OPINION: What has made my 13-year marriage successful

By Wambui Onyango

I recently celebrated my 13 years in marriage. So many people asked me to share some notes on what has made my marriage successful for a decade+3.

NB/ My testimonies might not work for everyone.

1: Taking a personal responsibility to build your marriage and home: This is a decision I made to get into this union. It’s upon me to ensure its success without an exit plan.

2: Respect (A): Sometimes I relate my marriage to an employment where I have to respect every aspect to save my marriage. My husband as the boss, my children as junior colleagues, coming home early, working on my JD to save my home.

3: Respect (B): Fundamental for any hierarchy that the head MUST be respected. Listening to my man’s needs and fulfilling his requests. Where debatable I involve patience and humility without raising an argument. Kings hate controversies.

4: In-laws: My father-in-love is my best friend and my mother is my hubby’s friend. These are the only guys who know your partner better than you. If you cherish them, you’ll be loved by the entire kinsmen.

5: Small, finer details: My husband is my closest person. Making him feel good and loved despite his weaknesses is my priority. Receiving him from work, taking off his clothes, preparing his shower, making his best meal, fueling his car, occasional surprise gifts.

6: Finances: Those who know us can testify that we got here! We were not like this but through carefully planning and sharing our finances openly. Men are so crafty so I give him that space but skillfully manage our family finances. Share opinions.

7:Friends: Respecting his friends made me know who he is in his pack.(ENSURE YOU KNOW HIS FRIENDS). A psycho-social analysis of his friends’ characters gave me a niche of how/why/what/where/who my husband is.

8:Personal assets: Respecting his space and personal items ensured that I stopped the blame. Where he puts his car keys, documents, mobile phone etc is his option, but if I have to touch them then he must be aware.

9: Mobile phone: That’s his gadget. If he loves the privacy, give him. You wish to make your phone public so be it but without rebuking whatever he’s doing on his phone. His phone. You have also an option to make yours private. Avoid phone arguments.

10: Care: Men are like children, I ensure he feels loved and cared for. His clothes, meals (serving him myself and sitting beside him while he’s eating to ensure he’s fine). Occasionally calling him to check how’s doing. Making him feel loved.

11: Children: As a mother, it my responsibility to ensure the kids are fine and safe. Where we need both parents I invite him. Our son is typically him so often I’d let them sit together. Making him love his kids saves a lot.

12: Dates: We often have family dinner dates, doesn’t have to be flashy but that oneness in one mission is important. Sometimes we leave the kids and go the two of us. One long date in the mid year and three short dates for me and him.

13: Sex: Talk about it, I ask him what style he’d want to try. Satisfy him. Excite his sexual desire, make him want you. Send yourself to him. I know he won’t be satisfied but at least I’ve done my bit well.

Wambui Onyango is a wife, mother of two children and a student pursuing a Master’s degree in Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool in England.

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