By Susan K. Muyiyi
After the last wedding gifts are unwrapped, the reality that you are married begins to settle in. This is usually a time couples discover things they didn’t know about each other. For some, women especially, discovering that your partner snores can be shocking.
Marriage counsellors call this the early stage, which is quite difficult for a number of couples. Joseph and Helen Sekitoleko, married for 50 years, say that the differences during the early stages of marriage can make one conclude that perhaps he or she chose the wrong partner. That is a kind of early reality check. For some couples, an exciting life after the honeymoon takes a nosedive. The radiance on many a couple’s face becomes faint. And yet marriage doesn’t have to be such a pain. The secret is in how you prepare for this transition in life. Marriage, just like a garden, has to be nurtured Zach and Theodore Nyiringiye in their book Husbands and Wives say there is nothing that spoils a beautiful garden like allowing weeds to grow.
Arguments don’t make a bad marriage. In fact, they are expected considering that you are two different people lying under the same roof. For some couples, contention arises whenever money issues are raised.
The arrival of their first child sent ripples of tension in Richard and Mary Kakembo’s marriage. “We didn’t know that the timing of birth of the first child mattered. We were so overwhelmed with taking care of the baby. So much that we didn’t get to spend enough time alone. Fortunately, we resolved our differences and are now wiser,” Mary said.
It is strange for a couple that was head over heels in love to loathe going home, a few years into marriage. But like David Makoko, a marriage counsellor, points out, each day in your marriage either brings you closer or distant depending on how you nurture your relationship. The thought of going home doesn’t have to nag and draw you to the bar until late. Is it possible to fall out of love with your wife or husband? It depends on your definition of love. “Love is tough,” marriage counsellors have pounded it into the minds of couples preparing to get married. It’s not a mere feeling that gets you weak in the knees whenever he or she is around, it’s also endurance.
Years are spent building careers but when it comes to marriage, little or no preparation is made. There is the assumption that because you are in love, counselling and discussing issues like money are unnecessary and yet money is a major cause of conflict in marriages. Discussing when you will have children and how many is just as important. Here are 20 questions you should ask yourself before saying ‘I do’
Children don’t understand scarcity, says Makoko. Failure to provide for his family can be a sore spot in any man’s marriage. Money is very important and, like Makoko adds, you are not going to eat love. You need money to be romantic, pay your children’s fees and have a roof over your head.
The excitement with which you once anticipated your future husband’s or wife’s visit shouldn’t die out. The time taken preparing for a date before you get married signifies mindfulness of one’s appearance. However, complacency slips in after the vows are exchanged. The person who frequented the gym doesn’t have the drive for it. Any clothes will do for a date!
Since you see the same person every day, it is easy to take them for granted. Soon, you may become a boring married couple if you no longer hang out and do things together. The changing trends of living don’t make it any easier. Jobs, for instance, take a considerable amount of one’s time. And by the time you get home, being romantic is the last thing on your mind when you are behind schedule with reports. A routine-filled life can be boring but you have to take the initiative to maintain the spark in your relationship against the odds. Enjoying a good relationship takes hard work. At the end of the day it is the two of you together until death does you apart. Marriage is what you make it.