For Better or Worse

I like photography. I like posing but even more, I like taking pictures. I have albums of digital pictures that I have taken and some date back over 10 years. I even lured Hun into the same madness. But then he overtook me. One random day, he came back home with a camera worth tens of thousands of shillings. You need to understand that he is naturally not extravagant or flashy…. well unless ofcourse it involves a Subaru machine. My brother likes to tease Hun that he does not behave like a real ‘jaluo’. But on this day, a friend offered him a ‘good deal’ on the camera and he did not think twice about it. That is the kind of madness I was alluding to. After some discussion, we agreed to keep the camera and we are glad we did. That thing takes amazing photos. The other day as I was going through some old pictures, I came across a stunning close-up with a beautiful, brightly colored flower; pink petals and yellow centre. Right in the middle was a bee! Whenever I see a bee, my first thought is not that it is the insect that gives us honey; my mind goes to the painful stings! Ouch. Even the thought of it is painful. But then that bee is useful to that flower. It carries the pollen from the male parts, stamen, on to the female part, pistil. Pollination occurs and new seeds are formed that grow into new plants.That picture made me realize that it is very similar in marriage.

Marriage is a beautiful. Couples planning to get married, sometimes get cold feet because of what they have seen in other marriages. Hun and I were no exception. One of our biggest (and silliest) confrontation happened a week to our wedding. While it is not unusual to get cold feet just before the wedding, it is good to put things in to the proper perspective. It is 100% true that conflicts will arise between a couple from time to time, just like the bees on the flowers. Therefore, we need to learn from them and grow.When that bee is doing its business on the flower, its main intention is not to help pollinate the flowers. It just happens in the process. Sure there are other ways we can grow. I personally would like to learn another way, one that does not involve pain and hurt.

I love reading. I wish I could learn everything I need to learn about this institution from books. But once in a while days of trouble do come, un-invited. When they do, we need to remember to learn from them. In marriage and generally in life, when you do not learn from your experiences, you tend to oscillate in and out of the same murky waters. That is a lesson Hun and have learnt the hard way. It is one thing to resolve a conflict or at least come to a compromise, but it is an entirely different thing learning from it. As much as we sometimes want to quickly hug and make up, it might not always be the best way. There is need to reflect on lessons picked.It is important for each one to see their role in the conflict. Looking inwards. Sometimes it is easy to blame the mess on one person, most of the times there is usually an apparent ‘offender’, but if we can be really honest with ourselves, we can see that both play a role – no matter how miniscule – in conflict. Take responsibility for your bit. Apologize and commit to do things differently.

Secondly, we need to be willing to let go of the hurt. Forgiveness does not mean you are condoning the actions. It simply means that you have separated the action from the ‘offender’. Letting go of the hurt does not mean pretending it doesn’t exist. It is a process. At times we are tempted to hold on to the pain longer in order to manipulate the other person. As long as they keep seeing how hurt we are, then they will do what we ask them to do.

Finally, commit to stay committed. Agree between the two of you that you are in the marriage for the long haul. This decision usually positively impacts how you relate with each other, especially when you are both assured of the other person’s commitment.


PS: This article was originally posted on Arusi Guru Blog Page

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