Prepare for marriage, not just the wedding

Knowing marriage is a lifetime commitment, the couple says even when they faced hurdles, they had to find a solution. Photo | Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Pascal and Samali Mugisha realised how incompatible they were after they started living together as a married couple. They then embarked on a journey of learning each other’s strengths, weaknesses and making sure their marriage succeeds.

Usually, while courting, we are so excited about our wedding day that we forget a wedding is different from marriage. The work and fuss that goes into the preparation would make one think the day will last forever.
After their wedding on October 5, 2019, Pascal and Samali had a few eye openers awaiting them. 

“After two years of courtship, we looked forward to enjoying our marriage. However, we had never really thought about the hardships, especially how different courtship is from marriage. I was now faced with the fact that I had to live with this person day in day out and spend almost every minute with them. Besides, I also missed my family a lot,” Samali says. 

“The thought of staying with someone except family was challenging, but I thank my husband for being supportive until I adjusted,” she adds.

Pascal says living as a couple is different from dating.
 “We grew up with totally different experiences and are of different temperaments. I am an extrovert and result oriented and I make decisions promptly. However, Samali is an introvert, very organised and sometimes, a perfectionist. She, therefore, takes her time and thinks through everything before making a decision,” he says.

To avoid pent up feelings that would affect their marriage for life, Pascal and Samali decided to use their first year of marriage to strengthen their bond of love and learn from each other. “We have been on a journey of growth, as well as learning to honour and tolerate each other,” they say.

Although independence is good depending on how it is exercised, it could also be a source of conflict in a marriage. In the beginning, Pascal and Samali made decisions independently. 

“I would often forget to consult her, which caused a lot of disagreements,” Pascal shares. On the other hand, being a perfectionist meant Samali had a particular way of doing things, which her husband sometimes disagreed with.

With the differences, the first thing the Mugisha’s resolved was that they were in this marriage for eternity. “We then purposed to attend marriage conferences such as the Marriage Now retreats that would be held at the Miracle Centre Cathedral in Lubaga, Kampala, once a month. Here, we would learn from different couples on how they coped. This helped us to appreciate marriage, and gave us the knowledge to handle thorny issues,” Pascal shares.

As a couple, Samali and Pascal also made room for open, heartfelt communication and chose to submit to each other in love. 
“We decided to have heartfelt conversations from time to time and set aside time to discuss issues as they come up,” Samali shares. 

Pascal adds that on this journey, he has learned two importanat lessons. “A happy wife makes a happy home and where there is unity, God always commands the blessing. Wives are naturally blessed with the sixth sense and can discern what we, husbands, might have missed out, generally complementing us. That taught me to not only love and respect her, but also honour and listen to her because most of the time, she is right.”

Meeting at the beginning of 2016 as students at the Miracle Bible College in Rubaga, Kampala, the odds did not seem to point to marriage. Samali was grieving the loss of her father and recovering from a failed relationship. It is little wonder that despite being in the same class for more than a month, none had noticed the other. 

But one evening, as Pascal made his way to one of his classes, he greeted Samali, which started a friendship. “I became her shoulder to lean on. Being vulnerable at the time, I made a deliberate effort to be there for her. It was not until the close of 2016 that I asked her out on a date,” Pascal says.

Prior to joining Bible College, Samali was planning to go to China for further studies. 
“I was excited and looking forward to a fresh start, perhaps because I was trying to get over a terrible heartbreak and the loss of my father. Leaving for China to study was my way to leave it all behind me,” she says.

However, the trip was never to be because she had a change of heart and instead enrolled for a two-year diploma course at  Miracle Bible College. 
“To date, I think this is the best decision I ever made because I would never have met my loving husband otherwise,” she says.

“Being Christians, we made a deliberate effort to honour God and abstain from sex until the day we got married. We prayed together on many occasions, attended many conferences on marriage and supported each other morally, spiritually and financially in various ways. We also went on several dates and attended some family events together,” Pascal says.

Samali adds that they also had an accountability couple who prayed for and counselled them. This, they say, made it easy to look at what was important and how to achieve it.

Parting shot
“Young people should trust in God because marriage was his idea from the beginning. Also, with marriage, you reap what you sow. So, I encourage you to pray together, read books on marriage and attend marriage conferences with your partner. Learn to love, cherish, honour, respect and appreciate them. Understand that whatever challenges come, they too shall pass and, please, do not leave your marriage to chance. Be deliberate and work on it,” Pascal shares.
Samali says it is important to take time to learn, grow, understand and appreciate each other and pray “God is the author of marriage. So, He will guide you because marriage is between a husband, wife and God. Build trust, commitment and always be honest with each other, and leave the rest to God.”