Only You Can Define How Your Marriage Will Be: It’s important that you be clear what your definition of marriage and family are and where you derived these definitions from.
By definition, I mean the very essence. The essence here is defined as the core nature or most important qualities of a person or thing.
Because we live in a broken world, and because for some reason the bad news is broadcasted and travels faster than good reports, unconsciously our mind is conditioned to accept definitions of marriage and family that scare us.
The resulting fear and apprehension make us create solutions for ourselves to protect us from being hurt in the way that we have seen and heard others being hurt in their marriages and families.
My parents have been married now for sixty years. My dad lost his parents when he was a little child. And he definitely had some bad family experiences. He married my mum and determined that he wanted to be the ancestor of a family that would not have the experiences he had.
Did he get it right from day one? No. Actually, he made many mistakes. Those mistakes were not at all surprising. Given that he had chosen to walk a path that he had no knowledge and experience of, it would have been a miracle if he didn’t make any mistakes. He had the option of fashioning a solution for himself in marriage and family that will be defined by the negative experiences.
He also had the option of imagining that there was a way of creating a healthy family and becoming the ancestor of a generation that would experience and demonstrate to others good marriage and family experiences. He chose the latter option. He didn’t quite know how to do it but he didn’t let that deter him.
He learnt as he went along. He fell down many times but chose not to stay down. Instead, he looked at what caused him to fall, learnt from the experiences and avoided making the same mistakes subsequently. Sixty years later, I can say with confidence that he has nurtured a community of children, grandchildren and other relatives who firmly believe that positive marriage and family experiences are not only possible, they are realisable.
Do we all have perfect marriages and families? No, not at all.
But we are a community of people that are increasingly SELF-AWARE and who are conscious of the MINDSETS that drive their thoughts, words and actions. We are INTENTIONAL about how we live our lives. We don’t shy away from having HOT CONVERSATIONS with ourselves when the need arises. We are able to MAKE DECISIONS that are beneficial to us as individuals and as a family.
In the past couple of weeks, we have stood together as a community to address a family situation that came up.
As we stood shoulder to shoulder, old and young to do this, I have reflected on my father’s life and the numerous personal decisions that he has taken which have created this community that truly cares about one another.
Here are the lessons I came away with on marriage
Your decisions are pebbles that you throw into water. You choose when and where to throw them, but you have no control over where and how far the ripples go. Make choices carefully.
A tree cannot make a forest. True. There will be no forest if the first tree never takes root. A healthy marriage and family starts with just one person who decides to be the ancestor of a new generation.
Be sure that your life is defined by values that you consciously own. Where did your definition of marriage and family come from? Is it a response to the terrible stories you have heard or an intentionally thought out definition?
About the Writer - Modupe Ehirim An author of “Marriage is NOT a Trap” and founder of The Right Fit Marriage Academy, Modupe works with men and women to intentionally design and build for themselves healthy and long-lasting marriages. She is a Certified SYMBIS (Save Your Marriage Before It Starts) Facilitator. A Certified Family Systems Engineering Practitioner, she works with other industry professionals to restore dignity to human relationships in marriage and family life. She is happily married in an interethnic marriage to Boniface, her husband of over 30 years. Contact Information: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram.com/modupe.e Facebook.com/ModupeEhirim Twitter.com/Modupe_Ehirim