15th November, 2013
By Aidy Thomas
There are so many publications on relationship now than it has ever happened in history. In almost every magazine, book, etc. you’ll be sure to come across something that touches on love or romance in some form. Pictures and images of lovers hugging, necking and kissing is no longer a hidden thing- yet relationships are going the wrong direction daily; WHY?
Each time I have the opportunity to attend a wedding ceremony or witness quiet exchange of vows, my mind wonders if the couple have taken time to understand what they are about to enter into. But then! Are you to stop people from carrying out their plans? You can only wish them the very best of what life has to offer.
Marriage; just like parenting has some functional principles but to be applied according to peculiarities and dynamics of the people involved. That is to say, it is not a “one size fits all” kind of approach. You need to discover and understand each other before you can successfully imbibe strategies that would benefit the union. A young wife overheard someone narrating how she put her feelings down in black and white for the husband to read. He took time to read and reason with her; apologising and turning a new leaf.
The other woman who heard went home and poured her venom on paper as well and expected her man to read and come crawling and begging for forgiveness but she got the shock of her life. Her husband was not at that level at all; he hates reading, had to quit college because there were too many things to understand but found great success in biz where his hands work wonders for him.
The sight of the long letter alone got him enraged. He said “if you cannot talk to me face to face, you are not fit to be my wife. What on earth I’m I doing with a long note as if a landlord is stating why I should quit his property- come on girl! You’ve missed it big time”. Did you then see how the approach worked differently for two relationships? The basic thing is to have proper understanding of who you are dealing with and what appeals to them: how you can literally get the best from them.
I’m of the opinion that same persons can behave differently with different partners and all being traced to understanding. I have said it a long time ago that relationship is like horse riding: The same horse who threw one, injured and almost killed could take another for miles on a pleasure ride depending on his/her knowledge of horse riding- You need to touch the right buttons for the right results.
- Be interesting: Recently I was speaking with a young man who is preparing to get married in less than six weeks and I asked him what he was looking forward to in marriage and his answer was “Fun”. He enthused “I just like a woman who is interesting and would not make me bored”. Then I asked if he was an interesting person but he escaped. To be interesting, you must know what interest the other person. Personally I love going on holidays but it amazes my husband (or it used to but now he knows me better) that my books and notes are the very first things to be put at the bottom of my suit case. That time is good for me to appreciate life through the eyes of different authors while he wants to see the world around there. We then have to decide when to go out, how long to stay in and when to do our personal stuff- just chose how you want to spend the time- everyone is then happy. Adding some spices to life makes the difference.
- Respect your differences: You can refer to my article “Celebrating your differences”. It can really be challenging to cope daily with someone who does things your opposite way. Colleagues at work, friends outside are a lot easier to tolerate since you know there’s only a certain time you spend with them but living with one person and devising ways to stay amicably is way harder. Don’t try to run your preferences down the throat of your spouse. You can work out common grounds based on understanding but avoid making the other party feel foolish. You grew up under different circumstances and would definitely reflect your environment so be considerate. If your spouse has outstanding weaknesses, be supportive and work together to proffer solution. Everyone is unique in their own way.
- Shun desperation: Being desperate in relationships points to the fact that you have low self esteem. You feel you need the other person badly in order to survive or succeed. Anyone who thinks or acts like this is bound to do silly things; nagging, unnecessary jealousy, being possessive, spying, lying/pretending, slaving or doing just anything to get their desire through. Most desperate people are not true lovers; they simply want something from you. It can be as little as sharing your name, finding shelter or being a part of what you have worked for all your life. At other times, lovers who do not know how to control their emotions can be misjudged or misconstrued to be desperate when they display “we need each other attitude” all the time. Learn to take it easy.
- Get a life: Life will be so boring if all you do is sit around and wait for your wife or husband to return. I tell you this is too much emotional burden placed on one person’s shoulder. Can you now see why you nag when he/she comes home tired and did not give enough attention? Your expectations were cut short. How nice will it be if you both had ‘a full day’ and fall into bed early only to wake up in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning to catch up on what happened yesterday? It’s so refreshing and the hugs, kisses and intimacy that flows from it is enough to sail you through a challenging day ahead. You don’t necessarily both have to work in an office but be involved in some kind of rewarding (financially or psychologically) activity where you look forward to contributing to humanity.
- Handle family expectations wisely: I’m always careful when it comes to family matters because we are all from families. But the truth is that your family involvement in your life can either make or mar your relationship. A man who discusses his wife’s weakness with his family members: is he expecting them to respect her? No, it’s not possible. If your husband is not leading the home the way you expected, your mum or sister is not the best confidant to hear about it. You can seek counsel outside possibly from someone who does not know him. When you protect your spouse, HONOUR comes on your union because people can only value what you protect.
- Be presentable: The reason most people do not hang out with their spouses is because they feel there is a social gap. Being presentable is a total package. If you are not naturally beautiful there is little you can do but developing a great personality, knowledge, elegance, carriage and stage presence all add up to make ‘you’. Of what use is a pretty woman who cannot express herself in public or a handsome man who has a personality of a child? Sometimes, who you are or what you can do and how you carry yourself makes people overlook physical beauty. Hang on a minute! You can easily improve physical appearance by choosing the right kind of accessories. Being presentable is making your spouse ‘proud’ of you.
…..Continues next week.