By Rashim Nabanja
Falling in love is one of the best things that could ever happen to you. We all would like to meet that one person that we consider our better half, someone that you feel completes you and when you finally do, the next thing that you would wish for is God’s blessing so as to spend the rest of your life with them. When we get married, it may seem like our dreams have finally come to pass.
However, we may realize a few weeks or months in that all is not gold. Many marriages may not survive their first years as different things can creep up that their partners didn’t anticipate, or are not equipped to handle. Brian Mulondo and his wife Manuella Pacutho went through this hard period. The KFM radio presenter told the story below on how they were able to save their marriage.
Brian Mulondo tells his story
A few years ago (in the last decade) I met a young girl, seated on a stool in a bus corridor 😂
I told her that I’d marry her no matter how long it took. I allowed her to date whoever she wanted but when we got together, it was gonna be serious business. She later named me “Future Consumption”…Omunaku wakuffa banange!
25th February will forever be etched in my head because that’s the day the dream came true. I was marrying the girl of my dreams, the people I cared most about were present to witness this, the media gave us all the coverage and we even got to feature on NTV’s Primetime news 🤓
But two years in to the marriage, it was Chinuwa Achebe. Things were Falling Apart comrades!! 🙆🏽♂️🙆🏽♂️
How did a thing so beautiful become such a bad taste in our mouths?
We called on God to intervene and he did. I talked to a friend, who I had always known as big-headed and very salty. She told me about her transformation and how this programme at a local church had made her marriage stronger than ever before.
The programme the Mulondo’s attended is known as The Knot Experience, a space centered on empowering marriages to strengthen families, and communities with a focus to become a center for couples to work on their intimacy in a safe environment.
When we joined, we met a group of people passionate about marriage and other people’s marriages. From money, the S-word…yes the S-word (Sex) to in-laws, money and conflict resolution. From that time on, we pursue a love so amazing for each other and intend to use our relationship to pursue God’s purpose for us.
Marriage isn’t a walk in the park. It takes work. It takes a partnership with not just your spouse but with other couples.
Mulondo ended by urging couples that are fighting, doubting their partners and feel they can’t take it anymore to join marriage cell and groups or counselling so that as a unit, they can make their marriage great.
Just like the Mulondos, many couples out there face problems in their marriages. Some of them may start out as minor but as time goes by, they might turn into something bigger.
My Wedding had a chart with Mr. Sam Setumba, a relationship counsellor, and he got to share some information about the common problems couples face in their relationships and how they can easily go by them.
According to Setumba, most couples may fall apart due to the difference in their spending habits, “There are cases where one of the partners spends uselessly which is usually the wife. There are also cases where the husband may tend to be too stingy or too generous hence bringing about some issues.”
In such cases, Setumba advises couples to sit down and agree on how to manage their finances, “If she spends too much, then it is better to reduce on her access to money, don’t give her too much.”
Always find a way to agree on how to use the money as a couple, it will cut out your differences if you hear out your partner’s suggestions and put them into consideration.
You may be shy to discuss it but sex could really ruin your marriage. Setumba says as a couple, you might have different levels of libido, or difference in the times of desire. This doesn’t mean that you should push your partner away. If you are not in the mood, it’s always good to do it for a partner rather than pushing them away. And for the case of low libido, it may be a result of stress or a medical condition.
Whichever the case, Setumba advises couples to change the environment where intimacy takes place, “try to get your partner in the mood earlier, for example, it could be through putting up some romantic acts like dressing nicely, caring for them/putting up a conversation just to get them prepared.”
Dealing with the relatives
Setumba says at some point, relatives tend to interfere in a relationship which may be a sort of turn off to either of the partners. According to him, there are two types of interference. One is by invitation, where a partner may be extremely close to a relative, could be a mother or father bringing some kind of discomfort to the other partner, the other type of interference is by intrusion were by a family member may summon you because they feel you are pushing them away ever since you met your soulmate.
In such cases, Setumba advises couples to always draw a line between their relationship and their family, “do not push them away, you just need to make them understand that you now have a new family that needs you and you have more responsibilities.”
Work can be one of the things that draw a gap between you and your partner especially if you have a very busy job. At first, it may be understandable but as time goes by, your partner might end up getting bored and in the end, it affects your relationship. However, don’t neglect your partner completely because of work. Find a way to create time for them, it could be through taking off some time to make a call during lunch breaks just to ask them how they are doing. This also assures your partner that even though you have a tight schedule, you still take time to think of them
Keeping the spark alive
Love is always beautiful in the beginning but as time goes by, you may lose the spark and feel like you are not in love anymore. Setumba says the best way to handle this is putting focus on the little things that you think don’t matter yet they actually do, “Always assure your partner that you love them, remind them about how special they are to you, respect them and make sure you always communicate if you ever feel there is something that is not going right.”
Setumba adds that couples should keep up with the things they have always done since they met, for example, going out on dates and celebrating anniversaries. It is one way to assure your partner that you are still in love with them like before.
However, Setumba mentions that usually when a couple becomes parents, they tend to let the parenting take over and they forget about their relationship as lovers, “Some couples tend to use their children to brush off issues they experience not knowing that if you don’t discuss an issue, it just escalates and when the children are away, you will realise that you have a lot going on and it may not be easy to solve it all at the time.”
He, therefore, advises couples to always seat down and settle their issues rather than running from them.