When the road gets rough; how to deal with the inevitable challenges of marriage

When the road gets rough; how to deal with the inevitable challenges of marriage

How much thinking do we really put into the promises we make to our new spouses and ourselves on our wedding day?

Staring into the eyes of his bride, Patrick Kajjubi stumbled over his vows. The wedding guests laughed; they put it down to nerves or perhaps the sheer joy of this heady moment. But two years down the road, Patrick’s perpetually furrowed brow, often observed as he returned home heavy, laden with shopping, seemed to the weight of the world. He marvelled at the optimism of his wedding day. 

“That day, everything was right,” he said. “Nothing could go wrong; I could have killed huge monsters without any trouble.” But after two years of marriage, his belief in himself had faltered considerably. It seemed as though he could never do anything right by his wife. The couple seemed to be at odds all the time over the most routine chores of lie—paying the rent, which bank to use, when to visit the in-laws, whose friends to host when. And the list seemed to grow daily. 

How much thinking do we really put into the promises we make to our new spouses and ourselves on our wedding day? Caught up in the stress and excitement of planning a wedding, many couples forget to reflect on the gravity of what’s ahead. Marriage is a whole new level of responsibility and commitment that is a far cry from dating. Issues of money, in-laws and eventually children enter into the equation and, inevitably, disagreements arise. Couples that have not yet learned to work through their differences - or didn’t know they were there at all - can be in for a rough ride. Complicating matters further is the fact that newlyweds are told that they’re supposed to be blissfully happy! 

Betty Nabwami had always been an optimist. She trusted things to go her way and as a result, they usually did. All that changed when she got married. She came down with a bad cold right after the wedding, rendering the honeymoon a waste. Then the couple’s new car was scratched in one of Kampala’s notorious gridlocks. Meanwhile, Betty had to contend with the stress of moving house since two weeks after the wedding, her husband was transferred to western Uganda. “It was like one crisis after another was coming at me, like fate had conspired to make my marriage difficult,” she remembered ruefully. 

When things start out difficult rather than blissful, it can be particularly trying for a newlywed couple that hasn’t had time yet to learn how to be married. In fact experts say the first year is often the hardest. It’s always challenging and frustrating when the life you imagined as an individual or as a couple after the wedding isn’t what you are living. So quick you begin to question your minds about what went wrong. 

However, amidst all those challenges and drama; the most important thing for a couple to note is staying to true to the love you both vowed for one another. Let those vows you said to each other on your wedding day keeping ringing in back of your minds. Don’t for any second think of how you can run away from it all or but rather focus on how you can beat the odds and make it work.

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