After 25 years, we have realised marriage is a job

Mr and Mrs Godfrey and Eva Mutebi

What you need to know:

Godfrey and Eva Mutebi live by the knowledge thatthere is neither a perfect marriage nor a perfect partner. The couple celebrated 25 years in marriage on May 11. During this time, the couple say they have learnt each other’s needs and how to meet them.

Godfrey Mutebi and Eva Nantege met at Life Victory Church (LVC), Nateete in 1994. Godfrey had joined the church earlier in 1992. And when Eva joined two years later, he thought she was reserved, sophisticated and intelligent. She also had a part time job doing secretarial work at Makerere University that she had taken on in 1990 after finishing her O-Level exams.

Eva has since earned a Bachelor of Secretarial Studies degree from Makerere University and a Post graduate Diploma in Management from Uganda Management Institute. Between 1995 and 1997, the two were members of the church’s worship team and saw each other often.

Whenever they got a chance to talk, Eva responded in English, a language Godfrey was not fluent in. But that did not stop them from meeting often which in turn helped their friendship blossom.

According to Godfrey, the two became so attached to each other that just a day without meeting seemed like eternity, even though there were no intentions of marriage. And for two years, they remained friends.

However, God had other plans. The two would eventually fall in love in 1996 but as the relationship grew, many close relatives and friends insisted that ‘it would end in tears’.

“Honestly, there were some older women who tried to connect me with several men but these relationships never worked out,” Eva, who was then 28 years old, says.  

With the encouragement of Pr Betty Kikomeko, the two were joined in Holy Matrimony at Life Victory Church on May 11, 1997 by Pr Jamada Kikomeko.

 Journey of marriage

Twenty five years on, their marriage has had its blessings, trials and challenges.

When they got married in 1997, there were days they had little or nothing to eat due to their meagre earnings. Eva was a copy typist at Makerere University while Godfrey was still a minister dedicated and committed to LVC. For almost 20 years, she says, she hardly earned Shs300,000 per month.

Godfrey also still remembers days when a shirt would be washed at night in order for it to dry and be worn the following day. However, they persevered.

In 1998, Eva gave birth to twin girls, which made taking care of the family harder. They were filled with joy but also uncertain on how to raise them.

“Unlike nowadays when mothers get to know what to expect before birth, it was not so then. So, the twins came as a surprise,” says Godfrey, now a senior pastor at Royal Ambassadors Church, a church they started in 2012.

 “I left the twins in hospital and boarded a taxi to Kampala city centre to buy an outfit for the second baby. We had only planned for one. When we were discharged, we moved from one rental to another because we could not afford the rent,” Eva says.

They have since had four more children, the last being an 18-year-old girl.

“At the moment, most of the children have graduated from university but the tuition was in all honesty provided by God,” Eva says, adding that for almost 20 years, she hardly earned Shs300,000 a month.

“There are times I would walk from my workplace at the Pathology Department in Mulago which was under Makerere University to Bbira in Wakiso District, due to lack of transport since I also had the children to feed,” she says.

Changed fortunes

Now, life is much better. Godfrey owns Digo Investments while Eva is now a government employee.

According to Eva, the ability to afford some of the things that they could not 20 years ago has been attributed to their desire to work on their marriage.

“In marriage you have a vision; where you want to go, and a mission; how to get there,” Eva says.

“So you identify the values and ethics in a marriage and resolve to meet them. Decide to open your eyes and look for a partner and when in marriage protect them from the opposite sex.  Focus on your marriage and commit to love and cherish one another. You also have another responsibility of ensuring that your partner is strengthened in salvation with your support,” Eva says.

Eva, who has maintained her status of a submissive wife insists; “Marriage is a job that one must do.”

The songwriter also advises women to identify a man’s basic needs, which include respect, sex, food, and moral support.

“Submit to respect your man, whether big or small, rich or poor. Also, you should not deny your partner conjugal rights. In marriage,  it is a basic need,” she says.

On the other hand, men should identify the basic needs of women, which include intimacy, communication and a good sense of humour.

“A woman desires an intimate soulmate who does not just need sex but loves her genuinely. It is not about money but a nice word, a soft touch, a gesture. Such little things take the heart of a woman,” the mother of six, says.

Myths in marriage

When people get married, they tend to think of the phrase ‘happily ever after’. Actually, some people evade the phrase ‘for better or worse’ claiming they do not live for hard times but contrary to that, marriage is always subjected to trials.

“So those aspiring for marriage should not only prepare for good things.  There will be times when you fall out of love; when you feel as if you made a mistake. But in all, when you trust God and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, you can overcome such low moments. Times of lack and need, betrayal and disappointment cannot be avoided,” Godfrey says.

On dealing with extra marital relationships

Most times, Eva says, women are blamed for destroying other people’s marriages.

“However, the spirit of Jezebel uses men to use married women although it is rarely publicised. Such men do not fear whether a woman is married, is a pastor or is of a high rank,” she says.

 “There are other vices which are dangerous to our relationships. These include flirting with the opposite sex and gossiping about your family issues,” she says.

“The worst is having sex with your spouse while thinking about someone else. This is an evil that should be avoided,” she adds.

“The Bible says guard your heart with diligence for from within it comes the issues of the heart,” says Godfrey

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