The transition from single to married comes with its excitement and also worries – it is a big adjustment. It can feel like everything has changed in an instant and this transition comes with a lot of responsibilities.
A person may have different expectations before going into marriage but what actually is the reality? Skabash! met with married Nigerians between the ages of 25 and 49, who were currently married for at least one year, to share their experiences.
We asked them about their expectations of married life and what the reality is. Here is what they said:
My expectation before marriage was to have a friend with whom I’d share the same vision, mindset, and prospects together. I wanted to go out and come back with my kids hugging me and my wife giving me a peck. I wanted a good job and peace of mind to serve God. Now to the reality of marriage. My first-year experience was lovely. It was going as planned with God’s help. But when the challenge of life came, it became the survival of the fittest. It’s only those with God that could stand in this time I’m talking about. But all the way long, God has been helping us.
My expectations were not much; just mutual respect, companionship and growth basically. Did the first year of my marriage meet my expectations? I would say yes and no…lol. Yes, because it did meet up my expectations so many times. But then, there are times it didn’t. I have learnt that, just like life itself, marriage is in seasons. There are seasons when my expectations were met and there are seasons they weren’t.
Expectation – Well, unlike most couples, we were matched by a mutual mentor and teacher. The first time I saw her, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. However, after a while, I realized the kinda Gold I struck. She’s one of the best blessings Allah has endowed me with!… Now, prior to meeting her, I’d never dated anyone in the real sense of dating. Nonetheless, I had a goal and objective of ensuring anyone I get married to enjoys marriage with me. Perhaps, that accounts for certain surprises she displayed when we first got married because she’d ask why I do such and such for her…..I just smiled and told her…..that’s how I’ve always wanted it to be. …Lol. Marriage, however, is not a bed of roses hence, the regular fantasies will fade away, the beauty will be consumed with time and the same with wealth. In my opinion, marriage is RESPONSIBILITY. One you must nurture with care and be ready to pay the price. You’ll see each other in your most vulnerable state and being responsible will help a lot. I didn’t exactly have many expectations in my marriage, let’s just say because I met the right woman for me. The reality is there are times we get into argument but we have never allowed an argument to fester beyond 24hrs since we got married 6 years ago. I’m always quick to say ‘I’m sorry’ perhaps because again, you have to be responsible!… Most times when you fight, you forget it’s not about the fight but how you fight! For me, I choose not to fight too long so it doesn’t degenerate into name-calling, looking for ways to hit each other below the belt when you can just say the MAGIC word – “Sorry” and move on.
I had a proper wedding in 2010, before then I had 2 children with my wife. Before I made the marriage decision, my mom had always pressured me; she used to remind me that my brother and sister were married and that I’m the one left. Around that time, I felt the street (single life) was still sweet. I courted my wife for seven years. My expectation before marriage was that things will be easy and go smoothly because then, I was using a car. I also thought I would be able to continue my lifestyle as a street guy – go out in the evening with friends to catch fun, drink and flex. But after marriage things changed, and responsibility fell in. Taking care of a baby and it wasn’t easy buying pampers and baby food. I scaled through the challenges of those times with my wife. Before marriage, I made decisions alone but after getting married me and my wife decide on things together. I realized that two heads are better than one. My marriage is a huge blessing in my life. Before marriage, I was a mechanic, but today with the support of my wife I now have an important position in a big company, father of four children, own four houses, and two cars and I’ve travelled to the UK, Switzerland, France and some other countries. My wife pushed me to success. If I knew marriage will be this sweet, I would have gotten married earlier than I did.
For me, let’s say I wasn’t expecting much, maybe because of past experience from parents and elder sisters or probably because I knew my spouse to be a great person and I’ve prepared my mind for what’s to come regardless. My first year was very smooth, and I pray it continues. No man or woman is perfect. And communication is often not done enough. I am the type of person that complains immediately about a particular thing, I don’t allow things to pile up before talking about it. Understanding each other is also key, at times when there is a fight and he says some harsh words, I usually take it seriously and get mad about it, but over time I realized he doesn’t even remember what he said and does not even mean them. For someone like me, I will still make him apologize and then we move on. In a nutshell, pray for a good spouse, and take your time to check for a compassionate, generous, supportive, and caring person. Because honestly, these are what I indeed looked out for before deciding on who to go with. Keep your expectations to the barest minimum so as to avoid heartbreak…Be grateful and appreciate if they exceed your expectations.
The reality of marriage is evidently different from what most people would expect. Like Cosmos, you might think that the first year would be smooth sailing, with no bumps in the road or stressful moments, and in some cases, it’s like that, but not always. It’s a time of adjustment as you get used to each other and if there’s anything the people we spoke to have shown, it’s that life isn’t all roses and rainbows; you have to work at it.