So You Love Your Spouse?

If any one should ask if you love your spouse or not, I’m very sure your answer would be “yes.” Well, I would agree with you because I’m not in a good position to question that assertion.

However, saying that you love your spouse is much deeper that just saying so with your mouth. You should know that if you truly love your spouse, it will definitely show in what you do or don’t do towards him or her.

In this post, we will attempt to (re)examine whether or not you love your spouse in meaningful ways as much as you would claim. Our purpose is not to criticise you but rather to help you take an objective assessment of your position right now with a view to helping you love your spouse more in ways that truly matter – and most importantly, in ways that meet heavenly requirements.

The 5 love languages
Dr Gary Chapman (Source: Wikipedia)

Before we delve into unfolding the Biblical foundation for this post, I will like to refresh your memory a little with something I read in a book at the peak of my undergraduate days, several years ago; it is about the love languages.

Chapman’s 5 Love Languages

In the book, The 5 Languages of Love, Dr Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor with reported experience spanning over three decades, believes that “unhappiness in marriage often has a simple root-cause: we speak different love languages” from our spouse’s.

In other words, it is not enough to say that you are doing your best at loving your spouse. You must actively show that you love him or her in a way that he or she understands or appreciates. That is, in a way that is most meaningful to him or her.

One pertinent question therefore is, are you speaking your spouse’s primary love language? It is important you begin to do so if you have not started.

As identified by Dr Chapman, there are five love languages you should know:

1) Words of Affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Receiving Gifts
4) Acts of Service, and
5) Physical Touch.

The idea behind the 5 love languages is that spouses appreciate or understand love in one or a combination of two of the 5 areas as stated on the list.

It is therefore your responsibility to find out which one of these languages your spouse understands more so you can relate more with him or her on that plane. If you don’t do that, your spouse may not understand the love you are communicating to him or her, no matter how hard you think you may be trying.

Love shows in attitude

Love is the operating word here. And again, I want to assume you love your spouse. Don’t you? If yes, then we can go on…

Having said that, let us push the bar a bit higher.

How can you ‘prove’ that you love your spouse?

When we talk about love, many people understand it in many different ways. But in the context of this post, the beautiful picture of love as painted in the book of First Corinthians shall be our standard measure.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

1 Corrinthians 13:4-8

From this passage, you can see that there are things love can do and there are ones it cannot do. Therefore, if you love your spouse, there are things you should do and there are things you should not do towards him or her.

It is these things you do or fail to do towards your spouse that prove whether or not you love your spouse. As earlier said, if you love your spouse, it will show in your attitude towards him or her.

Husband and wife
Picture source: The bridal box

The Bible passage quoted above is hugely about the operations of love in general, but we can be a bit more specific by applying it to spousal love. Let us therefore consider the specific components of the love-list and extend it to how you love your spouse:

Love is patient and kind. If you love your spouse, you should be patient with, and kind towards him or her.

Love does not envy or boast. If you love your spouse, you should not be discontented towards him or her, neither will you “talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about your achievements, possessions, or abilities.”

Love is not arrogant or rude. If you love your spouse, you should relate with him or her in humility and never take pleasure in being rude to him or her, either in your words or in your actions.

Love does not insist on its’ own way. If you love your spouse, it’s not every time you would insist on having your way with him or her. You should sometimes also allow them to have their ways too.

Love is not irritable or resentful. So you love your spouse? Then do not be easily annoyed with him or her; neither should you ever become bitter towards him or her – irrespective of how you are treated.

Love does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices in truth. There may be some spouses that lie to their partners and take pleasure in cheating on them. But that should not be you, because you love your spouse.

Love bears all things, hopes all things, bears all and endures all things. If you love your spouse, then bear with his or her inadequacies, endure difficult times with each other, hope and believe for the best between you both.

Love never ends. So you love your spouse? Don’t give up on him or her!

Feel free to like, share or leave a comment on this article.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

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3 Kinds of Communication That Destroy Marriages

Silence communication, negative Communication and Inadequate Communication.

Good communication is a vital ingredient in building a happy and healthy marriage. Without it, unhappiness and conflict in the home will be a common experience.

As someone said, communication is the lifeblood of any marriage. But it must added that such communication has to be positive, constructive and productive.

Truth be told, some communications can drain the life out of any healthy relationship. In this post, we will examine some forms of such communication that are not so healthy to engage in marriage.

If good communication improves the health of marriage, then obviously, bad communication destroys it. Nothing less than wholesome, intentional, positive and productive communication should be promoted within a loving marriage relationship.

All the same, there are spouses who may be inadvertently  involved in improper communications with each other. It is my belief that being aware of these kinds of communication that destroy marriages will help you not to engage in them so that the happiness and health of your marriage will be protected.

To that extent, I present to you 3 kinds of communication that may destroy your marriage, with the hope that you will learn not to engage in them:

  • Silence communication
  • Inadequatee communication
  • Negative communication

Let us now take a closer​ look at each of the stated types of communications:

1. Silence communication

On the surface, it would appear that “silence communication” as being used here is an oxymoron, contradicting in terms. But it is not – especially if you think of it in terms of nonverbal communications.

Silence in itself is not the total absence of communication. But it is a form of communication as well.

Through the use of words, you do communicate in any relationship. But you can sometimes do the same without necessarily using words – by the use of silence. That’s why they say, for instance, that “silence means consent.”

In marriage however, silence may not always mean consent, pleasure or happiness; it can mean discontentment, unhappiness, disapproval, indifference, ignorance, bruised ego, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, displeasure, concealed anger, etc.

But the fact still remains that even when you keep silent, you are still communicating something. The question then will be whether or not your silence is serving the proper purpose.

Sadly, “silence communication” can result in miscommunication and misunderstanding.

3 types of Communication that destroy Marriage

It is true that silence may be desirable at times, especially when you need to douse some apparent tensions. But do not allow prolonged silence communication to fester between you and your spouse, neither should you subject your partner to the so-called “silent treatment.” Such will not augur well for the health of your beautiful marriage.

Whenever you notice unwholesome silence communication in your relationship, be the one to break the ice  (in a positive way). This is because continuous silence communication between you and your spouse will have a negative effect on the health of your marriage. Therefore, use “silence communication” wisely.

2. Inadequate communications

Understand that inadequate communication is poor communication whether in marriage or outside of it. Poor communication will in turn result in poor understanding and ultimately in conflict and misunderstanding. And persistent conflict between you and your spouse is not good for the health of your marriage.

Have you ever felt that your partner is not open to discussing​ all issues with you? Or you know he or she is deliberately withholding vital information from you? If your answer is yes,  then you may be experiencing inadequate communication in your marriage.

It is also inadequate communication if your spouse can use more information than you are willing and open to communicate with him or her. What that means is that you are withholding information from your partner without his or her consent. And that’s not right. If your spouse is the one withholding information from you, it is also not right.

More often than not, inadequate communication can result in serious misunderstanding​ between you both, and consequently to unhealthy conflict that puts the union at risk.

In marriage you should be free to talk about anything and everything with your spouse. Such communication should be proactive, intentional, regular and adequate.

3. Negative communication

Ever heard​ the saying that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing?” That shows that it may be more beneficial sometimes to maintain silence than to say unpalatable things – to your spouse, for example.

Well, while not encouraging silence communication in marriage, it is better to avoid negative communication all together. Negative communications will produce negative effects.

Negative communication such as uncomplimentary remarks about your spouse and unending doses of unconstructive criticisms will not improve the good-health of your marriage. Your spouse may feel disrespected or unvalued if your communication always come across to them as negative. On the other hand, you will come across as caring, loving, friendly and considerate if your communications are always positive.

If you communicate negatively with your spouse long enough, he or she will begin to resent you, leading to emotional disconnection between you both. There is no future for any marriage where the partners do not share a strong intimate emotional bonding.

We will then conclude that silence communication is not good. Inadequate communication is not good enough. And negative communication is not good at all.

Your marriage will be negatively affected if you engage in any of the above communications long enough. Therefore, it is better to avoid these kinds of communication that destroy marriages.

What other kinds of communications do you think can destroy a marriage?


©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

2016 In Review: Top 10 Posts On This Blog

 

10 most liked post
10 Most Liked Posts On Victorscornerdotorg.wordpress.com in 2016

Based on the posts with the highest number of likes, here are the summaries of the top 10 posts on this blog in 2016:

 # 10. Towards A better Marriage: 6 Simple Reasons You Should Not Blame Your Spouse

  • When you blame your spouse for everything that goes wrong in your marriage, you paint the false picture that you are perfect.
  • You hurt your spouse’s feelings when you heap the blame on him/her every time, without taking any responsibility yourself.
  • You risk being resented by your spouse if you continue the blame game.
  • As you already know, you will not be able to build a happy and healthy relationship with anyone if you blame or resent him/her a lot.
  • Blaming your spouse does not solve the problem in your marriage.
  • Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated.

# 9. Can Unhappy Parents Raise Happy Children?

I want to be a happy father to my children and a happy husband to my wife. After all, a grumpy man would not make a good companion to anyone – family or not family. This is part of the reason I have realised that I should strive to always have my emotions under control…

It seems logical to think that unhappy parents may not be able to raise happy children. And I don’t want to be caught in that web.

#8. How You Can Know God At The Friendship Level

Distinguished and best-selling Author, Rick Warren, in one of his devotional articles, stated that there are three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.

To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her. Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.

#7. Communication in Marriage: 4 Super Lessons In A Surprising Way

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 will fail along.

  • In a thorny situation in your marriage, know that your spouse is not the thorn.
  • If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.
  • If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him/her.
  • Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him/her that you are there for him/her

#6. Jesus: 8 Special Things About The Baby That Changed The World

Jesus was more than a baby. He is the God-incarnate. As the Saviour of the world, in Him lies the eternal hope of mankind. Here are some special things about Him that set Him apart from any other man in recorded history:

  • Jesus’ miraculous conception by a virgin.
  • His conception by a virgin and birth were both undeniable fulfilment of Prophecies.
  • He wasn’t born to earthly royalty, but angels heralded His birth.
  • The birth of Jesus is the proof of God’s love for the world.
  • Jesus was born to die.
  • Jesus is the only man in history with the complete tripartite cycle of birth, death and resurrection.
  • He is the only one giving eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.

#5. Finding The Friend That Sticks Closer Than A Brother

There’s one thing I have come to know.
Many friends will always come and go.
Their going away may not be caused by strife.
It is a normal phenomenon of this life…

We can always find a friend in the Lord Jesus,
Who has promised He’ll always be there for us.
Whatever we go through in this time and space,
We can get succour by looking unto His face

#4. Towards A Better Marriage: Your Spouse Is Not The Problem

A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.

Next time you have any marital issue, be sure to remind yourself that your spouse is not the problem. Identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it.

#3. Sixteen Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know

If you don’t want to end up in the wrong destination, you should not continue on the journey in the wrong direction. The prodigal son found his back to his father, so can you! If you are an atheist, here are 16 sobering truths I wish you to know:

  • God exists – whether you believe it or not.
  • To know God, check the Bible
  • God loves you, I thought you should know.
  • God is not angry with you.
  • Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
  • You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
  • The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God…FOOL.
  • There have been people who turned from atheism to God and so can you.
  • Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
  • Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
  • God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
  • If you die today, where would you spend eternity?
  • The problem of sin cannot be solved except in Christ Jesus.
  • You are accountable to God, now or later.
  • There is a future reality called Hellfire, for everyone who rejects Jesus.
  • Very far from God is not too far yet.

#2. A Broken Piece of Heart

For many years, I went about my life
With a broken piece of heart, bleeding.
No one could fill the great void I felt
Or mend the awfully shattered part of me…

But then I met the greatest Friend and Lover
Who truly loved me as I am, unconditionally.
The One who gave up His life for me
And gave me a brand new heart too.

#1. Six Simple Reasons To Forgive Offences

Everyone needs forgiveness.  On the other hand, everyone needs to offer forgiveness too. Here are 5 simple reasons you should learn to forgive others:

  • God has forgiven your offences and He expects you to forgive others too.
  • Unforgiveness is a big weight, free yourself from it.
  • Don’t you expect others to forgive you too?
  • Happiness and unforgiveness don’t mix.
  • You have the capacity to forgive, no need pretending otherwise.
  • Forgive yourself so you can forgive others.

 

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Give Your Best To Make Your Marriage Work.

making your marriage work.

 

Things do not work until someone makes them work. Marriage is not an exception to that rule. If you want your marriage to work, you and your spouse must be fully committed to making it work by giving it all your best.

“Two people who decide to live together in a marriage situation have an obligation to make the marriage work for them.” With those wise words from Helen Reddy, I welcome you to the fifth post in the towards a better marriage series.

In making your marriage work, you will have to put in all your best. This is not a 50-50 or 60-40 contribution, but a 100% thing from each of you.

You already know that marital bliss doesn’t come by chance. Amongst other things, it will take hard work from you and your spouse to make it happen.

Realise that in marriage, both of you are on the same boat. You must put in your maximum rowing power if you hope to make it to the shore of marital success together.

There is no guarantee that you will have a happy marriage experience if you don’t put in all you’ve got into it. For instance, when it comes to giving the commitment, love and faithfulness, understanding, emotional, financial, spiritual support and all other kinds of support that a good marriage requires, give it all you’ve got – without any reservations whatsoever.

Don’t wait for your spouse to start putting his/her best in the marriage before you start giving yours. Be the example of the good character you want to see in your spouse.

In your marriage, be more of a giver than a taker. Imagine there is a marriage box containing all the secret ingredients that make a marriage work. You will have to replenish the stock more often than you take out from it. Otherwise, you will get to a point where nothing is left for you to enjoy.

There are many areas in marriage you are required to put in your best, all your best. For example, in loving your spouse,  you should do it with all your heart. Doing that may appear to make you vulnerable to your partner. But don’t worry, love always wins. You will win too.

When it comes to walking in love, you can never get it wrong because love never fails.

Love accommodates everything.

A marriage that will work is the one where both you and your partners love each other, are fully committed, and are fully willing to put in your best to make it work.

If you want to have happiness, passion, intimacy, companionship, trust in your marriage, you have to put it there. Relationships take work, a lot of work and if you want to live a happy, beautiful and loving life next to your partner, you will both commit to making your marriage work. Always remember, relationships don’t work unless you do. ~ Luminita D. Saviuc

I am turning this post over to you now. Let us help one another by giving an outline of at least 20 areas where spouses need to put in their utmost best in order to make their marriages work. Please share your ideas in the comment section.

Still Ahead: Towards A Better Marriage 6: Stop expecting your spouse to fill the void only God can fill.

 

©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

5 Dire Consequences of Not Accepting Your Spouse As your Mr/Mrs Right.

 

Your spouse is your Mr/Mrs Right

All your choices in life will either bring you rewards or consequences. Accepting your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right is a good choice you must make if you want your marriage to bring you rewards of happiness and success.

This is the fourth part of our Towards a Better Marriage journey. In the last post in the said series, we said to whomever you got married has become the right spouse for you. In other words, you should accept your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right. That way, you would be able to team up with him/her to resolve any marital challenges that may cross your path.

If you are in a committed marriage relationship and you are also committed to seeing the marriage work, then you must see the person you got married to as your Mr/Mrs Right. The constant thinking that you made the wrong choice in picking your marriage partner, will hinder  you from seeing many good things in your partner and in the marriage as well.

Eventually, if not properly handled, this may lead to unpalatable marriage experiences.

Here are five possible dire consequences of not accepting your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right:

  1. You will not be committed to the marriage

There is no hope of marital success for any couple without much commitment to their union. If you are not convinced that your spouse is the right partner you will not be able to make the necessary commitment that will make the marriage work.

Commitment is a vital key required to make your marriage work. Without it, nothing worth the while will be  achieved in the relationship. Without it, there is no future for the marriage.

  1. You will find it harder to love him/her.

Mutual love and understanding are important keys to marital survival! A marriage that is not founded on, and sustained by, love, will make the spouses miserable.

Needless to say, spouses should love each other. Accepting your spouse as the Mr/Mrs Right for you will make it easier for you to love him/her.

I am yet to see anyone who completely loves his/her mistakes.  It goes to show that if you think you made a mistake in marrying your spouse, you will not be able to love him/her as much as you should do. And without love, marriage will be less enjoyable.

  1. You will blame your spouse for every problem you encounter in the marriage.

Once you are totally convinced that you made the wrong choice in selecting your marriage partner, what would stop you from making him/her the scapegoat for whatever problems that crop up in your marriage? Nothing!

Remember we earlier advised that you should not blame your spouse when marital challenges surface between you both. You won’t be able to keep that humble piece of advice if you think you made a mistake in marrying him/her in the first place.

  1. You will become unhappy and miserable.

Marriage should bring you some level of happiness and fulfilment in life. But it will take cooperation from you as well as from your spouse to make that happen.

Remember the popular saying, “marriage should be enjoyed, not endured?” You will not be able to enjoy or feel happy about your marriage if you see your spouse as the wrong partner.

  1. You will eventually decide to opt out of the marriage.

The likelihood of divorce is higher in marriages where the spouses think they got married to the wrong persons as opposed to marriages with spouses who are convinced they chose the  right partners.

If you are not committed to your marriage enough, you don’t love your spouse as much as you should, you blame your spouse for everything that goes wrong and you are miserable in the union, how would you be able to escape the temptation to walk out of the marriage? The point is, if you have not convinced yourself that you have not made any mistake in marrying your spouse, you may end up divorcing him/her.

If you have not already done so, it is important you recognise your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right. Failure to do so may hinder you from having a beautiful marriage experience.

You have read my thoughts. Please share yours in the comment section.

 

Still ahead: Towards A Better Marriage 5: Give Your Best To Make The Marriage Work.

 

©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

Towards a Better Marriage 3: Accept Your Spouse as 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?

Welcome to the third post in the towards a better marriage series. In the introductory post, we talked about the fact that problems are inevitable in marriage. But it was also pointed out that your spouse is not the problem personified.

If you see your spouse as the problem in your marriage, you will end up blaming him/her anytime anything goes wrong in the relationship.

The blame game is not a pleasant game to engage in. That led us to the second post in the series: 6 Simple Reasons You Should Not Blame Your Spouse

We saw that blaming your spouse does not solve the problem in your marriage; neither does it promote a healthy relationship between you both. 

Two Types of Spouses in the World 

There are two types of spouses in the world: those who are convinced that they made the right choice of marriage partners and those who are not convinced. Congratulations to you if you belong to the remarkable first category!

Even if you belong to the latter group, you don’t have to panic or give up on your marriage. Trust me, there is still hope for you. Irrespective of the circumstances surrounding your marriage, it is my hope that you will eventually get to the point where you will completely and wholeheartedly accept the person you got married to as your own Mr/Mrs Right.

Once you have properly married, it is self-deception to still be thinking that your Mr/Mrs Right is out there. No, he/she is not out there anymore, because I know where he/she is: in your house, in your life. Stop looking elsewhere!

Accept Your Spouse As Your Mr/Mrs Right

In this post, we will push further on the journey towards a better marriage experience by suggesting that you have to convince yourself that you have married the right person, even if you have ‘reasons’ to feel that you married the ‘wrong’ person. This is based on the twin premises that you are in a committed marriage and it is your goal to see things work out better between you and your spouse.

Is it achievable? I bet it is – with your cooperation of course! Come to think of it, it is really not fair to tell your spouse you made a mistake in marrying him/her. You shouldn’t be thinking or saying such, except you want your union to hit the rocks soon.

Accept your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right.

For instance, I have been married for five years now. I would with all modesty say that I have no regrets marrying my wife. She is not perfect, neither am I…

But one reason for that high feeling of assuredness is that I accepted her completely as the will of God in marriage for me. I know that if you ask her, she would say the same thing about me too. (I already shared about this in details in the post How I met my wife).

Just for the sake of argument, what if I told my wife she was the greatest mistake of my life? Would she be happy to hear that? Do you think that would make our marriage work out better? I guess you don’t think so.

On the other hand, what if she is the one that wakes up tomorrow and tells me she regrets marrying me? I don’t want to begin to imagine how devastating that would be to us and our union. Surely I would be sad and disappointed, to say the least!

What does that tell you my friend? It shows that you are calling for trouble if you fail to accept the person you married as your own Mr/Mrs Right – especially if you are the type that takes every opportunity you get to tell your spouse that you made a big mistake in marrying him/her.

Let’s face it, it is not good news in your spouse’s ears if you keep telling him/her you made a mistake in marrying him/her. Unfortunately, some people are living in that awful state of not having accepted their spouses as the right person. 

Why did I say so? Because you still hear them say such things as:

  • Marrying you was the greatest mistake of my life.
  • I shouldn’t have married you.
  • I was drunk the day I accepted to marry you.
  • You are a devil.
  • I regret marrying you.
  • I curse the day I married you.
  • I was deceived into marrying you.
  • Given a second chance, I wouldn’t marry you again.
  • I am just stuck with you.
  • Our marriage will never work…

If you are one of those who use any of the above sentences on your spouse, you have to stop it except you want to completely destroy your marriage. In fact, you should give your spouse an unreserved apology and make a very firm promise that you would never say such thing any longer.

Once you are married, your partner is automatically your Mr/Mrs Right. Accept him/her that way – whether you feel like it or not.

A reputable international radio and TV preacher I admire so much once said, “I don’t know if you married the right person for you or not. But I know that whomever you got married to has become the right person.”

I wish every married couple would appreciate and live by the spirit of that statement. Otherwise, much crisis in the union would be inevitable.

What do you think of spouses who think they married the wrong person? Let the interaction begin in the comment section.

Still ahead:  Towards a Better Marriage 4: Five Dire Consequences of not accepting your spouse as your Mr/Mrs Right.

 

©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne



Towards A Better Marriage 2: 6 Simple Reasons You Shouldn’t Blame Your Spouse

Don't blame your spouse

In the first post on 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.

In other words, you should not blame your spouse when things go wrong in your marriage. Rather, you should identify exactly what the issue is and tackle it. That way you will achieve a healthier resolution than blaming your spouse.

In this post we will continue the series by presenting six simple reasons it is not good to blame your spouse when marital challenges hit your union:

1.  When you blame your spouse for everything that goes wrong in your marriage, you paint the false picture that you are perfect.

No body is perfect, not even you. You cannot honestly claim that you have never contributed to the challenges both of you may have been facing.  If that’s correct, where then is the moral justification for blaming your spouse?

Be aware that for each finger of accusation you point against your spouse, you have four others pointing towards you as well. In other words, you are equally guilty, if not more.

2. You hurt your spouse’s feelings when you hip the blame on him/her every time, without taking any responsibility yourself.

A hip of blame is not piece of cake and a cup of tea, so don’t expect your spouse to take it with delight. Your spouse doesn’t enjoy being blamed for everything that goes wrong in your marriage. Stop pushing it…

If you stop blaming your spouse, you have found one less way of hurting him/her. Isn’t that a good thing?

3. You risk being resented by your spouse if you continue the blame game.

No matter how you look at it, you will see that it is not good to keep playing the blame game in your marriage. Realise that if you blame your spouse long enough, he/she will begin to resent you, pushing both of you apart.

Prolonged resentment will cause emotional detachment and then physical separation or divorce, which I hopefully think is not what you want.

Stop blaming your spouse

4. As you already know, you will not be able to build a happy and healthy relationship with anyone if you blame or resent him/her a lot.

If you want to build a very good relationship with your spouse, throwing blames at him/her is one of the ways you cannot achieve that goal. Good rapport will not be built on the altar of fault-finding, finger-pointing and venom-pouring

People naturally do not warm up to those who harshly criticise them. Your spouse is not an exception to this, so don’t even dare!

Bear in mind that your spouse too deserves to see your good part. You are not showing him/her that good part if you are regularly blaming him/her for everything that goes wrong between you both.

5. Blaming yours spouse does not solve the problem in your marriage.

Blaming your spouse may help you feel better temporarily, but it doesn’t take away the root-problem in your marriage. It is better to ask ‘what’ the problem is than ‘who’ the problem is.

Fixing blame (on your spouse) is not the same thing as fixing the problem on ground. In fact, the problem will continue to fester while you are playing the blame game. Rather than fixing blames on your spouse, a wiser thing to do is to find out and focus on what the issue is; identify it and deal with it.

6. Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated.

Finally, remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would want to be done unto you.” It applies in marriage too. I know it is easier said than done. But it is a principle that works out good things in the end, whether it is in a friendship or marriage relationship or any other kind of human relationships for that matter.

Think about it for a minute: you don’t want to be blamed for whatever issues you face in your marriage. So why blame your spouse for it all the time and expect him/her to feel good about it?

Let’s interact more; please leave a word or two in the comment section.
Still ahead: Towards A Better Marriage 3: Accept the person you married as the will of God for you.


©  Copyright 2016-Victor Uyanwanne

Towards A Better Marriage: Your Spouse Is Not The Problem. 

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.
The problem in marriage

With this post, I am beginning a new series on marriage simply christened Towards A Better Marriage. As the title suggests, the purpose of the series will be to share some of my thoughts towards achieving a better – stronger, healthier and happier – marriage relationship with your spouse.

If that’s what you desire, let me invite you to go through the entire series with me because it promises to be a rewarding journey for us all. Here is the first menu on offer:

Your Spouse Is Not The Problem

Just like every married couple might have come to realise, I am sure you already know that marriage is not a bed full of roses only. It is full of plenty challenges as well. Isn’t that pretty obvious?

More often than not, it is how you handle these challenges that will go to a large extent to determine the success and happiness or otherwise of your marital experience. The common saying that as you make your bed, so you will lie on it holds true in marriage relationships too.

Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem. So resist the temptation to see him/her as one.

Put in proper perspective, you will realise that the challenges you have in marriage are things or issues, not a person – and definitely not your spouse! For instance, the problem could be the manner your spouse is handling an issue at hand, or it may also be the manner you are reacting to it. Either way, you must perceive that the problem is not a person.

A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner. You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse.

“I love you but I hate how you treat me sometimes,” a thoughtful wife once said to her husband. You’ve got the point? Identify what the issue is and deal with it.

A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.

Here is a relevant story that comes to mind at this point.

Husband and wife are not enemies.

A newly wedded couple who began to face some marital challenges went to see an experienced marriage counsellor for possible solutions. After they had vented before the counsellor, he pulled out two paper cards from his wooden drawer and gave one each to the couple to fill in the blanks that followed the simple question: What do you think is the problem in your marriage?

The counsellor then retrieved the two cards and found the boldly written responses from the waiting couple:

Wife: My husband is the problem in our marriage.

Husband: My wife is the problem in our marriage.

Much to the surprise of the pensive couple, the counsellor began to smile as he read out the respective answers. He seemed very familiar with these kinds of self-protecting responses; that was not the first time he had counselled spouses who blamed each other for their marital woes.

“First and foremost,” said the counsellor in a calm but firm voice, “both of you missed the key part of the question which said, ‘what’ and not ‘who’ you thought the problem in your marriage is. From our discussions so far, I can surmise that the answer to the question is not a person, as two of you stated. Should I now take it that you both failed the question?”

“But I can explain what I meant by saying that ….” said the wife, attempting a frantic effort to expatiate on her previous answer. The husband too felt right for blaming the wife. This charged up the counselling room a little more.

The couple blamed each other for their marital challenges. None of them was willing to accept the blame either. Thankfully in the course of the session, the counsellor was able to douse the ensuing tension and also drilled down to the problematic issues in the couple’s lives.

In the end, the counsellor went further to harp on the need for the spouses not to see each other as the problem in their marriage. Rather, they should perceive each other as partners in progress, standing in unity and on the same front to tackle whatever issues that may challenge them in their union.

Here is my conclusion as well: Next time you have any marital issue, be sure to remind yourself that your spouse is not the problem. Identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it. That way you will achieve a healthier method of resolution than blaming your spouse.

Please share what you think in the comment session.

Photo credits: tolovehonorandvacuum.com

 

Still ahead: Towards A Better Marriage: 6 simple reasons you shouldn’t blame your spouse.

 

© Copyright 2016-Victor Uyanwanne

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 (by asking) 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.

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

Is Your Unhappy Feeling Hurting Your Attractive Spouse?

How your mood affects your spouse

In the last few days, I recognized that I have not been on top of my feelings as I should be. I wouldn’t say I suffered a mild depression – no, not in the real sense of it. But I could say I wasn’t particularly excited about anything.

In other words, my mood was down and I knew it. Unfortunately, when your mood goes south, you are not the only one that suffers. The people around you feel hurt too. They may be hurt in some ways that may or may not be so obvious to you.

That was what happened between my wife and I in the period in focus. Somehow she got infested with the unjoyful feeling I had allowed to fester in my appearance for a few days. This created a temporary communication gap between us.

Better still, I reckoned that our communication was nothing near its usual best. And I take full responsibility for it knowing that I could have handled the situation much better than I did.

Why did I say so?

“My Love, what’s the matter with you?” my wife had asked after she had noticed I was not my usual happy self.

“I will be fine. Don’t worry. I am just tired.” I had replied in three short sentences. I was not prepared to engage in any further question and answer session with her as I was truly physically tired.

The rest of the following day passed by sluggishly without much excitement between us either.

In my mind, I had thought that my moody countenance would disappear over the night but it didn’t. The cause of my apparent unhappy mood was deeper than that: I was focusing too much on some discontenting situations around me than I had been focusing on God.

I had consciously or unconsciously removed my eyes from focusing on God unto focusing on the not-so-perfect situations I was passing through at the time. That caused me the dark feelings of dissatisfaction that was evident in my external appearance, as my wife noticed.

I knew that entertaining any negative feelings for longer than necessary meant that I was heading in the wrong direction. And obviously, I did not want to end up in the wrong destination.

Then came the moment of awakening…

I came home from work the following night only to find my wife feeling a little withdrawn. She had awoken from sleep to answer the door.

Instead of the usual, “You are welcome my Love, how was your day?” all I got was what sounded to me like a forced ‘welcome.’ And I could sense that she struggled to say it before going back to sleep almost immediately.

As far as I could see, all the signs were there that something was not feeling so all right with her. But I observed too that the atmosphere wasn’t suitable for any meaningful discussions between us; I felt that she would rather enjoy the much-needed sleep than sit up that late to talk with me over whatever was on her mind.

The sleepy feeling was mutual, so we both went to bed. Throughout the night, I felt cool and calm, without any turmoil on my inside. I slept very well as usual. But I wish I could say the same thing about her!

when you remove your eyes from God and focus them on things you are going through

The following day being a Saturday meant there was no rushing off to work for me in the early hours of the morning. I needed the time and space offered by the weekend to refocus and reorder my priorities. And I was ready to make the most of it; decluttering my mind was top on the agenda.

I reckoned too that it was time to talk with my wife. Whatever was ‘bothering’ her will have to be urgently resolved. As a loving husband I strive to be, I could never stand seeing her feel unhappy for longer than that morning.

It’s Time to Talk….

“My Love, I noticed that you were not feeling happy last night,” I started a conversation with her. “What’s the problem?”

“Yes, you are right, I have not been happy – till now,” she agreed.

“Is it about our fifth wedding anniversary celebration I rescheduled? I thought we discussed that already and I promised to ……?” I could hardly finish that sentence before she gently interjected.

“No, it is not about our anniversary. It is about you.”

“About me?” I asked, sounding half-surprised.

I wouldn’t claim I didn’t see it coming. After all, I myself have not been in the best of moods in the previous few days.

Worse still, I could perceive that the feeling of discontentment that had gradually crept upon me had begun to spread beyond my nose onto my better half. And that was not cool!

“Okay, let us talk about it,” I said, leaning and spreading out my arms towards her direction in a very generous embrace.

“In the last few days, you have not been smiling much,” She stated. “Our communication has not been flowing very well either. Whatever has been bothering you, you have not cared enough to share it with me.”

I nodded my head in utter agreement. I obviously did not have any valid objection against that.

“When I asked you about it two days ago” she continued, “you said you would tell me after dinner. But as soon as you ate dinner you went to bed without telling me anything. Did I do anything wrong?”

To say that I was touched by her words is an understatement. I was moved with untold compassion towards her. I felt bad that I had unwittingly allowed the negative emotions I was feeling to affect her too. As a result, tendering an apology wasn’t anything difficult for me to do.

“I am so sorry my Love. You didn’t do anything wrong. And you are not the cause of my moodiness” I assured her. “Some things didn’t turn out the way I expected and I was kind of doing some personal evaluations on some of the issues that were making me feel somewhat disheartened.”

I went on to let her in on some of the ‘personal struggles’ I had been having in the last few days. She already knew about some of the issues involved except that she was not aware they were on the front burner then.

“You should have told me you were going through all these stuff at this time….” She said sympathetically.

“Yes, I know. But I didn’t want to add to your stress,” I explained.

“You are not stressing me. It helps to let me be in the know of whatever you are passing through.”

I got the message. And we reflected on the lessons together. We shared another warm embrace in a moment of silence with full assurance that all would be well.

I could see that she felt better after talking with me. The discussion helped us both as I felt some relief too. We held hands and sealed our conversation with a word of prayer, committing our burdens to God.

Have you ever been in a situation where your spouse felt hurt by your moments of unhappiness? There is love in sharing!

 

©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.

NO ONE

NO ONE
By Victor Uyanwanne

No one can come between you and your God without your consent.

No one can come between you and your spouse without your consent.

No one can make you unhappy without your consent.

No one can kill your dream without your consent.

No one can break your heart without your consent.

No one can keep you down without your consent.

No one can make you a failure without your consent.

No one can make you feel ugly without your consent.

No one…..