Transition from Single to Married Life – Part 1
If there is a prayer request that bombards heaven daily, it is the prayer for a life partner. More often than not this prayer requests tends to be mostly associated with ladies and they cry to heaven for divine intervention. But trust me, the single men pray too. For some, this plea goes on for years and it seem to me that after a while it even gets tiring and you just let it be; surrender to God’s time, so to say. For some, their prayer get answered during this time of intense prayer, while for some others, they eventually get a life partner long after they have stopped crying to heaven and even when they least expect it; it just happens. So who knows when?
However, I know it is a petition that can really trouble the mind. A single man or woman may not show it in public, but in the secret of their room and in the secret of their hearts, it is indeed something to bother about. You just have to trust in the Lord God or in any powers you worship that your life partner, the one destined for you, will come to you.
Sometimes you look around you; classmates, schoolmates, friends, colleagues, relatives, everyone else seems to be either getting engaged, getting married or expecting a child. And for you, who may indeed be making progress in other areas of life, these aspects of life seems to be eluding you, and you just wonder. Of course, quickly, you remember, “God’s time is the best” – if that consoles you in any way.
For some, the transition from single life to married is smooth,
for some others, it may indeed be rocky.
For some, it happens even before it dawns on them.
Indeed, every single man/woman who eventually gets married has his/her experience of the waiting game. The experiences are as diverse as there are faces on the planet. Each one has his/her own story to tell. Some good stories, others, not pleasant experiences. However, for everyone, the waiting game has its fair share of adventure, pleasure, excitement, mistakes, insights about one’s self, eye-opening experiences, and for some, never-again/s and even regrets. Everyone hopes they will eventually get through and end well with their good heart’s desire. But the way it happens, you really don’t know when or how. You simply live in hope.
For some, the transition from single life to married is smooth, for some others, it may indeed be rocky. Only they can tell you. For some, it happens even before it dawns on them, while for others, they literally dig through every bit of it as it unfolds. In any case, it happens.
A single article can hardly capture all that happens in the lives of many people in the transition from single to married life because experiences are so diverse and so complex. Besides, it does not necessarily have to take the same process as described here. This generally applies to our Nigerian context.
The dating period can indeed be a time of
much communication, fun and excitement together.
When eventually there is divine intervention (maybe, if not human intervention) and a person gets a ‘promising’ life partner, then a marriage proposal may follow. The proposal, “Will you marry me?” could be very creative, dramatic, fun and full of surprises, with friends and family. For some others, it may be more solemn and low key, nonetheless, still exciting.
Regarding dating, some people date for a long time, in term of years. Whereas, for some others, they only take weeks or months, and gbam! They are married!
For emphasis, the dating period is indeed a very crucial time. Here, we are referring to when both parties have convinced themselves and those around them that this is the person they want to be married to. It is a period of “getting to know you”: getting to know how compatible you both are with each other; knowing your likes and dislikes; knowing how you react to different circumstances, situations and events; getting to know who your friends are; what you really do for a living; getting to know your parents, relatives and their level of acceptability; getting to know your interests, drives, dreams, fears, wishes, hopes and aspirations; getting to know your strengths and weaknesses; and then getting to know (if possible) if and how you would stand by me, come what may – having also gotten to know my weaknesses and strengths.
The dating period can indeed be a time of much communication, fun and excitement together. Some have the opportunity of travelling to places together, go out with friends, attend family celebrations together, visit one another’s home place, work place and have lots of social time together. These opportunities help the couple to get to know each other.
For some others, the dating period may not necessarily be that much fun. Besides some fun times together, some spend time sorting out personality/character differences, family issues, social differences and the like. Some will tell you that they disagreed or even quarreled a lot and did notice certain habits and characters in the partner, which they decided to overlook, perhaps with the hope that the partner will change after wedding or some formalization of the relationship. In truth, characters that mustn’t be overlooked during the dating period include: controlling behaviors, violence, over-possessiveness and intense selfishness and stinginess. These will not change after the wedding! It would rather get worse. So beware!
Issues may also arise from relatives, friends, social and/or from religious groups. All these issues need to be sorted out before serious commitments are made. The couple should be able to sort things out such that none of the issues arising will be an obstacle to their marriage relationship later on, as much as possible.
With all the above navigated, the wedding or formalization is set to be. Finances are usually a big part of the entire preparations. For some, this is no problem at all, while for many others, they have to scrape themselves and/or depend on friends and family to pull it through. Where there is faith, then it is possible. The best of it all is, whatever you do, no long-standing debts after the wedding or formalization ceremony.
In truth, characters that mustn’t be overlooked
during the dating period include: controlling behaviors, violence,
over-possessiveness and intense selfishness and stinginess.
These will not change after the wedding!
After the ceremonies are over, friends and well-wishers may continue to visit and gifts may continue pouring in. Even at that, some quiet returns and the couple have to face their new life together. Hopefully, it is not a situation where the new couple still has to stay away from each other even after their marriage. This may happen for several reasons, though it is not ideal.
Both parties get lots of advice during this transition period regarding how to sustain their marriage relationship, through thick and thin. At this time, these advises may possibly sound so distant and far-fetched because one may not have already experienced what is being said or even really understand what is being emphasized. However, it is wise to put any relevant advice in the ‘pocket’ for possible future use. It is only a fool who does not learn from the experiences of others. Though each person’s journey and destiny is different, but we can always find something positive to learn from others.
(To be continued on – Part 2 & 3)
- Linda Ellah
See Related Post: Transition from Single to Married – Part 2