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Who would you consider your spouse to be: a friend, soulmate or housemate?

Gone are the days when we consider our friends as only those chosen few people we meet regularly, know each other inside out and possibly spend years building and nurturing our friendship. Nowadays, there are different kinds of friends, friends on social platforms, fans and social group families. Some people have loyal followers and feel connected strongly because of their interactions and years of online association. Hence there are different levels of friendship, and we should all have friends, whether online or those we meet physically because having friends bring meaning to our relationships and life. Marriage is the highest form of friendship. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “It is not the absence of love, but the absence of friendship that makes marriages unhappy.”

It is not the absence of love, but the absence of friendship that makes marriages unhappy.

So why do married couples fail at becoming friends and moving onto becoming soulmates? I would have thought the desire between a husband and wife should be to work at becoming soul mates because, indeed, that is marriage. The union of two hearts into one is marriage. If I ask you the question today, do you consider your spouse as a friend, soulmate, or housemate, what will your answer be? If you are honest with yourself, assess your marriage situation, and relationship between you and your spouse? We develop and nurture friendship over many platforms and for several years generally in life. The level of communication and openness affect the quality of the relationships we form. 

 So, what do friends do? Friends look out for each other; they help each other, support, and cheer for each other. 

Friends look out for each other; they help each other, support, and cheer for each other.

Good friends are loyal and accept us for who we are. My best friends know I can come to them anytime without the feeling of shame, ridicule, of judgment, no matter how terrible what I have done may look or sound. I know my inner caucus I can bare my all, and all they will do is find a solution and help me get out of any predicament I find myself. My husband, on the other, should be my soulmate, why? Because we are connected not only by physical intimacy but on a soulish level, and this should be the highest form of relationship that married couples should have. We should be able to confidently say my husband or my wife is my soulmate because we can see into each other and no part of us is hidden from each other. As married couples we ought to have physical connection, emotional connection and spiritual connection.

As married couples we ought to have physical connection, emotional connection and spiritual connection.

When these connections are missing or underdeveloped in any marriage relationship, it grows shallow instead of deeper and energies, attraction, and other passion flows to where we invest our friendship. The bond of friendship becomes more potent when we do what friends do. What do friends do, you may ask? One of the characteristics of friendship is time and commitment. Good friends spend quality time together. How much time in your daily schedule do you give to your spouse? Do you protect your time with your spouse, or do you share what is left after you have everyone else but your wife or husband? When couples do not preserve and understand the value of spending quality and meaningful time together, their friendship wanes bit by bit. No wonder things seem to change suddenly, and we wonder how it happened. Those daily unhealthy habits that compound and become a big gap between couples that do not spend time together to develop their friendship.

Good friends spend quality time together

A friendship develops when there is dignity in a relationship. I have not seen friends who vilify, ridicule, refuse to help or disgrace tier friends openly. Friends protect each other’s honour. True friends will let you know in private you messed up big time, there is no cover-up, and they will let you know if you are doing a wrong thing. However, they aim to correct you, help you, and support you as many times as possible to bring you out of any horrible situation and restore your honour. Oh, if husbands and wives can dignify each other, especially when they are not in agreement, in conflict or in misunderstandings. Remember, your spouse is one with you, your shame is their shame, your ridicule is their ridicule, and because of these, when couples engage in a nasty fight, they are unable to reconcile because of the damage done to themselves. Divorce sets in; they want to be separated from the other and would not want to associate with a person they have so shamed or ridicule.

Some couples are just housemates; they live together, sleep together and hook up for sex but have no depth of love or affection for each other.

Some couples are just housemates; they live together, sleep together and hook up for sex but have no depth of love or affection for each other. These types of couples are missing out on what it means to be married. They have resolved to live as a couple but not connected at the soulish level. What a pity, a waste, and a tragedy when the real benefits of becoming soulmates are missing in a marriage relationship.

Jesus, our model, shows us how to be one with our spouse. He said, if you have seen me, you have seen my father. My father and I are one; I am in my father and do what my father does. This is the level of intimacy that should be the goal and objectives of couples. When you become soulmates, deep friends and spiritually connected, you can say confidently; there is no storm we cannot ride together. 

7 Sign you may not be your partner’s soulmate yet.

  1. There is no public affection or display of love, 
  2. There is no confession of love.
  3. There is no sexual attraction.
  4. There is secrecy in your relationship.
  5. Some wounds never heal – unforgiveness. 
  6. There is an argumentative spirit.
  7. And they do not want to resolve differences. 

If anyone or more of these are present in your marriage, you can turn things around by working on becoming good friends. Do what friends do, spend time together, protect each other’s dignity, support each other’s and be your spouses best cheerleader. When there is a need to correct, do it as friends do, constructive criticism. Good friends don’t hold grudges; they forgive and never let arguments fester. How easily we achieve this with other friends than our spouse? It is because sometimes, we do not consider our spouse as friends. Please do not unfriend your spouse just because you are married, and if you do, you will soon become housemates. As couples, my hope and prayer are that you will value your spouse as a friend and move on to become soulmates and not housemates.

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.

Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.


My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here

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What are you fighting for in your marriage? Are you fighting a good or bad fight?

Conflict, disagreement, and fights are inevitable, endemic, and typical in any healthy and growing marriage relationship. I once heard of a story told by one marriage counsellor; the first question they ask couples in a conference that they hold is: How many couples here have arguments and fight with each other? They said nearly all the couples would raise their hands. The counsellors then ask couples who raised their hands to look around and see those who kept their hands down. They then ask another question. Please, what do we call couples who say they do not fight? And unanimously, those raising their hands say, liars. 

Please, what do we call couples who say they do not fight? And unanimously, those raising their hands say, liars.

Yes, any married couple who confesses they do not argue or have fought in their marriage try to redefine fights and deceive each other with no deep relationship. Or they are lying, and the latter is more likely to be the truth. Coming into marriage, I had the idea of a beautiful and happy marriage, but I knew I would have to fight, but my sole aim and goal, if I must fight, was to make my marriage better. There are good fights and nasty fights in a marriage. A good conflict in a marriage causes the husband and wife to grow and become intimate, while a harmful fight cause division and separation. Therefore, we must correct the notion that couples who love each other may not have to fight. Oh yes, if you love each other, you will fight but how you fight and what you fight about is what makes the difference between growing or gripping. 

Suggested Read: 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Marriage

A good conflict in a marriage causes the husband and wife to grow and become intimate.

I remember when I felt I was becoming a nagging wife, always trying to get my message across to my husband and when that is not clear, it results in arguments and quarrels. I wanted a peaceful home, so I decided not to react and just take everything to keep the peace. After all, a wise woman keeps her family and a foolish one tears it down with her hands. With this scripture in my mind, I wanted to be a wise woman and keep the peace in my home. For years I did not realise all those little arguments and fights I could have had may have cleared issues, but I decided to keep them below and keep peace in my home. However, resentment was building up behind the scenes without me knowing, only to realise this man that I much adore I now find irritating and unwanted. I began to feel like I was walking on an eggshell in my marriage, and the relationship became unhealthy. However, I decided to fight a good fight for my marriage, this was not the marriage I wanted, and this was not the marriage God wanted. How do we know if we are fighting a good fight or a nasty fight? It is essential to understand the motive for fighting and what we are fighting for in our marriage. 

It is essential to understand the motive for fighting and what we are fighting for in our marriage.

You can read: common mistakes couples make in Marriage and how to avoid them

We must acknowledge that conflict is part of a healthy marriage. A quote by Robert Louis Stevenson defines marriage as – “one long conversation checkered with disputes.” Marriage is both love and war, and as couples, we can decide which one we want to prevail. The bible tells us that love conquers all. If there were no wars or disputes, there would be nothing to overcome. So, if you and I approach the conflicts and arguments that happen in our marriage as part of the structure, we would focus on how we fight and what the outcome should be. So how do you know if you are fighting a good or bad fight?

Below are some of the characteristics of a good fight and a dangerous fight.

Good fight – your goal will be to resolve the conflict or matter at hand and a bad fight; your goal will be to win the fight or show your spouse they are wrong, and you are right.

A good fight deals with the underlying issues and wants to bring them to a place of understanding, but a horrible war only wants to deal with the surface issue. Therefore, when the underlining problems are still there, they will always resurface and create more fight.

Good fight focuses on ideas and issues where the couple disagrees with, finding common ground and a win-win solution, whereas a lousy battle concentrates on personality and power struggles. Do you know who I am? I have a right? etc.

Good fight produces an attitude that is cooperative and receptive; the couples or spouse wants to understand and find common ground to continue to enjoy their relationship. A bad fight produces an attitude that is defensive and aggressive, not wanting the argument to end and causing separation.

A good fight’s motivation is to take responsibility and resolve the issue, while a ruthless fight’s reason is to shift blame and not take responsibility.  What we do know, however, is that it takes two to tango; each person will have a share of the pie in a fight.

The result of a good fight is a solution, issues resolved, growing together and increased understanding leading to better intimacy. Sadly, the result of a nasty battle is separation, stagnation, more discord, shame, and a final blow could dissolve the marriage.

One quality that perpetuates fight within a marriage is pride and egocentricity, do not allow pride to ruin your beautiful union.

So, the question I would like to ask is, what are you fighting for in your marriage? If your motivation for arguing with your spouse is reflected above as a harmful fight, please be humble enough to reassess and make amends. One quality that perpetuates fight within a marriage is pride and egocentricity, do not allow pride to ruin your beautiful union. Marriage is built for enjoyment and satisfaction, and whatever will cost your marital bliss is too expensive. Ignorance, pride, unbelief in God, disobedience if you are a child of God will cause you to miss out on your earthly inheritance. A blissful marriage is a heaven on earth.

I implore you today; if you have taken time to read up to this point, it means you are ready to fight the good fight for your marriage. Look at the qualities of a good fight and those of a dangerous battle and decide to change. You cannot change your spouse, but you can change yourself. Let us start from there!

The inspiration for this write-up comes from the book – The Good Fight – How conflict can bring you closer by Dr Les and Leslie Parrott. Please get that book and read it in-depth; you will find it very useful.

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.

Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.


My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here

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You cannot be thankful and be bitter at the same time in your marriage

One of the most common complaints and love killers in marriage is criticism and complaints. I had realised that the time I have been critical of my husband was when I failed to appreciate what he is doing or what I have asked him to do. I felt let down due to my expectations which sometimes can be overinflated. I soon realise that criticism and negative attitudes only breed more negativity. I decided to start living a positive life and appreciate my husband for who he is. I am not saying it is an easy task to appreciate or fail to notice when someone has not met our expectation; however, to live in peace in a marriage, we must learn to create that positive atmosphere. You and I have the ability and power to choose positivity, turn situations around for good and count it all joy when faced with a difficult situation. The moment I started to look at what I have and not what is missing, my life literally turned around; all the bitterness, anger, and negative stronghold melted away. Oh! The devil is so deceptive because he knows we have the power to dismantle those illusions; the devil plays on our mind, and he gains a foothold when we take offence or become angry.

Suggested Read: Selflessness: learn to replace I with We in your marriage, your I -llness will become WE -llness

One of the most common complaints and love killers in marriage is criticism and complaints.

One of the fastest ways to recover from a bad situation is to give thanks for what is available and what is at hand. If everyone decides to bring out the challenges they face in their lives and put them on the table for an exchange, most people will quickly pick up their cross and give thanks that they have it lighter. Do not be deceived; every marriage has one or two areas of the challenge they are dealing with; the ability to cope and find joy in those circumstances separates a successful marriage from a failed marriage. I once heard a story of a man who complained he has no shoe to wear and found someone who has shoes but no legs to put them on. He quickly gave thanks and would not exchange the shoes for those legs when the other man told him he could have his shoes in exchange for his legs.

Stop negative thinking and pattern by appreciating and becoming grateful for your spouse.

Stop negative thinking and pattern by appreciating and becoming grateful for your spouse. You cannot be thankful and bitter simultaneously, so if you are not happy in your marriage, focus on your level of appreciation and not your spouse. It is straightforward to blame our unhappiness on someone else, yet we have the power to control how we respond to others.

Will you start to appreciate your spouse today? I remember my daughter was heartbroken about a few things she wanted from us as parents last Christmas. I told her what she was fretting about was missing and just a fraction of the pie. I then gave her an exercise to do, which would help her appreciate what she has. I told her to write down all the things she has and write down those things she is missing. She was amazed at the long list of good things she has compared to the minimal list of items she desired. She confessed that she felt better looking at the list of those things she has, and she never thought about them; it felt they were expected and never gave thanks for those. It made her feel so much lighter, better and grateful. Do you know what? The tiny list, exaggerated in her mind, shrunk when she wrote them down on a paper. 

The tiny list, exaggerated in her mind, shrunk when she wrote them down on a paper

During the last Christmas, she received as a gift some of those things she desired. The last time I spoke to her, she said mummy, “I don’t think I need anything again”. How quickly contentment and positive attitudes sets.

If you are so bitter and angry with your spouse, would you do this simple exercise and write down all the things you may feel do not need appreciation because it is normal. It is not normal; in some marriages, the woman is an excellent cook but lacks the skills to make the house neat. Yet, in another household, the wife is immaculate but lacking in skills for making good food. Both husbands have a wife lacking in one area, but when asked to exchange their wives, the one with a good cook was ok; I will rather have good food in my stomach and clean the house as best as I can. It is, therefore, crucial that you write down the qualities in your wife or husband that you may feel typical and expected; no, it may be the same quality someone else is looking for in their spouse. We cannot have it all because we are not perfect. 

You can also read: Principles of Marriage:  FORGIVENESS (Part 1)

Happy couples are those who give allowance and make up for each other’s shortcomings.

Happy couples are those who give allowance and make up for each other’s shortcomings. That is why the bible says two are better than one; when one fall, the other will lift him. How are you helping your spouse in their areas of weakness?  Are you helping them to grow or allowing them to sink?

Choose to be grateful and see all your bitterness and anger melt away.

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.

Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.


My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here