Trust and Maureen Nongo were both church ministers. So, when they met, they expected dating to be easy and marriage to be even better. They had been in church for a while so they thought they knew exactly what to do. However, things turned out differently.
“It started with our courtship. We forgot all about boundaries as taught in church so we touched, hugged and kissed,” Maureen shares.
Trust says while they knew the right thing to do, boundaries were never discussed. “We also lacked mentorship. So, we had no one to share our struggles with or get guidance. I think if we had had a mature married couple to walk the journey with, it would have made a lot of difference,” Trust says.
After their wedding on January 30, 2010, the Nongos had a baby eight months later. Being newlyweds, this was a tough time, especially since Maureen suffered a lot of pregnancy-related sickness. “Also, despite the fact that we had undergone counselling, we had had a bumpy courtship. So, although married, we were always in disagreement. For starters, we discovered that we were different, from the way food was cooked, to how it was served, how we slept, and how we embraced in the morning,” Trust shares.
Maureen says immediately after the wedding, the love disappeared. “I felt that I had married a man who only cared about himself yet his caring nature had attracted me to him. I also felt that he did not listen to me, and all I wanted was him to be like me,” she says.
Trust adds that the way that they spoke, had conversations, dealt with conflict was all different. “Our differences worked against us rather than for us. I know that it was only God that took us through the first year of marriage since even our finances were bad. The only good thing was that we were committed to marriage and because God saw this commitment, he helped us walk through the fire,” Trust says.
Owing to their differences and failing to accept her husband’s character, Maureen says grievances piled up. Coupled with failure to communicate, whatever one said to the other was perceived as an insult and this caused more trouble. “It was so bad that one month after the birth of our first baby, I suffered postpartum depression and one day, I packed my bags and went to my sister’s home. Thankfully, he came for me after two weeks,” Maureen shares.
Another issue that bothered Maureen was Trust’s failure to apologise. “Although he was a worship leader at church, I expected him to correct me differently now that I was his wife. The failure to apologise yet be harsh in correction went on for a while that one day, during practice, he said some harsh words and I walked away in tears. I went home and knew he would come back and ignore me as usual. But when he returned, before doing anything, he knelt down and apologised. I looked at him in awe and could not believe what was happening,” she says.
From that point on, sorry comes naturally and has solved a lot of issues. The couple says that what some people go through in 10 years of marriage was experienced in just one year of theirs. However, they thank God for taking them through it. “The mishaps drew us to work at having a better marriage, through reading books, asking questions and doing as much research as possible so as to get to a place where our marriage was close to what God intended for us,” Trust says.
They share that they are still learning to communicate effectively, borrowing words from each other. “The only difference is that we have grown and handle things better. For example, from the book Love and Respect, we learnt why we are different. Also, the Bible calls for submission from wives and love from husbands towards their partner unconditionally. If I wait for respect to come then reciprocate with love, I am missing the point and will take my marriage through a crazy cycle,” Trust shares.
“We also started putting aside time where we would leave everything else and for two hours or so, catch up on different aspects of our marriage, ironing out several creases. This created an atmosphere where we talked about even the hard stuff,” he smiles.
Maureen adds that they also schedule time for intimacy within the date. “We have a lot going on that if we do not plan for intimacy, we could get caught up in activity which draws the marriage apart. Good sex does not just happen. It takes preparation, so besides the spontaneous sex, on our couple night, we also schedule sex. It has worked well to add spice to our marriage,” she says.
The music ministers met at Victory City Church in Ntinda, Kampala, where despite being on the same team, with Maureen playing the keyboard and Trust, the guitar, none noticed the other. However, that changed during the Encounter Camp of 2008 when Maureen noticed how caring Trust was. After the camp, they exchanged numbers and communicated often.
Trust, on the other hand was smitten by the way Maureen carried herself in regard to things of God, and how she related with people. “I knew this was the right person to spend my life with,” trust says.
Blessed with two children, the couple aim to help young people through courtship. “We learned that when courtship is done right, the marriage will be better,” Maureen shares.
“In marriage, unlike other relationships, you cannot give up. There will be several times your spouse will infuriate you but you do not just walk away. The Bible urges us to let go of anger before the sun goes down and it is best practiced here. God gives you an atmosphere where He deals with your heart and while it is not an easy process, it is beautiful,” Trust adds.