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What next after the honeymoon?

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The couple

The couple  

By Carol Nambowa

Posted  Thursday, December 5  2013 at  02:00


What are some of the adjustments you had to make as a wife??
I came from being someone’s girlfriend to being a wife and mother. I was doing my last exams at Makerere University when I got pregnant. Although my parents were happy for us, I had to pause school. Secondly, I got married at 22 and I can only count a few girls my age that are married. It has been tough because I quickly had to switch from being a student to a married woman, and also change my dressing. Being a wife requires me to take care of my husband and child, think and plan for the home, which was not the case while I was at campus. I used to think of me, myself and I back then.
Ivan is the second last born in a family of eight while I am the first born in my family so it was tricky getting along with his siblings. But with time, we got along, [smiling] we are even friends on Facebook.

What are some of the things you have grown to like?
More than half of the people I met before I got married had no impact on my life but as a couple, we have met people who have had a strong impact on our lives. For example, the friends we have made in the marrieds fellowship at church give us positive advice.

What are some of the things that irritated you about Ivan at the start?
Oh my God, he had an ego! He never wanted to talk when he was angry yet talking is my way of resolving conflict.
Ivan is an organised person. However, when we had just gotten married, he would return home and place his things, for example, keys somewhere I did not know. Then in the morning, he would ask whether I knew where his keys were. It was frustrating, so I suggested that while we did house cleaning on weekends, he should clean the bedroom, so he would know where his things are placed. This seems to have worked because he no longer asks where his things are.

What are some of the difficult things you met and how have you dealt with them?
I grew up seeing my dad buy groceries home yet Ivan grew up in a home where his mother played that role. At the beginning of our marriage, we were not clear on who should do shopping for the home. I was convinced it was him yet he thought I was responsible. He once said: “You are the wife, you are supposed to know what is missing and what needs to be bought.”
We then decided to do shopping for a week together. While we were building our house, Ivan spent most of his time at the site yet I wanted him to come home and spend time with me. I am an indoor person, so we had to come to some sort of compromise.
Also, I know that there are women at Ivan’s place of work who love him but I have decided to trust him instead of confronting them.

What are some of the things about Ivan you thought would never change?
Usually when we argue, I like to reconcile by talking things out then apologise. I usually want to get a ‘sorry’ from Ivan as well. However, while we were still dating, I would say sorry and he would not.

What advice did people give you before marriage and has it helped?
Some women sat me down and told me I should have only white bed sheets and that I am not supposed to touch his phone. They also told me not to love him to the maximum but rather leave some room for disappointment so that “when you walk into his office one day and see him with a woman, you are not surprised.” They told me that Ivan’s love for me would keep decreasing as my love for him increases over the years. Nevertheless, it has not been like that at all. The good thing is that we talk about everything. About the white bed sheets, may be some people can handle that but not me. I chose to be positive about our marriage.


What are some of the adjustments you had to make in the first year?
While dating, I used to plan for only myself but after getting married, my money ceased to be mine and became our money. How I relate with the opposite sex completely changed. There are things I no longer do as a married man, for example, I would not hang out with a single woman.
Also, our individual goals died out and we had to make goals for two and when it comes to decision making, we first discuss. The other aspect was fitting in with my in-laws. There are things I could not comfortably do in their presence because I have to uphold my image. For example, I was not comfortable wearing shorts around them but that has gradually changed.

What are the things you have grown to like?
I look forward to coming back to my wife and child every day. We are moving faster than earlier anticipated. One might think because the money is shared with their spouse, it will reduce as costs shoot up but in actual sense, the money has increased. I am happy, happier than I was before I got married.

What challenges did you face at the start but have overcome as a couple?
Considering that we come from different backgrounds, we were bound to disagree. We argue but we have come to understand that arguments are not about winning and losing, they instead enable us understand one another better. Although I am the head of the family, I have learnt to let my wife speak her mind. If her opinion is good for us, we take her lead.

What are some of the things that irritated you about Brenda?
While we were still dating, I used to get mad when she received a phone call and excuses herself to answer it but I am now used to it. We even exchange phones.

What are some of the difficult things you face and how have you dealt with them?
There are times when I have a bad day at work and all I want to do is sleep but I come home and she wants to talk. We then decided that when I come home, we talk for about 10 minutes and relax.
On who should do what, my school of thought was that as a husband, all I had to do was building a house and bring the money home. Therefore when Brenda complained about me not shopping, I was perplexed. But I now leave some money for her just in case we run out of an item or she informs me when I need to buy something.
Another difficult time was when we were building our house. I used to spend a lot of time at the site, to ensure everything was in order. I would come home and quickly go to the site without talking to her. We then decided that we talk for some time before I go check on the house because it seemed like I was putting it before her.

What are some of the things about Brenda you thought would never change?
Brenda has a strong character and often sticks to her guns. When I would suggest something, she would object and when her decision messes up she would come to me for a shoulder to cry on. She now listens to me.

Which have been some of the puzzling moments in your marriage?
After the hype, wedding and dancing, then comes the honeymoon; you wanted to be together and now you are. You freeze and ask yourselves, ‘Now what?’ Many people advise us on how to run our marriage but marriage is not a tool or machine with a manual. I advise couples who are still dating to understand one another because only you can know your partner. No one else will understand your partner better than you.

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