We know we are still young learners in this marriage industry but we know we have also learned a thing or two to share with anyone who cares to read.

Yesterday a friend of ours shared with Chidera, my wife, about a couple he knows that got married recently, I think last month or so, and in just about a month later they got divorced. There are many pitfalls that can crumble a marriage if not avoided and here are some of them…

1. Don’t dare go into marriage with anyone you are not 100% sure of. If you start seeing some red flags along the way, no matter how far you’ve gone with the wedding plans, put it on hold first and deal with the issue before proceeding.

2. Don’t marry anyone out of pressure or out of trying to please them. When it comes to deciding who to marry, it’s OK to be very selfish. Don’t consider anyone else but you and your happiness first. Because nobody else goes into that marriage except you and your spouse.

3. No marriage is 100% a bed of roses, they often come with their unique challenges, but always focus on the bigger picture and learn to encourage each other in difficult times.

4. Learn to worry less and pray more. Learn to trust God in all situations.

5. There’s really no need going into marriage if you will insist on sticking hard to all your old ways. You must be willing to make certain level of lifestyle adjustments to accommodate your spouse.

6. As much as possible, don’t stop doing the things you both enjoyed doing while you were dating or courting, even after you have wedded.

7. By all means, never allow your kids become priority in place of your spouse. Make sure he/she remains at the softest spot of your heart.

8. Don’t take decisions because of what people will say, always focus on doing what’s best for your marriage even when others may not understand why, you really don’t owe anyone any explanation.

9. Always remember, it takes two to tango. For your marriage to work, you can only give 50% input while your partner gives his/her own 50%. You can’t play both roles, else you will only end up hurting yourself. The love and care really has to be mutual and felt from both ends.

10. “This is how my parents used to do it” is a statement you should never bring into your home. If both parties insist on bringing in cultures and habits from their different families, then there’s bound to be collision. It’s always best to understand yourselves, and set your own rules and define what favorably works for you both.

11. No matter how difficult it gets, try your best to maintain a warm and cordial atmosphere in your home. Learn to always give ‘good bye’ and ‘welcome’ kisses and hugs. It keeps romance in the marriage ever green.

12. Don’t ever outgrow saying “I love you” frequently, possibly every day. Make it a habit until you start saying it unconsciously and effortlessly, but always mean it when you say it. Don’t ever outgrow calling each other sweet, pet names.

13. When it comes to love making, don’t always stick to same old patterns and positions, you will definitely get bored after a while. Learn to explore new ways of satisfying your spouse sexually. Keep the communication open during sex. Find out what your spouse enjoys and what he/she doesn’t. Learn to express yourself very well, don’t die in silence. Women, don’t fake up an orgasm just to make your man feel good. If he/she’s not doing it the way you love it tell them nicely. Watch YouTube videos and learn new ways of doing it right. If your sex life is not healthy don’t keep quiet, seek professional help if possible. Don’t take these for granted.

14. Make a decision not to cheat on your spouse, no matter what. There are so many alluring temptations calling on your attention to cheat these days, but only a mind with a determined resolution to stay faithful can stay true to fidelity in marriage.

15. Men especially and even women, learn to be open about your finances with your spouse. When it comes to meeting individual and collective financial needs in the home, don’t put yourself first, put what’s truly most important first. Learn to make sacrifices. Financial trust is key in a successful marriage. Build an atmosphere that will allow you keep money in the house and don’t get scared of your partner taking from it without telling you.

16. Love your spouse like your life depends on it. Go crazy about it, love, love and love some more.

17. Seek ways to have fun, take yourselves out as often as possible, travel, go to new places as much as you can afford. Sometimes, take the weekend off, spend it in a nice hotel. Order good food and drink and enjoy yourselves. Love making is usually sweeter in a cozy hotel room. Give yourselves that treat sometimes. Don’t always focus on your needs and problems. As long as you live, there will always be needs to be met, but don’t let them stop you from truly living.

18. Pray and study the Bible together as often as possible, possibly every day. Learn to sow financial seeds together as a family and trust God for great harvest.

19. Don’t ever take serious decisions without involving your spouse. Always put your spouse first and carry them along.

20. Lastly, have a common family goal(s) and vision, and work hard together and unitedly to achieve them.

Marriage is a beautiful experience when you have the right partner. Don’t be in a hurry about getting married if you’re not yet sure of the person you’re seeing. Take your time and be sure you’re making the best decision of your life in marrying that person. Thanks, and God bless you.

AB Emeruwa

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