If you want to know about love and marriage, ask someone with enough experience. Edgar R. Batte speaks to couples who have made marriage work and they share some of their ups and how to conquer the low moments.
Julius Kyazze: We constantly remind ourselves of what is most import to us and we never let anything get between that order of importance. First is God. We are both big believers in God and we put him first. We have come to understand that an unhappy spouse leads to unhappy children and ultimately a sad home. So we take care of ourselves before the children.
The children follow in third place in our order of importance. Work is only fourth. We work very hard and we are spread out between work and family businesses and we get pulled away quite a bit but we constantly remind ourselves of the order. Friends and extended family follow in fifth place plus anything else that comes up. This has helped us not to lose focus of what is important to us and keep our marriage healthy.
Sandra Kyazze: Putting God first in everything, reading and applying the Bible teachings in everyday life has made me a better person, wife and mother. Praying also brings our family together. I love my partner unconditionally through all seasons.
Even when I am angry it does not stop me from loving and doing the things I must do for my husband. Trusting my husband fully has strengthened our bond because wherever I am, I know all is well because I trust him. Forgiveness is key. There is love language and it calls for understanding my husband’s love language. This has really helped me understand him and speak to him in his language.
Shem and Grace Ssemambo
Shem Ssemambo: We have been married for 15 years. We have mutual respect for each other and have displayed a lot of ease and calmness with ability to listen and understand each other’s emotions.
We have been open and passionate about each other’s feelings and there is unconditional love and care with emphasis on communication and compromise. We take pride in listening to each other’s views and opinions and where need be we reach a mutual compromise. Shared values have been key in our marriage.
We share many similar beliefs and faith in most of what we do and this has helped us work towards common goals and objectives for a better marriage. We greet each other every morning with a passionate kiss and say goodbye to each other before leaving for work. And we always look forward to seeing each other after a day’s work.
Grace Ssemambo: We always say something good about each other even in public. It is sort of a thrill and uplifting to hear your loved one say something awesome about you.
We also always explore new adventures by going out of our familiar comfort zones to avoid boredom. This brings about a sense of excitement in finding new activities and environment to share. We visit new restaurants, holiday resorts, friends, clubs, fellowships to have a great new feel and ambiance.
At home, I make sure I always prepare for my husband an out of this world meal and he always looks forward to a delicious meal every other day.
We always look forward to celebrating milestones in our lives. Whether its acknowledging our birthdays, wedding anniversary or success at work we always make an effort to celebrate together because we have truly earned them and we always look forward to another celebration together.
What the Rwamwriris do
Abiaz Rwamwiri: July 13th, Doreen and I will make five years in marriage. We always pray to God to bless us to walk a fulfilling marriage journey that we can enjoy and inspire our children and siblings to believe that with God’s blessings, a happy marriage is possible. Doreen and I share an interesting family background. I was born in a polygamous family and a single mother raised her, we have challenged ourselves to break this curse and form a new lineage for our generation; we believe the Lord is with us.
Doreen Rwamwiri: Abiaz and I have been together for seven year and we give glory to God. One of my biggest strength and encouragement that keeps me going each day is that I vowed to Abiaz and to God at the altar to commit to him till death do us apart. Forgiveness has helped me to know and understand that each day the lord is gracious to me, so the same way I should treat my spouse.
Bill and Rachael Kahirimbanyi
Bill Kahirimbanyi: My marriage has worked so far basically by God’s grace. Our Union started well, as I was living a sober controlled life, coupled with fresh love vibes. About two years into marriage, a relapse back into alcoholism brought this fairytale union to a standstill. I had to leave her for over a year to get my life back on track.
This was a period of tough recovery experiences but thankfully; she did not seek separation. We have since managed to live together in harmony, pray together, take care of the children together, and endeavour to do everything together. Understanding, compromise and prayer, I believe, are the binding forces that have made our marriage work.
Rachael Kahirimbanyi: When I met Bill in 2007, It was love at first sight. He is very humble, respectful and loving. We got married on June 13, 2009. Life was good until I learnt that he was an alcoholic. Life became very hard but I loved him so I had to hang on through prayer. I just decided to tell God what I was going through and how I wanted things to change. I got to know that this was a disease and all I needed was patience.
We had made vows to stick with each other through sickness and health I would never leave him. Besides, he is a very loving husband and father to our children. Lastly, prayer works.
How Ashraf and Sharifah Simwogerere have coped
Ashraf Simwogerere: We have been married for 26 years. Like any couple, we have faced challenges and we have learnt how to deal with them. In the beginning, we would report one another to our parents but when her mother passed on, I stopped. We are now our own counsellors.
I do not trust social workers or counsellors because they have their weaknesses too. My advice is that anyone in a relationship should not trust an outsider because they cannot understand you better than you understand each other. The key is always communicating.
Sharifah Simwogerere: We have grown in our relationship and so has the trust between us. We have grown to appreciate listening to one another and this has also helped us share advice. The biggest challenge I have faced was when a third person was introduced in the picture.
It was challenging because I was not prepared to share my man with another woman. I stood my ground. Luckily, the other woman walked away. My advice to lovers is not let fellow young people advise them but seek for counsel or advice from married people who have been in the institution longer.