The rate at which relationships break up these days is alarming and gradually becoming a thing of great concern both to counsellors and the society at large.
For the purpose of this article, please permit me to focus on marriage and not just any form of love relationship, reason being that marriage is more legal and to an extent, according to marriage vows, expected to last for ever.
Have you ever observed that marriage vow has no provision for divorce? And interestingly, it seems to be the same vow all over the world. Then, where does divorce come from? Why should couples even consider it as an option? Does it solve any problems? Are people ‘truly happy’ after a divorce or separation? Is it possible to have a good relationship with your ex and his/her siblings? How do you cope with the hurt and overwhelming feeling of forgiveness?
Bola has this to say: “Segun and I appeared to the crowd that graced our wedding to be a perfect match. As the pastor introduced us, telling them who and what we were, heads nodded and faces beamed in admiration of a careful combination, while our parents walked proud, greeting friends and relations who turned out in support.
“As the reception ceremony was drawing to a close, people started leaving for diverse reasons and soon, we discovered we had actually come to the end of the wedding party and it was good to know that the end of reception marked the beginning of marriage.
“Going on honeymoon was another interesting thing I looked forward to and hopes were not dashed. I had no idea whatsoever of the kind of challenges tied to marriage as life commenced in our new home. I loved the opportunity to showcase the few dishes I learnt to make just before wedding and Segun had no idea I was using him to test my catering prowess.
“Sometimes it was the opposite of what I expected (a far cry from good), but my new husband would still manage to be appreciative of the fact that he had someone he could call a wife.
“Vacation was finally over and we both went back to work. Coming from work to prepare food was the first hurdle I had to cross, but because I am a smart babe, I patronised eateries very often for family support, but before long, Segun got tired of my alternative and desired a change to home-made food. This was a clear ‘yellow light’ for my young marriage.
“One thing led to another and we watched our differences unfold by the day. The love we thought existed between us was almost like a mirage as we treated and related with each other as cat and dog. Things just fell apart and the centre could no longer hold. The next alternative was to bring in parents which I consider the most immature decision we ever took.
“You know, parents have sentiments towards their children and mothers, in particular, would always want to protect the ‘baby’ they nursed. One thing we knew for sure was that we confessed our love for each other so often (before marriage) that it became a part of us, but here we were, unable to look each other in the eye and declare “I love you, dear.” This shows you how really bad things turned, but as God would have it, we found help in counselling and love returned.”
With Bola’s experience, I will enumerate a few things which can cause problems in relationships.
•Negligence: Whether they are voiced or assumed, in every relationship, there are expectations of what each partner is supposed to do for mutual existence. The man should deliver his responsibility well, while the woman should not be found wanting in any sense of the word. Once you don’t do what you are supposed to, you are calling for trouble.
•Analysis: Couples who argue so much and want everything to follow a particular pattern, easily have problems. Life is easy, try and overlook some things for peace to reign. Marriage is not the right place for you to prove how intelligent you are.
•Wrong choice of words: If you can watch and control your tongue, a whole deal of your problems would be gone. Dishing sarcastic comments is not healthy for the relationship and studies have shown that even after apologies, the wounds refuse to heal completely.
•Infidelity: Please try as much as practicable not to give your spouse any cause to doubt your love for him/her. Just the way you promised at the beginning of the marriage, keep to one partner and derive pleasure in each other.
•Care: Care makes it easy for you to love, give, respect, support, encourage and do a lot more than an ordinary relationship could offer.