Dear Amaka

Hello World

For many years, I watched my parents try.

There were times when they would fight and  throw things around, there would be no peace although each was followed by making up;with a kind of honeymoon.

 They’ll go on a date, flowers and chocolates will appear on the kitchen table and they would lecture us children about the importance of forgiveness and how marriage demands effort.

This continued for a long time and I never thought it would end, but it did, when the two of them couldn’t take it anymore.  It was then imprinted in my head that if they tried so hard and yet they failed then I would have to try harder at my own marriage.

And I did. For so many years I was the perfect example of a wife, I did the cooking and the cleaning. I would wake up early to make dishes for my husband to take to work with little notes.

But the burden of making my marriage a success was on me, I was able to do this for a while, though. Before he gets back from work, I’d have his food on the table, and I’d stay up at night doing his laundry. Of course, he told me how much he appreciates it all and loved how much love I showed him. That made me try harder if he was noticing how hard I was trying then this could really work out. It was during a nasty fight between my husband and me that the truth came out. Just like most fights that ensue between couples, neither of us had an idea how it started. At a point, I was screaming, “what else do you want me to do? I’ve done everything humanly possible to make this work, but I guess it wasn’t enough. Tell me, I need to know darn it!”

Then he said it. I’m trying too damned hard and he wants me to stop trying so hard. By trying so hard I was pushing the man, I loved away. When he comes back from work and I’m supposed to spend some time with him, I would be busy cleaning up the house and putting away baby toys instead of  watching a film together or swapping stories about how our day went. I pushed away friends, thereby isolating myself, then I became vulnerable and lonely, and I found myself becoming jealous when he talks about the fun he had when he went out with his friend. Besides family life, I had no life.

I truly do not get it am i not meant to try hard?

Dear Sister,

It is good to try to keep your marriage, but it is also possible that you are concentrating too much on doing this that you neglect your husband, maybe all he wants is for you to sit by him, joke with him, play with him ask him about his day. It is not only about doing the dishes, cooking and doing laundry it is far more than that many things more are involved like you laughing hard with him, doing different activities with him, that might be all he needs from you.

Sit him down and ask him what he would really prefer you do and try to understand things from his own perspective, marriage is not meant to be hard work, you are meant to enjoy it.

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