Archive for March 2010

Building Joyful Marriage Relationships

March 18, 2010

The aim of Marryright blog  is to help those engaging in relationships targeted at marriage to do so in a way that has a chance to guarantee joyful marriage relationship.  As I work on my own marriage relationship with my wife, Ada, I see situations and opportunities that produce or enhance our joys and peace.  One opportunity which has impressed itself on my mind strongly recently is doing physical exercise together with my wife and sometimes, as a family.  I decided to share this on this blog today so that those who are already married could try it to improve their relationship while those who are working at a marriage bound relationship could use it to make sure a degree of success in the growing relationship.

My wife is fond of sports.  In fact, she had a sports career in the Police.  When we married, I told her I wanted her to stay as fit and trim as she is without adding  much weight.  She kept her sports work habit of daily fitness activity.  She soon won me over.  I became a fitness buff myself, exercising regularly and encouraging anybody who would listen to me to do so. I was enthralled by how well and fit and healthy these regular exercises made me feel.  Then I started researching on the subject and discovered a whole new world of wellness and I have since stuck with it.

Right now in our family of five – three children and the two of us – there are five bicycles.  My wife and I do separate and sometimes joint workouts sometimes in the mornings or evenings.  At least once a week, mostly Monday nights after the spiritual side of our Family Home Evening, the family file out to the compound and we either jug or ride our bicycles.

Sometime now, I am beginning to notice that hours and days following each fitness activity for my wife and I or with the family, I feel healthy, clear-headed and more attached and agreeable with my wife.  Sometime ago, there was some friction in our relationship.  This produced about a week of pain for me and am sure for my wife.  Then, we found a way to get back together and we had occasion shortly after that to exercise together.  This couple fitness activities created such a connectedness between us that I discovered anew how much I adored my wife and I was able to tell her so which made her glow.  Disagreements are easily sorted out, I also discovered, during those weeks we were able to get together for fitness activity as a couple or as family.

As we all know, one of the challenges of married couples is being able to sit down together and really talk with each other.  Talking to each other is easily accomplished.  But talking with each other is a harder thing to do.  I discovered that after an hour or even less fitness activity together, we can seat on the floor or ground for another hour or more talking, some of the times, excitedly.  I have equally found out that discussing with our children are made easier after running or cycling together for some time in the evenings.

Some of the time, we have exercised in our bedroom nude.  This has on each occasion produced wonderful moments after the exercises.

Dating and courtship partners can start this fitness activity as part of their dating and courtship activity.  It would not just help you to be healthy, it would build a connectedness that would help you make the decision for each other.  However, do not exercise in the nude in the bedroom with a man or woman who has not been legally and lawfully wedded to you.

I invite married couples to try everything proposed in this article and give me a feedback by commenting on this topic.  Also, if you are already doing this with results that authenticate what I have written here, could you let me know by commenting on this blog.  If you have done this without it impacting positively on your romantic moments, let me also know by a comment on this blog.  Dating and courtship partners, let me know by a comment or two when you add this to your relationship activity and what results you get.

Wishing you Joyful Relationships.

Cohabitation: A modern form of courtship?

March 8, 2010

Dear Associates,

I found this article in the Daily Trust newspaper published at Abuja.  It made an interesting reading for me.  I thought I should share this with you.  The two perspectives given here make healthy argument.  However, it is easy to see that the school of thought backing cohabitation has lots of flaws which would assist our blog readers to make wise decision. 

In my book, Foundation For Joyful Relationships, I made it clear that “love is one product you cannot sell by giving out samples”.  I wonder what any man will think about a woman who have had to co-habit with several men while looking for suitable men. 

At Marryright we boldly state that cohabitation is nothing but immorality and whoredom.  Apart from that, cohabitation and premarital sex reduces the chance for marriage relationships to survive.  Nobody learns anything during sexual intimacy.

Read on.

Just looking at a marriage calendar the other day, I noticed the couple were elderly and could easily pass for my parents; they could have been renewing their vows but they weren’t, the couple had just gotten married for the first time. The calendar read “Naomi and James. We have been like this for 18 years”. The couple have had 3 kids in these years, they just never bothered to tie the knot; after all what’s in a piece of paper that says ‘we are married’ when they have lived happily with 3 kids without it. I was later told the man used to have a wife, and since marrying another woman will have amounted to bigamy, he rented an apartment for Naomi and has been living a double life until the demise of his first wife which forced him to legalize his union with Naomi, the calendar wife. My grandmother often said that if you want a man to marry you, then wisdom dictates some measures of ‘playing hard to get,’ and that specifically includes avoiding cohabitation as much as possible. Today however, cohabitation is gradually replacing marriage. It has become the first step live ins take and irrespective of age, culture or religious beliefs, a lot of people are doing it. I read somewhere that cohabiting helps one figure out what it takes to be married to your partner, so if things do not work out, breaking up would be easy as there will be no need to seek legal or religious permission to dissolve the union. And I thought wow! Who benefits from this arrangement? Definitely not the woman I must say. I thought that most women lived with their boyfriends because they believe it is a commitment of some sort, or a prelude to marriage; they do not for once think that most men regard it more as a sexual opportunity without the ties of a long-term commitment. I keep recalling an American psychologist and TV host, Dr Phil’s response to a woman who complained that her live-in boy friend of 8years and father of her 2 kids had refused to legalize their union. Dr Phil looked sternly into the woman’s eyes and asked, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” But when I asked a friend about cohabitation, she looked at me as though I was crazy and boldly said if she didn’t live with a man for a certain period of time then she definitely couldn’t marry him. “How am I supposed to know if everything is in its right place or he is man enough?” Lizzy asked But does that necessarily solve the problem? I pondered. May be in some ways as Lizzy asserted, such as whether both parties are sexually productive or not. But on the other hand, for a woman who hopes to leap into marriage from this arrangement, it only tells the man and his relatives how lose or desperate she is (except in certain situations where customs apply). Even though cohabitation is common in the western world, it is gradually creeping into the African way of life and crippling its values. Sofi Adams an Industrial Attachment staff with a bank in Abuja said she used to visit her boy friend in Lagos and spend the weekend with him. “He didn’t actually ask me to move in because we lived far apart but he used to send money for my flight ticket to go to Lagos for weekends”. The arrangement worked well as Sofi and her boy friend planned to get married after her HND. “We would have married earlier but he insisted I concentrate on my studies and promised to marry me as soon as I graduate from school”. According to her, everything was going so well until the day she went browsing and low and behold! She saw his wedding pictures posted on his face book wall. “He only told me he was travelling out of the country for a few weeks so I wasn’t surprised when i couldn’t reach him on his phone, unknown to me he had changed his number”. Sofi learnt a few weeks after the wedding that her boyfriend’s family didn’t approve of their living arrangements, so thought her unworthy. “His sisters were nice to me whenever I visited for the weekend so I never thought his family disapproved of our arrangement which led him into marrying without my knowledge.” While religion and some customs may disapprove of prenuptial living arrangements, some traditions actually encourage it in order to ascertain the fruitful capability of the woman coming into the family. In fact, some extended families insist the woman gets pregnant for the son of the soil before she is welcomed into the family. “I know that in my place, it’s preferable for the woman to get pregnant before the actual wedding so as to ascertain if her womb is fruitful or not” middle aged Oladokun said. According to him, most girls might have had abortions during their university days and won’t tell their partners until they get married. “That is when the doctor tells you that your wife can not get pregnant or that it is dangerous for her to get pregnant due to the numerous abortions she underwent in the past” he explained. Kate Usigbe is a corps member who thinks living with a boyfriend is very economical. “I did it when I was in UNN (University Of Nigeria Nsuka) and if my present boyfriend had been in this town, I wouldn’t have had accommodation problems for he will gladly ask me to stay with him” Kate, who now serves in Abuja said there is nothing wrong in two lovers having a temporary living arrangement before they tie the knot. She believes it is the modern form of courtship. “You cannot know if the two of you are compatible by just seeing each other, and asking of his/her likes and dislikes. You have to live with the person to know if he snores or is a slob, or if he is really the neat guy he may have portrayed himself to be, he may lie to you about this vital information and you will never know the truth if you don’t live with him.” In cases where the couple decide to part ways due to incompatibility issues, the woman may be more at the receiving end as society frowns at her and sees her action as merely cheap and sacrilegious while the man easily substitutes her for a ‘more decent’ girl to marry. According to Jibrin Sanusi he will never marry someone who has probably lived with 3 other men in the name of compatibility experiments. “What if you find out after the whole living together experiment that you two are not compatible? To me it is the lady that losses because she will have to pack out, to start looking for someone more compatible”. Gloria Amos believes that once in a while ladies can visit their boyfriends just to spend some time together but totally disapproves of live ins. “Visit for weekends, yes. But not moving makes the arrangement more permanent. You don’t have to live with him, but you can sleep over once in a while. That will help you determine whatever you wish to determine”. Gloria added that most girls are trapped in a marriage today due to their failure to determine the competence of their husbands prior to marriage. “I believe in look before you leap because if the man turns out to be impotent you will either get out of the marriage or go into infidelity,” she said. Ibrahim Adara sees no difference between a live in and girls who stay weekends at a boyfriends’ apartment. “What is the difference between miss A who lives with her boyfriend over the weekend and miss B who lives with him seven days a week? Most girls fall under miss B category and I don’t see the difference between them”. Ibrahim confessed how most men; especially bachelors are merely looking for help with the house chores, the cooking and specifically someone to warm their beds at night without commitment. “They keep them and make them go through abortions and eventually keep her as a concubine while he goes after a young wife in his village.” I have heard that living together decreases the chances of divorce as the couple must have known each other well enough and possibly learnt to accommodate and tolerate one another during their prenuptial experiment. But I for one do not think there is a relationship between prenuptial cohabitation and having a successful marriage. If that is the case, why the high rate of divorce in the so called civilized world?

Re: True love, a love that lives on, even when the butterflies fade

March 2, 2010

Dear Friends and Associates,

I found this entry in a blog I follow and considered it very beautiful and good for you to share with me.  I have included it with my comments.  I invite you to comment on both the blog and my comments underneath it.  Thanks as always for your support.

Francis

I have loved before. With an ill informed sort of love, but yes, I have loved. I used to think that was all that mattered. I had been forced to stay with someone for years that I did not love, and when I was able to be with someone I felt overwhelmingly passionate about, I thought that I had discovered what love really was. I believe I did grow to love him, but indeed it started as infatuation. I did not take into account the huge differences we had. Cultural differences, beliefs, different goals. I am American, and he eventually wanted to go back to his home country to settle, which was not here. Such vast differences, but I “loved” him so much, I thought everything would just fall into place and that things would work out. I knew I was willing to do more than my fair share to make it work, and I did do a great deal more than my fair share, but it didn’t work out in the end. Today, I am so grateful for this, I can see the limitless opportunity I have now that I am without him. What he wanted and what I wanted were two different things. But at the time, I was so blinded by obsession that I was willing to compromise on things that actually should have been deal breakers. I was infatuated. So much so that I never looked at the situation from a clear perspective and said to myself…Is this the life that I want? I was too focused on him to care about what the other aspects of my life were like. When I left him, after 2 years of giving all that I had to make it work, I thought to myself.. “I know that I will find someone to love me, but will I be able to find someone that I can love as much as I loved him?” 1 year and a lot of dating later, I answered my question, but with even more to add to the equation. I look back and realize that I did not see the whole picture before. Now I realize that, that is part of the equation of love. I met someone and I have discovered with him a greater love than I have ever known. A much different love….a better, all encompassing, truer love. I see the whole picture. I see him as he is, not as I want him to be, and I know that I must accept him as he is or not at all. You can never expect anyone to change. I look at our goals and what a life might be like together and I see that it fits into the picture that I already had for myself. Like he would be the missing piece of the puzzle, not just another random piece that I have to make a space for. I look at how we deal with problems, how we communicate. There is balance, there is compromise on both ends, and there is connection, attraction, compatibility and harmony. I made a list, after my last love, of all the qualities I wanted in a man. He is what I described over a year ago. I made it when I was clear headed and free from the influence of a new prospect. All the things I wanted before, that I did not have in my empty infatuations I have found in him . It makes me so happy and even happier to know that I chose this person, not the rose-colored glasses. I see the faults, yes I do, but even those make me smile because it is reasonable to say that there will be differences. The differences that we have pertain to things that are of little importance. The big things, our morals, values and goals, we share. So, when we disagree on something, I point out what a desirable situation it is that we agree on the big things and disagree on the things that don’t matter anyway. Yes, there are things I would change, but perhaps if he was perfect I would not have the opportunity to see the willingness he has to make me happy, even if it means doing things that don’t come naturally for him. I think that is what love is. Looking at compatibility and harmony you share as well as how you feel for that person. When you can look at someone and you can see the good as well as the bad. When you meet someone who already fits into your preconceived idea of the life you want and vice versa. Then you put that together with the other necessary components….. compatibility, attraction, connection and how you feel about the person. Eventually, You should know that even in the times when the butterflies fade, (Because there are always times when they just flutter away) that there is still enough substance in the relationship and willingness to keep it going. If you can do this, you may just have the formula for a true, lasting love. 1. Hello, great write up. In my book “Foundation For Joyful Relationships’ I outlined a number of principles which could be practiced during the course of dating which could enable relationships partners build the true love that can last and bear through during the turbulent times and those seasons when the initial emotional and passion energies go down. I identified cultivating friendship as number one with mutual respect and clarity of purpose to mention but a few as other key factors. It is my knowledge and experience that these could be cultivated during the period of dating and courtship and engagement if there were no premarital sex involved. Both men and women suffer when relationship problems arise. It does appear that women suffer more. Girls and women should protect themselves by avoiding premarital sex which I am also tagging as “unprotected sex”. I call it so because, though you might get some pleasure doing it, it does not produce emotional balance and peace of mind. It leads to more deadly challenges beyond STDs and unwanted pregnancy. The ultimate desire of all in relationships is to get a(n) (eternal) companion. I have proof of the fact that when boys and men do not get free and unprotected sex, and they know that their heart-throb and the other girls are determined to grow the relationship appropriately, it leads them to make marriage decisions early. The relatTrue love, a love that lives on, even when the butterflies fade. By guide4goofs I have loved before. With an ill informed sort of love, but yes, I have loved. I used to think that was all that mattered. I had been forced to stay with someone for years that I did not love, and when I was able to be with someone I felt overwhelmingly passionate about, I thought that I had discovered what love really was. I believe I did grow to love him, but indeed it started as infatuation. I did not take into account the huge differences we had. Cultural differences, beliefs, different goals. I am American, and he eventually wanted to go back to his home country to settle, which was not here. Such vast differences, but I “loved” him so much, I thought everything would just fall into place and that things would work out. I knew I was willing to do more than my fair share to make it work, and I did do a great deal more than my fair share, but it didn’t work out in the end. Today, I am so grateful for this, I can see the limitless opportunity I have now that I am without him. What he wanted and what I wanted were two different things. But at the time, I was so blinded by obsession that I was willing to compromise on things that actually should have been deal breakers. I was infatuated. So much so that I never looked at the situation from a clear perspective and said to myself…Is this the life that I want? I was too focused on him to care about what the other aspects of my life were like. When I left him, after 2 years of giving all that I had to make it work, I thought to myself.. “I know that I will find someone to love me, but will I be able to find someone that I can love as much as I loved him?” 1 year and a lot of dating later, I answered my question, but with even more to add to the equation. I look back and realize that I did not see the whole picture before. Now I realize that, that is part of the equation of love. I met someone and I have discovered with him a greater love than I have ever known. A much different love….a better, all encompassing, truer love. I see the whole picture. I see him as he is, not as I want him to be, and I know that I must accept him as he is or not at all. You can never expect anyone to change. I look at our goals and what a life might be like together and I see that it fits into the picture that I already had for myself. Like he would be the missing piece of the puzzle, not just another random piece that I have to make a space for. I look at how we deal with problems, how we communicate. There is balance, there is compromise on both ends, and there is connection, attraction, compatibility and harmony. I made a list, after my last love, of all the qualities I wanted in a man. He is what I described over a year ago. I made it when I was clear headed and free from the influence of a new prospect. All the things I wanted before, that I did not have in my empty infatuations I have found in him . It makes me so happy and even happier to know that I chose this person, not the rose-colored glasses. I see the faults, yes I do, but even those make me smile because it is reasonable to say that there will be differences. The differences that we have pertain to things that are of little importance. The big things, our morals, values and goals, we share. So, when we disagree on something, I point out what a desirable situation it is that we agree on the big things and disagree on the things that don’t matter anyway. Yes, there are things I would change, but perhaps if he was perfect I would not have the opportunity to see the willingness he has to make me happy, even if it means doing things that don’t come naturally for him. I think that is what love is. Looking at compatibility and harmony you share as well as how you feel for that person. When you can look at someone and you can see the good as well as the bad. When you meet someone who already fits into your preconceived idea of the life you want and vice versa. Then you put that together with the other necessary components….. compatibility, attraction, connection and how you feel about the person. Eventually, You should know that even in the times when the butterflies fade, (Because there are always times when they just flutter away) that there is still enough substance in the relationship and willingness to keep it going. If you can do this, you may just have the formula for a true, lasting love.

My Comments on this blog post

Hello, great write up. In my book ‘Foundation For Joyful Relationships’ I outlined a number of principles which could be practiced during the course of dating which could enable relationships partners build the true love that can last and bear through during the turbulent times and those seasons when the initial emotional and passion energies go down. I identified cultivating friendship as number one with mutual respect and clarity of purpose to mention but a few as other key factors. It is my knowledge and experience that these could be cultivated during the period of dating and courtship and engagement if there were no premarital sex involved. Both men and women suffer when relationship problems arise. It does appear that women suffer more. Girls and women should protect themselves by avoiding premarital sex which I am also tagging as “unprotected sex”. I call it so because, though you might get some pleasure doing it, it does not produce emotional balance and peace of mind. It leads to more deadly challenges beyond STDs and unwanted pregnancy. The ultimate desire of all in relationships is to get a(n) (eternal) companion. I have proof of the fact that when boys and men do not get free and unprotected sex, and they know that their heart-throb and the other girls are determined to grow the relationship appropriately, it leads them to make marriage decision. Our success in life is largely dependent on our management of our relationships. It, therefore, needs a foundation. That’s what I am saying my book. Check my blog https://marryright.wordpress.com or email me nmeribefrancis@gmail.com for more information and any questions.

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