By Robert K James
When a couple starts courting, very often, their personal differences are something they disregard not until when they decided to get married. Perhaps they are too busy convincing one another on how they fit together perfectly that these differences don’t cross their minds. Things have even gotten worse in this modern day and age where young couples think they know it all as far as marriage is concerned. They imagine a perfect life of marriage just like it is during their dating days forgetting that there are bigger things one may have to compromise with in a marriage. Marriage is about commitment, appreciating and embracing someone for who they are, therefore when you marry that someone, you marry their personal difference too.
Paul Kigozi, an accountant, attributes his rocky first year in marriage to the fact that he and his wife did not spend enough time on real premarital counselling. Neither of them thought they had to pay any close attention to the institution; that life would simply continue on as before. The couple soon realised that in fact, they were in whole a new game. Both headstrong accountants and working for big firms, they were not good a compromise. Husband and wife each had to be at the office at a particular time and nothing would take precedence. Both expected the other to pick up that slack at home.
“It was difficult for me to come home and find the house dark and empty,” said Paul Kigozi, whose attempts to be understanding about his wife’s career didn’t not seem to stop their frequent arguments into the night. In the end, the couple realized they had to compromise. “We both had to define our roles or we’d have had to lose the marriage.”
Thankfully, for them, it did not have to come to that, but many couples in similar situations have ended up in divorce court after failing to meet their spouse halfway. Among the biggest adjustments of marriage is that you are no longer responsible only for yourself. Before you realise the fruits of your relationship, things like sharing costs, how to deal with family incomes among other issues will be at the top of the food chain. And changing customs and economic realities mean that no longer is it assumed that the husband brings home the bacon and the wife runs the home. You and your beloved should discuss your expectations of married life well before the wedding. Even then, disagreements are a part of every marriage and learning to settle them without lingering resentment is crucial to any marriage. Lastly, remember that even though you are married, you are still two individuals. Both partners must learn to respect the other’s needs and desires as well so as to find a common ground on personal differences.
For Ruth Alinaitwe, marriage has been a lesson in communication. “I used not to watch football,” she explained, “but after I got married I learnt to watch the soccer with him. We spend time together and communicate, which means that we share the bad things and the good things together.”
It all comes down to what people like Ruth have learned only after the horse has bolted. “Relationships that lead to marriage cannot be handled carelessly,” she warned. “This is the rest of your life we are taking about.” Therefore, you need to pay close attention to premarital counselling and take it much more serious before you tie a knot on things. It will help you get a clear picture of what you initially just imagine in regards to marriage life.