Towards a Better Marriage 3: Accept Your Spouse as Your Mr/Mrs Right

Your spouse is your Mr/Mrs right.

Before you got married, you searched for your ever elusive Mr/Mrs Right. After you got married, do you think you made the right choice? Or, is your mind playing games with you that you made a mistake in your choice of spouse?

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Towards A Better Marriage 2: Six Simple Reasons You Shouldn’t Blame Your Spouse

Don't blame your spouse

In the first post in the towards a better marriage seriesit was acknowledged that problems do arise in marriages. But it was also stated that your spouse is not the problem and so he/she should not be seen as one.

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Towards A Better Marriage: Your Spouse Is Not The Problem

The problem in marriage

Marriage is a beautiful thing. But that doesn’t stop problems from cropping up in it here and there. If you are already in a committed marriage relationship, it is a mistake on your part if you see your spouse as the problem when those challenges arise.

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Communication in Marriage: 4 Super Lessons in a Surprising Way

Need for healthy communication in marriage

Good communication is a vital part of building and sustaining a healthy marital relationship. A breakdown in communication between you and your spouse could result in a complete breakdown of the entire relationship.

As much as possible, you should endeavor to maintain a good communication flow with your better half. That means you have to promptly take care of anything trying to impede appropriate communications with your spouse.

Failure to do so may later lead to sad moments or other unpleasant consequences which you would not like.

That was the kind of unpleasant situation I recently found myself in. I had this general feeling of discontentment come over me as a result of some unexpected negative outcomes in some of the affairs of my life.

I would admit that I didn’t manage the feeling of dissatisfaction as best as I could I have done. As a result, my wife was feeling hurt in a way that I did not realise until she graciously brought it to my attention.

As I got into discussing the ‘issues’ with her, some things about communication in marriage became clearer to me in a way they had never been before. I  gave a vivid description of what happened in the post, “Is your feeling of unhappiness hurting your attractive spouse?” 

Did I learn anything good from the experience? Sure, I did! And that’s why I am writing this post.

Here are 4 super lessons I learnt from the brief moment of reflection over the said experience:

1. In a thorny situation, your spouse is not the thorn

Just like in any other relationships, you may sometimes have to encounter thorny issues in your marriage.  But it doesn’t mean your spouse is the thorn personified.

This seems obvious but it has to be said that your spouse is not a problem to you; neither are you a problem to him/her.

You are partners in progress; helpers of each other’s destinies. Any thought that deviates from this is a distorted view that should not be allowed to fester.

2. If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care to find out what the problem is

Let’s face it: as much as you or your spouse would want to maintain a smiling face all the time, this may not always be possible. Therefore, if you see your spouse put on an ‘unusual’ look, it is not safe for you to assume that all is well or that he/she knows what he/she is doing at that point in time.

What you should do is to seek in love to know what’s up with him/her. That way you would be able to save the situation from further deterioration.

As a good spouse that you are, you should not be happy that your partner is unhappy. Giving a listening ear or having a discussion in love with your seemingly unhappy partner can often bring a soothing relief to his/her frayed nerves.

communication in marriage
Photo by Adam Griffith on Unsplash

3. If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him/her

Various situations could arise in your marital relationship that may want to force a communication gap between you and your spouse. But don’t allow for a breakdown in communication between you both.

If communication fails, many other things may fail along. But this can be prevented if properly handled.

Many of the frustrations you may have experienced with your spouse may have resulted from inadequate or negative communication. Inadequate communications give room for suspicion or threat, which may in turn, give rise to a feeling of insecurity in the aggrieved partner.

On the other hand, negative communications breed resentment. And resentment blocks healthy fellowship.

Also, learn not to apply the silent treatment. It does not make things work out well in the long run.

4. Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him/her that you are there for him/her

Your spouse needs you to stand strong for him/her in the moments of weakness. Two good people, they say, are better than one. That’s why you are a couple in the first place.

You are better together. If one person falls, the other should be there to help him/her rise. If your spouse shows signs of emotional weakness, you should be a source of strength to him/her.

When your spouse goes negative, be strong for him/her by staying positive until the murky atmosphere clears. This way, you will prevent a bad situation from going worse.

Healthy communication is a very important way of sustaining a healthy marriage. You should talk with your spouse when there is something to talk about and even when there is nothing to talk about. Never apply the silent treatment because it will always backfire.


Thank you for reading my thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment.

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

Birthday offering: How I met my wife

Where I met my spouse

Last March was my fifth wedding anniversary. As I continue to celebrate the privilege of being married to one of God’s special princesses, it is my pleasure to let you in on how, or better still where, I met her.

You can consider it my birthday offering to you on this special day of mine. Today is my birthday. Ooops, I guess I had to let you in on that!

I have always known that I would one day write about how I met my wife. But I didn’t know that that day would come so soon.

Something happened that made it come sooner than I had thought. During an online search recently, I stumbled on a comment I had made in the past on a Nigerian online forum.

The comment was my response to the topic of the post which was simply a question entitled, ‘Where did you meet your spouse?’ To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised to read the response again.

Here we go:

I met her in church. We became friends. Just friends, serving God faithfully in [the] youth ministry [of our church].

Later, my heart began to skip a bit for her. The mere thought of her brought smiles to my heart.

At first, I felt concerned that I was taking the friendship [further] more than I had thought.

“What is wrong with me?” I asked myself.

I prayed about it. I got the assurance that all was well. I told her I loved her and would want to marry her. [It] turned out she was convinced about me too.

Two years later, she became my wife and has been so [five] years now. We have been happy ever after. I thank God for everything.

Although it was an impromptu response I made back then, reading it again now made me feel that I gave an appreciably good summary of where and how I met my wife. This it was that precipitated this post.

So allow me to delve a little more into the full story.

We met in church

I have heard stories of people meeting their spouses in all kinds of places. Even though my mind was open as to where I could meet my would-be-wife, I would consider it a blessing that I met her in Church.

There was this joke back then that if you are looking for a decent girl for a wife then look for her in the church. Whether that’s necessarily true or not, I leave that to you to decide.

Then, I wasn’t particularly sure about where I could meet my would-be-spouse. But I was very sure about who she should be.

The Uyanwanne's

I was convinced she would be someone who had made a strong commitment to God, through a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Someone who was committed to living her life on Earth to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind, with eternity in view.

Of course, there were other things I considered, but the above mentioned were not negotiable. It is possible to find such a blessed lady in any possible place around the world. But as God would have it, my church in Lagos was my lucky place.

Our Friendship was healthy

We were individually actively involved in the Lord’s service.  I was the Bible Study coordinator of our Church’s Youth Fellowship and later the Vice President of the group. On her part, she was an active voice in the Youth choir as well as in the main Church choir.

Our friendship developed gradually and blossomed into a very close one. It flourished on a platonic level or what we could describe in Nigerian parlance as just “a brother and a sister in Christ” relationship. Nothing more until love began to set in….

We moved from friendship to love.

Oh the innocent ‘boy’ has fallen in love. You know that feeling of fallen in love? I felt it strongly then. But I was a bit concerned.

“Why would I want to bring ‘love’ into our heavenly friendship and ruin everything?” I had asked myself.

We had mutual respect and trust for each other. We knew the boundaries we set for ourselves. Besides, I never thought I would marry a friend.

But instead of the awesome feeling of love going away, it became strengthened in my heart and louder in my ears. I was glowing! But I was careful not to let her know how I was feeling yet.

“I must do something about it,” I challenged myself.

I cross-checked everything with my Father in Heaven. I believe in prayer; it helps me clarify my thoughts.

“Oh God my Father, do you have a hand in this strong splurge of love I feel in my heart for Your daughter, Jenny?’ I had asked God in prayer.

‘Yes’ was the answer I received in my heart from the still small voice. Once, I knew God was involved, my worries ceased; peace and divine assurance filled my heart.

“One more thing Lord, she is your daughter too.” I pointed out to God – as if He didn’t already know. “Please speak to her about ‘us’. Prepare her heart for this eternal love you have told me I am going to share with her.”

The feeling was mutual.

Not long afterwards, it became clear to me that my prayers had been answered. God had put my love in her heart just as He had put her love in mine. We were ‘flowing’ with each other.

We each knew where God was pointing us to, and we were ready to go with Him all the way to the marriage altar.

The proposal.

I waited till I perceived the time was right to pop the question.

‘Will you marry me?’ I asked her after 9 months down the line.

‘Yes, I will’ was the heavenly response I got from her.

Thus, our courtship officially began. I am grateful, she didn’t make me wait any longer before giving me her consent.

“Give me some more time” some other lady may have said to me. But not my sweet Love, she was prepared for me as I was ready for her. Fifth wedding anniversary

Marriage altar here we come.

Two years afterwards, we both stood before God’s holy altar and echoed “I do, I do” to each other, as we were pronounced husband and wife.

It’s been five years since then. And we are still counting …

I met my wife in Church. I have no doubts that God arranged it that way. That’s my story.

Would you share a little about how you met your spouse?

 

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

THINK MORE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF

THINK MORE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF
By Victor Uyanwanne
31/03/2015

On my fourth wedding anniversary recently, while doing an online search on WordPress, I was fortunate to stumble on a Seth Adam Smith’s article, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

On the surface, the title of the article appeared to me to be somewhat discouraging marriage. And to be honest, at first I found that very unacceptable because I have always looked forward to being married; I got married and established my belief that marriage is for me. So you can imagine how infuriated I felt when I first saw the audacious title, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

“How could he say that?” I queried into an empty air. Anyway, out of sheer curiosity, I proceeded to read the article. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that there was more to the article than its title seemed to portray. I came to realise that the article didn’t say one should not get married, neither did it say that one made a mistake by getting married. But it succinctly embodied the principle, amongst others, that married people should think of their spouses and their needs more than they think of themselves.

Furthermore, I came to realise that I totally agree with Seth on the ideas he pushed forward in the article. “You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy…,” he opined. Even though he credited his father with it, the wisdom he expressed in the statement appeared simple in nature, yet very profound: “… Love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.”

I believe the assertion is in line with what Apostle Paul told the Philippians several centuries ago: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Phil. 2:3, NIV). For our purpose here, we can paraphrase this to say, “Spouse, don’t be selfish towards your partner. Be humble; ascribe more value to your spouse than you ascribe to yourself”.

Therefore, in saying “marriage isn’t for you”, I came to the understanding that Seth meant that “Marriage is about the person you married,” not necessarily about you.

SETH & WIFE
SETH & WIFE/www.dailymail.co.uk634 × 353

In Seth’s own words:

.… A true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?””
“And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered”  (Emphasis mine).

In the final analysis, it became more obvious that in marriage relationships:

• We should think more about our spouses than we expect them to think about us.
• We should give to our spouses more than we expect them to give us.
• We should love our spouses more than we expect them to love us.
• We should give more honour to our spouses than we expect them to give to us.
• We should forgive and tolerate the bahaviour of our spouses more than we expect them to do for us;
• If we don’t like it when our spouses annoy us, why do we not care a hoot when we annoy them?

I am convinced that if we sow happiness in our spouses, the fruit will show up in our own lives.

References:
http://sethadamsmith.com/literal-odyssey/marriage-isnt-for-you/ accessed on 26/03/2015

http://sethadamsmith.com/2013/11/02/marriage-isnt-for-you/ accessed on 26/03/2015

 

GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S INCAPACITY

GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S INCAPACITY

By Victor Uyanwanne

The challenges of life are far too many for a man to handle all alone. That is why God gave a woman (a wife) to the first man He created, to be of help to him. Therefore marriage is God’s answer to man’s incapacity to meet the demands of life alone without help.

To those who are married, please protect the sanctity of your marriages. To the yet to be married, please seek to be married and trust God to give you spouse from above.