By Rashim Nabanja
Being a newlywed is one of the best things that could ever happen to you. However, as you enjoy your first days, weeks or even months of your new life as a couple, you may start to realise that the journey is not always going to be smooth. Glitches come in due to the fact that everything is new and you are just finding your way around getting through life as partners.
Although we are taught that the first thing you need to be ready for when you fall in love is to learn how to embrace and be comfortable with each other’s flaws, as time passes on, you may keep discovering things about your partner that could surprise you in either a good or bad way.
My wedding had a chat with Diane Komunda, a team leader at The Knot Experience, a program that focuses on rekindling couples and teaching them how to maintain the spark in their relationship. The counsellor also worked with KFM’S Brian and Manuela Mulondo’s marriage which was becoming shaky, two years in.
Using the basis of her experience, she pointed out the top three challenges that newlyweds face and how they can go by them.
According to Komunda, we are usually attracted to people that are the total opposites of us, “A quiet person is easily attracted to a talkative person because they feel this person is living a life that they cant so they also want to experience it with them.” Komunda further explains that this can be interesting in the beginning, but as time goes by, one may start to feel uncomfortable with the other partner and no longer consider their personality interesting, “The talkative person you admired may turn out to be irritating or the outgoing person you loved may end up being too out-going.”
She therefore advises couples to always invest time in learning together, “If your partner is doing something you are not comfortable with, talk to them. Do not hide your feelings or else it will hurt you more.”
Komunda also adds that couples need to work on being open with each other, “You can tell your partner, ‘I liked you because of this, but it’s becoming too much’.” She advises the person told not to get offended but try to be understanding and accommodate the other accordingly.
Leadership and submission
Back in the day, it was always known that a man has to be the leader of the family and a woman has to submit to him. However, times have changed and women now study and work as hard as men. This has made women want to demand some kind of leadership in marriage and also not know when to submit. Komunda explains that women sometimes lose the point of submitting to their husbands and look at it as some kind of disrespect or gender inequality. This has led to competition for leadership from both the wife and the husband in a family.
She, therefore, advises women not to take offense to submission but work with it and understand the role of a man in a home, “A man has always been the leader of a home therefore as his wife, you need to step back and let him perform his duties.”
She however adds that men should not take advantage of their wives in the name of being leaders. There needs to be respect and consideration from both partners in a home.
This is usually the biggest of all challenges. As much as people like to think that intimacy is all about sex, it is much more than that. According to Komunda, intimacy is made up of other factors which if not on the right track, the couple will eventually lose sexual intimacy, “Intimacy is more of spiritual, financial, social, and emotional.” Komunda further explains that if you and your partner are not on the same page when it comes to money if you can’t seat down and talk about your emotions, or ignore little things like complimenting each other, it ultimately kills the spark in your relationship.
She therefore says that as a couple, you need to keep in mind that things you might consider little can easily ruin your relationship and the only way to go by this is through communication.
“The lack of communication in a relationship will affect your social intimacy. Check on your partner from time to time. Caring and minding about your partner will make everything easier,” adds Komunda.
To keep a more steady relationship, Komunda further advises newlyweds to always get a community that they can associate with, have deep talks with them and learn from them.
“Make friends with other couples and pick tips from them, every couple has a way of working through your issues and if you get to associate with them, you may discover that you are not the only ones going through certain hard times,” says Komunda.
She also adds that when it comes to a relationship, working on you as an individual in case things go wrong is usually the first step to solving the crisis. Learn to accept when you are in wrong and put some work to changing.