January 17, 2017
In Cameroon, marriage is sacred. It’s so sacred that divorce in many families is still a strong taboo. Not to say divorce is a good thing. But this situation has many people hanging-on in unhappy marriage relationships, and considering themselves doomed to that unhapiness. Especially when, they are with a partner that refuses to acknowledge something is going wrong. It’s as if because your partner knows there will be no possibility for divorce, they do not feel threathened to loose you. Because they know you will always be there, their effort towards making things work out is deminished. It is not uncommon to see mariages where both partners find satisfaction outside of mariage with other people, instead of trying to work things out with each other. The popular “we are together because of the children” excuse pops up every now and then. Then one begins to wonder: Is this all mariage is about? Being together because of the children? Don’t you have a right to a happy fullfilling marriage with your partner? A marriage where each partner makes conscious effort to make things work? A marriage where you have a right to demand love and attention from your partner when you fill that you are begining to loose it.
Unfortunately, many people slip into that numb stage of their relationship without noticing how they got there. Moreover, even those who meet with problems don’t know what is the right thing to do. They usually have only freinds & family members to talk to. These people may sincerely want to help with their advice, but are simply not proffesionals in marital counselling to give marital advice. Most of their advice is based on their own personal experience, which most of the time will not fit your own reality.
So how do we identify the wrong early enough? At times, it starts with a feeling of dissatisfaction. You may not be able to point out what is wrong but your feel like something is wrong. It is important to note that identifying where/what the problem is, is a very a important part of begining the healing process. Do not think it’s worng to complain (even if your spouse thinks you complain toomuch). If you do not feel happy, then you are not happy. If you do not feel right, then something is wrong. First try to figure it out. Ask yourself the following questions and answer sincrerely:
- Do you feel alone despite the fact you are in a relationship?
- Do they feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells, censoring your thoughts, denying feelings and monitoring your behavior in order to maintain some level of peace in your relationship?
- Do you focus all your energy on trying to earn the approval of your partner or make them happy, without giving concern for your own happiness or feeling happy in return?
- Are you questioning your right to get your needs met in your marriage?
- Do you feel like your partner makes you feel like you are the real problem with you complaining, and expectations.
If any of the questions are answered positively, then your marriage is in a phase of instability. You are surely investing more to keep the equilibrum in your marriage than you are growing in your relationship with your spouse. The extent to which these situations are occurring will have a direct impact on how happy, healthy, safe and loving you find your relationship. It will no doubt be impacting how you feel about yourself and mostly probably will have started to infiltrate other areas of your life.
The good news is, all is not lost. Unlike many out there, you have acknowledged that something is wrong with your marriage, and have decided to work on it. The first thing you should know is every good thing is accomplished with conscious effort. Good and successfull marriage can be gotten when both partners make concious effort to make things work. Even The effort of just one partner can make the whole difference. The first thing towards making it work is educating yourselves on marriage. Education is the key, we always say. It is suprising to know that many people, old and young, are not educated on aspects of marriage. Here, i recommend a few books that you should read on. These have helped me and am sure you will find them very useful too.
Hopefully those books give more light on your situation and helps you deal better with it. We may not be accustomed to marriage counselors in Cameroon, but the best we can do is read books on the subject written by experts on the subject of dealing with marriage relationships.