A husband, wife and their two small children were escaping from Cuba on a small boat. The waves were approximately three to four-storey building high. This caused one of the children to fall off the boat and the ferocious ocean, in no time, swallowed him. The father, upset and discouraged by such tragedy, put the paddles down, sat on a corner of the boat and burst into tears for hours.

With the boat almost sinking, the wife took the paddles in one hand and their only left child on the other and said to the husband: “Yes, we lost one of our dear children and if we don’t get up and row this boat through this storm, we are going to lose the one that is still alive.”

We all would have loved to have our lives smooth and hitch free, but sincerely it doesn’t really work like that. Once you are in a relationship, you should be determined to pick the ‘paddle and continue wherever the storms push. You know what, you cannot tell the storms where to take you but you can decide where to go after the storm. Were you ever deceived that troubles will not come in your relationship? Most times, it is even little things that trigger problems.

The day Nelly met Fred, to her, was a turn around in every sense of the word. She wrote songs, poems and a whole lot of things, to depict the sweet memory that clothed her mind. To sum it up, nothing could be more soothing. Luck shone on her as the initial stage of their relationship spelt bliss and to an extent, she felt her fantasies were not disappointed, but had no idea what the future held.

While the marriage was still young, Fred got what we could think was a blessing from God—a job in South Africa and quickly made plans to relocate with his dear wife. Settling down in a new neighbourhood is, most times, so challenging that if you had not prepared your mind, frustration might be your next door neighbour. Fred got so wrapped up in the desire to acclimatise and gradually lost focus of his marital vows to Nelly.

At first, she thought it was all dreams, but the more she wished it was a dream, the nearer reality stared her in the face. Night crawling, nagging and sometimes beating, became part of the relationship. Each time she tried to talk to the husband of her youth, nothing good came out of it and a few Nigerians she met through an association tried to rescue the situation but it seemed it had gone beyond repairs.

Nelly felt so bad that the love they once shared and celebrated had disappeared to the thin air, but for the sake of other people who might fall into similar ‘pit,’ we’ll like to alert them of certain things likely to cause cry in relationships.

•Poor communication: There is a saying that ‘you will not miss it if you never had it in the first place.’ This is true about good communication in relationships. But the disaster is more severe if you once enjoyed it then lost out along the line. There is no how you would not feel deep pains; the entire gist your partner used to share with you now stops at mere good morning and good night, will you be happy?

•Care: Far gone are the days women used to cross legs and wait to be catered for by the men. Today, care is both ways; the man cares for the woman and the woman is also a care giver. When care is lacking, cry is coming.

•Criticism: How do you expect a partner to be happy when the whole day is spent blaming and running down his or her own personality? This is not only painful but also destructive as the victim is likely to accept the bad tag and feel worthless and inferior.

•Cheating: There is no ‘angel’ that can convince me that cheating is sweet. Even when you are the smart one playing it, it’s never really that convenient. A lot of lies have to go in to it just to cover up one silly act. Sure, it’s not worth the trouble.

•Appreciation: A relationship can really be bitter if you are not appreciated by your spouse. At a point, you’ll be tempted to think it’s not worth the trouble when no one acknowledges it. What most couples do not understand is that the more you emphasise strength, the harder the other partner tries to please you.

•Encouragement: One of the reasons people come together in marriage is for support—emotional, spiritual and otherwise. You have a great role to play in the success of you spouse. The words you speak to him/her means so much than what the rest of the world put together would. Show some level of interest today and make your relationship better.

•Companionship: Where couples cannot feel the impact of each other, there is a serious problem. The joy of loving and being loved is deeper than man could explain.

NB: Once you have made the commitment to stay together, do your best to bring smiles to your love.