I’m sure some of the things mentioned in the first part hit home at some point in time, be rest assured that this article is concentrated on couples and how they allowed their social, environmental factor to affect their marriages. Many things come to play which I can’t start to pick one after the other and so I’ll summarise them all into the following.

1.      Whether you are in a relationship or marriage, one thing you should be ready for is change. Just like I explained earlier, change is inevitable and waiting for each other to compromise this natural phenomenal would eventually put your relationship at the brick of falling. This change has nothing to do with you allowing him to bring a new woman to the house every weekend or expecting her to start clubbing as soon as you are married. It have everything to do with accepting that the girl that cannot do without cooking your dinner everyday might grow to a woman who will always be too tired at the end of the day to even stand for ten minutes. I know there are thing each gender are meant to do no matter what but no one will kill themselves trying to prove things to you. Life will make him or her change and the earlier you start to accommodate those changes, the better for your relationship.

2.      Now you have to understand your partner will grow as human, growth from work, businesses, thinking, ideas. Experiences will make them grow. In marriage, people tend to achieve more success if they are with someone who understands them and support their dreams. If you are married to a man or woman who doesn’t want you to grow beyond a level, then you might be in for a rollercoaster. Likewise, before going into a relationship or marriage, understand your partner’s dream, is it in accordance with the life you have planned out for yourself? If your partner achieves their dreams, will it come in between your lives? It might sound really low thinking about it but there are men and women who would never allow their partners to travel out of wherever they are for business or whatever. It is important to have one eyes open when you are in love, don’t be completely blind.

3.      Support your partner through the changes they go through in life. Now it seems I have been advising those that have one or two dreams in life, now this is for all partners. A healthy relationship like Omotola and Capt. Ekehinde would not be possible if they both did not understand themselves, their dreams and repeatedly work on supporting each other through it all. Considering the fact that Omotola was still very young when she got married, what does and eighteen years old know about marriage or life or even about sacrifices. At the time it must have been a leap of faith for her to venture into it but look at her now. If she doesn’t have a man who wants to be with her no matter where the wave directs them to, they wouldn’t be together right now. While Omotola might be far-fetched, your parents are good example (if they are still together). Forget the fact that some are still together because the society will laugh at them, that is a choice. Omotola does not strike as a woman who would stay in a marriage if she is not happy, no she knows what she wants so what could have been keeping her happy all these years? Maybe she found happiness in her marriage through the support and understanding of her man. No it is not rocket science, it is hard work, once you open your eyes, you’ll see.

4.      A selfish person can’t be in a relationship talk less of marriage. You’ve never come across a selfish person before? How luck you are. They are the real definition of parasite because they will drain and milk you till you have nothing else to offer. This type of people will take everything from you and leave you with nothing, you have to be in a relationship with a selfish person before you know because their siblings might not even grasp how bad their selfish brother/sister is. Once you go into marriage with a selfish person, you become two instead of one, it will feel like it’s you against the world including your spouse. So to have a successful marriage you need someone who is selfless and is always ready to sacrifice for you.

5.      Sacrifice and compromise. If you have ever heard of Nikki Bella and John Cena, their love story was in a span of six years. John told Nikki before they got into a relationship that he doesn’t want children and will never get married again. Being in love, Nikki accepted this as her fate and was ready to sacrifice marriage and kids for love. This is real life and not fiction. Almost six years down the lane, Nikki came to the realisation that that might not be a life for her, she doesn’t see herself without kids in the next ten years and then there was a crack. If Nikki had gone into the marriage with hopes that John would yield eventually, they both will have a very distasteful life after marriage. Now I understand that some people might not tell you what they truly want while courting, that is not your fault, there is nothing you can do when someone decided to hide what they truly want from you but at the end of the day, some issues are rather kept on the low and allowed when you think about it. Being in a marriage means being in a contract, if you don’t want it to be void, then you ratify it.

6.      Talk about things before you sign the contract. Sounds cliché right? People still change even after talking and talking, that’s not the kind of talking I’m talking about, except you marry because you got pregnant and not because you really want to spend the rest of your life with your partner, I will advice couples to draw up a plan, like a contract with terms and conditions because in fact marriage is a contract, why not draw up your personal terms before you sign your contract. List thing that are okay with you, like where you choose to sleep on the bed, how you want the toothpaste to stay, whether you want the W.C covered or not, the right time you want your partner home. I can see you giving this the side eye but they are the little things that break relationship, they are always overlooked and rarely talked about. So this is not about promising each other that you will change, it’s about drafting the things you want and don’t want and signing it, you can attach it to your marriage document depends on how serious you take this.

7.      After you get into a relationship or marriage, it is best if you don’t depend a lot on God to help you with the marriage, this is not about prayers, prayers move mountains but it won’t move the plate from the dining table to the kitchen, no you have to get up and do it. So there are many things that shouldn’t be left to prayers but we are mostly too lazy to attend to them. God will give you your husband or wife but he will not help you date him/her, it is left to you to make the relationship work. While we depend on God to move the spiritual, take full control of the physical.

8.      Be friends in marriage. No, friendship does not end once you get married, it should blossom. However, it is difficult to form a bond of friendship if you weren’t friends with your partner before marriage. With friendship, you would be able to view your partner more than a sexual object, you will both have lives together outside the bedroom. It kind of seem that it will be automatic for married coupled to be friends but that is not always the case, if you never had friendship before marriage, you can create one, you can be friends when it is hard to be a couple and when things are resolved you go back, theoretically, it is an escape route. Now friendship does not solve all problems, just like friends fight, y’all will fight too whether you are friends or not but with friends, issues are easily solved and things are more likely to be put into perspectives than with non-friends. Use your real life experience as an example.

9.      Never involve a third party in your relationship. Until you have kids, you too are one against the world, tackle your relationship problems yourself. Not involving third parties include the social media because no one on Instagram cares about you, even if you are a celebrity, they only see you as an instrument of entertainment and your private issues will be treated as one. So keep your issues to yourselves, don’t involve family members because just like social media users, a lot of your family members do not care about you, they only want to cure their boredom. Now the side effect of involving a third parties is that you are now exposed to the world, any little thing any of you do will be a point of discussion or reference, you can no longer be seen with a college without preys and spies informing your partner of  a booming relationship with them. Oh this doesn’t mean you can’t post and appreciate your partner, did he just get you a flower, appreciate him but don’t tell them how he didn’t buy you flower last week because he lied he was at work but when you called his work they said he wasn’t there, no one needs to know that but you, keep it to yourself.

10.  Keep the respect flourishing. They call this the see all syndrome. You are now too familiar and somehow, the respect you have always had for your partner is nowhere to be found. Women have ego just like men, they might not be egomaniac but everyone wants to be respected as humans, don’t let marriage turn you into a monster who now gives no cent about their partner’s dignity. No one should ever go through violence and anyone in a violent relationship is encouraged to leave while they are still alive. Human dignity is so fundamental that once a person is stripped of it, that person becomes unfit to be human.

11.  It is however important to say that couples should try as much as they can not to cheat in relationship or marriage. This is coming last because...well you know why but it is still worthy of mention. Cheating breaks trust that might never be re-built, cheating has destroyed more marriages/relationship than any other thing in the world. But surprisingly, people don’t seem to want to end it but hope and pray for a successful marriage and relationship.

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