A handy tip for couples 

Man hugging woman

A smile man hugging a woman.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • I wish I could say that ours has been an experience of wedded bliss. But I would be lying.
  • We have had some of the most difficult conversations, heated arguments and dramatic conflict since that day we both eagerly agreed to be one. 

Lydia finds her husband seated by the balcony, in deep thought sipping his tea. He sighs deeply and wipes a tear from his eye.

“What’s wrong my dear?” she asks him as she sits by his side. “Are you crying?”

Her husband looks up from his mug of tea.

“Today is the 20th anniversary of the day we first met.”

She cannot believe that he remembers such details and she, too, starts to tear up.

“Do you remember 20 years ago when we started dating? You were 17 and I was 18,” he says, solemnly.

Once again, Lydia is touched to tears thinking that her husband is such a caring and sensitive soul.

“I remember,” she says.

Her husband once again sighs deeply. He is finding it difficult to speak. 

“You remember when your father caught us fooling around in the coffee farm?”

Lydia’s father was a police officer.

“Yes, I remember,” she smiles and leans on him.

“Do you remember when he shoved the gun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or spend 20 years in jail’?”

“I remember that, too,” Lydia replies softly.

How 'romantic' moment ended

Her husband sighs and wipes another tear from his cheek and then says, “I would have gotten out today.”

I told hubby this joke last month during our wedding anniversary. He chuckled briefly, then after some deep thought said, “If I had another choice, I would still choose you.”

“Awww… that is so sweet.”

I held his hand and put it on my cheeks. I wanted to apologise for all the times I had been mean to him. If we were not in a public place, I would have kissed him.

I was feeling all warm and fuzzy until he added, “I can’t imagine starting from zero with anyone else and then going through all the drama afresh, with someone else.”

He shook his head at the horror of such an ordeal. I dropped his hands and sat back.

“Oh,” he said, looking alarmed that his statement was going to be the one that took this celebratory dinner downhill. 

“I am not even offended. I feel the same, come to think of it,” I remarked. 

I wish I could say that ours has been an experience of wedded bliss. But I would be lying. We have had some of the most difficult conversations, heated arguments and dramatic conflict since that day we both eagerly agreed to be one. 

And eager we were, skipping pre-marital counselling for more urgent and serious matters such as meeting the wedding photographer, rushing the marriage counsellor to skip the other lacklustre topics and jump to the very last topic, the one titled “Sex and Intimacy.”

We felt that it was punitive that we, all grown up, we're expected to remain celibate until after the nuptials. We were impatient. Hubby almost caused a riot when the pastor asked us to consider moving our wedding date to the following week.

Oh, how I wanted to share my bed with this son of Adam without anyone judging me. Finally, someone to love, cherish, adore and to spoil me. Someone to read my mind, fill any vacuums in my soul as I did the same. How he wanted this perfect woman, his compatible mate to come and perfectly complete him.

How unprepared we were for marriage, as it turned out. We had all these mostly unrealistic, unspoken expectations of each other. I expected him to right all the wrongs any man, starting from my father had ever committed against me.

On his side, hubby expected me to live up to the image he had sculptured in his mind, of a perfect, surreal wife. In reality, I met a normal dude who considered annoying pranks hilarious jokes and hogged beddings.

Oh yes, and snored and did all the other extremely annoying stuff that men do, such as finding a clean, dry bathroom and leaving pools of water in random places on the floor but never on the bathroom mat.

He, in turn, met an ordinary woman who learned to cook and fold from YouTube and one who passed over the baby to him for burping as she went back to her sleep after breastfeeding. 

Looking back, the best times we have had in our marriage are the times we managed our expectations of each other. 

Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. karimigatimi@yahoo.com

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