Two things prompted this blog post.
One, my wedding anniversary was two days ago and I have since been doing a mental review of my marital journey of more than a decade.
Two, I have three different wedding invitations for this weekend and I’m wondering how much the bridegrooms know about marriage. Though I expect the priests to counsel them appropriately, it is quite doubtful if much would be said to them. Instead, the holy men would most likely pay more attention to the brides.
That’s the usual pattern. We counsel the bride more. We advise her to behave well in her marital home. We tell her that marriage is a school where she will have to learn a lot of lessons.
As for the bridegroom, we usually assume that he’s a real man so he should be in control and guide his wife.
How mistaken we are!
Many men go into marriage unprepared. When their new lives begin, they start to ask a lot of questions as if they have been tricked into marriage. They soon get frustrated and start considering some other alternatives which could include early divorce.
In this piece, I have compiled 10 facts that every man going into marriage should know. They are things that I have personally learnt and I’m sure new husbands and the aspiring ones will all benefit from them.
1.0 Your Way, Her Way
When you were a bachelor, you took decisions without consulting anyone. You did things your way.
But not anymore! The moment you’re married, it becomes your way and your wife’s way. In other words, you have to consult her before taking some key decisions.
This is quite understandable since whatever affects you will eventually have an impact on her too. That’s why she wants to be involved.
Anyway, you can ignore this advice at your own peril. But if you want to have peace at home (and at work), you will do good to follow this wise counsel.
2.0 Lifelong Commitment
When you say, “I do,” you actually sign a lifelong contract with your wife. That’s why the priest will continue to remind you that marriage is “for better, for worse.”
You must drop your old idea of changing partners at will. Your new wife is no longer your girlfriend so you can’t drop her the way you’ve been dumping other ladies.
You must get used to being tied to your wife for the rest of your life. And the earlier you realize this, the better for your marital life.
Lest I forget, hope you are not a loner. I pray not, because you are now the head of a house that will soon be full of people – your wife and children. You must learn how to lead a crowd; otherwise you will lose your headship license.
3.0 Test of Life
Marriage would probably be the biggest test you will ever take because there is nothing as complicated as human relationship. As a new husband, you’re about to embark on a journey that will keep testing your manliness.
Do I mean to scare you? Never! You are only learning.
You won’t want to fail an examination, would you? In order not to fail, you must be well prepared. So prepare very well for a beautiful adventure. Once you are psychologically prepared for this new journey, it would be easy for you to overcome any challenge the new life may bring.
I’m not sure of your age, but the moment you become a husband you must quickly grow up. You must stop being “that boy around the corner.” You must be prepared to manage a home. And running a home is quite different from running an office or business. Hope you understand me.
Maturity is a key ingredient you must develop as a husband.
Are you a Mr. Eccentric? Not anymore, Sir.
As a married man, you must become a tolerant man. You must caution your ego. You must be prepared to live with someone whose emotional configuration is totally different from yours. She counts what you don’t care about. She’s sensitive to certain things you ignore. You have to tolerate her as a woman.
6.0 Your Work and Your Home
Yes, you were not answerable to anyone when you were a bachelor. That period, you would go to work and return home at anytime that pleased you.
As a bachelor, you went on vacation when you wanted. You didn’t have to look back when on any official trip.
That was then, Mr. New Husband.
Now you must learn to call your wife during lunch break. You must plan your next vacation with her. You must get back home on time for dinner…
In a nutshell, you just have to balance your work and your home responsibilities. That’s what it takes to be a husband.
You must learn how to love, and how to show love.
I won’t deceive you; money is a key factor in marriage. It is one of the strongest breakers of relationships. But with good understanding, money shouldn’t put your marriage asunder.
As a married man, you must learn how to share. You must understand that your wife’s money is her money, but your money belongs to both of you. Yes, you heard me right – she has a right to your money; but you don’t have a right to hers except she willingly permits you.
Look, your wife may earn more than you but don’t be surprised if she still goes ahead to ask you for money. And don’t ever expect her to assist with the kids’ school fees or housekeeping finances. Those are your responsibilities; not hers.
A word is enough for the wise.
8.0 Social Life
Maybe you are a club guy. Maybe you can’t do without hanging out with your friends. You have to cut all those down as a married man. Your home is now your “club” and you must let your friends understand that.
If you must “go clubbing,” you may have to go with your wife. And be rest assured that the frequency will no longer be as before.
Don’t think I’m repeating myself by bringing this up. It is a totally different point I must mention here.
Any man that wants a lasting marital relationship must learn how to take it cool. No more is your usual pattern of “I just want to be left alone” when your wife wants to discuss. You must just be prepared to listen.
But here is the issue: Your wife will always have something to discuss with you… always. It is her nature as a woman, and it is your duty as a husband to listen. Let her speak her mind.
Well, ignore my advice if you like; you will see how she would disturb you at night. Why don’t you listen during the day in order to have a restful night?
Can you see how clever I am? I have reserved this point till now because of your wife’s captivating beauty. I’m sure you will want her to forever remain the young dazzling angel she is.
Hmmm, how we all wish as men.
The fact is that your wife will become an old lady one day; so be prepared for it from now.
It is natural for age to tell on each one of us at a point. When it does for your wife, you must not be disappointed. Don’t fail to admire her now wrinkled face. You too must be growing old, anyway.
As aging as your wife may later be, she remains that beautiful lady you married. She’s still the same person despite her age. You must not then begin to chase after those young girls in total condemnation of your beautiful wife.
Would the above be the only points that a new husband should note? I don’t think so; but these 10 will put you in a good stead. You will then continue to learn along the way.
I wish every man a peaceful home.