20 THINGS I LEARNT IN 20 YEARS OF MARRIAGE
By Bisi Adewale
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Our Journey of matrimony started 20 Years ago at exactly 11:45am on May 4th, 2002 at Christ Gospel Apostolic Church, Alekuwodo Osogbo, Osun State.
In those 20 eventful years, it has been a period of learning, earning, growing, knowing and moving forward. It has been years of schooling indeed. Practical school of life with the privilege of mentoring others as we move on together.
1: YOUR SPEED IS DETERMINED BY BOTH OF YOU
One great lesson I have learnt early in marriage is the fact that the speed of people in marriage is determined by both of them, not just by one, so if they work together they get the result. If they fight instead of moving on, both will suffer for it.
The Picture of ‘’one-legged race’’ in my primary school always comes to my mind, one leg each of two people will be tied together and they have to run 100 meters dash together, they have to merge their strengths, weaknesses, techniques etc to be able to get a good result.
This is exactly the picture of marriage. Not just our kegs are joined together, life, vision, future and destinies are joined together. IF WE WORK AS A TEAM AND NOT AT WAR IN THE TEAM WE CAN WIN OUR WAR.
2: IF YOU EMPOWER YOUR WIFE, YOU ARE ONLY EMPOWERING YOURSELF
If you support your wife or husband to succeed in his or her career, you are only helping yourself. I saw this playing out in my marriage and the marriages of others around me.
Lots of people attack their spouses’ sources of income when things go wrong in the marriage. When a man fails to empower his wife, if anything happens to him, relatives will turn his children to house boys and girls.
3: WOMEN ARE TRULY FE-MALES
Until I got married I did not know the true meaning of the word “Female”, sometime after my wedding read it somewhere that the true meaning of “Female” is “Male-with feelings, Feeling-Male”. This is true of all women, if you want to be a great husband you must learn how to feed her emotion and take good care of her feelings.
4: GOD WILL BE VERY IMPORTANT IN ALL THE WAYS
Lots of people involve God in their choice-making but do neglect him soon after their wedding. I realized that you will need God more in marriage than in choice making. In fact, you will need him on the journey all the way. In pregnancy, delivery, raising of your children, family living, you will need each other.
5: SEX WILL NOT ALWAYS BE WHAT YOU THINK
Lots of youths went into marriage with the big expectation of explosive sex in their marriage. Some guys even think of 24/7 sex. Wao, marriage is not like that, sex in a marriage can be explosive, and at times dry or non-existence. You remember that the woman will be préfaçant, mensuration, just delivered, sick, tired, have night ‘’Headaches’’, will travel, be busy with her career etc.
All these will affect sex in marriage, but lots of young ones do make sex thé reason they are getting married. Their disappointment will start after “Yes, I do”.
6: YOU NEED TO DEVELOP SPOUSAL BIAS
In marriage, I learnt that there will be lots of times you will need to choose between some people and your wife. This may be your family, neighbours, friends, career etc.
Knowing that the wife or husband should come first after God is very important to the success of any marriage, being biased in favour of your spouse is the key to the health of any home.
7: HEALTH IS VERY IMPORTANT
Two incidents happened to people around me in 2010 that woke me up from my slumber as far as health issues and healthy living is concern. These incidents made me realize that investment in health is very important and that If you neglect your health you are only preparing yourself for constant hospital visits and costly and painful treatments.
8: MONEY WILL ALWAYS BE IMPORTANT
People marry for love, but they are going to live together spending money. I discovered that Romance will be easy when there is finance, my experience counselling lots of Couples made me to always say jokingly that if you want your Wife to call you Honey give her Money, if you don’t give her Money she will think you are Monkey.
9: THERE ARE VULTURES IN MARRIAGE
I got to know very early in marriage that there are some people called vultures around marriages. These vultures most of the time are people very close to you, your friends and family members. Yes, they can be the worst enemies of your marriage.
When a marriage has issues most family members take a side on their own and fight the spouse dirty. This results to a very difficult marriage. They make the home more difficult for their family member, makes reconciliation impossible or difficult.
I got to know that people that love you can be the number one enemy of your marriage. In showing you love they can hurt your Marriage dearly.
10: WALLS AND BOUNDRY IS TO BE BUILT
I discovered years ago that there are two vultures that can destroy a home and we need to handle them differently.
To the vultures that are far like friends and ex’s we need to build walls to protect our marriages. But for our families that we can not run away from, we need to build boundaries.
11: A BROKEN GLASS CUP SHOULD NOT LEAD TO BROKEN MARRIAGE
During our wedding, a good friend of mine gave us a set of glass cups as a wedding gift. I love these cups passionately as they are blue in color and very beautiful.
One day my new bride was about to serve our food, she put one of the cups inside the train and the cups roll down and broke into pieces. I was very sad, but I got up to help her. To my surprise, another cup got broken in her hands in almost the same situation a few days later but my concern was her safety and not the cups, but I was not happy that two of my precious twelve cups are gone.
A few days later, I wanted to pick something from the Fridge, on the same fridge where the remaining cups and the fridge shook and all the cups came down at the same time and broke, she broke two within a week, I broke ten within a minute. If I had abused or fought her for breaking my precious cups what do you expect her to do when I broke all the remaining ten in a minute? Lesson leant, broken cups should not lead to broken marriage
12: LIFE IS IN PHASES PEOPLE ARE IN SIZES
One thing I learned so early in marriage is never to compete with anybody.
People do buy what they don’t need or can’t afford to impress people they don’t like and oppress people that do not like them and they do end up in debt and penury.
Reading S.M.O Aka Book titled My Fathers’ Car in secondary school really help me to prepare for a life that is not based on competing with others but on completing your own race, this really helped.
13: IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PERFECT SPOUSE YOU NEED TO LOOK AMONG ANGELS
Marriage will teach anybody in it that he or she is not perfect and his or her partner can never be perfect. This really helps as we step into the journey of marriage and we have to disagree on whether the light should be ‘Off’ or ‘On’, I wanted the light On when sleeping but she wanted it off, if the light is On she won’t be able to sleep, it cause lots of issues when we just got married. That proves we are both human and never perfect.
14: THE JOURNEY OF MARRIAGE INVOLVES BEING STRONG TOGETHER
I learnt that the Journey of marriage involves being strong together and fighting for your future together.
We had our own share of battles that we fought together through God, is the battles of losing the roof of our house the day our first child was three years old and became homeless for about a month, or the loss of my younger brother and my father within a month interval, loss of my father-in-law when it was least expected. Sickness of our daughter that needed urgent surgery, or my leg that needed to be operated upon with our annual Couples Conference a few days away.
We overcame all these because we stood together, cried together, rejoiced together and won together. It is a great lesson. You can’t win your w ar when you fight alone or fight each other.
15: A HOME NEED A HOUSE
Two years into our marriage my father-in-law, we fondly called him ‘Baba Akede’ suddenly showed up one day in my house, he drove all the way from Oshogbo to see me.
Later that night he took me out personally to discuss with me. He asked me when are you moving into your own house? The question was not expected at all as we just got married and tried to settle down, the talk of building or buying a house was not there at all.
The old man made me know that a home can not exist without a house. He also said the longer I wait to build the more difficult it will be to build as children will start to come, responsibilities will be rising for about 25 years until the first child graduate from school and by then he said I may be in my 50s or knocking 60s. He also said I don’t need money to build a house, I only need vision.
Baba Akede’s words became my guiding principle I ended up moving into my own house within two years of his visit.
16: PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS BE HUMANS BUT YOU NEED TO STICK TOGETHER
My 20 years in marriage is like going to the ‘’University of the People’’ I learnt that people will always behave as humans, but I have to stick with my wife.
Many that we greatly trusted became great disappointment, many that we helped and supported turned it against us and slam it against us.
In all these I learnt great lessons, couples must stick together in face of liars, backstabbers, haters and hypocrites.
17: IN-LAWS MANAGEMENT WILL ALWAYS BE A TECHNICAL ONE
Two sets of In-laws are involved in every marriage. The husband’s family will be the wife-in-law and vice versa. All young couples will have to deal with this set of in-laws and issues may arise from any side. But in Africa, most issues do arise from the husband’s family, the wife-in-law, and most especially from the principal in-law, the Mother-In-law.
Early in our marriage, we made clear to ourselves how to handle both families and how to stick together and not allow people to come between us but to take care of our family members to the best of our ability most especially our parents and younger ones. This really works for us.
18: CONTINUOUS LEARNING IS THE KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF ANY MARRIAGE
I meant in a marriage that nobody will ever be a graduate, forget about the certificate they gave you on your wedding day. Please note that what they gave you was a WEDDING CERTIFICATE, not a MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE. they gave you a certificate of participation in the wedding, for attending the Wedding, not a certificate that you are too good to make a marriage work. Always remember that a WEDDING CERTIFICATE IS A LEARNER’S PERMIT, not a DRIVERS LICENCE.
19: MARRIAGE IS A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT
The journey of marriage is not a 100 meters dash or 4 by 100 relay. It is a marathon. Marathon involves running for a long time, Climbing Mountains, Valleys, Streams, Hills, Cities, and Villages. Marriage also involves many years, issues, decisions, talking, working, making money, spending it together, fighting wars, winning battles, giving birth to children, raising them, meeting people, losing them, working, vacation, stress, sickness, healings, loving each other, hurts, forgiveness, conflict resolutions and lots more.
Lots of young ones do go into marriage just to fulfil their lusts, meet present needs, based on emotion, tipsy of love like a drunken man. The journey of Marriage Marathon will open their eyes.
20: WHEN YOU STOP DATING, YOUR MARRIAGE STARTS DYING: It happened to me some time in my marriage but I later realized that when a couple stops dating, their marriage starts dying immediately. The gradual decline will not be noticeable at first, but gradually you will see it.
It starts with hurts, to offences, to arguments to speaking cutting words to each other, and then full-blown fights and endless bickering.
When warring couples see a counsellor to settle disputes they will talk about their offences but will fail to note that, their misunderstanding did not start the decline in their marriage but failure to connect, to intimate and deliberately spend time together to play, gist and connect with a babylike innocence.
You see marriage involves two imperfect people and you will need to deliberately create time to connect despite many things that will be trying to take your attention.
That is why I suggest RULE 2-2-2 For your marriage
Rule 2: Going on a date every two weeks with your spouse only for at least two hours
Rule 2: Sleeping out on a date every two months for at least one night.
Rule 2: Going on vacation for at least one week every two years.
I thank God for the journey of 20 years that can be described as blissful, joyful and successful. I give all glory to God and I celebrate this exceptional woman, Olori Yomi Adetutu Adewale
WEDDING ANNIVERSARY BONUS
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