Should I walk away from my marriage or find a way to salvage the situation? This and more questions kept popping up in my mind as I left for office the following day. I couldn’t concentrate on my job because I was so restless and as I struggled to get myself to work, Mrs Williams, a senior colleague in the office walked in to check on me with her usual cup of cappuccino. Though I love to drink cappuccino, but that morning, I just wasn’t interested. I guess she must have read my mood when she asked why I looked so worried. There was no need to pretend anymore so I decided to confide in her.
I had always admired Mrs Williams whose marriage of 20 years reflected so much harmony and love that one could easily conclude that marriage is a piece of cake. She was sympathetic with me but at the same time quite firm. She made me realise that we were both not fully prepared for marital responsibilities but we could salvage the situation if we were willing. She narrated how things weren’t so smooth for them at the beginning and how they were able to work things out because they were prepared in all ramifications for marriage. They knew marriage required a lot of sacrifices to sustain, thus they never hesitated to make sacrifices as deemed fit. At some point, she had to resign from her job so she could go for a Masters degree program with the full support of her husband. She didn’t need to fight tooth and nail for it because they had mutual understanding when it comes to career advancement.
Though it wasn’t easy initially, it was achievable, most especially when it was discovered that she had fertility issues. Her husband stood by her against her in-laws who almost succeeded in chasing her out of her matrimonial home. God intervened and she had her first daughter after 5 years of marriage. She said she could go on and on with her experiences but the summary is that their vision for an ideal home was one of the driving force for the stability in their marriage.
Grace, “every marriage has its own dose of heartaches but we have to decide if we want an overdose or a permanent cure.” she said conclusively.
I buried my head in my hands as it suddenly hit me that I had no clue what marriage entailed. I thought it was all about the wedding day glamour, until reality hit me. We never discussed how we wanted our home to be, neither did we share our thoughts on personal goals and aspirations. For me, I got into marriage with a welfare mentality where I only receive without giving. Honestly, I need to change my orientation and talk things over with Ben, I pray he will be willing to make amends too so that we can build a better foundation for our marriage.
It is easier for us to change jobs, friends, cars and so on, probably because we got a better option or we are not too comfortable with the environment or their activities. However, when it comes to marriage, the story is entirely different because it’s not easy switching from one spouse to another. It is rather alarming that some people go into marriage unprepared and with the mindset of switching homes in case things don’t work out as expected.
Getting prepared for marriage is a two-way thing, that is, both partners must be involved. It is not about the wedding day only but what obtains thereafter. Both parties should run their check on every aspect of their lives and see if they could harmonise their plans without it negatively affecting either of them. Instead of focusing on irrelevant things during courtship, it is expedient for intending couples to synchronise their vision and check their willingness to make sacrifices. In a situation where both got married without adequate preparation, they can still return to the drawing board to remedy the situation. I am not saying it’s going to be easy but with strong determination and help from God, things will work out for good.
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