Who would have thought, the girl I found to be incredibly loud and seemingly incapable of sitting still would become my wife. We met approximately 20 years ago and and the first impression I had of her was not a good one. In hind sight, the situation may have been exacerbated by my frustration on losing a basketball game I had just been ejected from moments before she made her appearance.
I was sitting on the picnic bench in school fuming over losing a basketball game and out she comes screaming at the top of her lungs just running out of the washroom with her friends. The high pitched laughter was followed by a dagger Iike stare from me that would have floored her should such a thing be possible. Fast forward two decades and this same woman is the love of my life, my best friend and mother of my children.
Five years flew by so fast, I actually had to calculate to be certain. I guess the sheer disbelief in the actual time transpired could be an indication or evaluation of our marriage. Growing up, we hear all these unfortunate stories of how difficult marriages are and not enough success stories and what it takes to make it work.
I am by no means claiming to have the answers but simply want to share what has worked for us thus far. Knowing each other in what I like to call the 3 stages of character development helps a lot. We knew each other in our teens, our young adult life and as adults. We were blessed to have known each other and have that experience to pull from. Unfortunately not everyone has the fortune of knowing their partner for that duration of time.
Another major characteristic we share was a promise to never go to bed angry at one another. As trivial or unrealistic as it may seem, we have managed to do just that for five years unfailingly. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying it was easy. When you’re in an argument with your partner, it can be quite easy to give in to pride and anger just to prove you’re right. That temptation is all too real and I’m glad to say what has helped us was our premarital counseling. What we learnt served us greatly. Obviously we don’t remember everything, but we remember some key components.
We remember, love, patience and communication. The latter is by far the most difficult to do which is what often creates friction in most marriages. Communication is much more complicated to achieve than simply permitting words to come out of your mouth. Our very first argument as a couple was truly a defining moment. I’ve forgotten what the fight was about but I will never forgot how the fight progressed. During our first argument I noticed my wife’s tone and voice increased and she started shouting while trying to get her point across. I found this infuriating and the first instinct was to shout at her much louder but then I thought about my response carefully and told my myself, I did not want that sort of marriage and how I react could set the tone for the marriage. I calmly, with an angry expression in my face told her, ” Oi (don’t know where “oi” came from but when I opened my mouth, there it was) don’t raise your voice at me, I’m right in front of you and can hear you fine”. Catching herself in the act, she proceeded to lower her tone. After which we talked and decided we would never raise our voices at each other in anger because it just was not necessary and we were not going to be that sort of couple. Whenever my wife and I have an argument, we ensure we do not go to bed angry.
It can be challenging to see it through but in those heated moments, ensuring you swallow that pride and not give in to the anger, you’re rewarded with a happier, functional married life. Here’s to many more years, and many more lessons to be learnt on this journey.