I met my husband Gilbert in 1987 while visiting my brother’s family at Waithaka, Nairobi. I had just completed my Form Six and was about to go to college while he was working at the NIC Bank in Nairobi. Sparks did not fly the first time we met. It was not love at first sight. I had recently lost another relationship and did not want to get into a rebound relationship. I wanted to have my time to think through what I wanted from a relationship and heal completely.
“But as time progressed, I realised that he was actually the one for me. He was very clear about what he wanted; a wife to marry. He was not pushing to have his needs met but to have our future needs met. I viewed him as considerate, unassuming, kind and a good friend to have. We became very good friends, sharing our struggles, achievements and dreams without inhibitions.
“Once I was ready, we dated for two years and in 1990, I agreed to his proposal. By that time, I felt that I was ready to settle down with him.
“We started off with traditional rites of marriage in 1991 and got married in a church wedding on December 7, 1991, at Thare ACK Church in Thika. On November 18, 2017, we celebrated our silver jubilee and renewed our marriage vows at Kirigiti PCEA Church in Kiambu.
“We have now been married for 26 years, during which we have been blessed with two children, a 22-year-old young man and a 23-year-old young lady. Looking back, our marriage has worked because we realised from the start that marriage is work, and we need to constantly exert ourselves to make sure it works.
“I have chosen to honour my spouse so that he feels privileged as a spouse. I do that through consulting, knowing my place and his place, accommodating his family as my own and taking special care of my mother-in-law because I know that he values her immensely.
I have also taken classes to understand myself, spousal dyad, and family as a way of adding value to all these aspects. I have also learned the importance of investing goodwill in my marriage.
“Over the years, I have realised that the key to a happy and lasting marriage is having a shared meaning and purpose. Define the kind of marriage you want to have and enter into it knowing that it is an investment that repays handsome dividends over time.
This article was initially published in the Daily Nation