Nigeria, the Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has it that 0.2% of men and 0.3% of women decide to end their marriages, why you may ask but the reason isnt far-fetched, it’s because they’re happy. True, marriages experiences it’s rise and fall but when married to someone who makes you happy, your marriage is worth fighting for.
Going further on the reasons why people marry, God, the originator of marriage at the beginning saw how lonely Adam was and without a helper before he formed Eve out of his ribs as a complement for him. Nevertheless, it is worthy of note that the women need help and support equally. Little wonder couples today get married to support and help each other’s growth as life partners just as the latter part of the aforementioned song stated, “No matter what you go through, I’ll always be around, we’ll take our hopes and dreams, turn them to reality together…”.
Additionally, people marry to satisfy their sexual desires as it is believed that once married, partners have equal rights to each other at anytime which helps to fulfil their needs. This reason is said to curb occurrences of cheating partners.
Child bearing; It is widely known that in Africa especially that children is a necessity in a marriage, it can never be argued out. Kids are one of the elements that add spice and deepens the bond amongst married couples. They take the responsibility of raising children from infancy to adulthood.
It is also important to know that even though a marriage could be as solid as bricks, the couple could also be far apart as poles if a number of issues arise like the ones below.
Sexual differences; this is one issue that can never be waved aside in marriage as it is one of the things that binds the couple together. Nevertheless, partners cannot have the same needs or preferences. Certain circumstances like work schedules, health issues could affect their sexual life and cause infidelity of a partner which might eventually lead to the end of the union.
“Between a man and his wife, nothing ought to rule but love. Authority is for children and servants, yet not without sweetness – William Penn.
Another factor is poor communication between couples. It is widely accepted that the husband is the head of the house but even at that it wouldn’t be right to treat his wife as a servant and ignore her opinions. Many wives become victims of domestic violence due to abuse of authority by their husbands. Hence, separation or divorce results thereafter.
Financial issues; a common problem in marriages. “Obe to dun owo lo pa”, when translated means,” A rich delicacy is as a result of money”. When couples experience financial problems probably as a result of loss of job or incurred debts the bond in marriage is threatened as no one ( especially women) enjoys poverty.
What then can be done to enjoy a happy and healthy marriage?
Foremost is putting your spouse first. Sadly many couples allow their jobs, children and hobbies come before their partners which shouldn’t be. Your spouse should come first so that the flames of love get rekindled as the years go by.
Having good communication is key as well. As the Chinese say, “If you wish to know the heart of a man, listen to his words”. It safe to say it applies to the woman too. Having discussions before taking decisions is a great way to avoid misunderstandings as the opinions and suggestions of both parties are considered.
Pray for and with your spouse. Ever heard of the saying, “A couple that prays together, stays together”. This is no myth. Endeavoring to approach God about your marriage and the responsibilities in it together helps couples stay strong and sail through the storms. Heartfelt prayers for your spouse brings happiness and success to the marriage.
After all said, I’d like to conclude with Joke Silva’s words at an interview with Jayne Augoye of The Premium Times Nigeria on her 33rd wedding anniversary, “… marriage is not a destination, it’s a continuous journey…”. This is what everyone should have in mind to keep a marriage going. So to all married and those in line, keep these words of Herbet Samuel in mind, “It takes two to make a marriage a success and one to make it a failure”.
My advice – Don’t be that one!