Relationships and the crazy things we do for love

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the day I officially proposed marriage to my wife with a ring. I used the word officially because I have always known in my heart that I didn’t need to pose the question “will you marry me?” before I can be sure that she would or wouldn’t accept to marry me. 

The circumstances of our relationship made me feel popping the question was just the Western world or movies thing that has become many African lady’s fantasy and I felt I was not cut out for that. That’s because for us, we have throughout the relationship made each other know clearly that it is a relationship leading to marriage and not just a short-term romantic relationship or testing of the waters or the “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince” thing. She was my first love relationship and I didn’t plan on jumping into a series of relationships. 

That’s the level of commitment we started with from day one and because of that we had countless times discussed topics relating to marriage and her actions have always proved she can’t possibly say no to marriage if I should pop the question anyday. In fact, I was not even planning on doing that “will you marry me” proposal thing but something happened and I figured it seems almost every lady wants the proposal with rings to happen as a way of launching the marriage phase before actually starting preparations for marriage. 

But for a guy like me who always wants value for money, I didn’t see why I should spend money on a ring that she may not even wear in public because of our cultural, societal and religious perceptions. At the time, though just 3 years ago, there was no way she was going to wear that ring to church (we being choristers and all the “pious standards” that makes you feel having a boyfriend is even a sin? 😂) or in public without having to answer to so many people who would ask too many unwarranted questions. 

It’s not like these days that rings have become a fashion thing that we see ladies wearing rings on all five fingers and nobody cares. And truly I don’t really remember she wearing that ring freely in the open…coupled with that confusion out there over which finger wears such rings, whether the marriage ring finger or middle finger and all that? 😂 So many different views out there on that thing…smh. Those days the old men and old ladies of the church will never spare you with a ring on whichever finger when not married 😂. Plus the fact that even if she wears it even, it will be for barely some two or three months before marriage made little economic sense to me at the time. But I’ve never regretted it because it makes a lot of romantic or emotional sense to women and we get to benefit from satisfying that need anyways 😂. 

OK, so back to what I actually wanted to share? Today’s anniversary made me remember possibly the craziest thing I made my wife do. We had started marriage counselling then I guess, and on one evening outing, I forced her to wear some miniskirt I bought for her during my studies in UK. 

It was a crazy suggestion and the way she looked at me in bewilderment spoke volumes. She’s not a miniskirt person and had never worn any before…none that very short. If you’re a committed church person like her, you would know she’s the type that obeys the “skirt must not go above the knee” rule to the core.  

And here I was suggesting she wears one so short that it can practically reveal her bum. 😂 She blatantly refused and even after I kept convincing her by suggesting she “do something crazy for once in your life“, she went like “what if we meet our Pastor or someone from the church?” That phrase got me, and I couldn’t stop laughing and all the while thinking “like seriously? who cares?” 

As usual I think I gave her all the arguments of whether she thinks Pastors are saints, whether she knows what their wives wear for them at home, whether she thinks Pastor’s wives don’t wear g-strings, whether Pastors never feel sexy and act like really bad boys in bed with all the Playboy moves or she thinks they quote scriptures when coming to sleep with their wives. 

I’m sure all that line of argument for a simple question bored her into just giving in and wearing the damn thing 😂. And I secretly took my camera along cos there was no way I was going to let that rare moment pass. 

But I can tell you the walk to the neighborhood restaurant to just grab some khebab and drinks and enjoy outdoor fresh air was her longest walk ever and the most sluggish and uncomfortable walk of her life. Nothing is ever so priceless as that crazy miniskirt night 😂.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

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Everybody is loveable 

God has made everybody loveable. You don’t have to agree with it; that’s just what I think. 

But if that is true, then no matter what, you should be able to find someone you can love and marry…unless you’re being too picky/choosy or keep having unnecessarily high expectations. Or maybe your problem is that you want somebody who’s exactly like yourself (which you can never find).

Problem of choice

Things will be too easy in marriage if you find somebody exactly like yourself. God made marriage a training ground so that two individuals (opposites) can learn to better themselves, sharpening each other just as iron sharpeneth iron (Proverbs 27:17).

If you’re really serious, you should find someone…unless you want to sit for God to just drop an “already made” person on your lap or in your bed so you can just get on with it 😂. You are waiting for “your match made in heaven“, the exact person whose rib you’ve been created from or who is the product of your rib?

You may wait for eternity…or maybe I should ask, how will you even know or recognize your missing rib? Be there and keep searching for your missing rib or waiting arms folded for your Prince Charming…literally. Me “sef” do I know if my adorable wife has my missing rib? 😂 I’m not interested in any missing rib thing even if there is a 1:1 male to female ratio in my country or even the world. I know physically and spiritually, I will weary myself trying to dissect all the women in the world just to know and be sure she’s made of my rib. Every woman is a potential “missing rib” so drop all those long wish lists and just take one 😝.

The thing I like about men is that they will easily admit that Charley, I know I’ve lost a lot of time on getting a partner and I seriously need a partner because I’m not happy being still single at this age. But for today’s independent women, no way…their rhetoric is that they are happy being single and independent. 

Well woman, keep telling yourself you are happy being single and you don’t need a man to make you happy or satisfy you because you can pleasure yourself down there. Of course nobody is dumb enough to expect you to cry in public for want of a man…but we know you “cry” when alone at night, bother God with a million prayer petitions and probably drink yourself to stupor over the thought of being single at 30, 40, 50??  What you should know about that false confidence is that you can’t tell everyone (the public) you don’t need a man and then have men come throwing themselves at you? You don’t need us, we not coming. 😂

Society is full of people and counting back to all the years since you started having feelings for the opposite sex, chances are that you have met a lot of people who could have been your “potential spouse”. You can’t say you can’t find a wife/husband. Where have you been looking all these years? Chances are you’ve been wasting too much time on people who don’t know what they want with you. 

I know you will say I don’t understand the journey you’ve traveled, so I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. Let me leave it here before I hurt you further 😊. Best of luck then. 

(PS: Don’t take this post too serious or as a judgemental piece. Nonetheless, we’ll love to hear your thoughts 😉).

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage killers

​”We put everything ahead of marriage and then wonder why it fails”

Whatever comes between you and your marriage is a marriage killer…be it positives like the Church, the kids, friends, family, and job; or negatives like addictions, bad habits, adultery, negative mentalities, etc. 

Whatever does not edify your marriage…watch it. Whoever is always willing to bring a charge against your marriage because he/she finds nothing good in your marriage should not be kept as company. Bad company corrupts good habits. 

In the course of a marriage, there is a lot of time to develop and to become divine lovers. That is where your marriage must get to. 

Work at it, pruning off all the negatives one step at a time. It’s possible to become divine lovers! We have the Grace; all we need to do is to put in the works. 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017 

Date nights and couple fun

Couple fun…?

It doesn’t take much to have a fun marriage; all you need is two bottle crown caps to play a game on your next date night! 
Try it 😂

Date nights and fun refreshes every marriage or relationship. Very little things create fun in marriage…you don’t have subject your brains to any mental agony to discover that. 

On our recent date night, we creatively enjoyed two different fun games with just bottle crown caps…and I can’t describe the atmosphere that just those crown caps created. Forget the pizza…it didn’t bring as much happiness, love and affection, more than what those crown caps did. 😝

​Now you can guess who won!! 

All I do is win, win, win no matter what…” 😜

🎤🎵🎶🎼

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Spousal criticism…

Everybody has their own ideas about love and how to show it in their relationships. These are things people have naturally grown up with and thus, a man who perhaps gets home late everyday bearing flowers or gifts has grown wired to the idea as the way love must be shown. So is another man who chooses to get home early so he can spend time with his wife, yet never going home with any gift. What should be more important however is not how you think love should be shown to your partner/spouse but rather learning and focusing on how the other person needs and wants to be loved. Most often it gets communicated but we often are not alert or really listening so unable to see or hear it.

Criticism in marriage has often carried an overly bad image but not all spousal criticisms are aimed at undermining or belittling a spouse or targeted at destroying their self-esteem. Many times, some are simply small pleads for love…in the way the other person wants or desires to be loved. They are like guidelines trying to show a spouse how to do things in a way the other person likes. Not all of them are unnecessary complaints but rather genuine expressions of concern over how things should play out. At least that’s how it often starts, until when the plea goes unheeded too many times, and then it begins to graduate into something unpleasant.

I like the way T.D. Jakes puts it in the lyrics of one of his songs:

“If you want to love me the way I need to be loved, you need to learn to love me from MY side”

See? Not from YOUR side but MY side…what means and communicates love to ME. I’m sure as both partners develop a mentality of focusing rather on the other person, both will have their love needs met better than trying to show love just how you understand it and risk being criticized for it. Then also, there won’t be room for too many “unnecessary” criticisms or if you like, too many pleas or outcries for love that become unpleasant in the ears because of it being heard too many times.

Most people express love to another based on their understanding of what means love to them and as long as God has created us different, male and female, we are sure to hold different views of love and the exercising thereof. And we are sure to have misunderstandings even over our partner’s acts of love just because that’s not how we would love to be loved. We just can’t relate to their way of love; we want what we can relate to.

The way we want to be loved is usually the way we express love to others. It takes time to learn how to love someone exactly the way they want and not just how we feel love is to be shown. That requires a lot of patience and attention to detail and a great deal of communication on what works and what doesn’t work for each other. Otherwise, we will always battle with the issue of many unpleasant criticisms because we would not yet know what works and what doesn’t, and we will keep not being able to satisfy their needs.

criticism

“So you brought home your sheets and God knows you meant well. [But] You just can’t figure out, how did things still fail? Well, in the art of relationships, communication is the key. You both have different needs so understanding is a ministry. This time, start talking before you start giving so that you can see how much better a marriage is supposed to be”
–T.D. Jakes

T.D. Jakes again rightly captures it so well. And that’s a good foundation we must lay if we want to eliminate the unnecessary criticisms and experience ultimate joy and peace in our relationships and marriages.

Imagine the man who thinks bringing home gifts or flowers each day to the wife is what communicates love yet the wife receives it each day with smiles on her face but unfulfilled in her heart because deep down she wishes her husband knew what would have meant more to her than the flowers is he coming home early to share a lot more quality time with her. Over time, one wouldn’t need a magician to tell this could degenerate into something bigger and unmanageable when her constant pleas (imagine communicated) go unnoticed, misunderstood or taken for granted.

“We are trying hard, but we simply don’t know some of the things that matter most to our mate. We don’t “get” some of their deepest needs. We honestly don’t recognize their hidden vulnerabilities, fears and insecurities. So we are trying hard in the wrong areas. Or worse, we hurt them without intending to. So we get upset and demoralized that she doesn’t appreciate everything I do for her. Or he doesn’t care about me. We respond defensively, or out of our hurt – and the whole thing spirals down”
– Shaunti Feldhahn

So here’s the key. What works for you may not work for your spouse/partner, so begin to watch your partner closely to understand even what they are not verbally communicating but could mean so much to them. Those many complaints or grumbling expressions that worry you so much could merely be communicating a plea for love in a way you have closed your eyes on.

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author