7 Lessons Marriage has Taught Me

Marriage is a blessing and growing up, I have always looked forward to having a perfect marriage. I cannot say I have a a perfect marriage yet but in all honesty I have been blessed with the best man in the world who I think is just my perfect match. Of course, I cannot even lie that we have not had our own fair share of misunderstandings, quarrels and all those "cat and rat arguments" but trust me, there can never be a perfect marriage and you just have to keep striving and working it out till you get to that middle point where everything will start "making sense" and life will become sweeter.

I still call myself a "newly married" womanπŸ˜‹ because I believe that until I reach that fifth, tenth and maybe fiftieth milestone before I can doff my hat to say, yesπŸ’ͺ, I did it or yesπŸ’ͺ, I am now an expert or something but since marriage is a school where no one graduates from except you back off, someone dies or some other unforeseen circumstances occur, I don't think there is anyone too little or under-experienced to talk about some of the lessons they have learnt so far on their own journey.

In exactly a month from today (July 28, 2017), I will be celebrating my third year in marriage πŸ’ƒ with le Hubs and I will like to share 7 lessons I have learnt so far. Hopefully, I will be back after few years to write more since there will still be more and more lessons to learn from this school but for now, let's do thisπŸ’ƒ

  • Be You: One major advice I would give to any friend about to tie the knot or planning to is "BE YOU". Don't go into your marriage over-prepared. For me, I was very nervous and scared. Even though we have been friends for 4 years before tying the knot, I didn't know what to expect and to think that I thought I was still a babyπŸ˜›πŸ™ˆ, I just didn't know what and what to do and generally what to expect. We were apart in the first seven months of our marriage, and most conversations where on the phone, skype, etc, The real marriage started for me in March 2015. Initially I was always hurt at any slight comment on my food especially but overtime like I said we got to that middle point where everything became more or less like a joke than quarrel. So be you, don't expect too much and don't trouble your head trying to plan what and what you want to become or will be, it just doesn't work that way.

If you are not yourself with him, who will?

  • Learn the spirit of forgiveness: You know that phrase that says "life is too short". Honestly, if you don't learn to let things go as early as you can, you can shorten your lifespan. The honest truth is that you two will always annoy each other. Is it financial misunderstanding, family talk, in-laws, career, raising the kids, etc. There are just so many ways you two will get on each other's nerve but for me, my therapy has been to 'forgive ahead' like even before the whole talk gets messy just forgive. Initially, I wasn't the let go quickly type as well but over the years I have seen that to be sane, is better than to be insane so just let it out, take a deep breathe and forgive. Trust me, there are a lot of times you have to accept what you would literally not accept from a neighbour but c'mon, this is marriage and nobody said it would always be rosy so deal with it and forgive as many times as possible.  

"If you really want to learn to love, you must learn how to forgive" -  Mother Theresa

  • You might loose some friends and gain new friends: I cannot even start mentioning all the friends I have lost. We didn't have a fight or decide to break the bond but life just happened. Either because I changed location or we just grew up maybe, lol. But the truth is when you get married, your cycle of friends will automatically change. This is not something anyone plans but I think its just a natural thing that happens in marriage. Of course, you will also make a lot of friends either couple friends or friends of your husband but its just like a cycle, where you loose some to gain some. Inasmuch as I love to keep in touch with people, life has also happened to me and I have lost some of my good friends😞, I miss some of them but I have also made some adorable friends who I even wished I had met way much earlier but you know what, this is life and we have to deal with whatever it throws at us.

Our Sweet Zambian Couple Friend 😍

  • Always have discussions and chit chat moments: Every marriage counsellor will tell you that communication is key. The key to every successful marriage I must say is constant communication. Lately, I have developed an every morning chit-chat moment with the hubs where I just "on purpose" create a random topic and we talk about it while everybody is getting ready to start his/her day. The reason why I do this, is because my husband has a very tight schedule now and it is very difficult to get that chit-chat moment when he is back from work. He is always exhausted after work and only wants to have dinner and lounge. So know what works best for you and work around it. It is very important to always talk regularly and discuss as a couple as this will make you two express yourself and also learn from each other. 
Side Note: We get to know what to buy as gifts for each other from some of our chit-chat moments.

After an Hamburger DateπŸ˜† (Summer 2016)

  • Learn New Things: This is one sweet advice I wished someone had told me while I was planning my wedding. The fact that you are going to be living with one person till God knows when, you actually need some major things to spice up your home. Remember its no longer about you, it is now about 'us'. When you were a spinster, you could live a boring life without getting worked up or worried about it but when you marry, trust me you need to spice up your home. For me, I had to learn new recipes. I didn't enjoy cooking as a spinster, I could eat rice a whole week, yes I was that boring with food. Solid meals like (eba, fufu, amala) was a no-go area for me because I didn't have a reason to make it just for myself so I only ate that when I travel to my parent's house. When I got married, I was always in the "what do we eat today mood", oh how I hate to think about what to cook. Overtime, I started learning quick recipes like banana bread, stir-fry stew, steamed maize corn meal, curry sauce, meatpie, etc. I discovered awesome pages on IG aswell that I follow like FoodaceIfy's Kitchen,  Dooneyskitchen, etc. I also created a board on Pinterest where I pin down some recipes I would love to try later. There are just so many ways to spice things up in your home, it doesn't have to be food. You could learn how to sew and surprise your hubs by sewing him something, you could learn one or two out of his hobbies. Myself and le hubs love to play scrabble together at our leisure. Variety they say is the spice of life so don't be boring abeg (please) πŸ˜›

My First Homemede Meatpie, thanks to Youtube

  • Compromise: Oh yes. Like I said above, it's not about you any longer. It is now about us. My husband loves to watch crime, detectives, horror and adventure movies while I love to watch romance, comedy, sci-fi and nollywood movies. This is still an issue for us anyway because I don't ever enjoy watching what he watches but he always try to watch what I watchπŸ˜›. Although, I am still trying to learn to like what he likes in terms of TV shows but I have learnt to compromise in so many other things like food, outings, opinions and others. Marriage has taught me to consider what the other person feels in whatever choices I want to make; so while you have enjoyed your single life making so many rash decisions without worries. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, in marriage, you cannot always eat your cake and have it again as it is now about what the other person feels or thinks.

Mid-Summer Celebration in Sweden (June 2017). Le Hubs likes to go out while I don'tπŸ˜‘

  • Patience: "Patience is truly a virtue". From my little experience, I would say the reason why some marriages have not been able to stand the test of time is impatience. You need to be patient with each other knowing fully well that you two are from different backgrounds, have different opinions, like/dislike different things, etc. At the beginning it might look very funny when every little thing might get the other person unnecessarily worked up or angry but the honest truth is that if you can learn to be patient and try to understand your spouse, things will get better overtime, As for me, I was the snap back one because I just wanted everything to be in my own way but as we continued our journey, I had to just calm down and really understand the message le hubs is trying to pass across. I don't always agree of course but I have learnt better tricks of having my way now than getting angry and fuming all over the place.

Random Selfie taken at the Busstop πŸ˜‹ (May 2017)

All in all, marriage to me has been a bitter sweet experience. I have grown, become stronger, learnt to handle issues in a more matured way, more open-minded and of course a better wife. Honestly, it is not a bed filled with roses but to think that you are building an empire with the person that you truly loves melts my heart everyday.

Below is a short slide show of our 1st year wedding anniversary. Our first anniversary was a special one for me because I got to spend the time with my husband after being apart for seven months. We celebrated the day in our own little way by taking few pictures, going to the cinema and then a play date night to cap it up.

I wish every newly-married couple like meπŸ˜› all the best as we continue on this journey while we keep learning all the tips and tricks. I also hope God gives us the strength to stand the test of time whenever they show their ugly head.

Until next time...πŸ’‹