As I reflect on ten years in marital school, I tried to capture ten main lessons I have learnt. There could be more. I dedicate this to the friend I met first in 1998, who has in her quiet way affected my life so much, for good. Happy Anniversary Aferba.
1. What do you expect in a wife/hubby? Do you know? Good practice: write them down. And when you do marry, list the qualities you admire in him/her. In difficult times in marriage, I have always come back to that list and then I realise that those qualities still exist in my wife. They did. I stayed.
2. Word I live: “I seldom advice anyone on religion or marriage, cos I don’t want anyone blaming me for his/her woes in this life or the next.”
3. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.” When you go out dating, do you look for a wife or a girlfriend?
4. A wise head respects and pampers the neck, lest it turns on its own and out of sync. Or becomes a pain. A wise husband know who is the neck.
5. A man who thinks he knows his wife completely knows nothing.
6. When angry, better don’t talk. Words spoken in anger always come back to hurt.
7. The heart of a woman is like a palm nut fruit. Many layers, part soft part hard; different strategies needed for various stages.
8. When looking for a life partner, look for and prioritise friendship over hot romance. Heat dissipates over time. The cool slow flowing emotions of friendship last longer and run deeper.
9. During our marriage counselling, we were advised to get to know ourselves well before the kids came in. Best advice we got. When the kids leave home, you will be back to where you started, just the two of you.
10. Your life at home can make or unmake your life outside the home.