Entertainment of Monday, 13 March 2017
Last weekend marked the start of the one year celebration of Ghana’s 60 years as an independent country. We saw colourful durbars, match pasts, drumming and dancing to tell the Ghanaian story.
All over the country there were picnics and parties to remember the sacrifices of our forefathers who fought and made great sacrifices to give us freedom from our colonial masters.
As an independent country, we exercise self-government and sovereignty over our territory. We make our own decisions and have the right to protect ourselves and draw our agenda without interferences from another country. We have the best chance to grow our county in our own cultural setting.
Marriage, the most important human investment also needs independence to grow. Like our forefathers, you first have to struggle through the initial challenges of adjusting to your differences so that you can achieve harmony.
You also have to fight off interferences from work, friends and in laws to achieve unique identity in your marriage.
How to achieve independence in your marriage
The only verse on marriage mentioned four times in the Good Book is that a man must leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife and become one flesh with your spouse. You leave physically by not staying with your parents or family members.
Anyone who gives you shelter and pays for your bills will control your marriage. This makes it hard to grow your marriage your own way.
In fact, studies show wives who stay with their in-laws have higher chance of developing high blood pressure and diabetics because they feel pressurised and constrained.
Leave emotionally and mentally by making your spouse the topmost priority in your life. He or she must come ahead of your work, friends, parents and even your children.
If you put anything ahead of your marriage, you turn your Maker’s plan for your life upside down and block the path to a fulfilling marriage.
You are expected to stick together with your spouse because marriage is about total commitment, intimacy, affection and loyalty.
Every marriage, like a nation, is unique with its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You need space to grow your marriage, create and explore life of your own so that you can find solutions to the challenges you face in your marriage.
Spend quality time with your spouse because the most important purpose of marriage is companionship.
Share activities you enjoy. Do acts of service. Touch and hug often because physical touch because it stimulates the production of chemicals which promote bonding.
Go out often. Make mutual decisions and be there for each other. Speak words of love motivation gratitude and hope.
It is impossible to have a marriage without conflicts because conflicts are part of life and angels do not marry. If you have conflicts, it means you are normal and your marriage is alive.
The best way to handle your conflicts is to find a good time and talk about it. Nobody can understand your problems better than you.
If, however, your issues are beyond your control, see a trained marriage counsellor. What you must never do is to run to your friends, relative and coworkers and complain to them. They may give you the worst advice because they will act on ignorance and emotions and not on facts.
They will take your story out and magnify it. Keep your issues within your marriage because one sure way to lose your independence is to bring in others to solve your marital problems.
Every nation has its traditions; an established practice of doing the same meaningful activities over an extended period of time.
Have special foods. Have your favourite songs and rituals, speak your mother tongue and visit home often. These will give you a feeling of belonging, identity and security
True Independence for your marriage now
After 60 years of independence, we must ask ourselves if we are truly independent. We have played the blame game by accusing our colonial masters for the miserable condition we find ourselves today. We are poor and import everything from plantain, rice, fish to matches and computers.
We have expatriates in all the crucial areas of our economy. We go to other countries with cup in hand for help. Over the years, our budget has about 25 to 40 per cent donor support. We are still struggling to find the true Ghanaian identity.
Take a close look at your marriage. If you still depend on others for support, then your marriage is not truly independent.
As we resolve to make our nation truly independent, let us resolve to make our marriages truly independent because truly independent marriages are the building blocks for a truly independent nation.
True independence is the first step to a successful marriage.