Thinking of hard times is absolutely the last thing on the mind of anyone planning to get married. This does not mean we are selfish or bad, but man simply loves easy and comfortable life; this was the original take off from creation, so you can’t change it because it’s innate. In a way, this positive “bed-of-roses” mentality helps us to approach marriage in good light, expecting the best of it. If things happen in the other direction, we still continue to hope there would be light at the end of the tunnel. I am very sure this is one reason most families are still together till date—hope. On the other hand, people obsessed with the thought and expectation of all-will and has to be well in relationships can get so devastated and disappointed when life presents the opposite side of the card. The desire to call it quits comes on so strong while hatred or regret takes the front seat of the heart that was once filled with romantic expressions. The truth of the matter is, in as much as we desire and expect our relationships to groove well, we should also remember to train the mind to accept hardship as part of life. I don’t mean or intend to be negative in any way, but experience has shown that there is no life without hardship. Yes, we all have challenges although in different areas and ways but the solution is how to devise a means to come out strong. If we have now agreed that hard times come to all, won’t it be a wise thing to prepare our hearts so we are not swept off hook when it actually happens? A very rich man once said to me: “My life is so unhappy, I’ve spent all my days wishing and dreaming of my own child but it won’t just happen. I feel so deprived, unsuccessful and lost.” Then I asked him about the two children he adopted (not many people knew he adopted those children, they thought they were his biological heritage) and he confided it was never the same: “You’ll keep fighting with the thought of who gave birth to them and each time there is a problem, the first thing that comes to you is, who knows what kind of blood flows in their veins. There’s some kind of satisfaction when you see your little self running round your home, sometimes they look so much like you that your mama could practically predict what they’ll do next because they remind her of your childhood days.” Adoption is a lovely thing which has brought joy to many families but for this man, it’s a hard experience to cope with and unluckily for him, he has to live with this for the rest of his life. Other people who have their biological children running round their home but with little or no resources to cater for them would be dead jealous of this affluent family and might never get to know they both have challenges but in different ways—financial and reproductive. Some others who have children would prefer a particular sex but it’s not happening and the people who get the desired sex either struggle with one sickness, disability or looks they seriously wish to change. This brings us to the point that you should understand and work out a way to cope with whatever appears to be hard or difficult in life. The act of living and cleaving to another person till death do you part remains a great challenge to all. There is no person who can truly say that marriage has been fun from start to finish. You have emotional problems to grapple with—difficult financial times, ill health, third-party interference, etc. The way and manner you handle these times determine the success of your marriage. No matter the depth and weight of marital problems, the agreement and cooperation of just two people can conquer it all. It’s interesting to know that two people can join forces to solve a marital problem or choose to be there for the other during difficult times, but it is amazing to know that just one person can pioneer the change or solution. The reality is if one person changes the way he or she approaches the spouse, the whole relationship can experience peace. Cheryl was married to John for almost three years of fighting and verbal abuse but the day she decided to respect and show kindness to him, despite his arrogance, things started changing. Each time John came up with an argument, expecting it to escalate into a fight, the wife would consciously use soft answers. After a while, John apologised and sought new ways they could be happy together. Somebody has to break out of the negative cycle of an-eye-for-an-eye, where people do all to retaliate and hurt the other as pay back for hurt. Someone has to be different, react differently and learn to treat the other in a different and nice way—love. This is not easy to do, especially when your partner is not reciprocating, but just like any other therapy, you have to do it all together if healing is your goal. Marriage as it were, is not about convenience but commitment. What to do in hard times: •Do not apportion blames •Remind yourself of good times you’ve had or dreaming to have •Be ready to accommodate •Always remember tough times don’t last forever •Watch your attitude •See a better tomorrow •Ask for help if needed.
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