Monday, 13 July 2015

Life as a 'new' wifey

1 year, 1 month and counting. So what does life as a new wife come with. Lemme bust the biggest marriage myth-"Everything changes after marriage"-well, not necessarily everything, i've found out this depends on the relationship. We lived on our own while we were single and were quite real so we got the chance to know one another's quirks, habits, etc.
Being married feels pretty much like being in a relationship, difference is we are now "permitted" to live together and have babies plus our relationship is legal and we are entitled to each other's properties and all that good stuff. *Big Grin*.
So yeah back to what marriage is like, so far anyways-laughter, crying, quarreling, fighting, goofiness, having fun together, making joint decisions, joint spending, joint outings, cultivating shared interests, cooking 2-3 times a day, cleaning, hosting friends at your house occasionally, taking care of the house and putting things in order, having new family members, visiting family members. It also involves still having your individual friends, having your separate hobbies, having your time alone and also doing your own thing once in a while.
Some things will definitely change in your relationship after marriage though, i honestly cannot specifically say what will change though, 'cos different circumstances will arise, routines will change, new family members have been acquired and they will come with their own drama or hopefully not.
My most fun new wifey moments:
What i've learnt so far (still in the learning process):
  • GOD is a big deal in your relationship- Build a personal relationship with God. I'm a Christian so i'm writing from that point of view but i believe you can apply it to any religion. I have a YouVersion Bible App on my phone and i do study plans on it especially on marriage, relationships, handling conflict and they really minister to me. I recommend these plans:
  1. Healthy Conflict in Marriage
  2. The confident woman
  3. Marriage is hard
  4. Marriage-a lifelong journey
  5. 7rings of marriage
  6. How to pray
  7. 4days to deeper intimacy in marriage
  • Marriage is not a ONE SIZE FITS ALL/MOST: It's easy to compare our relationships to that of our friends and sometimes even strangers, thanks to social media, we forget that what we see is mostly just a piece that we are allowed to see, not the entire picture. What works for others may not work for your relationship and vice versa.
  • YOU: You and your spouse will still find people attractive and other people will still be attracted to u and your spouse and even try to date u, no matter how big d bling on ur ring is. I mean if guys can find a 7 month preggers bump-glaring lady attractive how much more u. Its up to u  to chase dem away.  You will miss ur old fun carefree lifestyle. Be comfortable with being by yourself n know how to entertain yourself, your spouse won't always be available for this. Be comfortable enough with your spouse that you can be vulnerable with each other. Technology is a necessary evil, don't get sucked in and let it take over your lives. You are imperfectly perfect and flawed, nobody's perfect.
  • Patience is sooooo necessary- for instance while in a relationship or dating, if you get pissed off, you can just take a break and head back to your abode and be alone and sulk or do whatever it is you do. Well when you're married you live together so that's gonna be kinda hard. You also signed up for ...till death do us part.
  • Quarrels/Arguments will STILL occur - You will piss each other off, its a part of any relationship moreso the transitioning process of being married and in each other's faces 24/7. I believe it helps couples understand each other better, in my case anyway, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. Honestly we quarrel/argue every other day and when its all settled we understand better how the other person thinks and feels. It's soo easy to bottle up stuff and resentment builds up and then you just blow up eventually. If you don't like something or you are bothered about something, talk about it to your spouse. You don't have to talk about it right when its happening if the timing does not seem appropriate but be sure to make your feelings known eventually in the most considerate way so everyone is on the same page. Don't deprive each other e.g. of sex, food, etc. wen upset, it's not gonna help the situation. Don't speak or make decisions when angry, words are like eggs, once it's let out (broken) you can't really take it back and it hurts just as bad as sticks and stones and can have a bad impact on your relationship in the long run even after the fight is settled. Don't drag out fights 'cos it piles up and a small issue becomes a big deal and silence goes on for days. Our biggest quarrels/fights can be over the pettiest and mundane things. Discuss the best ways u both prefer to be approached wen upset and things that make ur anger boil over. What works for us so things don't spiral outta control is having rules for when we quarrel/fight (its inevitable) e.g- don't say 'nothing' if dere's something, no storming out, no cursing, inform each other of ur location if u need space, don't bring up d past, etc. It works, for us anyway, it is in d back of ur head as a no go area no matter how mad you may b, dere r exceptions of course. Initiate convo with ur spouse even if its via chat to convey your feelings n be as diplomatic as possible till the issues are said and sorted; when u guys are on a happier note u can voice out any issues still weighing on you. Don't act unbothered n stay on ur own for too long-put ur pride aside and Reach out You don't v to win all d fights, even when u r in d right, being d bigger person is all d win u get sometimes. Put urself in d other person's shoes. No comparism to others, that just makes thing worse,focus only on making ur point. A soft voice/approach can also help settle things faster than a 'shoutathon'. Forgive n Forget-not dat u v amnesia, obviously not but don't  always repeat or use ur spouse's past offences to blackmail them. Listen to Understand not to Reply.
  • You gotta keep the communication with the family-Most guys are not bothered about keeping in touch with the in-laws and even their family members so you guys have to find a way to not totally forget about your family. Its easy to get absorbed in each other's lives and skip out on calls to check on family members and visiting them. I'm a culprit, i'm not a fan of calling my folks or in-laws frequently or even chatting with them, its just weird for me. Soo we kinda have a schedule, when i call my folks and hubby happens to be around me, we use that opportunity  for him to join in the call and greet them and vice-versa. We try to call or send an sms at the beginning of the month, Call or Visit on their birthdays and anniversaries, plan impromptu visits, invite them over for lunch at our place and also visit our folks with gifts during major holidays (Sallah, Christmas or New Year). This keeps them happy even when we slack off a bit. Keeping in touch with the siblings is wayyyy easier and fun thanks to social media.
  • Baby Pressure is Real!!- Yupp, the end game for the folks is not having happily married children, oh no no no...the bigger picture is what they aim for, having grandkids, not grandkid oo, grandkidsssss, meaning more than one. 9 months after the wedding is the exact date they want a child to pop out of you. If this does not occur, there is a problem, they do not care if you are doing family planning, creating a better living and financial situation, etc. Their eye is on their goal to beat their peers or join them as the case may be, by acquiring the title 'grandparent'. Of course they want what they 'feel' is best for you. And the baby pressure is not limited to only the parents, relatives, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and the likes will also play their part in the baby pressure game. I will tackle this topic more in a different post so you know exactly what to expect.
  • Cooking/Cleaning and Chores is in ya hands- Sadly this is the case for most Nigerian wives, even those like me that have a 9-5 job. Most husbands do not help out. You can choose to have a visiting or live-in maid or DIY. I have chosen the DIY route and once in a while i have someone visit and do a thorough fumigation and cleaning of the entire house (mostly when we are outta town). It gets exhausting but what can a girl do,definitely not gonna live in dirt and filth, will just keep prodding him and hopefully one day he will change and help out more around the house. Hubby cooks once in a long while, honestly i do the most, i'm still trying to get him to learn more though. Thank God for blogs and machinery that make cooking easier, read my post on that. Cleaning and Chores on the other hand is about delegation, share the chores and bear in mind that you will still have to remind him CONSTANTLY to do his part and it may still end up undone. You need to set rules so you don't have to be doing daily strenuous cleaning after getting back from work e.g. Take off your shoes at the door and Wear House Slippers, Use a Coaster or tray with cups and plates, Eat at the dining table or with a tray in the living room, Wash your dish after eating, sweep up any dirt you make, clean up your spills, return items to their rightful place after use, etc. It honestly keeps my work to the minimum, along with daily maintenance. Allow hubby help u with house chores, he may not do it to ur level of perfection but be patient and by showing appreciation and with more practice, he'll get better at it and even begin to enjoy it, MAYBE even volunteer. Negative criticism most times can make men shut down and not wanna help at all 'cos they feel u'll just complain about how terribly they have done the chore or not doing it at ur pace, etc. Lovingly show how its done, don't hover him like an inspector or nag and that means sometimes u have to look the other way when waiting for him to get something done (even i am struggling with this).
  • Enjoy yourselves-We easily get caught up up in titles 'wife', 'husband', etc. and the expectations we feel we should live up to with such titles that they basically consume us if we are not conscious of it. Oh a 'wife' shouldn't hang out with any single friends, a 'wife' should tie wrapper in the house, etc. Cammannn, live and have fun with your spouse, it is not a prison sentence. Dress up, go to the movies together, go to the club together, spoil and pamper each other-bottomline do your thanngg as long as both of you are cool with it. I really hate seeing young wives tying wrapper up and down for one!lol. Why are we in such a hurry to become old and live like our parents?? Old age is inevitable and i definitely want a better life than my parent's have and i know they pray the same for us.
  • Your Appearance reflects on your spouse- Hmmmm, my people, sooo true. Before you were married, you can decide to not wear makeup to work today or tie a scarf or dress down, well not anymore. You will always get comments, its like after marriage you totally lose your individuality, everything is attributed to your spouse/marriage. You will hear stuff like 'You no make up today?, why na, abi you and oga (hubby) dey fight?', 'You dey tie scarf, hubby no give you money to make your hair ni?, 'You are looking good oo, this marriage fits you, your hubby dey do him work', 'You no get car, oga (hubby) suppose don buy for you by now na', 'You dey take care of this man wella oo, see as he don add weight now, he no be like this before e marry oo' and the comments go on and on like that. Soo Hubby's wardrobe is kinda in your hands (especially if he can't be bothered) and you may need to step up your game as well so people don't make some silly assumptions. Then again, sometimes we really can't be bothered what other people think and we can't please everybody. Some people will expect you to dress old or completely frumpy and will make side comments like 'why did ur husband let u leave the house looking so hot' or something related to that on days u look really good. I guess they are just voicing/sounding off on u their own insecurities on you that they have about their wives/significant other being 'snatched' from them if she looks good. If ur hubby does not have a problem with ur outfit, u shouldn't be worried.
  • No 3rd Party- This is possibly the most hammered on statement in pre-marital counselling, funny thing is after the marriage, they start prying in trying to know if there's any fights so they can help you settle it. *smh* Contradictions. Anyways, basically this means don't air your dirty laundry, if you have issues, sort them out between yourselves, don't go reporting each other to your parents, friends, etc. it just makes both of you seem so immature and that's how unwelcome advise and the likes creep in 'cos afterall na them they settle una fight. Obviously dere's some stuff that u can jist with your close friends about or sometimes ask for a different unbiased perspective on, but you have to know when you're crossing the confidentiality line and with whom (are they trustworthy? will dey still keep your business private even if you have a fallout with them? etc.).
  • Money Management is necessary- Money is a big cause of many marital issues, especially when only one spouse is working or when one spouse has no spending discipline. What has helped us in my case is having a budget. I downloaded a family budget from the excel template and customized it to our lifestyle and it helps us keep track on where we spend the most, where we should cut down, planning ahead, setting goals, saving, etc. It has also helped us to be more open and cautious about our spending 'cos for the budget to be effective we need to note down everything cash related that we do. I would advise any newly married couple to have a budget, save and plan ahead and spend within your means.
  • SEX is Important-Don't let the flames of passion die out, stay attractive to your partner. That Dopamine is essential! There will be quickies, lovemaking, lazy sex, crazy sex. It won't always be the same tempo and both of you will not always be in the mood at the same time. Different couples have different libido levels, et al, so do wat works for your relationship.
  • There will be downtimes: Emotionally, Financially, etc. Communication & support to the affected party is key during these times as they can make or break your marriage. Don't talk down ur spouse/significant other or compare them to others; that's a full on recipe for disaster.
  • It gets lonely- This point refers to when u guys are having a fight, he's in a mood or hubby just wants to be by himself, etc. You gotta know how to deal with these moments constructively, read a book, watch a movie; basically do stuff that won't get you depressed or upset. Also reach out to ur hubby, u can just peep in on him and tell him u miss him and love him or send loving smileys and a chat to him via phone, etc. Don't just abandon him.
  • You need your own friends- Yessss, your spouse knows them, but they are not your mutual friends, he needs his own friends too. You can go do your karaoke and do girly stuff with your friends and he can watch football and do guy stuff with his friends (not chasing babes sha oo). My point is its ok to have your own separate friends and still have your mutual friends you can do stuff together with. It helps keep some level of sanity and things don't get boring. You will lose some of your old friends, the attitude of some towards you will change and you will gain some new friends because of your status change and that's ok. Most times advice u gv ur single/separated/divorced/in a relationship friends may b misconstrued n considered unsolicited e.g. dey may tink u r dishn out advice cos u r now married or a mom, etc. even wen dey know its d same advice u'd v gvn dem if in a similar relationship status. Tread with caution here.
  • Hosting comes with the Territory- You will have to host guests at your house and it won't be just family members and friends-nahhh-it includes in-laws, relatives and even their friends , popularly called 'family friends'. It is quite the task, best thing is to plan ahead, know the no. of guests to expect, have a clean house, good food, drinks and entertainment a.k.a TV. lol. If Nepa/PHCN is not on your side then you have to be able to hold down conversations. Your guests will form their opinion of you, your spouse and your marriage by how good a host you are more often than not. I know right, so unnecessary.
  • Good Health is Wealth- Hospital bills aint cheap! Most men can't be bothered about getting checkups so this falls on ya. This marriage signup is forever, you don't want your spouse dying and leaving you all alone to start trying to wade in the dating pool again trying to find love and catering to your kids et al or falling terribly ill. You get my drift ba, so get your regular checkups-Bloodwork, Dental, Ophthalmologist, etc. Lets chip in exercise and eating healthy while we are on the topic.
  • There will be Stayover Guests- Especially if you have a guest room, the siblings will want to spend time with you guys, sometimes the parents may stop by also  and depending on your relationship with them, it can extend to friends and relatives. Inform and agree with your spouse before having guests over, always confirm when they will leave your house even before they come over and make them feel welcome when they arrive, let them know the house rules and where items they will need can be found in your absence, Feed them well and most importantly at the very least, be civil and accommodating to your guests even if you dislike them. Make them feel comfortable. It is ok for you to politely refuse a request to stayover at your place, it is your house.
  • The Parents will try to push their Limit- I know they raised us and we are thankful but now you are trying to raise your own family so some boundaries have to be established. You gotta learn to put your foot down when necessary, 'cos they will try to make you do things, unknowingly or otherwise, that might be inconvenient or totally unacceptable to you or your spouse. e.g stopping by unannounced, staying over at your house, sending a relative to stay at your house without your permission, making you spend above your means, giving unsolicited advice, etc.
  • Respect & Protect your spouse- The way you treat your spouse in front of your friends and family is how they will help you treat him/her. If you talk to him/her anyhow, they will eventually adopt your style and do same, though you may not like it. Have your spouse' back, present a united front even when you are both not on the best terms and no one will mess with you guys. 
  • Always remember you are a Team- It's best you know this 'cos this how people will view you until proven otherwise. Translation? You are held responsible for your spouse's actions. Whatever your spouse does, it is presumed he got your blessing. To society you are seen to no longer have a mind of your own and will be blamed/praised for the other's actions especially with regards to your families.Although this may be true to an extent, 'cos you WILL unconsciously consider you spouse before making most decisions, you still get to make some selfish decisions without input from the spouse.
  • You are his Reminder/Alarm/Calendar- especially for the stuff you absolutely need him to get done. There's a very thin line between reminding and nagging *sigh. The system that's currently working for us is a shared To-Do List via Google Keep. you can each add tasks to the list and set reminders/alarms and each person can see it on their phone. Of course sometimes u still have to verbalise.
  • You are both Human and will make mistakes: To err is human and to forgive is divine.
  • We are in this for the long run and its totally up to us to put in the work to make it work- We create our own magic, don't get comfortable and sloppy and stop putting in work. Every relationship is work, you need to put in attention, understanding, care, appreciation, sex, play, fun and all that good stuff to keep the fire burning or else it slowly dies out and becomes boring, sometimes stifling. Surprise each other, spice things up every now and then, be goofy. You are stuck with each other for life, make the best of it. Keep in mind why you fell in love. Team Work makes the Dream work.
Always remember you are two different individuals, even identical twins raised together turn out different, talkless of two grown individuals who decide to share their lives together. You are growing and learning in the journey of marriage, Exercise patience, be open and honest with one another and you'll become more in sync. There will be arguments, quarrels, fights, tears, down-times but they will pass and there will be the happier, goofy, fun times to wash them away. Ok y'all that's all i've got for now.
Marriage is a bed of roses, people just forget roses have thorns.
Toodles!XooX 
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9 comments:

  1. LOL!!!! I know you are my senior here but this is so apt! I love the simplicity and directness of this post! I think I should also add my own perspective in an article I am working on!

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    1. No seniority jare, lol. please add urs oo, it's always fun to read from others, learn and know we r not alone facing some things. Me sef go dey add to the post as things come up. glad u liked it ;)

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  2. Correct babe. To think you just got in and have so much in depth knowledge of marriage. *thumbs up*

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  3. lol @Amina i'm still learning o and i also try to learn from other marriages i'm privy too. i keep updating this post with every key lesson learnt. Na by God's grace 'cos the forever-for better, for worse no be small tin

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  4. This is so apt.
    I love your blog.such wisdom from one so young.
    Ask me how I know your age. Lol.
    For say you never marry now I go dash you to my brother. Lol. Don't mind me.
    Came over from your wedding post on versatic. And I love how good most of your advice is. Keep it up.

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    1. @SoldtoChrist thank you kindly. i agree oo, i'm still a youngie, lol.
      My fellow Verastic sweet potato. tnx again.

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  5. Thanks for the message, I was really thrilled . I learned a lot though I'm still single. I love everything about ur blog. Thumbs up

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    1. @Cassybaby Thank you kindly. glad you loved the post

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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