It is #Day7 of the #UgBlogMonth and today I share my best relationship advice. I am not a professional relationship counselor but working on radio has exposed me to common relationship struggles ranging from those who are dating, still studying their manifestos, married, confused and the not sure if they are single or in a relationship.
I am blessed to have great men and women around me who pour all kinds of wisdom into me and make sure I am on the right track plus I have been around these streets for not so long so I will be merging all these to share my best relationship advice with you;
You teach people how to treat you
If someone does something wrong to you and you do not communicate how their action/reaction/omission makes you feel right from the start then you are indirectly telling them that you are okay with it and before you know it, it has become a habit and you cannot undo it without causing damage.
Example: If your partner slaps you the first time and you look straight in their eyes and tell them that the next time they raise even a finger, there will be consequences, their brain will pick that up. If however you choose to be quiet and let it slide, you are telling this person that it is okay to slap you (which will grow to battering) every time they are angry and are unable to express this anger without being violent.
When you finally get tired of this and choose to speak up, this person’s reaction is shock! They will ask you what happened or who you have been talking to because you are now standing up to them yet you trained their brains differently.
Dating is the dress rehearsal for marriage
We sometimes get excited about the wedding day, the dress, the ring and the pomp and forget that real life awaits after the lights go out. If someone is behaving a certain way while you are dating, chances are he will do the exact same thing when you get married.
Marriage does not automatically flip the person into a proper functioning husband/wife like you see in the movies, on social media or even at the front of your favorite magazine. It is work. You have to be sure of the person you are saying yes to.
Only marry because you want to and are ready not out of pressure or just to prove a point.
Listen to your voice
Don’t muffle your own voice, listen to what your heart/gut is saying about this person. Occasionally check in with yourself to make sure you are not going against your own self and values. Are you yourself around this person or do you keep up appearances?
Also, never do anything you do not feel ready for. If you are not ready, DON’T GO!
God will not choose a spouse for you
This might raise a few eyebrows out there but here is why. God has given you the heart and the Holy Spirit to guide/help you but question is are you listening? Sometimes, people will show you who they really are but you ignore the red flags only for you to realize after many scars.
You have been given the freedom to choose;
Proverbs 18:22; He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
You may present your intention to pursue before God but what we do humanly is fall so deep first, then when trouble knocks we go running to God for help. He will comfort you but still the choice to stay or leave remains with you.
In my opinion, something was different about our parents but in this era, you have to be very alert. You will never fully know a person even after marriage.
1 Corinthians 2: 11; for who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the spirit of God.
You have no chip to read someone’s heart but you have someone who is able to work from the inside- God, use that.
Note: Not all that glitters is gold!
In my language there is a saying that goes, ‘ashwera n’ashwerwa abuuza’. I think this explains why parents have 1000 questions when their child talks to them about their intention to marry/get married. I hail from Ankole, the western part of my country-Uganda and these are the common questions;
- Who are the parents?
- What is his/her tribe?
- Where does he/she work?
- Education level?
- How long have you known her/him?
- Where/how did you meet?
- How old is s/he?
- Where does s/he live? Etc.
Ask the generals in the field. Have people older than you that you are accountable to. They have walked this path long before you and from their wisdom and counsel you could avoid making the same mistakes they made- if you listen. Not everyone wishes you well though, apply wisdom and balanced judgement.
People are messy.
We all come from different backgrounds different personalities, love languages etc. This only means that relationships will be messy as a result, there is nothing like a perfect man/woman except in the movies.
You are messy as an individual so expect ‘mess-ness’. The grass is not greener, water yours. Be understanding, stop comparing, forgive as much as insanely possible and let it go, stop taking inventory of all offenses your spouse/partner has been committing since day 1 because as much as you are pointing fingers, you have a log (s) in your eye too. Offenses continually picked erect walls and before long, you will have a mute situation-ship and you will not even trace it’s roots because you have done this too long, you are choking.
Please remember to communicate all the time and avoid making assumptions. It is easier to talk about something before letting it go because ignoring things does not take them away either. Have those hard conversations and as a partner, know your person well enough to know the right time to bring up an issue and when to wait.
I will stop here for now. Do let me know what advice makes sense to you or even share your best advice right below in the comments section. Thank you for reading!
I am the Sparrow.