This is not a love story; it’s a LIFE story

Life lessons learnt from my five-year marriage

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Statistics have shown that it takes five years (on average) for prisoners on a long-term stint to adjust to their sentencing. I don’t know why I began on such a note but hasn’t statistics also proven that beginning a speech with statistics mean people will pay more attention to what you’re saying. So about that five-year thing I put up there, I don’t really think it’s true. It’s actually misleading, given what we are really celebrating today. I mean, it’s neither here nor there and really doesn’t apply to this story at all. Or does it?

So five years?! Wow! That’s a long time, like prison (oops, I slipped #FreudianSlip again) but maybe even better.

But seriously, we’ve had a helluva ride! With me around, you’ve probably had more than your real-life share of Korean melodramas with some Nigerian flair (See, no dull moments with me. You’re welcome, dearest). This year was when it really clicked, you know? It took a long time but I finally got it. That loving someone is really a choice and that while love can be noun, its most important utility is as a verb. Therein, it’s a constant state of renewing, resetting, forgiving, doing, and going beyond one’s comfort zone. And that when you love someone, you don’t give up on them. You look past their flaws and love on them even especially when they don’t deserve it. Thank you for patiently waiting for me to come full circle. You waited so long, often in the dark and I bet you seldom contemplated what to do with this woman *Le sigh*.

For more than four years, I tried changing you into an image of what I thought you should be like. So much time wasted with such a great distraction to not have to really look at myself to see what I have to change in me. Yet, you have made me a better person; your reflection of me paled in comparison to what I thought I was. You have a way of bringing out the tenderness in me even when I wrestled with the concept of vulnerability and accepting that I was worthy of being loved. That I was enough, not for what I can/can’t do or be/can’t be. Loving came so easily to you — I certainly wasn’t the princess in the conventional fairy tale (think Ursula with horns, haha). Even when I gave up and checked out, you remained fervent and self-assured and held on to the promises you made to me. Kove, I finally get it now. This newfound realization is not without its consequences, albeit positive ones. It has given me life and shifted my bleak cynicism about love so I pray to spend the rest of my life loving you as hard as I can. I still have a lot to learn but I know with you by my side, I can overcome such a steep learning curve.

So what else have I learned from my 5-year stint with you?

  • Life is hard. Sometimes you catch a lucky break, at times you don’t. Sometimes your toils pay off, sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s fine and tolerable with an agreeable partner beside you.
  • Marry a partner; someone who shares your values and dreams. Someone who you can be yourself with without holding back and lean on in times of trouble. Someone who brings out youth in you yet overlooks your flaws while waiting patiently as you better yourself. This, in its very essence, is what love is.
  • We cannot be entirely compatible with the other persons; it’s merely impossible to find such a person.
  • In marriage, there’s a real hustle to be kind, accepting, encouraging, speaking positive words at all times, caring, loving, and unwavering in the face of life’s vicissitudes. These struggles creeping in between two people are a challenge to grow, mature, and evolve as a decent human being.
  • Taking up the gauntlet of coexisting peacefully and decently with another person, who has, through no one’s fault, disappointed us, failed to live up to the unattainable and lofty expectations, will make us a kinder, more tolerating, wiser, loving human being. This, I think, is the secret of a good marriage.

So thank you for being constant. Your love for and towards me has taught me a lot about the love our Father has for us. Abba loves us unconditionally and fight as we may often about this concept, our life changes positively once we accept his love. Thank you for leading me into the light. I am happy that we have the rest of our lives to keep exploring this together. Let’s get started, baby, shall we? I am so stoked and willing to be a part of this institution, now that’s unlike a prison sentence.

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