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marriage

June 16, 2016 4 comments

Like a lot of young Nigerians in my age range, the older generation [and married friends] have been on my neck on getting married. At almost all social events, all I hear is “When are you getting married?”, “Se a ma tun se ti wo naa?” and so on, all I do is smile or reply “soon”. Over here marriage is an achievement, just another notch on the belt. Don’t get me wrong, I’d absolutely love to settle down someday, and by God’s grace, at the right time, I will. Besides, what I’ve realized is they’re not so much asking when I’m getting married as when my wedding day is, and there’s so much to marriage than just the wedding.

Almost every little girl dreams of her wedding to her tall and handsome knight in shiny armor. She has her dress, she has her plan on how everything will play out, and for the longest time, she looks forward to it. It sometimes gets worse as they get older. I wonder if any thought goes into what happens after the wedding? Here’s a hint – not 24/7 romance; reality happens.

marriage I think no one should rush you, neither should you rush yourself into marriage; God-willing, you’re gonna spend the rest of your long life with this person. Before getting married, I think the people involved need to know why they’re getting married. The years we’ve put in isn’t good enough. We can’t wait any longer is no good either. We’re running out of time/last chance isn’t even close. We love each other is half the answer. Obviously, love is absolutely necessary for any healthy and mature relationship to flourish, but it is insufficient on its own. You should want to get married because you are compatible – because you have similar interests, because you’re the best of friends, because you’re supportive of each other, because you want and enjoy many of the same things, because you understand each other, and of course, because you love each other. Healthy long-term relationships that stand the test of time are based on love, respect, and compatibility.

Dr. Daniel Rutley, who wrote an article I read on some years, is a strong advocate of compatibility in relationships. He says getting married just because of love is dangerous, infantile and immature, but that countless, supposedly mature adults do this every weekend for that single reason alone. He says self-identity is completely formed by the 27th year of life (even many older adults still struggle with who they are), so if you get married before your identity as a separate autonomous human being has formed, you interfere with this process.

He also says there are two other aspects of compatibility to consider when choosing a mate or deciding to stay with one, is the issue of lifestyle and personality – do you like the same movies, restaurants or types of vacations? Do you have a healthy style of conflict resolution, a money management system, the same long-term goals, and so on? Are you similar in character, curiosity, vitality, intellect, appearance, sexual passion, artistic interest, adaptability, self-concept, moods, communication, kindness, autonomy/closeness, humor, sociability, energy, ambition, education, spirituality, values, morals and ethics? He says this list only scratches the surface, but it is a guide for you to consider before taking the plunge. You can follow this link to read the complete article.

There is a lot of compromise in the best of relationships. It is however important to note that each time there is a compromise, someone gets less of what they want, and after a while, it can become exhausting. The greater the similarity between the two people – including emotional health and maturity – the better the chance of the relationship working long term.

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