What To Expect in Marriage (Only the Good Stuff)
Bum Slaps Make Good Marriages
Mr and Mrs. A* have been my parents’ friends for as long as I can remember. They always had smiles on their faces, always smelt good, were always happy! Always happy. One day, after yet another cheerful visit to our house, they chose to show themselves out and headed for their car. As they headed out, up our driveway, unaware that I was at the window, watching them go, Mrs. A slapped Mr. A on the bum and then they burst into silent giggles.
Hmmn. I cocked my head to the side.
I mean, this was new and not so new. My parents did stuff like that but just in front of us, not in front of other peoples’ houses. Public, flirtatious bum slaps were not very common in my town. Definitely never saw those in Agbeni or Mokola market. Oh wait… yes, I did but it was gross, it involved a bus conductor and a hawker and has no bearing on this blog post.
Anyway, Mr and Mrs A were old. Like old, old. They had like 4 grown kids, so this wasn’t newlywed stuff. As they stepped out of our gate, they whispered and chuckled and then Mrs. A's hand came to rest lightly on his waist, a very friendly, intimate gesture.
To my 6 year-old self, it was like 'Whao, this thing called a happy, fun marriage isn’t rare at all!' This marriage thing was going to be a breeze and the flirtations would last forever! We’d giggle and smack our bums all day. What could be better than that?
Much later in life, I would come to appreciate mum, dad and their friends so much more because I realized that to have that quality of a relationship, they must have put in a lot of effort. I’m not saying bum-slaps make good marriages, well, I am. Kind of. Lol. The love, regard, honor, flirtations and friendship.
I would also realize that my marriage becomes whatever I imagine it to be and that being around good couples that provide the right picture of what a marriage should be is important!
I'm very much aware that not everyone has/had good models for this but if you look well enough, you have models in your life right now. God always tucks templates in your life; templates worth emulating!
Alright, alright Ike, we’ve heard. What should I expect in marriage?
First, we can only expect these things if we are willing to put in the work and prayers! Deal? This is where you say, "Deal."
1. Bum Smacks (you guessed it!)
Marriage is serious but it isn't uptight. You should expect a free, fun, warm atmosphere which involves a lot of laughter and contentment!
Marriage is fun! It's the exclusive selection and preference of one individual above all others, based on a mutual understanding and appreciation of the other person's abilities and characteristics, both good and bad. It's all fun and games most of the time. The bible says, the sounds of rejoicing is always heard in the tent of the righteous (married or not, for our purposes let's use 'married'). I just imagined living in a tent with Ed. Post idea!
2. Hello, Eden!
In marriage, all is laid bare. Like naked-bare. Literally.
So yeah, you guys are naked a lot, hopefully. You also begin to reveal your true, true nature.
I won't lie to you, stuff gets real in marriage. Suddenly you wake up and realize that the gap teeth which you fell in love with, turned out to be actually customized dentures. You realize oops, that was a wig, her lashes aren't that long and she has a beard. You realize he snores like a 1978 model tractor and apparently wears a tummy clincher (for men), it turns out they have those too. Copy-cats!
Still, you realize it's beautiful and worth it.
3. Serial Finish lines
Marriage is a huge marathon with other little marathons in it. People change. I wish that wasn't true but it is. People change and every time they do, you begin to run a mini race, where you both are tied at your ankles, like a three-legged-race type thing. You have to keep going, evolving on each other, loving each other and winning all the races as a couple and tapping bums! This would be a good time to slap your significant other's bum, just because. Make this post worth it.
4. A Slay Mate
I have tried praying by myself about particular issues and the results were staggering but when two people are united and pray- uhwee! Things get a little violent, results come, progression comes. Pray together. I don’t mean doze-pray. Lol. I mean conscious, heart felt, heaven-jerking prayers!
5. A Better You
I learnt this in my first year of marriage! Marriage makes us better versions of ourselves. How? Disagreements shave off pride. Every time you choose to take the high road, some pride gets mowed off! In no time, you will become a better person. Choosing to end quarrels quickly and well, discussing the issues and ways to be better makes this thing a breeze.
6. Learning Everyday and Talking About Farts
We learn everyday in marriage, it’s always a different day, a different lesson. First to say again: marriage is not really about you, it’s always about the other person. In learning to love and serve your spouse, you become the best version of yourself!
We also talk about our failures and farts, stuff that embarrass us and the fears that imprison us and we work together to get rid of those.
7. A Sudden Realization That Your Marriage is Unique and a Little too Hot to Handle
Ok, I’m probably not the first to say this one: there is NO ONE like you and absolutely no one like your sig. other! Therefore, you can’t ever have a marriage like anyone else’s. We have to remember to never superimpose other people's marriages on ours. Your marriage is precious, unique and exciting, with a message to share with the world! There is a place for mentoring and emulation of positive habits but there’s no space for destructive comparison or things will definitely implode and then there will be absolutely no bum slaps- and we can’t have that!
Hey, what are your thoughts? What were/are your expectations about marriage? Any fun marriage mentors in your life?