Honesty is another important factor in assessing your relationship, have you ever wondered why a spouse prefers to be dishonest rather than honest. And most times when the truth comes out the defence of the spouse is: “I was protecting you” or I did not want to hurt you” or “if you knew the truth you would hate me” or “I did not want you to think I was capable of doing such” For it is not all truths that hurt the other party, some truths are better said than hidden in a canopy of lies. In my opinion, most times hidden truths when revealed could completely destroy the emotions of the other party as well as the relationship that has been built over a period of years. Don’t get me wrong, my opinion is not intended to encourage the cultivation of a habit of lies among spouses but to make sure all spouses are aware of the reality behind the lies communicated to their spouses over a period of time. Because when the truth finally comes out of its hiding place, the effect on the relationship is most times explosive. There are difficult moments when a spouse may tell the truth and lost his/her partner for life, in such circumstances the action of the lying spouse might be a forbidden act, in which case the spouse has no choice but to tell lies or embrace the dire consequences of his/her action by telling the truth. Let’s us all imagine for a moment that a wife who has been married to her husband for a period of 10 years had an affair with her husband’s best friend, do you honestly think that divulging such information to the husband in the name of honesty would make her husband love her more? Absolutely not!!!! With righteous indignation, I believe that husband of hers will throw her out of their matrimonial home no matter the circumstances that led to the affair. (This scenario is strictly limited to the Nigerian environment). And what becomes of the Husband’s best friend? They would become best enemies (if there’s ever a word like that). Yet, some husbands have walked the path of the pain of betrayal but went ahead to forgive their straying wives just because they have made a deal with love, one which they so strongly believe should last for a lifetime. Those husbands can sit and tell you the difficulty one must encounter in relationships for there is no gain without pain.
To be continued…
Another secret to preserving a relationship between spouses is perseverance, most couples are not determined to keep the vow of ‘till death do us part’ Most couples would rather say till lack of funds part us or till the issue of barrenness’ do us part. Perseverance is a key to having a long-lasting relationship with your spouse, once a spouse can develop the spirit of determination, in addition to love the marriage would last for a life time. Trust is another component that helps in preserving relationships, when there is a distrust lurking around in a marriage it comes with suspicion, back biting, jealous rage and a lot of other factors which would eventually lead to the end of such union. Further, another factor that can help build a long-lasting relationship which previously existed is the ability to be open to corrections in a relationship, as well as the ability of the spouse correcting to do so with love and understanding and not with malice and insults. Spouses that are open to corrections always have the best relationships because they are always seeking ways to improve their skills in all spheres of the relationship, be it in matters of sex or matters of food or matters of finances. As we all know it relationships with our spouse is hard work and the only way we can keep our relationship is by maintaining it and sustaining it by what we do or say. Spouses must cultivate the habit of listening to each other, taking corrections, understanding when the going gets tough rather than bailing out. Spouses must enter into a marriage union with the mentality that it is for better or worse and not with a prenuptial agreement in the event of separation. The anticipation of separation is proof that you are marrying the wrong person. The mindset that there is a door out of the marriage if things don’t work out shows that you never intended to have a long and lasting relationship in the first place. It is profound that relationships are not all rosy and there are times when it would be surrounded by thorns but it is our ability to look past the thorns that preserves our relationship. In sum every long-lasting relationship between spouses is characterized by love and perseverance amongst other. So, next time you say to your spouse ‘I love you’ make sure you mean it.
Long ago we heard about couples celebrating thirty years union, golden jubilee, silver jubilee and the likes. It seems to be very many years ago as the rate of marriage is high and the rate of divorce is even higher. I have even heard the story of a couple that got married and separated on that same day of the marriage. The issue of separation or divorce has become the general rule rather than the exception; it is messy and bloody as couples wash their dirty linens in the eyes of the public. Ha! Celebrities always have the worse type of divorce especially when the press has a keen interest on the celebrity.
Now, I have constantly asked myself what is the cause of divorce in this present generation and a lot of answers flooded in from my observations of how people develop and run their relationships. The catchiest answer I could find to the problem of high divorce rates lies in what couples are not doing to preserve their marriage. The biblical command on marriages is ‘’wives be submissive to your husband and husband love your wives as Christ loved the church.’’ Hence, I would start from love, love is that feeling that makes you think of a particular person all the time, it brings out the passion in you, it makes you make sacrifice for your spouse, it is patient and kind and understanding and forgiving. It brings you closer to your spouse and brings depth to your relationship with your spouse. In sum, love as stated by Robert Sternberg is blended into three components which are passion or physical attraction, intimacy or feelings of closeness and commitment which means the decision to initiate and sustain a relationship. Why would couples go through the bother of exchanging marriage vows if they have no intention to keep it, ‘I love you’ means I love you enough to forgive you even when you upset me; I love you enough to be committed to you even when things are not going on well between us, because I know our love for each other would give us the strength to overcome it; I love you enough to be kind to you rather than turning you into my punching bag; I love you enough to understand that I cannot always have my way in the relationship; I love you enough to look out for own interest by including you in all my plans.
In my opinion, if ‘love’ exists in a relationship between spouses, the tendency to divorce the one you love would be nonexistent. However, most couples do not know the meaning of love even though they say it often to each other, hence the rate of high divorce.