Why love isn’t enough to keep relationship going

Tony Zakaria

HE is the guy who makes your heart go lub-dub double time. In no time you were meeting him every day and when he proposed you accepted.

And then you made him to propose again in public so your friends could feel jealous. Now you are married to the man of your dreams and the bed of roses sometimes feels like a carpet of thorns.

What has changed? Love was the magnet that pulled unlike poles like you and him together. But that is not what will keep you together forever. Am not kidding. If you think everything will be fine as long as you love each other, you are in for a rude awakening.

To stay together requires other things that bind you together like spirituality and supportive family. You are unlucky if you have friends who poke their noses into your affairs even when you have expressly forbidden them from doing so. ‘Eti’ they are trying to help.

The two must have the same respect for earning and spending money. No matter how much you love him, a rich miser will make you miserable especially if you love shopping in London and getting beauty and spa treatment in South Africa.

Forget about having a new pair of shoes every month. Does he value you as an equal or you have to claim your special status in his life every day?

If you worship Mount Kilimanjaro as a deity and he attends the synagogue church of every nation, he will probably not appreciate you dragging him down to Kilema to a attend lamb sacrifice to appease spirits of ancestors he does not even know.

Conflict resolution is a big issue in relationships. Disagreements and fights in relationships cannot be dealt with adequately in this short article. Conflicts need a full PhD thesis with dissertation.

Some couples are so keen on fighting you might think they are trying to earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Here are some key basics to conflict resolution. Statistics show that successful couples have as many fights as those whose relationships end up in divorce courts. Why? It is not the frequency that matters but the how warring parties follow the rules of engagement.

Some couples understand that in a boxing match you cannot hit your opponent below the belt or keep punching even after your challenger falls to the ground. Many couples don’t. You find a wife or boyfriend blasting her/his partner with nuclear missiles to teach him or her a lesson.

Why should an argument about the failure of a favourite soccer team such as Manchester United or Chelsea to win the Barclays cup ends up being personal? Ridiculous. The ManU coach was useless, says the man. No, the coach was OK, the players were not performing.

Why were the same players winning matches under Sir Alec? I don’t know, says her ladyship. Man drops a bomb. You and the coach you are defending are useless. Am I useless now? Your Chelsea FC is useless too, she fires back. Man responds, that is stupid.

And then storms out. If you accidentally or deliberately say something hurtful such as this is dumb, apologise ASAP in Latin and English.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. You have committed grievous fault and only genuine contrition will get you off the hook. Wait until your adrenaline levels decline and then go say in a sincere voice, I am sorry I should not have said that. Please forgive me.

This is what we call eating humble pie. Anyway, enough about boxing matches in relationships for now. Do not take a relationship gamble by fighting to death. As Kenny Rogers sang, a good gambler knows when to fold up and when to run.

What is marriage exactly? Is it a package deal in which certain goods and services will be provided? Many people enter into marriage believing it is like a beautiful box filled with companionship, intimacy, friendship and other goodies.

I think some people treat marriage like a supermarket or shopping mall where they can get free love, laundry service, free nursing care and free catering. Marriage is a type of super-box or supermarket alright, but the market shelves are empty in the beginning.

The couple in a relationship have to fill by constantly adding into it. And filling the box and shop shelves is gonna take some serious work. A good partner must keep weeding and watering the relationship garden to keep the flowers blooming and then he can cherish the Roses and Lillies.

Watering and weeding the relationship garden means putting something in before you get something out of that box. To smell the rose up close, you may be pricked by it. You want appreciation? It is not in the box.

Appreciate your partner enough and she will give the same back to you. Some bosses know if they appreciate their workers, they will work much better for the company. The same formula of appreciation works in a loving relationship.

Kindness is not in the box and neither is love. If you are mean to your significant other, how will he find the strength to overcome your nastiness and be nice to you? To be successful in business you have to think outside the box.

In relationships you need to act outside the box. Put love, romance, laughter, hope, worship and praise in the box. And soon it will be so full you have to do arithmetic to keep the contents from spilling.

To give is so much easier and rewarding than to take. And if you keep taking more than you put in the box, soon the box will be empty. If we all give more than we take in relationships, the world will be a much better place for you and for me. A kind word here, a loving gesture there can spice up a relationship big time.

Go do your part.

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