It’s a new year and some of you might have recently kicked bachelorhood out of your life. Congratulations and welcome to marriage life. As a brother who took that step 10 years ago, I wish to offer unsolicited advice about how to steer this ship called marriage. It is my sincere hope that this will be of help to you and others who will come after you.
Men hold the key to marital bliss so it’s up to you to make it work. When the oldest living man in Australia was asked for the secret to longevity, he said the secret was “waking up every morning”. With that short response, he cast the responsibility of being alive on his very shoulders.
If he wanted to be alive, he had to wake up and do the living. Marriage too entails daily effort to make it work. But here I must add that it is more of individual effort. You give it 100 per cent even if your partner is giving 20 per cent. The vow you took was not premised on the performance of your partner but on your performance. No marriage ends because one couple failed; it ends when both fail.
Your partner comes before your father, mother, brother, sister and even the children you bring into this world. It is for this reason that courtship is so important. During this time one is supposed to gauge and decide whether this is the kind of person you would want to put before everyone else for the remainder of your life.
If one feels she is not that kind of girl, the onus is on them to end the relationship before they commit. Once you are done with the “I do” part, there will be no excuses. She has to be your number one priority.
Be a “coward”. Society tells you to be manly and macho and hard and what not. But when it comes to dealing with other females (not relatives) after marriage, you got to allow yourself to be a coward or you will be ruined.
It is true that many women find married men attractive. It’s got to do with the way your wife keeps you well fed and groomed. And also the way you look responsible and especially so if your children look well taken care of. The women will come.
Some will give you hints while others will be blatant about their intentions. In such instances you are supposed to act like a man and prove to the woman what sort of material you are made of. I say run.
Be a coward and run as fast as your legs can carry you. They might be beautiful, intelligent, understanding and everything, but they don’t mean well for you. If you fall for their overtures, you will live to regret it for the rest of your life. Many of the cowards I know are living very happy lives with their wives.
Respect your in-laws and especially your parents-in-law. They are good people; after all they brought up a woman worthy to be your wife. And how do you respect them? By keeping your distance. Don’t be seen at their home every other weekend, be scarce. Let your wife deal with them whenever possible. But when they need something from you, be there for them to the very end.
Sieve any marital advice you will receive (including this one) and pick what works for you. See, no marriage is like the other. Every couple has its own unique experiences. How I solve issues with my wife might not work with yours. How I deal with my in-laws might not work for you.
Someone once said; “Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.” That perfectly captures the reality of marriage life. As you walk, you learn. You understand your partner and she understands you. You make a path that is befitting to your unique union. So, don’t take other couples’ experiences and advice as you would a how-to manual.
Listen to what they have to say but be careful when applying it to your circumstances.
To sum it up, you as the man are the captain of your marital experience. Where you take that ship is entirely up to you.
Published January 2017