Well ofcourse this doesn’t by any means translate to being gagged. We must enjoy freedom of speech oh especially in marriage otherwise you will surely surely lose your mind. I believe I have a voice and a brain for a reason and that my over 30 years of life’s experiences count for something as far as giving opinions is concerned. My prayer has been for wisdom and a lot of patience….. to be tactful, to be patient for the right space to UNLEASH…. respectfullyof course!!
A few weeks into our marriage enrichment program (NDOA), we were given a form with about 10 ‘needs’ that we expected to be met by our spouses. It is almost similar to the love languages but this was more detailed and had many ‘languages’ than the 5 as we know them i.e. Acts of service, Quality time, Physical touch, Words of affirmation and Gifts. There were 2 columns next to each need. In the 1st column we were to rate in order of importance to us, from the most important need to the not-so-important. In the 2ndcolumn we were to rate what we thought was most important for our spouses. Then thereafter we were to compare what we considered important to us versus what our mates thought was important to us. Of course my number one for Hun, or for all other man, was a no brainer and as far as I was concerned; it had to be sexual intimacy. So when he revealed his list and it was not his number one, I thought he was just being pious (since the enrichment group is church affiliated and we were required to discuss our lists). I took it with a pinch of salt, after all the number one need for all men was sex, or so I thought. So when we met in the larger group and collectively the men confirmed that sex was not on top of their list, I was now confused! You mean sex does not solve all of a man’s problems??
I knew I was not alone when some weeks later a question was popped to a group of ladies in the same enrichment group asking what was the one thing we wish we knew before we got married and it was almost unanimous that someone should have told us that….. husbands shall not live by sex alone! You cannot blame us since most of us, especially if you have attended a number of bridal showers, sex is usually the main topic if not the only topic. Well, I thank God because mine was different in that in addition to the S subject, the speaker talked about other issues basing everything on the Bible. However, clearly my mind had already been corrupted to that kind of thinking. During the ladies forum I mentioned earlier, it was hilarious to hear some of the advice that ladies have been given concerning the subject. Most memorable was how as a lady you should always have a bucket of water and towels beforehand – and I thought, wouldn’t that very well-meaning act completely kill spontaneity??
Over the months I have learnt that while IT is an important part of marriage, most men, if not all consider RESPECT and ADMIRATION more important. For me, admiration has really not been a problem. Hun’s passion in the way he does things and his super-human ability to remain calm and optimistic even when stuff is going horribly wrong, makes it easy. Plus, I mean, just the fact that he was able to convince me to move – those who know me well will tell you am the most rigid person when it comes to change – leave my family, my friends, my Sunday School babies, my comfortable decently paying flexi-time (ok not officially) job, my rented ka-house and everything else that was familiar to me, totally demands admiration from me.
It is ‘respect’ that I have struggled with for a while but I thank God for slowly taming that too. Generally I respect him, the area that I used to fail over and over is arguing in public. Now, I know you all strong and opinionated women feel me on this one. There are times I’d get caught up trying to prove my point I fail to notice the curious on lookers around us, waiting…. almost ‘casting lots’ amongst themselves who between Hun and I will back down first. By this time, Hun would usually be beyond embarrassed. Well we have since developed a code which we use to end the conversation when either of us flies off the handle in public and so far so good. In relation to public embarrassments, the other issue I have had to deal with, was how I was fond of ‘correcting’ him in public or his comments on Facebook. As I have mentioned before, I am a Choleric/ Mel. We Cholerics tend to ‘think’ (read: know) we are always right. By God’s grace I have learnt to hold my horses and bite my tongue no matter how much it bleeds.