Helping You Build A Relationship You Can All Be Proud Of

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Some of you reading this message are single and intend to marry. Some of you have proposed and others have been proposed to. Some of you are in serious relationships leading to marriage. Some of you do not have any man or woman in your lives. No problem; we are in February and you can meet someone and in less than 8 months get married. So if you are reading this, there is hope for you and there is something I want to share with you. 

Before you marry, have a thorough premarital counseling. It is very important. There are some traits and attributes in your potential spouse the effects of which might only come up in the future. Counseling will open your eyes to them and it can help you decide whether you want to go on with the marriage or not, and should you want to go on, steps to take to accommodate or manage these traits and attributes. Counseling will also help you identify what to do and what not to do to have the best of your marriage. Again, It will open your eyes to many things and give you better meanings to them. I will recommend Bishop Dag Heward-Mills’ ‘Model Marriage’ to anyone who wants a counseling material to read. 

Another thing I want to mention is for you to find yourself a mentor or someone who is old and mature and commands certain amount of respect in your eyes, and be accountable to. YOU would need someone who can look you in the face and rebuke or correct you if you are going wayward. Esther had Mordecai, David had Nathan, Hezekiah had Isaiah, Solomon and his son Rehoboam, however, had no one; which was why things did not go as God planned for them.

Start saving Money or start buying stuff towards the wedding and the life thereafter, especially if you are already in a relationship. Have a separate bank account for that purpose and save in there. Decide how much you would want to put in there on monthly or weekly basis. You can make it a percentage of whatever income that comes to you. When the time comes for buying stuff, Men, let the Women buy their own engagement stuff; Both of you must agree who would wrap them. But of course it must get to the man before the day of the engagement. Men do not insist on buying the engagement stuff otherwise she might end up not using them…ever. If she tells you to go ahead and buy them because of where you are located, or her faith in your taste, fine then. Traditionally the man comes with the stuff; but both of you can agree and buy it together and give them to the man to present. Women, out of respect, use the things brought to you for the engagement. It shows you appreciate them. Some men go through hell raising money to put up engagements and weddings. 

During this period of preparation, there will be a lot of tension; Please fight the issues not the person. Men, soften your stance on some of the issues. Wedding colors, seriously? Do not fight over it with her. Let her choose her colors. Be happy to help if you are invited to. If you are an artist and your wife is color blind yet she insists on choosing the colors, then na waaah for you. Lol. You can still talk to a couple of people she respects and see if they can change her mind to come along with you. If you can’t get her to come along, then allow her; after all the wedding is all about her. The d├ęcor and all that is for her to handle. The food and drinks and all the ko mininis? Well for money sakes, the man has to have a say since he has the cheque book. With the menu, well, let the woman help out unless she is from the greener side of the country where culinary sophistry has not yet landed. With that too, you do not have to fight, you must discuss it. If the man insists, then woman, step back and let the man contract a caterer he feels can do a better job. But men, remember it is a lifetime event; do not play ego with it.

Men are not supposed to see the wedding dress (Or so is the idea) so either she is buying her own stuff or you are giving her money to buy it. The only exception is where he is located where a better collection of wedding gowns are available and has to buy it and bring it to the woman. Men back off from her accessories.

Both of you must agree on the number of people in the bridal party. Discuss with your bridal party if they would want to take up the cost of their own clothing. If they are willing, then you are blessed; it is money saved. If they are not willing to foot that cost, well then, you’ve got to consider the number of people in the party… unless you have cash to pay for it all. Ladies want to have it all large and long; are you willing to foot the cost? If not, let the man have a say. Do not drain him. 

Both of you must agree on the choice of metal for your rings. Yellow Gold is perfect, White Gold is en-vogue, and platinum is the ish. Rose Gold, however, is gradually taking over. If you can’t afford gold, silver is not bad…for starters. Ladies do not put pressure on the men to buy Platinum rings when he can’t afford many other things. And do not force him into getting you a ring with a huge stone which will cost him a fortune. After all it is just a wedding; there is the real life of marriage to live after the wedding, do not enter it bankrupt. After a year or two you can 'remix' your wedding and introduce more beatz and glitz into it. 

Ladies, be willing to soften your stance on the date to have the event. He is the man so give him that respect. If you have genuine reasons why it has to be done on date A or B, discuss it with him. No drama, no emotional blackmail. Do not attempt to influence his choice of clothes unless you both agree you can help him out in a better way. Always talk to his best man if he proves difficult on any issue….unless the best man is worse off… then you can talk to a trusted brother or cousin or his father. If by this time you do not have that relationship with his family, cancel the wedding…you are not ready to marry. 

Both of you must agree to the choice of venue for the reception…again, it is all money matters. Ladies, do not force your men to hire a place that will cost him his bank account. I agree it is once in a life time event; but I also know for a fact if that once-in-a-life-time-event goes off the cliff, you may not even have your peace  of mind to get your groove on on your honeymoon (ooppss that did not come out bad)

Yes I agree some marriages must suit the family name or social standing; if the lady has the name, well it is not for the guy to put up a show that only impress people in the name of the lady. If the guy is in the financial position to do that, fine; otherwise, the lady must greatly support him, after all is it not her name we are showing off? It is only fair and it show consideration. Some ladies, I am afraid, are losing men, because of the type of weddings they want to have which tend to be more than what the guys can afford. If you want a royal wedding just so people around you feel you have ‘arrived’, fine, let the guy tell you what he can afford and take up the difference. otherwise date a prince. Don't date a hustler and ask for a Buckingham Palace wedding. Are we on the same page? Great. 

Agree on the programme and all who will play a part. If a particular name or activity is proving thorny, scrap it out completely and move on. Not a single name or activity is more important than how far you two have come and where you are going. 

If you fight over something in the course of your preparation and you force a compromise, be careful not to change your mind because someone else told you to. It is insulting to your partner who might feel you respect other people’s view more than theirs. Before you went into that big fight over the issue, you should have first consulted whoever you want to consult. Let you and your partner’s decision be the final decision. Some people agree to do one thing and then one of them goes to do something else because a friend or sibling advised them otherwise. Be mindful of that. 

Lately, people go to weddings to SEE what people will do and go and gossip about it, if you know what I mean. Be careful in your choice of people you invite. Unless you are an assemblyman who will lose an election if the entire town is not invited, then you do not need to invite everyone. What is the worse that can happen for not inviting everyone? 300 people max. Print a max of 150 invitation cards and give it to people you want to specially invite. For everyone else, there is WhatsApp. Make everyone who get the card count. But if you can fill up Wembley and make everyone feel like heaven, why not. Oh and about that third grade plastics and wall hangings as wedding gift? Let's end it. at the very bottom of the Invitation card, nicely write this: the couples would appreciate it if all your free will gifts are in the form of money. Thank you. In this case, you have eliminated those gifts you hardly ever use... I mean five wall hangings with the same inscription from five different people is not cool. when they give you money, you decide on what to buy. 

Pray a lot during your preparation. You would need God to clear some obstacles from your way. If the man or woman is the wrong one, you would need God to chase them out even if it is two days before the wedding. You need God to bring help your way, you need God to help you with life after the wedding. You need God to open your/her womb; you need God to bless you with a new job or to stabilize your employment. You need God for a million things. Pray. Some of you come from ‘Hard homes’ and you need God to close some gates and open others. You need some fire to watch over you at night and some angels to war on your behalf. Pray.

Agree to disagree and move on. 

You would need a lot of psychological adjustments. Now the bed is not for you alone, the closet it shared, your room outlook would change, when you come home and go out will change, who comes to visit and when they come and go will change. The fluidity with which you take decisions would also change. Many things would change. Now men must bath twice a day, (Lord, why us?) wash their feet when they come home from work and all that. Ladies must make sure there is food in the house…always. The ‘I’ must be replaced with ‘We’ even if it is you or him/her. There is nothing like too much or too little sex. How did you know? Who did you talk to? No one told you to have all those premarital experiences…they are now haunting you. Silence those voices or soon, you will be looking for more sex or less sex out of your marriage. Sex is sex. Take it or give it as and when it is available. [I know this might sound overly simplistic] There would be the need for all these adjustments. 

But in all of these, one thing is crucial; that we respect each other’s office. That the woman keeps it on her mind, the man is a man and the man must remember to treat the woman as a woman. As a woman you do not insist that a man goes to the kitchen and as a man you do not insist the woman brings money for the upkeep of the house and pay the bills. Men should help their wives in the kitchen as a free will gift and let the women help their men financially and willingly. You both know the load on each other as they try to take charge of their family duties. The children and their upkeep are a shared responsibility, doing the laundry is a shared responsibility, cleaning of the house is a shared responsibility. However if a man decide he will not lift a finger to help, wife, do what is still expected of you. Fighting him would not make him change his mind; you rather make him more antagonistic and place him in an entrenched position. If the woman decides not to help the house with a penny, man, you cannot decide not to perform your duties. It is your duty to provide for the family whether she helps out or not. Do it. 

Let not the woman contend with the man. She will be miserable – she will be tormented by God and by the man. Let no man treat his wife with contempt and dishonor and irreverence – he will never prosper and God will deal bitterly with him some day; dishonor and shame he will also get. Let each one of you treat the other well; it pleases God and makes for a strong and lasting marriage. 

Ah…what can I say… I can type all day…except I might get boring….Let us end it here and find more time to talk more on this. 

~PG Sebastian 2013~ 
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