I was somewhere today and I as I waited for my turn to be served, I met an old friend. We were excited to see each other after some years and had a catch up session for about 20 or so minutes.
In those few minutes, a lot was shared, a lot was asked and the biggest of them all was, “Mary, do you and your hubby ever fight?” “You guys look perfect, no quarrels, no fights, just lots of happiness and smiles!”
I had to laugh for about a minute. Thinking to myself… “Ohhhh girlfriend, you have no idea!” Do we ever fight? Yes! Yes! Yes! Like two charged bulls going against each other! Trust me.
Of course over the years, it has evolved to what I call “Mature fights”, but occasionally, with our shortcomings, and as human as we are, we revert back to our bull fighting skills.
Marriage is definitely the most beautiful union I have ever encountered and will ever experience, but it takes mature ‘fights’ to sail through.
Marriage has taught me to fight maturely!
By that I mean, I could have a pressing issue but wait until I get home, cook, serve my husband, wait for him to catch his Super sport news, then when he is all done, I can raise my issue then. Is it easy? No! Sometimes I am tempted to WhatsApp him and lash out even before the day ends because am damn disappointed, but I withhold! I got to swallow some very big chunk of my pride and wait yes girlfriend! WAIT!!!
Marriage has taught me to say, “Hunnie, I feel offended because, I thought this would go this way, and it went that way.” Kindly note, I have not used any word like YOU HAVE DONE THIS, YOU HAVE DONE THAT, YOU, YOU! That’s the hardest thing I have had to learn and I got to learn it in the hardest way!
I was the gate-keeping type of a woman. Always pointing fingers to anything that wasn’t done my way, until one day he was also like, Mary! Whatever! You just can’t do whatever you feel like and expect chocolates from me Mr. John! Whatever Mary! Whatever! From the above conversation, you can imagine our argument! Bitter and bitter! Well, we managed to settle it but I learnt something from my hubby, he might be wrong, but I cannot call attention to his weaknesses directly, it never works for any man! Even your youngest brother. They will tend to be defensive rather than listen!
Marriage has taught me to let go! My hubby can attest to the fact that I could still remember all the issues we had when we were dating. I carried them. Everyday. About Forgiving, I wasn’t so forgiving. What used to happen when am offended, was carry that burden then cut someone off completely. Was it good for my marriage? No! Probably it has helped me create very solid boundaries, but in marriage, forgiveness is an everyday affair.
You cannot carry the faults of your husband or wife daily! Otherwise, marriage will be burdensome and you will not enjoy any bit. So while my husband, Johnny is good at forgiving and forgetting, I am good at record keeping and archiving! It’s taken me lots of determination and willingness and prayer to just let go! So, at times I look at him, and let it pass, I wink or simply ignore his faults. Flaws are there and will always be there. If you make anything an issue, it will be an issue.
Ignore small things like, he left his shoes on the carpet, he forgot to take out the trash, he didn’t feed the fish in the aquarium, he didn’t clear the table, he forgot his smelly socks in the kitchen. He didn’t buy what you sent him, he didn’t buy electricity tokens, he put his leftovers in the fridge, he slept over a movie you both were watching, he didn’t text back immediately and vice versa! The list is endless!
I am not perfect, and certainly Johnny isn’t either. We differ in a lot of issues. Our past experiences, what we did when we were growing, how our parents molded us, all play out when it comes to our individual personalities.
You cannot get into marriage with a mindset of changing your husband or wife. That’s an impossible mission. You cannot make a carbon copy of your traits and paste it on your husband or your wife. Instead, of spending so much time fighting your spouse, let Christ be your mirror. Try be a carbon copy of Christ… To be more like Jesus every day!
He has a way of winning over your spouse with love. You are not married to gate-keep your spouse, but to love. Your fights should not be a means of asserting yourself, or winning. If one of you wins, and the other loses, then you have no marriage, you have a game. Marriage has to be a win-win situation.
That sometimes you can relegate your happiness or temporal gratification for the sake of your husband or wife. It doesn’t mean that you have lost.
No, in fact you are the bigger person! Marriage requires you to live for your spouse. Yes! Not yourself! I don’t mean putting away all your dreams because you are married. I mean, waking up daily, and asking yourself, “What would make her/ him happy?”
True love, real love is a decision. Not the fluttering butterfly strange feeling that occurs down your belly when you see him walking across the room. When that dies down, you remain with a decision to love, and that’s the test of marriage. So yes, fights do occur, but your fights need to mature up! Love says, “I desire is to do what your will is.”
It doesn’t mean keeping quiet when things aren’t going right, it doesn’t mean blind obedience, it also doesn’t mean fighting to hurt. It’s aim is to make each other better. It’s aim is to accommodate each other with the varied opinions you both hold.
Do not fight to single-handedly win in your marriage. Be mature in your fights.
Your opinions may differ, you may face in different directions, but…you can learn to fight maturely! Marriage is a truckload of work!
For us, our marriage has two strong-willed floundering individuals who have made the vow to make it work even if we have to crawl to cross the finishing line! With two strong-willed individuals, comes more work in terms of surrendering and yielding to each other.
A lot of effort has been putting in letting the “self” go…But the good thing, is if you put in a lot of effort and find your path, regular “maintenance” doesn’t take much of your energy.
When a man gives, the lady responds. When he demands, the lady reacts. When a man commits, the lady submits. When a man abuses, the lady refuses. When a man cares, the lady shares all of her. When a man leads, the lady follows…
Imperfect me, imperfect him makes a perfect us.
1st Corinthians 13
Love is patient, love is kind….