As we celebrate the New Year, we also look back on how we sealed the previous one. Everybody looked forward to the longest holiday of the year that is Christmas, excited about catching up with long lost relatives and friends except on social media. Facebook and tweeter was awash with rants of relatives asking about husbands and wives, questions like “When is the wedding?” became the new greeting for the season. Many have promised not to go back to the village or to attend family gatherings till further notice. Award winning cartoonist Chrisogon posted… “Wife this, wife that, as if any one sent me to Kampala to marry…” If you are one of those contemplating a move into marriage to shut your relatives up, you need to know what it takes. These 5 characteristics more than anything will determine the success of your marriage.
You have heard people say that marriage is a prison; it’s wise that you carefully choose who you spend your life sentence with. There’s no gambling here, gamblers are in the casino. Personally do your homework to know what you are getting into by thoroughly investigating the person you intend to marry, their back ground and if possible sex life. I keep saying there are no perfect relationships and it’s true but the risks you are willing to take for someone should be those you can handle or walked into willingly.
Don’t shy away from marriage because you are still trying to create a perfect image, the one in your mind and according to Hollywood. It’s a serious problem in the dot com era, trying to reinvent the wheel. Just so you know, there’s nothing new in our generation; our traditional marital values have been tested and proven. They kept our parents and grandparents happily married, they won’t stop working with you. Even the Queen of England has been married 70 years, not because Prince Phillip is a perfect match but because of the values they share, it had to work. You will also survive a lot of mistakes if you follow the system that worked for your people.
You get into marriage for yourself but shouldn’t be by yourself. You represent your entire family and village when you say “I do”. Your behaviour matters and must be one your people will pride in. Take advantage of happily married couples in your circle or family and learn from them. Even when in doubt, consult them and follow their advice, being coachable won’t only make you a great partner but will also save you from divorce and separation.
As a Christian, the bible tells me in Ecclesiastics that, “Hard work earns you a good night sleep.” Thus for anything of value you must put in the work. If you already found the one, it’s important that you do whatever it takes to make it work. This attitude will be visible in your actions and no matter the race or tribe you choose, you will be appreciated. Imagine Jacob in the bible served 14 years to get the love of his life Rachael. That’s my favorite love story of all time. His father in law had asked him for seven years of service which he did, when they were done, instead of Rachael he was given Leah. Tradition didn’t allow for a young sister to marry before her big sister. The only way out was to take Leah and leave or work another seven years for Rachael. Jacob accepted the challenge, did his extra time and he took the girl. So, go all in till the deal is sealed.
Strong people skills
Marriage is great but it’s also not a bed of roses. Even as beautiful as roses are, they got thorns. You must prepare yourself too for challenges because they will come. You can’t run or disappear every time something bad happens because all you got is each other. Successful marriages and relationships thrive on excellent interpersonal skills and effective communication with each other. We are talking about things like, the ability to apologize when in wrong, gratitude and humility. Those are the skills that create loyalty, value and trust. It’s come at the end but it’s the most important of all.