Here is to introduce Expressng.com readers to a new relationship weekly series tagged: Reality With Toyin Idowu, Every Thursday.
When two people come together in marriage, automatically the family and society immediately expect them to adjust to each other and fit miraculously into the lifestyle they just assumed.
The heinous aspect of it is the unrealistic expectations the newlyweds place on themselves as if the wedding vow came with a pack of miracles which literarily transforms couple from who they were to different persons entirely; marriage ready. Couples expect each other to immediately do away with all characters flaws, attitudes and issues as individuals and gel together. In reality, this is not achievable; a bad guy remains a bad guy even after the wedding day while a nagging and intolerant lady remains so. Exchange of marriage vows on wedding day does not change anyone. The best thing anyone can do is to look inward and deal with any issue ahead of time.
Don’t get me wrong please, I am not asking couples not to make attempt to adjust and fine tune their lifestyles and characters to be in conformity with their new status. My point is that in as much as two human beings from different backgrounds are involved; to immediately expect things to take shape is basically unrealistic and unachievable. The reason is that it is still the same old person you were as a single that just ‘migrated’ into marriage. All your attributes and attitudes are still part of what you imported into your new status by virtue of slipping wedding rings into each other’s fingers, so nothing has changed aside the fact that you now have license to start living together as husband and wife which makes little or no difference to a number of people due to the fact that they have been in the practice even long before then. However, there is need for you to brace up and prepare yourself for a more realistic expectation before you walk down the aisle.
It is not uncommon for couples to start having conflicts which often degenerates into big issues with one another after the wedding ceremony because expectations of adjustment were unrealistically high. Couples, for example, unrealistically expect each other to immediately drop their bad habits, do away with their childhood friends, keep relatives at arm’s length, start dancing to each other’s tunes as dictated by each party, start reasoning like full-fledged married individuals, plunging into their individual roles and carrying them out perfectly and religiously. At times, sex even poses a big challenge, most especially, when the couple have different experiences. Usually, one party is not patient enough for the other to accept that it takes time to adjust to one another in bed.
Granted that some of these clashes or shocks are not really out of order, I would like all intending couples, to know that it is a non-viable demand laced with some form of frustration to expect that your guy or your babe, whom you spent one, two, three etc years courting would just change automatically as if as soon as you were pronounced husband and wife, a miracle took place in identity and attitudes. No! Jide for example still remains Jide while Joyce is still Joyce thereafter and you people are going to keep having issues to deal with especially the unresolved or ignored ones while you were courting.
Do I need to remind us that human beings are the most delicate to tame? Let us look at a scenario where Jide is getting married to Joyce at ages 30 and 27, respectively. They both have attitudes, ways of life, characters, values, principles and upbringing that they have been used to for about three decades of their lives. Now, getting into marriage, they expect each other to just snap out of what they have been used to all those years within one week or one month or one year? Who does that?
It takes concentrated and consistent effort on the part of the couples to achieve the expected level of blending we are talking about. Marriage takes workuet it is not a rocket science; so nothing is automatic and nothing happens miraculously. The most interesting part is that the bulk of this job is best done ahead of time as individuals, even long before you meet your spouse.
It is very important to note that prior to your relationship, you should try as much as possible to work on yourself especially in the area of character and attitude because these are the most crucial areas that determine the success or failure of any relationship. A promiscuous guy needs to deal with his weakness by imbibing a culture of discipline. Thus, he should shrink his voracious appetite for sex before getting into marriage, otherwise, it is still the same challenge that will keep rocking the both of his marriage…marriage doesn’t curtail your excesses for sex! The same way, a lady who has wrong attitude about men due to various past experiences. If she keeps leveraging on the hurts and bitterness of the past and keep thinking all men are the same, then, she is on a sloppy ride to ruining her affair because no man would find her ‘dateable’ in the first place. If eventually she finds a way round it and get married, she will be deceiving herself to think that things will fizzle out without her fixing them.
Many terrible mistakes are made before marriage because a lot of people are blindfolded to many salient but sensitive issues either as individuals or as intending couples. Most people ignore their own faults and weaknesses, refuse to upgrade themselves and deal with the ugly side of their lives and as a result of this, the same character and identity is imported into marriage which keeps brewing trouble almost every day. Please, don’t just be caught in the web of youthful exuberance. Don’t misuse your opportunity as a individual guy or lady. Don’t spend your days as single looking for the right partner while you lose focus on working on yourself. Marriage is all about being the right person in the relationship and not looking for the right person to come and fix your mess or fit into your dregs. Begin to look inwards and start addressing those areas of your life that you think could pose serious challenge to your marriage. Trying to be sensitive to areas that your folks have been complaining about and working towards improvement in such areas would go a long way to lessen your burden.
Being single affords you the opportunity to set in motion the direction you wish your marital life to go because as you lay your bed, so you lie on it. Are you married already? It’s not late at all to start making things happen. Give yourselves time for adjustment and keep working on being the right person. Stand up and start working on yourself because no miracle happens on your wedding day!
Toyin Idowu is a Relationship Coach based in Lagos. Please direct all questions and clarifications via email to – firstname.lastname@example.org