With marriage, people from different walks of life come together, joined by love to make a family. There is a lot one considers before settling down with this specific person. Among others, is the compatibility but as life goes, many tend to learn new things and also unlearn those that are not adding value to their lives.
Below, Christine Katende catches up with some couples who individually shared the kind of lessons learnt from their marriages.
Obedi Kiyaga and Rachel Mbabazi, married for two-and-a-half years
Obedi: I have learnt that marriage is wonderful and sweet when you marry a friend and not just for beauty or money and that children are great gifts from God. I have also learnt to be a caring person towards my spouse and children, loving to my wife and being tolerant in case my expectations are not met.
Rachel: I have learnt is that marriage has no formula. What has worked for a friend’s marriage may not work for you. Holding anger toward your spouse is a waste of time because this is your teammate and without them, no goals are achieved.
Forgiveness is key in marriage and as a couple, you ought to always fasten the cords that bind you together, connecting to deeper levels spiritually, physically, financially and socially, that no matter what tricks the devil and his agents use to divide you, nothing can work. Praying for each other on a daily basis is another great lesson. If you really want the marriage to work, prayer should be the centre of it all. Because there’s a lot of strong forces that will always fight marriage right from the minute you say “I do”.
We openly talk about issues that arise between us such as financial matters which has always kept us on the same page.
Malachi Kabaale and Miriam Lwantale, 6 years together
Malachi: I have learnt to be patient. This has helped us overcome a lot because the love between us supersedes all. I have also learnt that when you hide in the Lord everything turns out positive, he has always been our remedy. Also, let your partner’s needs come before yours.
If you surely love this person, think of how to surprise them and make them smile.
I remember last year when we lost our twins, we were so hurt but I recalled that during counselling, we were told that children are gift from God but my partner matters most, she is my first responsibility. So my love for her made me feel the pain she went through, to carry the two children and push them out dead, everything made me strong and love her more.
Miriam: I have always loved doing things that make me happy. It was about me, be it dress code or type of clothes I put on including the time I eat. But I have learnt that in marriage it ceases to be about one person and one should think about their partner. This has taught me not to be selfish but rather be considerate and I have seen our live change for the better.
Timothy Wandabwa and Aidah Nyamwiza, one year in marriage
Timothy: I have learnt that in marriage, communication is key. My partner needs to know where I am and what I am up to. Planning together as a couple is another important aspect I have come to realize because it fosters faster development. Also avoiding third parties in marriage is crucial for some may not have good intentions. We have however had issues dealing with friends especially those from the opposite sex. Many have tagged along even after marriage but after realizing how uncomfortable my wife was, we had to openly talk and together devise means on how to handle it and this has helped us get the same friends with no hidden agendas.
Aidah: We have been married for one year and two months now. A month ago, God blessed us with a son. I have to say that marriage is a good thing and I have enjoyed every bit of it both good and bad. One of the things that I have learnt is that marriage is God’s institution where he has to be present if you are to succeed. And given the challenges marriages are facing today, I came to realize that both of us have to be deliberate and intentional about every decision we make. I have also learnt that taking vows is one thing and marriage is another, meaning we have to work hard for my marriage to stay. So we both need to have the willingness and be committed towards working and fighting for this marriage regardless of any challenges that may come up. I have learnt that who you marry in terms of character determines the success of your marriage, so it’s not the financial status. Yes, money is very important but it doesn’t guarantee a successful marriage, it is someone’s character. It’s also very important to marry a friend, someone who you have known over time. Having the willingness to work as a team in everything be it development or house chores, having effective communication, being faithful, learning, unlearning and compromising on a number of things are among other lessons I have learnt. We must admit that friends and in-laws have a big influence on marriages, therefore, we need to be careful with how we treat them so that they don’t negatively affect the marriage. But we have had some challenges given the fact we both come from totally different backgrounds. The issue of being on phone (social media) all-time…. But as friends, we have always tried talking about it thus finding common ground. We are also in some marriage fellowships where we learn from our elders who have been married for some time. In these fellowships, we are mentored and this helps us to overcome some of the challenges.
Ronald Lotete and Grace Mwesigwa, 6 years together
Ronald: I have learnt a number of things like to always understand my partner because it’s never her intention to hurt me. Forgiveness is key to a stronger bond. You need to plan together to avoid suspicion. Marriage is a lifetime commitment therefore make it a happy moment because you won’t be sad your entire life. Never talk much when angry, arguments really don’t yield much. Sometimes you have to accept defeat so as create harmony. When one partner raises their voice, the other should be silent.
I have learnt that time heals all wounds, for any tough moments, give it time, it will come to pass. Also rumours mislead a lot and trust is the key to peace no matter the situation. Praying to God and reflection of the vows also re-models. Understanding that it is a lifetime commitment makes me seek peace as conflict reduces the lifespan of any relationship.
Grace: I have learnt that you have to make very many sacrifices like honouring each other’s strength, taking care of each other, communicating and listening, loving unconditionally, being patient, kindness, creating time for the children, respecting yourself and your partner, and most of all, forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness, things don’t work out.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that not everyone is happy for you, very many people are working very hard to see that your marriage doesn’t work. I always have to watch out for the circle of friends that I surround myself with. I have not found any big challenges yet but it’s a matter of communication and understanding each other.
Christopher Semei Mukama and Judith Kusiima, 7 years together
Christopher: Learning to listen to my wife all the time and understanding what she is telling me is the biggest lesson I have learnt. I used to mistake her to be repeating herself yet things were totally different. For the time we have been together, I have dropped the bias while listening, I have increased listening generously.
Judith: I have learnt that communication is very key in marriage, whatever you do, wherever you are, your partner should be aware. This makes life easier and more meaningful. To always appreciate your partner even if it’s something very small. Complimenting him is also very important if he’s smart, kindly appreciate.