Staying married in the Nigeria of today

Nigeria has become one of the most difficult places to live, the terrible economic and security situation coupled with the unstable political future of the country has wrecked havoc on the quality of life of an average Nigerian. For majority of the population, It has become increasingly difficult to make ends meet, consequently, people are unhappy, unsettled, frustrated and angry.

With the level of frustration on the rise, marriages have not been left out of the downhill trend of most institutions in the country. Husbands are finding it increasingly difficult to provide for their families, this of course has a very negative impact on marriages, especially where ab initio, understanding and cooperation are lacking. A man who is unable to provide adequately is usually not a happy man, and a woman who is not properly provided for may nag and thrown tantrums. Restraint, tolerance and understanding is important for peace sake .

Everyone in on edge, and ready to snap, things which ordinarily won’t mean much may be amplified into a catastrophic incident which may threaten a marriage. It is advisable for couples to plan their lives carefully, avoid living above their means, buy only things they need and cut back on things they can do without. Resist the temptation to learn new habits which only serve as temporary escape, like excessive drinking, smoking, womanising, keeping late nights, gambling etc, they will only pitch your spouse against you, destroy your peace at home and further compound your problems.

Do not put pressure on the breadwinner, husband or wife, manage what they are able to provide and be thankful. Do not nag or complain unnecessarily, the people you think are doing better than you may have simply learnt to manage what they have and be content with it. They have learnt to be happy in spite of the situation. Even if they are truly better than you, be careful while wishing to be in their shoes, if you don’t know the story, don’t envy the glory.

Learn to be patient, understanding and forgiving, apologise even when you think you shouldn’t, compromise even when you know the argument will end in your favour, It is best to avoid arguments in situations like this, quarrelling in times of lack is very dangerous because with the anger and frustration level very high, you are more likely to say hurtful things to each other. Remember that words cut deeper than a sword and is more likely not to heal. Overlook trivial things, ignore even the major ones, the timing of your complain is key to its peaceful resolution. Learn to read your spouse’s mood before you start an argument.

Learn to support and encourage each other; always maintain a common front when presenting situations to the children, especially when it concerns things they want but can’t have, avoid blaming your spouse for the situation before them, you may end up being demonised, kids are sympathetic to the parent they think is less troublesome. You may also drag the kids into your fight, this usually completely decimates a family.

In everything gives thanks to God, resolve to be happy. Work hard and hope for things to improve, it usually does, it is only those who are patient that will survive as a family when things improve. There is absolutely no need for you to worry yourself up to the point of developing health complications like high blood pressure or extreme stress which is usually a prelude to stroke or heart attack. Be positive, be prayerful, be happy, once there is life, there is hope – Sir Stanley Ekezie

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