Three years ago, COVID-19 was causing a lot of harm both locally and globally. Some economies were on the verge of collapsing. Thousands of lives had been lost. Life was almost at a standstill as some nations were locking themselves down one after the other. Prior to our nation’s lockdown in March, my team was planning to stage my play, Emergency Wedding. We had to cancel it twice only to be staged the next year!
The pandemic year of 2020 evokes a lot of bad memories, but I remember the period as one that somewhat brought me good tidings. I walked down the aisle with my better half in September of that year. It was a brief court signing ceremony (on Friday) followed by a traditional ceremony of about 20 guests (on Saturday).
Three years on, I look back and see how far I have come. I have learned a lot of which I am grateful. I have become a better person in many facets of my life. I do not have a perfect spouse, but do I expect one when I am not perfect either?
Marriage has shaped my worldview, helping me see life from other perspectives different from mine… even if I do not agree with such. I have come to understand that the beauty of marriage is to cover up for each other’s weaknesses so that together, you look like one solid unit.
In marriage, every day is a day to learn something new. I have learned a few lessons three years after tying the knot. I pray they bless you as much as they have blessed me.
“Love is a decision!”
Love is not about the beautiful wedding. Even though love can be portrayed in many ways, it is not the glamorous images we post on social media. Love is not a feeling. Feelings are temporary, vanishing in the face of reality. Love is not the palpitations we have when we see people we love.
Many of us enter marriage with a lot of expectations. Topmost of those expectations is that our spouse will be a flawless human being. It, thus, comes as a great shock to us when the same people we love do the same things we hate. We wonder what made us walk down the aisle with people who have too many flaws.
In life, when we make a decision, it simply means that we have decided to go ahead with that decision despite the challenges that may come our way. In other words, we are responsible for those decisions, hence, need to stand by them come what may. Love is a decision. Marriage is love, and love is marriage. Marriage is an unflinching decision to be with someone… regardless of their shortcomings.
Unless your life is literally at risk, love means sticking with your choice of marriage. As much as possible, marriage should be a place where we help each other to purge ourselves of our flaws. If our spouses have stuck to their decision to live with our flaws, we must do well to live with theirs, too. Before you count your spouse’s flaws, do well to count yours, too.
“Marriage is teamwork!”
Teams work together for a common purpose. Team members look out for each other because, despite their misgivings about each other, the team’s direction comes first. They put the team’s interest above their selfish interest. A team with a divided goal goes nowhere. No matter the external pressure, a team sticks to its plan.
Marriage is like a team. It takes an intentional effort by each spouse to make it work. In other words, the only people who can mess up that team’s effort are either one of the spouses or both of them. You either win together or lose together.
Teams speak the same language. Even when they disagree, they end up meeting each other halfway. As a couple, our teamwork skills have been tested in many ways. It takes teamwork to raise Animuonyam, our child. It takes similar teamwork to write our illustration books. With each day comes a new test and we must surmount such. In the public’s eye, people have to perceive us as a single unit even though we may have disagreed in our closet.
Teamwork doesn’t necessarily mean we have the same mindset. It simply means we have decided to agree to disagree. Teamwork is admitting that one person cannot always be the right one.
“You live when you die!”
Marriage is not for a selfish heart. Any marriage built on the selfish ambitions of one person will soon come tumbling down. Marriage is not about you!
Our society has ended up making most women feel marriage is about them. They want to be taken care of without lifting a finger. They want to be the only pampered ones. They assume that whatever they have is theirs alone but whatever the man has belongs to both of them. This toxic mentality is a threat to the beautiful institution of marriage.
Some women can watch their family sleep in hunger even when they have enough in their bank account because it is assumed the man should be the breadwinner. Such women always expect to receive… and never to give. That is the exact mindset of selfish women. Until you (singular) die, you (plural) will continue to live in peril in any marriage!
Through these three years, I have learned well enough that my losses and gains are no longer mine alone. The same applies to my wife. The essence of having a life partner is to have someone to share your assets and, especially, liabilities with for life.
Well, we married on the eve of my wife’s birthday. As we celebrate our anniversary, I wish her a great birthday!
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, an Accra-based writing company ( www.scribecommltd.com ). Kindly grab copies of his illustration books, Animuonyam The Bully Stopper and Animuonyam and The Queer Man, via 0243752793.