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Your Marriage Problem is Your Opportunity to Grow

The problem you face in your life and marriage is not going away because you have refused to understand the lesson God wants you to learn, to become a better version of yourself. 

I have often realised the problems I encountered many times in my life were for me to discover a lesson, have testimony and story to tell and be a blessing to many others. 

A good teacher may have all the knowledge and skills, but a great and compassionate teacher has gone through the issues, experienced and triumphed. Such a teacher and mentor will be able to empathise with their students and mentee. When I got married, we did not have children straight away; there was a waiting period, and during this period, I learnt how to cherish the gift of children because I sought it and relied on God for the fruit of the womb. 

I have often realised the problems I encountered many times in my life were for me to discover a lesson, have testimony and story to tell and be a blessing to many others

Even though my husband and I were comfortable financially, we realised our limitations regarding what money can buy and what money cannot buy. We learnt to trust God, who gives children no matter how we bring them into the world. When our children arrived, it made me appreciate God’s faithfulness even more. I took the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful time and choose to make memories with our children deliberately. I have always told people close to me that I probably would not have taken parenting seriously and enjoyed it had I not waited to have children. What was the purpose of my waiting period? During this time, I had to develop an unwavering faith and learned to trust God’s sovereignty; no one can demand a child from God unless He gives it.  My testimony has now become a story that glorifies God and brings hope to many families I daily encounter. I work within a team, and we have supported hundreds of women waiting on the Lord. 

We learnt to trust God, who gives children no matter how we bring them into the world.

Oh, the testimonies we have shared and many more on the way for those still waiting. The point I am making here is that the challenges you face in your marriage are for you to grow, learn, and overcome to help others who will go through the same. 

Are you dealing with a problematic and unforgiving partner? An unloving spouse? A painful and joyless marriage? A childless marriage?  Whatever the challenge you may have right now if you change your focus from Why me Lord? To what am I supposed to learn from this experience? What do I need to change, and how do I come out with a testimony?  I can assure you, the problems we face are a goldmine of opportunity for us to grow and become a better version of ourselves. Unfortunately, many people fight the wrong battle. We fight our spouses and stubbornly want to change the other person. We must learn to look inward and see what we can change and become better people. No wonder the Bible said, we are trying to remove a speck in someone’s eyes, but we have a log in our eyes. ( paraphrased).

I can assure you, the problems we face are a goldmine of opportunity to grow and become a better version of ourselves.

Jesus Christ, our Lord and saviour who is our role model, had to become one of us, go through the ridicule, pain, and shame so that we have an advocate who knows our weaknesses and able to have compassion on us. He gives mercy and deals with us compassionately because he knows our frame and our ways. 

So, if your spouse is constantly annoying you, your growth area may be having more patience. If your spouse is continuously offending you, your growth area requires you to learn to overlook offences and forgive quickly. If your spouse is a spendthrift or frugal, your growth area may be money management and so on. 

I want to encourage you today to grow through your challenges, do not try to change your partner; instead, you grow to accommodate those habits that irritate you. You will become a kind, loving, and accommodating spouse. Is this not what daily renewing our mind means, loving our neighbour, and learning to live in love with all men?   

I want to encourage you today to grow through your challenges, do not try to change your partner.

It is time to grow and stop burrowing through your challenges. 

I am a certified SYMBIS ASSESSMENT facilitator, and I would love to help you start your marriage right if you are getting married soon. If you are already married, I can also help you enrich your marriage by helping you and your partner understand how your personalities mesh. Saving Your Marriage Before IT Starts (SYMBIS) is a research-based questionnaire that couples take individually. We will generate a comprehensive report which I will help you unpack as your facilitator.

Research has shown that the couple who took the assessment reduced the divorce rate by 31%, saving one-third of couples whose marriage could have ended in divorce. Still, because they took the assessment, they were well prepared and avoided pitfalls while maximising the full potential of their relationships. 

Would you mind clicking the link below to learn more about SYMBIS and how you can take the assessment and start enjoying your marriage? Take Symbis Assessment

Over 1,000,000 couples and 100,000 pastors and counsellors cannot be wrong: SYMBIS is the most widely used pre-marital assessment in existence. SYMBIS+ is excellent for already married couples.

What SYMBIS does is nothing short of revolutionary – Gary Chapman author of The Five Love Languages 

Please let me know if you are blessed, by liking the post, share and comment.

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

How to achieve a great marriage by working as a team

Marriage is a word that we often use yet misconstrued so easily. The meaning of the word marriage gives us the idea that God had in mind when He started the institution of marriage. Marriage is a commitment to love, live and give ourselves to our spouse forever. It is a lasting commitment to love and accept our partner unconditionally. However, most people are yet to attain this level of love in many marriages, especially in troubled relationships. One partner may be withholding love because they do not feel respected. Another spouse may begin to abuse the other in other to control and reign or dominate the relationship. These are signs that the marriage is unhealthy and an apparent deviation from what God intended. We are not promised to find someone who will be a perfect match and meet all our needs.

We are not promised to find someone who will be a perfect match and meet all our needs.

The opposite attracts because a spouse complements and does not supplement. Therefore, couples need to understand that there is work to be done, fights will happen, there will be arguments, but the difference and response should be we are a team and committed to one goal – our marriage. In any marriage where the couples focus only on themselves and forget that the marriage is more significant than each person in it, they tend to lose focus when trouble arises. Rather than attack the issue that is threatening the marriage, they turn to each other and shoot themselves. A house divided against itself cannot stand. As couples in a marriage relationship, we must give high regard to the covenant of marriage. It is like being on a team, team members fight, argue, and disagree, but there is absolutely no doubt they will work together to win as a team. Can I take you on a mental journey for a moment?

As couples in a marriage relationship, we must give high regard to the covenant of marriage.

Let us imagine a doubles tennis game where partners face another partner but because one of the pair has arguments or issues to resolve with the other partner, refuses to serve or return a serve. That is a blatant error and misjudgement because not only is this person jeopardising their chances of winning, but they are also indeed destroying their tennis career and opportunity. In sports, teammates are coached and mentored to make the team effort count, so it is difficult for us to see the picture I just painted. No matter the discord and disunity within a team, they always pull together to ensure the team wins. A win for the group is a win for everyone. Even if it occurred due to one person’s error, a loss for the team is a loss for the team. That is why I am keen to implore husbands and wives to see themselves as a team.

Even if it occurred due to one person’s error, a loss for the team is a loss for the team.

In a marriage union, the team bond is even more robust due to many shared activities that may not naturally exist in sporting teams or other team forms. Team working does not naturally develop, and that is why coaching, mentoring, and team-building activities are a priority for any high performing and successful team. We are a human being and to err is human. We will not all agree on an issue; we have different personalities and abilities but can recognise and accept our teammates as equals; recognise every team member has a gift. We recognise that without that member’s unique contribution, the team is incomplete. Teamworking is what successful couples and some marriages have found and embraced. Would you begin to look at your spouse as a team member? Would you be willing to work as a team in your marriage?

Would you begin to look at your spouse as a team member?

A team leader’s goal and objective are developing a high performing team and ensuring the unit is healthy, happy, and balanced. As the head of marriage, husbands are like team leaders; they coach, mentor, and see that the marriage is fit. The team leader listens, correct, and build the team. It is a shame that many heads of homes and unions only desire the respect, benefits and honour that comes with being ahead. Yet, they are unaware positional titles without work soon fizzle out.

Sadly, to continue honouring a negligent team leader who is destructive, arrogant, prideful, and unsupportive will be unsustainable. Women’s role is to support the leader in the marriage, receive instructions and clear guidance while ensuring they play their part in making sure the marriage team, including the children, are healthy. Many women are waiting for instructions, leadership, and clarity of purpose. Unfortunately, in many marriages, there is no clear leadership. Many women would go-ahead to take matters into their hand and take decisions to move forward. When this happens, it is perceived as usurping authority, disrespectful and insubordination.

Many women would go-ahead to take matters into their hand and take decisions to move forward.

These are some of the areas in a marriage that causes friction, resent and spiralling of minor misunderstandings into a giant unresolvable snowball. It has been known that some women rebel against authority, however coaching, good leadership influence and will win the adoration of followers eventually.

Why don’t we all do something different today, approach our marriage as teamwork, see ourselves, our spouse and even children as team members of our family? Take the Lead as a team leader, not dictatorial, listen to your team and build a healthy team where every member is valued and observe your appreciation and respect increase rapidly. Our marriages and good homes bring joy to us and give glory to God. Let us learn and sacrifice to enjoy it and give God glory.

Good marriages don’t fall from heaven; they are heaven made on earth.

Please let me know in the comment if you are blessed.

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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One most common reason for the lack of understanding between couples in a marriage relationship

I have discovered that the primary reason for the lack of understanding between couples in a marriage relationship is spouses do not value each other in many ways.

 My children and I would disagree with or clash when they want to watch a television programme that I have no interest in or do not enjoy as they do. My children love to watch animes, superheroes like avengers, and then the other kinds of stuff teenagers appreciate. Often, I wonder why they love to follow those types of programmes. On the other hand, I love to view foreign-language movies with cultural references and clothing; my children and hubby would not join me. They tolerate and allow me to see them, but none of them would sit with me. There was a time my daughter felt something and said, mummy, I wouldn’t say I like watching this film, but I will keep you company. It shows she may not like what I fancy, but she is willing to go along with me for love sake; it brings me to the idea of value. To esteem what someone else values may be easy when it sits within what we like or can accommodate; on the other hand, appreciating what is not a priority or significance requires understanding, love and commitment.

To esteem what someone else values may be easy when it sits within what we like or can accommodate.

As Husband and wife, most of us have been raised in two different environments and have standards instil in us by our parents and culture. We learnt those values and culture, whether spoken or unspoken, in the environment, we grew up. Most of the time, culture develops over time, and they are unspoken or unwritten rules that people observe and respect in that environment. It can be challenging for a newcomer to an environment because they will not be aware of the culture and unspoken rules that exist; people will frown when they break those rules, which often we don’t communicate in the first instance. It can take years or multiple errors and consequences before someone realises or learn those unspoken rules.

It can take years or multiple errors and consequences before someone realises or learn those unspoken rules.

It is a shame that this is one of the great contributors to stress and misunderstandings in marriage relationships. What we don’t know is called ignorance, and ignorance is not bliss. Becoming aware of the factors that make marriage hard work can significantly enhance the journey to merge the two individuals into one. When a couple realises and appreciates their spouse preferences, even though they may not believe or like it, they will accord the respect, space, and reverence that will communicate love and understanding to the other spouse. However, most partners unknowingly tread and disrespect their spouse’s constructs, norms, and culture, which causes significant friction between them. The most bizarre thing is that even the spouse that is hurt cannot articulate or put into words why they are hurting because, as said earlier, these are unspoken rules or ideals that they hold and not realise until someone breaks that rule.

These are unspoken rules or ideals that they hold and not realise until someone breaks that rule.

For example, I grew up in a home where you can serve yourself meat or fish and take whatever is ok for you as long as you are not greedy. When the pot of soup finishes, we get on and make another one, no investigation or query. However, I have friends who cannot go in and merely take whatever they want from the pot of stew without permission. They are required to ask and get permission before taking out a piece or two. In this home, I went to spend a few days of my holiday, and as I was not aware, I went in to take a piece of meat for my lunch without request or permission, and I indeed got into trouble. When I got into this house, no one told me, you are not allowed to serve yourself unless you take permission. It is a rule but an unwritten and unspoken one. You only get to be aware of it when you break the law. For example, if I had not served myself lunch, I’d probably not be aware, and if I didn’t stay long enough, I wouldn’t have been in trouble.

So getting this awareness of unspoken rules, unconscious bias and not recognising what someone else value can begin to bring to the surface reasons we resent and unhappy with our spouse when they act in specific ways that may be opposite to what we are doing. To understand is first to accept that our ways are not the only proper way to do certain things. Let us look at one area of conflict common in marriages, money spending habit. People whose parents are savers may have the culture and ability to save and be frugal. These people may see someone who spends as irresponsible and wasteful. Meanwhile, people whose parents are spenders may resent a saver and see them as thrifty, stingy and nasty to someone who spends.

To understand is first to accept that our ways are not the only proper way to do certain things.

However, money is for spending wisely to meet our needs; there must be a balance between spending and saving for a rainy day. If one partner concentrates on keeping money and denies the other of meeting their immediate need, and the other spends all they have and leaves nothing in the savings, then, of course, no one is right in this situation. It takes understanding and the ability to accept that no one way is utterly right except when it fails morality.

I want to help you and your partner understand some of the unspoken rules, biases and beliefs that may plague your marriage if you plan to get married soon. The earlier you know these pressure points, the better you are equipped to deal with them and set up a new culture in your marriage that suit both of you.

If you are already married and locked in conflicts that seem to have no headway, I can help you find harmony, dig out what you may not be aware of, unconscious bias, unspoken rules, and norms that may be causing a collision between you and your spouse.

You will be surprised at what we can uncover and when you discuss these issues. It requires that you and your spouse are humble enough to accept your way is not better than someone else’s, and you are willing to value what your spouse values; you will realise that understating will bring bliss and longevity to your marriage.

As a certified SYMBIS assessment facilitator, I invite you to take the pre-marriage assessment if you are single or engaged to be married soon or the SYMBIS+ Assessment if you are married. I will help you unpack the result and point out areas of strengths, weakness, opportunity and threats (SWOT) in your marriage. Every successful business conducts SWOT analysis in other to continue to grow. Please send me a message below, and I will arrange for you to take the assessment as soon as possible.

Would you let me know if you are blessed, by liking the post, share and comment?

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

Reasons why men need to build their homes4

Reasons why men need to build their homes

I want us to imagine a man who wanted to build a house in a notorious area where stealing of bricks was a major challenge. Each time this man buys and lay some bricks to build his house, thieves come in to steal the brick one piece at a time. The man will try and replace the stolen brick and go away. The next day, when he returns another set of bricks had been taken, this continues for a long time. He realised, if he was going to complete this house, he will need someone to keep watch while builds and even after completion, someone must always be on guard to keep the thieves away. This is the picture I had in my mind while pondering on this topic. A wise woman builds her house but when a foolish husband keeps tearing the house down, that house can never be completed nor stand. Therefore, a marriage that will stand will need both wise men and women working together to guard and ensure their marriage is working and happy. So, therefore, let us explore the reasons why a wise man need to build his marriage and not just be deceived by tradition and cliché that only a wise woman builds her home. 

For many centuries’ women have been left with the burden of building the homes and this is often supported by the scripture that says “a wise woman builds her home “. Yes, a wise woman builds her home, but a wise husband is needed to help and support her to build that home. If a woman can build a home alone, then there should be no need for partnership in a marriage. However, this is not so, because for any marriage to thrive and for both spouses to be happy and fulfilled in their calling, they must both be ready to work for their marriage.

In the past, women were not allowed to do much apart from keeping the home, the man is responsible for providing food and everything the household need.  This often keeps the family income small and most households were living the minimal lifestyle. Where the husband needed more hands to help in providing for the family, in African culture, he simply goes out to marry another wife and create a larger family. Women endured this type of relationships and not necessarily enjoyed it. For those who were lucky to have a monogamous family, the women had no choice but to totally depend on their husbands to provide, so there was no need to share household chores as women will be at home looking after the family while the husband provides. 

Nowadays, that is no longer applicable, many women are now working and adding to the family finance pot. In some homes, women are the chief earner and provider. Some men are very comfortable asking for bills to be split and that their wives must contribute to the upkeep of the house. Yet some men see no reason why they need to help with chores or split the responsibility of childcare and every other traditional role attached to women. 

Also the idea of marrying for love was not common in the past generations, most people were given in marriage or betrothed, so they learnt to love and live the person they were given to, unlike these days where men and women choose who they want to marry. Therefore, enduring and learning to love their spouse though hardship is not on the agenda.  

Lack of understanding and staunch belief in tradition that women should build their home, made many marriages to end up in conflict and divorce. When women after carry so much responsibility of caring for the family, required to provide for herself, her children and contribute to the family finance, yet her husband decides to mistreat or maltreat her in the marriage, obviously there will be no reason why she can continue to endure such hardship and treatment when she can provide for herself, except if she is believer who fear and honour God and hold marriage as a covenant. 

In ancient days when women are maltreated or mistreated, they stuck with it, because they had no means of livelihood, the society will not approve of them and they just endured the marriage. No human wants to endure hardship if they can survive on their own.  

The prevalence of marital breakup in this generation has been helped by the society and some other culture. For example, in England where I reside, the government will support any woman who is being abused, even if she has no income. This is the reason why some women file for divorce and it seems no one can get to the bottom of the reason why? 

I do not support divorce in any marriage because it causes untold hardship on the couple, the children and the society. If living with a husband does not add value to a woman and yet she is subjected to harsh treatment by the husband and supported by the culture that says the woman needs to build her house alone, then the result is a broken marriage. 

Therefore, we need to change this narrative, as Christians, the Bible says except the Lord build a house the labourers labour but in vain. Many women have laboured to build their homes but met men who are busy destroying the marriage brick by brick with their ego, bad behaviour, harsh treatment of the one they ought to protect and some by sheer ignorance of what marriage means. 

Men need to take responsibility for building their home with their wife. Marriage today and ever since is a partnership and was created as a partnership by God. When God created Adam and Eve, he did not say to Adam to dominate Eve, rather God commanded them to be both fruitful and subdue the earth together. 

Men leaving the home has caused our society to degenerate to the state we are right now, and this started generations ago. We need to correct this abnormality by bringing men back into the homes. Men you must decide to work on your marriages, be a part of it and do whatever it takes to make your marriage work. 

The world is not going back to the dark ages but progressing forward to a place where men and women can deploy their talents in the society. Marriage must progress from women build your home to husband and wife build your home. 

For any marriage to work, both husband and wife must sit down to work as partners on their marriage, there is no controversy about who is the head and leader of the home. Man is the head and no woman want to contest that, but how to lead the home must move from – I am the head, whatever I say goes to taking responsibility and leading effectively with love. 

Leadership in the place of work have recognised those leading people in a certain way that devalues them no longer work. The productivity level of any organisation that fails to value their employee will be greatly impacted; loyalty will be zero. If organisations have realised that treating their employees well and respectably leads to good performance and productivity, then I believe we can borrow that idea into our marriages. Afterall a marriage is meant to be a place of peace, rest and succour. I am sure every man and woman that got married, did so with the intention of enjoying their marriage together. It is therefore important that men take up the leadership mantle and build their marriages.

The reality is most marriages are suffering due to lack of education on how to make a marriage work. 

Men leaving their marriages to commit adultery rather than work on their marriage is what some men know and some culture support that. We do not belong to that culture, if you are a Christian, you belong to God’s culture and in this kingdom, there is no justification for sin. You can and should not leave your marriage when broken, as a man when your car breaks down, you know how to fix it. You learnt how to fix a car, therefore please learn how to fix your marriage, no more abandonment. 

It is therefore important that men rise to build their marriages, when men are absent from a marriage the effect is clear in the findings of a research which looked at the effects of family structure on crimes. 

Over the past fifty years, the rise in violent crime is in line with the rise in families abandoned by fathers. 

High crime neighbourhoods have a high concentration of families abandoned by fathers. Aggression and hostility found demonstrated by someone likely to be a criminal are often foreshadowed in them as early as age five or six and this is as a result of what they have experienced in trouble and violent marriage. 

Whereas statistics show that when a family is stable, children raised in these homes are less likely to commit a crime, be influence by bad friends, and they do well in their own marriage and in life generally. 

A good and loving marriage has so many benefits for men, women children and society. I am sure we all want a better society; it must begin with the family as a unit of the society. If husbands and wives cannot live in harmony and peace, how do we expect the society to be peaceful?

Both husband and wife are responsible for making marriage work, it is even better when a man takes responsibility as the leader. Men and women need to work on their marriages and build your homes, to provide a loving stable home for the next generation. 

How can you build your home as a man? 

Firstly, you need to accept the responsibility as a leader of your marriage, just as any leader in any organisation accepts responsibly for the failure and success of his business. 

A leader that delegate the leadership and steering of his organisation to someone else, never comes to the public if the company is failing and says my staff are responsible for the failure of this business. He will never be considered a good and responsible leader if he said that. As a leader in your marriage, you must have its success at heart. The moment any man takes on the headship role as a leadership role, the marriage is bound to succeed. On the other hand, the moment any man takes the headship role as a boss and commander in chief with no responsibility for success but blames and punish the followers, then that marriage is heading in the wrong direction. 

Can I ask what type of head are you in your marriage? Are you the servant leader or you are the commander in chief with no care for your followers? Please it is never too late to take the right road and turn your marriage into a heaven on earth. Take responsibility for the failure or success of your marriage. A wise man builds his home. Together with your spouse, begin to work as a team and bring your marriage ship into a sea of tranquillity.  

You can also read: Value and Respect in Marriage (2): A husband that

Secondly, any leader will be very knowledgeable in whatever he is doing for him to achieve success and lead other aright. How many marriage books have you read? Where you may be having challenges and conflicts, have you picked up a resource to see how you can resolve the issue, achieve a working solution or are you just ignoring it? 

For example, if money management or lack of money is the problem in your marriage, there a book that talks about how to manage finance in a marriage. There are seminars and some are online today, you can attend in the comfort of your home. There is no shame in seeking to know what you do not know. 

Leaders are readers, and to have an understanding and live with a woman in understanding you need to learn about women. Have you read books about what women want? Do you know your wife’s love language and even if you know it are you speaking her language, or you blatantly and stubbornly refuse to speak her language? 

These are the changes you can make and see a great impact on your marital relationship with your spouse. Speaking a new language means learning and being deliberate to speak it, by default you are comfortable speaking your own language. 

For example, if your colleague at work speaks French and you want to communicate with them in understanding, you will have to speak French no matter how ridiculous you sound. Your wife likes physical affection, but you are comfortable kissing her inside the house and only to initiate sexual intercourse, yet when she asks you to kiss her outside of the house you refuse. Why? You feel shy? You feel too affectionate makes you less manly? 

Do you feel people will say he is head over heels and in love? But let me ask you this question? When you were dating her, were you not head over heels in love? So why is it now difficult to be openly head over heels in love, not with a girlfriend but your wife? 

It is important that we begin to look at some of the narratives that have and is hurting marriages. You can change in your marriage and one by one our marriages will be restored and family stable and reflect positively on our society. 

There so many ways you can build your home as a man, but I believe if you start with these two points discussed, you will discover many more and your marriage will be enjoyable. 

Instead of seeking enjoyment outside of your marriage, work on your marriage to enjoy it with the wife of your youth. 

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 counsellors 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

marriage_code_vs_highway_code(2)

Marriage Code versus Highway Code (Part Two)

Have you ever wondered why there are highway codes and traffic rules to be obeyed by anyone who wants to drive a car? It is to prevent chaos on the roads, keep the driver safe, and keep other drivers and pedestrians safe. Imagine for a second, anyone and everyone can drive on any side of the road they choose. If it seems good to them, they can just take to the roads and start driving. Have you formed a mental picture of what the road would look like? This is exactly the state of many families, marriages, and societies where there are no laws or laws that are not upheld, people cast off restraints…. We are continuing the marriage code and highway code part two, if you haven’t read part one, please click here.  According to the Highway Code for Marriage by Michael and Hillary Perrott, there are seven letters in the word CAREFUL which are vital for the success of any marriage. We have discussed the first three letters C stands for Communication; A stands for Affection and R stands for Respect. Let us look at the remaining acronym that makes up the word CAREFUL in a marriage.

Encouragement

Encouragement is a special skill and one of the secrets of good and thriving marriages. Everyone wants to be encouraged, everyone needs encouragement in a family, even your children. Learn how to encourage your spouse, support, and never criticise. This does not come naturally to some people, especially if they have been criticised and judged all their life. Make it a law in your marriage, I must not discourage and wear down my spouse, no matter how terrible and horrible the outcome of his or her actions. Encouragement brings hope, it gives them the courage to do better. I always watch the London marathon and love to do so because of the support and encouragement we give to runners. Even though they have been running for miles, they are tired and still have miles to go, the moment we shout out their names “go, Mark, you are doing great”. I always see the boost of energy and feeling of – “I can do this” that comes over them. Even though we do not know them personally, just calling out their names meant a great deal. Many marathon runners attest to the crowds’ power of encouragement.  How much more hearing a word of encouragement from the one you love. 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness brings peace to your marriage and everyone couple wants a peaceful marriage. The secret to peace in your marriage is the ability to forgive. Forgive or fester and the result of festering is costly. I remember during my driving lessons, my instructor will say give way first, even if you have the right of way. Always assume all other drivers are mad. It did not make much sense then, because that was not what I was taught driving in Nigeria. It is who can put their head in first. Now with this law of giving way first, driving in England is pleasure, there seems to be orderliness and less gridlock unlike my driving experience in Nigeria. Why is that so, it prepared my heart to give in first, which is forgiveness. Why many marriages fail is because of lack of forgiveness, inability to let go. I am right, you must apologise, you must face the consequences of your actions, all of these make marriage a hell on earth. The marriage code here is – if I do not forgive, I will not have peace in my marriage. Many people are holding the peace they desire by refusing to forgive their spouse. If you can give way when driving, you can forgive your spouse or anyone at all.

Suggested Read: Love in marriage is a decision more than an emotion

Unselfishness

Unselfishness brings joy and harmony when two people in a marriage are looking out for the good of the other and not themselves. It is important to check why you get married to your spouse. Sometimes people get married because they want to get not because they want to give. Where this is the case, selfishness will be the order of the day. When one person continues to give and serve and does not get treated well, there comes troubled marriage. Are you being selfish in your marriage? You must be determined to be unselfish because, as human beings our default nature is selfishness. That is why you must make it a highway code and law in your marriage. We will not be selfish in this area, that area, and so many other ways we have been selfish. Make a list, start with sexual intercourse. It only a selfish man that will be satisfied sexually and ignore his wife’s sexual satisfaction. This is not uncommon am sure you will agree with me. Make it a law, write it down, discuss it, and abide by it. 

Loyalty

Loyalty backing each other up, being there for each other no matter the situation. The marriage vows encapsulate what it means to be loyal in your marriage. “For better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health till death we do part”. These vows are taken in the presence of God and family, yet many do not take it seriously or with any gravity. When a spouse withdraws affection from their partner because of one issue or the other, then they are not loving for worse. You are only doing for the better. When a wife refuses her husband’s sexual intimacy for one issue or the other then you are not in it for worse. I mean where there are domestic abuse and violence, the marriage is damaged, and we cannot expect loyalty in this case. However, before a marriage degenerates into a state like that, it is because most of the laws of marriage have been broken, to remain loyal of course will be difficult. It is, therefore, the most important and if I might say, the first law couples should hold paramount in their marriage. Loyalty keeps love in a marriage, loyalty can save a wrecked marriage. Make it a law, this marriage must work, and we will do all we can to keep our union intact. 

There are many benefits of having an intact marriage, and it is worth following a marriage highway code to guide you on your marital journey.  For many of us who are driving safely on roads today, we learned how to drive. We were patient, we listened to instructions and invested money to learn how to drive. After leaning and passing the driving test, we apply for a license to drive, there are traffic fines to enforce the highway codes. A driving license is renewed after a certain number of years. All these point us to the fact that we need to abide by rules and code of conduct. 

There is no organisation you will go to that do not have their code of conducts. Create a code of conduct for your marriage, do not assume you can behave well in your marriage if the society does not allow nor trust you to behave well elsewhere. Marriage crises today are due to lack of training, lack of code of conducts, lack of policing or enforcement and the attack of the enemy. We cannot be ignorant of the devices of the enemy but most times, spiritual attribution of marital failures is not always the case. Simple knowledge of knowing how to do marriage can resolve most of the marital challenges we face. 

Let us move from unintentional marriage to intentional marriage. Let us have purposeful marriages and I am very convinced, happiness and joy from each home that gets marriage right will individually begin to repair our society. So how do you begin to create your marriage code of conducts? Read books, go to marriage conferences, have mentors and a coach and so on. 

I have some recommendations below, the authors have not paid me, but these resources have been useful in my marriage. 

I will also recommend my book that will be out soon – “Marriage Expectation vs Reality”. One of the reasons marriages are failing is also attributed to a lack of information on what marriage means, why we get married and the purpose of marriage. We all know why we go through years of education. It is to better our lives and therefore we endure all the training required to become an expert in our career. This book is packed full of information needed to make a marriage work.

Apart from reading books, go on marriage courses, retreats and conferences. Many couples who are enjoying their marriages today are those investing in their marriage before it breaks down. There is the need for maintenance in a marriage, do not wait until a crack shows up before you repair your marriage. It may be late and the crack on the surface means there is much more below the surface. Act in time, do not wait for an issue to arise in your marriage. 

I hope you will work on your marriage for your children, your spouse, yourself and society. We can change our world one person at a time, by changing our marriage. Make your marriage a haven of peace, joy and love by intentionality. 

Get your marriage highway code set up before you start the journey of a lifetime called marriage. 

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 counsellors 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