By Christopher Maina
A gospel musician was recently quoted in a local newspaper saying that he had postponed his wedding from December to February to coincide with the month of love. I believe a lot of guys will be tying the knot this month and many more will be proposing to their soul mates. Whatever your plans are for this Valentines, I wish you well. But before that, allow me to tell you what I believe are the ingredients of a happy relationship.
The things that make a love relationship, especially marriage, work are so small and negligible that it is hard to notice them unless you look hard enough. The things that we think are the ingredients of a happy marriage really aren’t; and in some cases they become the cause of its failure.
I recently watched a movie about a very happy recently married couple. The man was an architect while the woman was a teacher.
They weren’t making much money and so they lived a simple life in a simple house whose mortgage payments they could hardly keep up with. But they were happy. They played together, wrestled, danced, cuddled, hugged, kissed, made love on the floor and prepared meals together.
Then one day they received mail from the bank that their house would be auctioned because their mortgage payments were three months behind schedule. They agonised and brainstormed on how to raise the money but in vain. But in the middle of that night the man came up with a plan. What if they went to Las Vegas and tried their luck on the gambling tables? It was a driving distance in their rickety jalopy. They tried their luck in the casino and won a bit the first night. The following day they lost everything. They moved on to another table where the bets involved big dollars. They could only watch.
But something unexpected happened. One of the millionaires noticed the woman and asked her to go pick the betting numbers on his behalf. No risk involved. It was the man’s game. She went and picked number seven. The wheel rotated and whaah! She won the tycoon one million dollars. Later he asked the couple to play pool with him and in the course of it the millionaire asked the man to lend him his wife for a night in exchange for the one million dollars. They were so taken aback that he requested them to sleep over it.
That night the couple visualised what a million bucks could do for them. How they could clear their mortgage payments and buy more houses. But then again… they loved each other. She can’t do such a thing. Or can she? No. They tried to sleep but kept turning and tossing all night long. One million dollars is Ksh 85,000,000!
Should she or shouldn’t she do it? Just once. The wife says she will do it for the man. He agrees on condition that she will never tell him what happens between her and the tycoon on that one night.
And so she went and returned to her husband early the following morning with one million dollars! But everything changed. Her husband regretted and became suspicious that the wife now liked the millionaire more; that the tycoon was probably better in bed; that the wife could secretly be seeing him. He started looking for clues – ‘why are you so late?’
‘Who is it that you were laughing with on the phone?’
‘Whose number is this I found in your wallet?’
‘Tell me who you met today… did you see him?’ and so on. Finally, he forced her to tell him what she did that one night.
“Was there sex involved?” “Did you like it?” “Is he good?” The woman was very angry.
“But, I did it for you,” she protested. “No, I know you were dying to sleep with him, you only wanted an excuse.”
“What? I hate him. I couldn’t do such a thing (weeping).”
There was no laughter again in that house, no hugs, no kisses, no sex, no life. The million dollars could not buy those things back. They had, of course, bought a bigger house and a brand new car. They even bought a dog and planted a garden. But their former life had already gone out through the window. They divorced… and nobody even wanted a share of the dollars… he gave it all away to a wildlife conservancy.
Nothing counts more in marriage than a relationship built on trust. You must guard and defend it with your life. Do not do anything that will kill the trust between you and your partner for any reward. Go hungry, go broke, be jobless, but guard your trust with your all. When that is gone, it won’t matter how much money you make, where you go for holidays or the neighbourhood you live in. There can be no happiness in marriage without trust.
If Jesus had been a marriage counsellor, He would have said something like this: “Seek ye first the trust of your partner, and everything else shall be added unto your relationship.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!