I once read a story about a lady who hadn’t kissed her husband let alone get laid in two years. They live under the same roof and sleep in the same room (possibly on different beds) because it’s unfathomable to me how that works. The windy narration of their troubles left the reader in no doubt that these two shared no intimacy whatsoever. And after a few paragraphs of failed attempts at resolving their differences, the story ended with a worse prospect; they still live together with the hopes of their relationship improving as their two kids grow.
Really? Gimme a break!
It can be mind-boggling reading what people go through to stay in a marriage. The torture, the trauma, and all the unthinkable things some have to bear just to remain ‘married’. I mean life is short, damn too short for anyone to waste in such stagnation for two years. I can’t and I won’t. I can’t even imagine not conversing with my wife for 24 hours. Marriage is a beautiful thing but like I always say, it is better to be single than be miserably accompanied.
You see, I may not qualify to be a marriage counsellor neither do I claim to be one but after over 20 years in a relationship of which 18 have been in a marriage, I can sure dish out a few nuggets every now and then culled from my marital experience.
So today I want to drop a few lines about a key ingredient in marriage and perhaps every relationship using mine as an illustration.
Ladies and gentlemen please try and get a partner that at least shares a common passion/interest with you. I know a lot of us have come across this advice before but I believe not as many give it serious thought. Before we got married I told my wife about my love for tourism. I revealed a passionate ambition to see as much of the world as I could before bowing out. I detailed how the tantalizing aroma of fresh Costa coffee in Amsterdam Schipol could give me a boner and how the euphoric scenes of one night at Keffi street Kano left an eternal memory. Interestingly she also shared this passion.
So before we walked the aisle we had taken a number of trips to Lagos, Port-Harcourt, and Abuja. And after our wedding, it was literally from the hotel to Murtala for a honeymoon that traversed 3 European cities. Since then we have inculcated tourism as a habit. Vacations and frequent road trips became a ritual as the family grew. At a point, it was almost impossible to stay a month at home without a short trip. And Ireland will help you with plenty of bank holiday weekends.
Back home in Nigeria we often do Lagos/Abuja to Enugu/Amawbia or the return journey by road when we can. It is more fun for the kids and cheaper of course. Whatsmore you get to gist more. On a road trip from Barcelona to Malaga, my wife and I conversed and laughed for about 12 long hours while the kids occasionally chipped in when they were awake. You can imagine such bonding.
The process of scanning the internet for bargain tickets, accommodation, and things to do on TripAdvisor et al adds to the excitement of anticipation. It is fun and it has been fun. Personally but for the Covid-19 pandemic, I have never spent 3 months in a place without travelling for much of my adult life. It’s been a Johnny Walker life!
Now let me explain this. Tourism costs as much if not more than owning expensive jewellery, a fleet of exotic cars, or some estate. So it’s easier said than done. You have to work hard to fund such a lifestyle. But what is life without hard work and fun?
It doesn’t mean you cannot share other passions eg My wife loves fashion shopping like most women and back in the early days we will hop through Oxford Street, Selfridges, and the rest hauling our shopping bags along. But I believe I‘ve outgrown that passion except for profit (Newross & Co?) yet every now and then we go shopping. She says it a therapeutic!?
Men like women also discuss their relationships including marriage with close friends. But we don’t put it out there for public consumption as much as the womenfolk. In a conversation with a friend, I briefly narrated how my wife suggested a night out after one of our infrequent contretemps. On that night she had handed over her credit card to me. My friend was surprised and confessed that his wife will rarely do that. But you see mine knows that I love to live it up and she joins me whenever she can. What better way to get over a little squabble than with some clinks in your fav lounge?
And that’s marriage for you. It is simpler when you have common interests. When you encounter the attendant troubles of the planting season like stress, fatigue or disagreements you will easily overcome them because you know the harvest is just around the corner.
So search for a partner who shares at least one common passion with you. I have seen couples who love fashion, sports, real estate, charity, etc. They find joy in working together to fulfil these passions. And if you are already married take some time to mull this over, chances are there could be a latent one you share with your spouse. Revive it immediately and start enjoying it together. Do this as often as you can. My wife and I have had a wonderful time together and made beautiful memories from the opportunities and challenges therein. It works for us and could work for you.