This is how to turn your relationship into marriage…
HOW TO TURN YOUR RELATIONSHIP INTO MARRIAGE
Welcome back to Part 2 of our discourse on turning your relationship into a marriage.
If you missed the first part, you can read it by clicking the link below:
Today, we are going to diagnose the kind of relationship you are in.
After that, we will test your relationship to find out if it has the basic ‘weight’ to stand a good chance of turning into marriage.
There are two types of relationships, basically:
- A sexual relationship, where you and your partner engage in sex
- A non-sexual relationship where abstention is key until marriage is sealed.
Right, that is also out of the way.
Before we delve into the two aspects of relationships as outlined above, let us diagnose your relationship right now, and see if it is a ‘healthy’ one that stands a great chance of making it to the altar.
This is based on the assumption that:
- You are two single adults who hopefully want to get married and are in a firm relationship
- You’re not in a relationship with someone who is already taken, or married. In other words, you are not in that horrible ‘side chick’ or ‘toy boy’ category
- Your relationship is NOT that awful ‘friends with benefits’ category where you just meet to have sex with no strings attached.
If you’re in the first category (two single adults in a focused relationship), we can continue from there.
That means if you are in a relationship with a married man, or woman, and want to turn that into marriage, this article is definitely not for you! Sorry!
So, before we address the issue of turning your relationship into marriage, let’s diagnose your relationship now!
A good relationship that will stand a good chance of ending at the altar of marriage should have, at least, prerequisite elements of love and commitment.
In other words, your relationship stands a greater chance of surviving and ending in marriage if, from the very onset, there is a form of love and commitment.
These two have, in a way, been concepts that have been a little hard to define, and often been interchangeable.
So, before we continue, I want you to take a very close look at your relationship and examine it frankly!
Find out if indeed, there is love and commitment between the two of you.
WHAT IS LOVE?
There must be love in the relationship.
Now, hold on a minute, don’t start rolling your eyes yet with that ‘there’s no love, love is cultivated’ attitude.
Love, in all its true form, must be present in your relationship, yes.
I don’t mean the kind of love which is from a page of your “Ideal partner attributes” which your pastor gave you. I am not talking about the checklist you have:
he must have a car, a house, be employed, be tall, be dark, have a sense of humour…check, check, check, check!
Yeah, they’re important checklists, yes, but that’s not what MUST determine whether you love somebody or not.
So what kind of love am I talking about?
It is the kind of love that binds, that makes both of you FEEL you simply can’t fill the void which the absence of your partner will create.
This love holds both of your hearts and finds expression in pure joy when you see each other.
Recently, I heard a story.
Two people who loved each other got married, and during the reception, the groom tried to lift his bride for a photoshoot session, and in the process, he had an SCI, which stands for Spinal Cord Injury.
This new groom who was yet to make love to his wife became completely paralyzed immediately from the neck down!
In a way, only his head was functional. Everything else was off!
He begged his new wife to divorce him because he just couldn’t allow her to suffer this outcome and spend the rest of her life taking care of an invalid who couldn’t even make love to her, or give her children!
Now, what would you have done in this situation?
If you had been the wife, would you have stayed or left?
Now, if the woman had just married because the man fit her checklist of a suitable husband, she would have left him immediately.
Another woman would have stayed because of the fear and stigma she would be subjected to if she left.
People would have said she left her husband because he was sick, and so she would have stayed…
But without love, such a woman, even if she stayed, would cheat seriously on her husband.
Now, if the love is genuine, such a woman couldn’t leave her husband because of a simple reason:
She wouldn’t be happy without him, paralyzed or not!
I also visited a friend’s uncle one day.
I got the shock of my life when I saw the man’s wife. This man is a handsome dude. Tall and muscular, an army man.
His wife was sitting in a wheelchair because she had an accident and lost both legs, so she had only tiny stumps of thighs.
The worse scenario was her face. The accident had disfigured her face so badly that she looked, and I’m sorry for this word, ‘hideous.’
And this happened after their honeymoon. She was driving home when an articulated truck with a drunk driver rolled over her car.
She lost the baby she was carrying and became a shell of a woman.
If you had been her husband, what would you have done?
If the man had married her because of her beauty, or status, or simply because she fit his checklist of an ideal wife, he would have left her immediately.
He would have apologized to her and left her in the care of a nursing home!
Everybody would have understood him, and sympathized with him, you know.
But…he stayed with her, even though she was so ‘hideously disfigured’ and maimed!
He stayed with her for one simple reason:
Love…very strange phenomena.
Yes, real love is about battening down and facing all the odds and still say, you’re the one for me, till the end of the world!
You desire, want, need and simply breathe your partner.
You will go through hell for him or her.
If that feeling is present in your relationship, or a modicum of it, then yes, that is good.
Love grows, yes, and becomes stronger over time!
So make sure that your relationship is based first on love.
WHAT IS COMMITMENT?
Commitment goes beyond the love you feel for each other.
Commitment is about loyalty, openness, honesty, and trust.
Perhaps, you have heard of this cliché:
‘Sometimes love is not enough.’
Yes, people give this reason for a break-up more often than can be documented.
So here is the crunch:
Simply because you love each other isn’t going to tip that scale and plant you on the marriage altar!
Some are lucky, and they indeed ride on this blissful ocean of love to great happiness in marriage without any challenges!
However, most relationships would be buffeted by great storms stemming from the backgrounds of the two people in love!
Some of the challenges might stem from:
- hearing bad and unpalatable stories about your partner!
- your partner’s mother, father or even both can rise up strongly against your union
- the whole family may be fighting tooth and nail to keep you apart
- sometimes you will suffer on the flimsiest of reasons like your tribe, your culture or even the kind of name you bear!
- you might be challenged by employment, religion, beliefs, friends and even history!
Sometimes, the aggression might be so strong and so consistent that you might end up saying, ‘enough is enough! Let’s break-up because loving each other is not enough!’
This is where commitment comes in!
This is where both of you batten down and say no matter what happens, we love each other, and we will face the storm together!
We won’t give up, no matter what, and we will eventually make it and get married!
So commitment embodies love…and something else more rugged, more strong, more unbreakable.
It is the will to stand the test, no matter what!
And it is a mutual effort by both partners to make it work, no matter the challenges they face, and no matter how long it will take!
Having said that, let me sound a note of caution, though:
Sometimes, even where there are love and commitment, the relationship can still break if staying together might cause unsavoury situations in the future.
In this case, the couple might have to re-examine their situation and make’sensible’ choices.
For instance, I know two young people who love each other to death, and are so completely committed to each other that they have decided to go ahead and get married despite the concerns of both families.
So you can see that they have LOVE and COMMITMENT in their relationship.
But what is this concern their families are having?
What is this challenge?
Well, it is simply that both of them have sickle cell anaemia!
The boy has the AS Genotype, and the lady has SS Genotype.
Rather heavy, isn’t it?
For those of you who don’t know much about Sickle Cell Anaemia, it is an inherited red blood cell disorder that affects haemoglobin.
Sickle Cell sufferers have Haemoglobin S which makes the red cells in their blood form into a sickle shape.
When this happens, the sickled cells queue up in the blood, causing a block in the blood flow. This leads to anaemic conditions that are often followed by acute joint pains, and if not quickly and effectively treated, might even result in death.
People who don’t have Sickle Cell have the AA Genotype.
Unfortunately, children get their genotype from both parents!
So, in the instance of the two young couple, the wife with genotype SS could probably have very painful and tricky pregnancies.
She would need constant care, especially during delivery.
Now, since the boy has AS and the girl has SS, it means they can never have children with normal genotype AA since a child always takes one genotype cell from each parent.
So their children would have a combination of genotypes AS and SS!
Their children can never have the normal genotype AA!
So, to make sure their children don’t go through the pain of Sickle Cell anaemia, they could decide not to have children!
If they decide to have children, they should hope that all their children would take the ‘A’ cell from their father, and one ‘S’ from their mother, making them Genotype AS.
This will make the children just carriers of the sickle cell gene.
But research has shown that for every 3 children born in a situation like that, 2 of them ended up as Genotype SS and only one would end up as Genotype AS.
Now, faced with this situation, do you think it is prudent for the two of them to get married?
They have love, yes, and they are 100% committed to each other…
But should they take the risk and cause their children such pain in the future?
Or should they decide not to have children?
would it be prudent to stay committed to each other?
So yes, whilst being in love and staying committed is a great thing that would assure you of a 50% chance of landing on the altar in a wedding bliss, sometimes, especially on health grounds, it just might be prudent to part!
Alright, now that we have got that out of the way, let’s continue.
So, basically, you LOVE your partner, and he LOVES you to death!
You two are so COMMITTED to each other!
There are no health or other dangers to your union!
Great, great, great!
We have not established your relationship as having a great chance of turning into marriage.
And why is that?
You are in love with each other, and you are committed to each other!
So how are you going to turn that into marriage?
We will begin to explore that tomorrow!
But it will be good for your partner to be a part of this exercise too!
So why don’t you send him/her the link to join you as we reveal a few secrets on how to end up happily married?
Don’t miss tomorrow’s edition as we talk about simple things you need to do to turn your relationship into marriage!