Hi people! Howdy! Thanks for your comments and email. I hope I was able to address concerns appropriately. My knowledge is limited so I ask that we all commit all our struggles to God as He knows exactly what we should do.
Today’s topic is something I never really gave any thought to as a single person. I had always assumed that when two people meet and fall in love and get married, they will keep souring on Cupid’s wings, lovingly gazing into each other’s eyes night and day. This is all true until you get married and realize, WHOA- not so at all. Now get me not wrong, you will remain loving each other (hopefully!!!) but that being “in love” bit requires some effort because all the forces are working against you! Let me paint a picture of a typical Lagos working couple:
Adanna, 27, works in an advertising firm in Ikoyi and her husband, Jide, works in an investment bank in VI. They live in an estate after VGC but because Adanna resumes at 9:30 and Jide, at 7:30, they each drive to work separately every day. They have a one year old daughter, Ezinne. Ezinne has not started any form of formal education so they leave Ezinne with her 40 year old live-in nanny, Mama Ope, during the day. The typical arrival time from work for Adanna is 9:30pm. The official closing time is 6pm but no one really leaves the office till about 7:30-8:30pm because her firm is very busy and she has a lot of work to do. Jide’s hours are slightly worse and he gets home at about 10pm on easy days.
They both arrive home tired, stressed yet feeling guilty that Mama Ope is the one raising Ezinne so they spend about an hour to two hours playing with her if only to remind her: we are your parents!!!
Adanna gets into the kitchen each night after returning from work to get stuff done and prepared for the next day. But because she has read Myles Munroe’s books on keeping the marriage bed sizzling, she drags her tired body to the bathroom to take a shower and throw on any form of lingerie she can find. By the time she’s done with her self-preparation, Jide is happily snoring away with Ezinne on his chest (also sleeping). She’s half happy that she gets to sleep and half sad that tonight makes it the 15th night of no sex. “Oh well, we shall try again tomorrow”, she thinks to herself for the third time this week as she gently carries Ezinne to her crib, gets into bed and switches of the light by her side.
I have found out one thing-anything that will survive AND thrive requires hardwork and determination. But before proceeding to work hard, you need to have a very clear picture of what you want and this is applicable to the whole spectrum of life and not just marriage. You need to know how you envision your life. You can even proceed to write it down so that it can easilty be referred to. You need to make a very CONSCIOUS and DELIBERATE effort . You must not go with the flow because the current is very likely to take you in the direction of all the forces. These forces include like Adanna and Jide- busy schedules, distance from work, conflicting work hours, children (in as much as we love them, they are romance killers!!!). All those forces are important in building a well-rounded life: you need to work or you might go hungry. You want and love your children and wouldn’t trade them for the world. So it is up to us as a couple to ensure that we keep the fire burning by fanning the flame, sprinkling some kerosene and for some people, lighting the burnt out fire.
Adanna knows better than to blame her husband for their lack of romance. She definitely won’t be pointing accusing fingers at her little Ezinne either. She has no one at all to blame, not even herself but she needs to make her mind up that her marriage must thrive and sizzle and this should be done consciously.
I have once spoken to a person who schedules sex and other romantic meetings! It sounded crazy to me as I was not yet married, now I see her point. She literally marks the dates on their calendar and they both try to adhere to it like any other appointment they have to keep. I thought then to myself: how unspontaneous and unromantic and mechanical and clinical but according to her “half bread is better than none” and “planned sex is better than no sex”!!!
Another person told me of The List. She writes down what she wants to achieve and works towards it. If it means closing slightly earlier than normal once a week to be able to have dinner out with her husband or to make an elaborate dinner at home or to settle the kids in bed early, she does what she has to do. She has learned that these things do not just happen. She buys lingerie every two weeks and plans the romance. Romance, for her, is 10% natural and 90% planned. No time!
Boyfriend and Girlfriend stolen kisses and excited love doesn’t always come with you into marriage and usually, by the latter half of the first year of marriage, the butterflies would have settled. However, you have the power to rouse them when you put your mind to it. Romance must not die!!!!
So how do you guys do it, for the married ones and how do you plan to do if you are single? Some men have easy lifestyles or are so big on romance that no matter what and no matter how busy they are, they plan romantic events every week or every other week. I have heard that the typical man forgets all about romance once you get married! So what are your thoughts? Do you believe in planning romance or do you believe in going with the flow? If you are a planner, what plans do you make?