Editor’s Note: Hey guys, we have an interesting feature for you today. You know we love wedding and marriages, today, the beautiful Tolulope Tunde-Ajiboye shares 12 beautiful lessons she has learnt in her 12 years of marriage. Keep reading and enjoy!
Yipee, my marriage will be 12 years on the 12th of April. Like most newlyweds, my husband and I stepped into marriage bright-eyed, optimistic and flat-out unprepared. I was 22, he was 30 and we were expecting, let’s hear it for young love — we assumed that our marriage would be a rousing success. Unfortunately, the marriage turned out to be far more challenging than we had imagined. 12 years after, we are thriving and I’m good to be sharing 12 random lessons I’ve learned over the years.
1. When people say marriage is hard, believe them.
I remember while we were having our pre-marital counselling, we were told a lot about conflict resolution, I for one thought to myself, not us! We are not going to have any conflicts to resolve, we are so in love. It took the day after our wedding for me to realize how naive I was.
2. It is futile to compare your marriage.
I had always wanted a Michelle and Barack kind of marriage and I was so obsessed with this that instead of building my marriage I was tearing it apart even more. The Bible clearly warns us about comparison- “Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.” It’s ok to have people you look up to, the unwise thing is to get so entangled in that, that we now begin to make a comparison.
3. Good Marriages are contagious.
If you want a good marriage, surround yourself with people who have one. Need I say more, we are a product of the people we surround ourselves with.
4. “Don’t go to bed angry” is overrated.
Get some sleep. Chances are things will look different in the morning. I remember always insisting we had to talk things out before sleeping, obviously from things I’ve heard people say, but it was a very daunting task. It wasn’t so long I realized it’s ok to sleep, issues aren’t always as big as they seem after the mind is rested.
5. Your spouse is not your enemy.
The battle is not against flesh and blood. Have you ever looked at your spouse in the morning as your enemy, asking God, “What did you do in bringing us together?”. Your partner is not your enemy. They are a gift from God to you. In all his imperfections, in all her imperfections, God has given you a gift. You can either receive it by faith, or you can reject it.
6. Seek help and guidance when you need it.
There were a few times when we needed help. We learned to not be prideful and asked when necessary.
Seek someone who is matured and wise, not someone who will turn it into a gossip column.
7. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
If you want a great marriage, you have to work for it, tend your lawn. This includes labouring in prayer, covering him, being graceful and kind when you could be the exact opposite because he hasn’t acted particularly well, and being firm when you need to. What you do with your marriage is the only thing you can control, so why be miserable over what your spouse does especially when you can’t control it. I will advise, play your part! What you put in your marriage is what you get. Great marriages aren’t born, but made.
8. Emotional Intelligence is very vital in marriage.
It is a measure of how aware you are about yourself and your relationships. You must be able to identify emotions, use emotions, understand emotions and regulate emotions. Mastering your emotions will put you in a stable state in your marriage.
9. Your spouse is not the source of your happiness.
One of the greatest and most common myths we tend to believe (but don’t often express) when entering marriage is that we’ll somehow be completed or made whole by our husband or wife. As romantic as that concept sounds, it’s simply not true–and resting all your hope for happiness on your spouse is a tremendous amount of pressure for one person to take on: Happiness is a habit that each individual in a relationship must take responsibility for and learn to cultivate.
10. When you think your marriage is safest is when it’s in the most danger.
Be deliberate about how you treat your spouse, don’t think you know them too well that you take them for granted. Remember all the things that made you fall in love and don’t stop doing them. Care for yourself, never lose your respect for them, don’t forget their love language.
11. Take pictures.
When I’m mad, and I stumble on old pictures, it has a way of bringing back good old memories and I’m able to get by issues.
12. The goal is not to change our spouse.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. A tiger never changes its stripes. There is a reason why there are so many clichés about the inability to change. When you were first dating, your partner could do no wrong. They wooed and romanced you so well that you barely noticed their quirky little habits. But now, after years of marriage, what was once a cute quirk has now turned into an irritating quirk. You may want them to change but remember this: encouraging someone to be their best self is an admirable quality of a supportive partner, but forcibly trying to change your spouse can do more damage than good – for both of you. It’s natural for couples to change and grow, but this is something that should happen naturally, not something you should exhaustively pursue. So I will say Have lots of fun together.