We celebrate St Valentine’s Day, and whether we like it or not, it is love we are all celebrating. It is important to note that the things that sustain our various love relationships – Marital and Pre-marital - are not the big, outward and extravagant things, but the little things on the inside that will eventually make the difference on the outside.
A lot of us are living love lives of pretense and they seem OK as long as we smile in the cameras and wave at the crowd and stand excited under the spotlight, everything seem pristine. Yet the people most likely being deceived are we ourselves who know that beyond the veil we are hurting; our relationships are derailed and the fire keeps getting hotter by the day.
There are things that get us into relationships and marriages and there are things that keep us in. Expressions like, “what? He has totally changed” or “She has lost her groove - the thing that got me mad about her is gone.” are common lately. The little little things that we take for granted; the little things we drop with time and the things we begin to think our partners can deal with.
If you are a lady, ask yourself if you wore hair net those days when he said he was coming to visit. Did you wear crumpled dress when he came to visit? Have you forgotten how you made sure he would come and see you all bathed and pimped? Now you do not even care to drag yourself out of bed when he calls to tell you he is on his way.
When was the last time as a married woman you bought a new breathtaking nighty or lingerie? Probably you are still wearing the same old one you took to your honeymoon! You walk around the house ‘bra-less’ with your merchandise hanging loosely and so unattractive. How many times has he come home from work to see you all cleaned up and all smelling fresh? Yea I can hear you making excuses in the name of work and the kids...Go on!
You do not understand why he is looking at his secretary in the office? Well guess what, he only sees the best in her; forget about how she also looks like at home. Why he won’t hug you when he comes home? With all the sweat on you; the scent of salmon and red oil and grease? The few weekends he went to visit his colleague in her house, she was all ready for him; smelling like the queen of heaven – The same thing you used to do when he was dating you. Now you are so busy living that you forget how to live.
There was a time that when he was late, you would wait for him...and that was why he chose you over the other impatient lady. You pretended you could cook and loved cooking; now you are telling him what women can do men can also do...why didn’t you tell him that on your first date?
Young man, what happened to the cards you used to buy for her, the chocolate and the sweet little notes? Where did the door opening, I-will-wait-till-you-are-done-with-your-make-up go? There was a time raising your voice at her was like a taboo and saying am sorry was like a rushing of waves at the beach. You would choose the best dress for her and would iron it as well. Where did it all go?
What happened to the prince charming?
We spend enormous time dressing and living to please the world yet we take the people in our lives for granted. We please everyone; our priests, lecturers, bosses, friends...name it, but never the people we wake up with; people we kiss good morning and good night. People we share all our beings with. They say familiarity breeds contempt...it is so true. Unfortunately that will always cost you because much as we know it is the same everywhere, and every woman or man is another of the same kind, we all still fall for external enticement when we grow tired of the way we are treated in the name of familiarity.
The little things will keep your relationship running not the big things. What will a mansion or the latest car or a big shop already stuffed do on a birthday when the rest of the year it will be cold war, disrespecting, temper tantrum, various forms of abuse and sheer neglect.
Do not be in a relationship and be a ceremonial wife or girlfriend/husband or boyfriend when some chic or dude somewhere is the main person running things. Some women will never leave their men but they give their best to other men. Some men will never leave their women but they give their best to other women. Is this the kind of relationship you are looking for?
Juju? You think someone had juju-fied your partner? No, blame it on your neglect. When your man married you, did you have all these “gathers” around your waist? Now your tummy folds can be geographically studied. Your stretch marks are more visible than tattoos. You want him to take you to the gym before you lose weight? Hmm smh! Keep dreaming...
You have become so obsessed with work young man; so obsessed with your toys – Lappies, Phones, ride and your boys. What happened to the guy who would make magic happen even if traffic was as thick as the earth’s crust...you always got there on time, you blew her mind. How did you do it? Now you can choose to send a text and cancel an appointment without any explanation because you put a ring on her finger. The guts! Well guess what, that sweet, cute [that is how your wife describes him] young man in her office who just relocated from London is looking for a wife...thankfully you do not have kids with your wife yet...so you can do the calculations.
You have now started forgetting her birthday. Oh as for Val’s day, there is nothing special about it; Hmm but there was something special about it when you were dating her.
Do not let go of the little things; the text messages, the ‘I love you’, the chocolates, the cards, the sweet short notes, the call of concern, the various acts of kindness, daily expressions of patience, a lifestyle of love, continual quest for self-improvement, selfless desires and mutual aspirations.
Your thought pattern about your partner will influence how you respond to them and how you react to the things they say or do. If you do not trust them, you will always read meanings into whatever they do. If you are belligerent towards them, you will always be on the offensive or defensive in anything they do or say. If you are tired of them, everything that comes out of them will irritate you. If you love them, you are always blinded to their shortcomings and you will always be patient with them. If you respect them, you submit and obey before you later complain – you will think before you let your tongue cause you trouble. If you honour them, you defend, respect and appreciate them. If you trust them, you believe them.
These things will not happen over-night; it calls for daily practice and conscious efforts. Nothing good comes cheap. To get the desired shape, you must hit it hard, heat it to red or polish it with all its attending friction....but in the end it is the glitter and the spark that we will all laugh to.
Do not be quick today to do a 9-day wonder; sit with your partner and pick up from where you have fallen off. Chart a new course for your relationship. If you know the arrows are pointing at you, be quick to do the first things you used to do. If those things got you your partners, don’t be deceived, we are humans, they will not be happy if you lose them.
In life we have wear and tear and we have neglect. Let your relationship suffer wear and tear not neglect. But even wear and tear can be fixed – it's called maintenance. You have no excuse.
Make it work.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my friends on facebook and around the world.
A Certain George Sebastian.
2011 Val's day