.One of the major things that will cause conflict among couples is character. Character is a person’s normal behavior that they are used to. After marriage a lot of couples discover a character in the other partner which they didn’t know about before and most times this cause a lot of conflict. He shouts at me, she nags a lot. He is never on time, she is selfish. He doesn’t help with house chores, she is not respectful like my sister. He doesn’t provide for me like my father, she presses the toothpaste in the middle. He likes too much salt, she adds Maggi to beans. He snores too much, she shouts at me. He wastes money, she buys designer cloth. He doesn’t love the kids, she pampers them too much. He is still a Muslim, even when I have converted to Christianity. She loves “owambe” parties too much etc. This type of complaints and many more arises in marriage and we all want the person to stop that action or character that causes us pains or disturbance.
We do all we can to make the person “Change” to what we want. We nag, we cry, we report the person to the council of elders. We pray and fast and even do night vigil to change our spouse. Through this all we are filled with so much resentment for each other. Sometimes this disturbances affect our emotional life and we tie all evil things that happen to that trait. We make statements like “If he didn’t wake up late, a rat wouldn’t have entered the house,” “It was the salt she put in the food that made me have stomach ache.” “My life will come to an end because he didn’t buy me “asoebi.” We make deductions and conclusions that are highly unreasonable because all we see is that negative traits we want out of the person. There are four things that can happen in scenarios like this and I will be sharing this four things with some examples.
1. THE SPOUSE NEVER CHANGES: A lot of times, no matter how we scream, shout, jump up and down, fast etc. Our spouse might not change especially if he/she never sees anything wrong in that character or if the character is ingrained on the subconscious level of the person, e.g. he snores (he doesn’t have control over this), he doesn’t help with house chores (some men don’t see this as a crime, lol) She likes parties (yeah, she is a sanguine), She nags (I am not nagging, I am correcting and reminding you, lol)So there are some things your spouse does that can NEVER CHANGE. Over time you learn to deal with it and take it as a cross. There is something my husband’s corrects me about and that is my voice. I have a natural loud voice. So if I am talking to one person it’s like I’m talking to a crowd, but my husband can talk beside you and you won’t hear what he is saying. He sees it as something I can correct and learn, I see it as a special gift of God and something beyond my control. Its just like forcing a child who uses a left hand to use their right. Even if they tried they would be working less. Earlier in our marriage I would also complain about my spouse, I would want him to do certain things in a certain way, but he believes the way he did it is fine, so far it got done. I would nag and complain and explain it was better if he does it my way. There was a day I to tell myself that it didn’t matter the way he does the thing, The important thing was that it got done. Since that day I learnt to accommodate his own way of doing things and I seldom nag about it again and I found peace in my heart. Another thing that can help you overcome this character traits you don’t like is to focus on what the person is doing right. It helps you overlook what they are doing wrong.
2. THE SPOUSE CHANGES: There are some things that maturity, change of environment, Spiritual experiences, and natural occurrences will take from a man or a woman. They can change this characters but most time it is at their own time. A man who drinks alcohol whose wife has nagged and nagged, might become born again and overcome it or he might have a ghastly car accident after drinking that will bring him to his senses.The spouse ability to change will depend on if they accept that their character is wrong. So keep praying and believing for the spouse to change but understand that change does not depend on you the spouse but the person who exhibits the character. So one of your prayer point is for the person to realize what they have done wrong.
3. THE SPOUSE IMPROVES; This can happen when the spouse improves but does not change totally or does not change the character but acts better to you. A woman who is given to anger might still exhibit this traits with other people but decide to be milder with her husband. A spouse who doesn’t help with house chores, might make help available, e.g pay for someone else to help his wife who is burdened with the work. This happens a lot of times but when we are so focused on the weakness, we never acknowledge the way our spouse has improved or tried to remedy the situation indirectly. We keep nagging because we expect our spouses to do it exactly like our friend’s spouse, and most times when the nagging does not stop, the spouse just gives up trying to make this better. They agree that nothing can satisfy you, so they stop trying to be better. So he has paid the house rent but he is still owing on the children’s school fees, appreciate him. She cooked the food and didn’t serve you, say thank you. You needed 100,000 from her but she gave you only 30,000, say thank you. He bathed the children and applied too much powder on their face, say thank you. No matter how small the change your spouse makes to help you, be appreciative, this will encourage your spouse to do more
.4. CHARACTER EXCHANGES: This sounds funny but over time, you find yourself doing the same thing you complained about in your spouse and when your spouse complains in your exact words, you both laugh about it. When we first got married, I was the talker in our home, my hubby was the quiet one. I noticed over time, I have become quieter and my hubby seems to be the talker now, though he still doesn’t agree with me, lol. I also used to be the friendly one but my husband is not the friendly one. Most of our friends now he introduced to me. Be careful of what you complain about in your spouse. You might start doing the same thing. You might even be worse than your spouse because naturally human beings don’t see the wrong in themselves but can see it in another person 10 miles away. A man who used to complain about his wife loving “owambe” parties too much, relocated with his whole family to America and about a year later confessed to his wife he has missed the “owambe” parties they usually went in Nigeria. Surprisingly, the wife didn’t miss it. She said she is even saving more money since she was not buying “aso ebi,” as she used to. It was one of the things she liked about staying in America. So the table was turned. So I believe this message is for someone and I pray that every resentment in your heart will be healed in Jesus name. You will find joy and peace in your home again in Jesus name. As you decide to create room for peace in your home, all the hanging blessings you need will come to you in Jesus name.
“Owambe”: Nigerian styled party.
“Aso ebi”: Party uniform
“Palaver”: An African slang meaning trouble