Friday, December 3, 2010

Being Educated about Marriage

In 2008 I reached out to married couples I knew and asked them 10 questions. Responders included a couple married for nearly ten years, another married a few years, and a couple who had ink still drying on their marriage certificate.

I believe in partnership. I believe that all relationships have agreements - formalized or not. I believe in ceremony and ritual. Nevertheless, my opinion, weddings have become as commercialized as Easter and Christmas. And because we have bought into nuclear families - and neither communicate nor trust the advice of our elders - marriage counseling is as necessary as a bib is for a three-year-old eating a meal without assistance.

If I do ever get married, the advice I received two years ago will come in handy.

Below are beautiful responses from my Aunt Francine, my big sis Olu, and my homegirl Rashayna.

Me: What traits do you value most in your wife/husband?
Auntie Francine: He believes in me. He cherishes me. He would do anything to ensure my safety and well-being. He is extremely supportive of my work, and helps me make the important professional connections to ensure that I am successful. He is very affectionate (more so than I).

Me: Name one special action that you do for your spouse (often or sporadically) that you know makes them feel important and loved.
Olu: Rub his head. Serve him dinner/lunch while watching FOOTBALL!

Me: When did you make up in your mind that this was the person for you? Share the situation, the story, the moment, the conversation (internal, with them, or with another).
Rashayna: We had known each other for over 4 years but were just friends who would see each other at business events 1x/month. I was never really interested in him because he was 5 years younger than me and I just wasn't in that mindset. I made a list of everything I wanted in a mate physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally and prayed over it. Three weeks later I went to a business retreat in Palm Springs and saw him again, but saw him differently. We really had a chance to talk and found that we both had a huge love for the Lord and a lot of other things. He walked me to my room one night and told me: "You know you're gonna be my wife?" I laughed and said, "Yeah right." He replied, "Don't worry God will work out the details." And that He did! He was everything I dreamed of in a mate and so much more!

(Photo: Francine and Mark, married 10 1/2 years)