By Aisha Musa Auyo
The famous marriage counsellor, Maryam Lemu, advised couples to ask themselves often if they are still the person their spouse fell in love with. The answer would help one reflect and recognise which area to concentrate on in order to improve their marital relationship.
But, how can one achieve this if they are oblivious of the qualities that attracted their partner in the first place? Why did your partner choose to spend an entire lifetime with you despite millions of others worldwide? What are the qualities that attracted them and made them want to be with you for the rest of their lives?
You should, at least, know more than half of those qualities that attracted your person significantly, if not wholly. These qualities may range from your looks to character, smile, skill, gestures, intelligence, or even the way you laugh. I know of a man who married his wife because of her loud laughter. He said the sound of her laughter makes his worries vanish. Unfortunately, and sadly, she stopped laughing after a life-changing event that occurred in their life. They lost their two kids to gunmen, and from that day, she lost herself. (Story for another day).
Men are creatures of few words. Women should pay attention to whatever they say or indicate the slightest interest in. If you are lucky your partner is outspoken, work is easier for you.
I know life happens, and changes are inevitable, but we should always strive to bounce back or be better versions of ourselves. Laziness destroys marriage, and not improving ourselves and relationships is one of the commonest laziness in our lives. We find silly excuses, blame nature, work, kids, our significant others, and anything we can lay reasons on. But trust me, with willpower and dedication, we can improve our relationship daily with small, consistent steps.
This write-up is a wake-up call for you and myself as I have been slumbering too – I stopped writing almost entirely. I abandoned my PhD thesis completely, my relationship write-ups forgotten. In fact, I neglected even the short motivational and inspiring pieces I used to write.
And one of the qualities that attracted my husband (then boyfriend) to me was writing. He’s amazed by my ideas and intellect, my zeal and inspiration to write. He loves my wordings and spends time reading my childish drafts. So he supported and cheered me.
He even bought me a modem for browsing, research and online publishing… (At that time, when one could only access the internet in the cafe… When we used to pay 50 naira for 30min and 100naira for an hour of internet surfing time, so modem was a big deal). I embraced penning down ideas to the fullest and made sure I published at least one well-researched article daily.
Then life happened, and I changed. I was not too fond of typing anymore. I only want to read and move on. Sometimes my husband would say, “As a matter of fact, you are becoming lazy; you no longer write,” and I’d reply with excuses like school, taking care of the kids, and running a catering business ain’t a joke. They are all fables. I still get free hours to surf the internet.
Whenever I share with him a beautiful write-up by others, he would be like, “Great write-up! I just wish it were your words”. Still, I wasn’t bothered. It didn’t hit me hard till the day he invited me to listen to a radio programme where they invited writers and poets for discussion. He was so attentive and enthusiastic. Of course, the woman in me got pissed off, as the guest was a lady that day. I pretended to share his enthusiasm, but I was boiling inside. That night, I thought about myself and the lazy girl I had become.
The reflection reminded me of the many messages I received asking why I stopped writing. My blog followers become concerned, some disappointed. Finally, I made up my mind to try to be better. I know deep inside me I can do better. I need to rekindle that flame.
Tonight, ask yourself, what qualities attracted my spouse to you? Is that quality still present in you? Have you improved in that area? What should you do to rekindle that attraction?
Remember, a happy couple produces happy and healthy kids, creating a healthy family, state, nation, and the world. So this single and simple effort can go a long way in improving the world.
Aisha Musa Auyo is a Doctorate researcher in Educational Psychology. A mother of three, a Home Maker, caterer and parenting/relationship coach.