1. You won’t always feel like loving: So celebrity couples like Brad-Jolie and Jay-Beyonce with their paparazzi impressing marriage has made you believe that marriage would be sweet all the way, don’t be fooled. In marriage, sometimes you would feel like you made the wrong choice, you might even feel like quitting, you might feel like strangling your spouse. You will never always feel the butterflies-in-your-stomach effect all the time. Sticking by and loving your spouse at those moments have nothing to do with how you feel but the covenant you made to God and man at the altar on your wedding day.
2. Lose a war to win the battle: You and your spouse happened to have this mega argument about the car and you guys haven’t spoken to each other for a day or so. Someone has to take the lead, wave the white flag and initiate a meeting to trash out the problem. You might have to be that one (let’s hope you are). In such scenario, you will have to lose a war (let your partner have his/her way) to win the battle (have a wonderful marriage).
3. Don’t involve third parties: You both had a little fight and you have already informed your mum or your bestie. Be sure to sort out your problems within yourselves because most times, the advice given by these external forces would end up escalating the problem. You want to talk to someone, talk to your pastor or a counselor. Someone with a neutral view of things.
4. Never fight/quarrel in public or in front of the kids: Do you actually believe that a couple like let’s say Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva have never quarreled or argued? But have you ever heard about it? I bet your answer is a resounding NO. Keep a perfect public perception of your marriage by fighting in private and away from the kids.
5. Pray together as a family: Prayer is fundamental in living a godly and fulfilling life. Everyone needs a strong prayer life to stand firm in this evil World we live in. More importantly for a family is one that not only prays individually but prays together. First thing in the morning and last thing at night, everyone converges at the parlor to pray and read the Word of God together. Remember, a family that prays together, stays together.
6. Eat together as a family: This could look trivial at the surface but you have no idea how much bonding, connection and communication could be shared over a plate of food. Don’t be the family that has no eating timetable/manners. The type that the father eats in his room, the mother eats in the parlor and the kids eat in their rooms. Gather everyone on the dinning table, serve food, someone blesses the food and eating begins. As food is munched and passed down the throat, stories of the day are also passed round and bonding is strengthened. Remember, a family that eats together, bonds together.
7. Good sex is integral in marriage: The two biggest enemies to a successful marriage are; money and bad sex. A sexually satisfied man is a very happy man. A sexually deprived woman is scarier than a witch. Don’t throw sex under the rug and pop it out when you want to have kids. Learn new ways to make sex sweeter and more interesting.
8. Attend the same church: The husband attends Deeper Life and the wife attends Celestial Church of God, how under the Heavens would they ever be on the same page spiritually? Whose church would the kids attend? Which spiritual doctrines would the kids imbibe? How would they even pray together? Please enough of the you-go-to-your-church-I-go-to-mine mentality. Go to the same church.
9. Be open about each other’s finances: In marriage, your money is her/his money. You both have become one, remember? Its only lack of trust, greed and covetousness that would make couples hide their true financial state from each other. If you can’t share your money, then its your heart you would share? Grow up already.
10. Negotiate before settling down: Before saying “I do”, couples have to metaphorically sit down on a round table to discuss their personal interests in the marriage. Things like the following should be negotiated and agreed upon; number of children, frequency of sex, schools the kids would attend, names they would bear, how many boys and girls, where they want to live, who would work and many more. Negotiate and reach common ground.
11. Never talk negatively about your spouse to outsiders or let anyone bad mouth them: “My husband is a very stupid man, when other able bodied men are outside working to put food on the table, the foolish man is at home fighting over DSTV remote control with me”. Those are the words of a foolish woman to her foolish friends who would end up giving an ear to her foolishness and a mouth with responses like “I knew it, that man is good for nothing” and another responding “I have told you to give Chief Ezego a chance, that man is very rich, let him take proper care of you”. Don’t be a party to negative talk about your spouse and never let anyone talk negatively about them. You spouse is your pride. Guard jealously.