The family is a living entity and indeed has a very long life span. It outlives marriage, just as marriage outlives wedding. To say the obvious, the family is actually everlasting. Because it even outlives the individuals involved, one must be very careful about what he or she inputs into it. Whatever one inputs, whether good or bad, remains in the family even after his or her death either for good or bad.
Remember that apart from the core or nuclear family, there are chances of other people being part of the family. In any case, e4very member of the family is expected to contribute to its growth and success, starting with the father who is the de facto head of the family. He originates the plan on how to lead the family to its ultimate goal while the wife manages this plan to its logical conclusion.
On many occasions however, there may be an overlap in the functions of these two. For example, the man may have clearly planned how his children’s education will run from nursery to the university. Ordinarily, as he goes to work or his place of business, the wife has full responsibility making sure that the children go to school and come back. But for one reason or the other, the wife is indisposed, the onus falls on the husband to ensure that the kids go to school. Also, it may happen that as the main provider for the family the man may not be able to provide, the wife may be in a good stead to provide at that material time.
Remember that in most cases, a good and happy marriage leads to a happy family. And so, it is only reasonable that serious effort is put in to ensure that the marriage is a happy and successful one. To achieve this is not a child’s play, considering so many factors, some of which are discussed below.
- Good communication between the couple is a key factor. Naturally, women like talking more than men do. When there is no communication gap between them, there are more chances that that their marriage will be a happy one. This is because by regularly talking to each other regarding the affairs of the family, there will be a greater understanding which engenders more peace and love with no room for suspicion.
- Do not trust but love each other. Please allow me to explain that trust and love are not the same though related. When you trust something or someone, you give all your energy and confidence with your whole heart to that thing or person. Also, if you trust someone, you expect an all round success, excellence, perfection and the best; no failure. But as humans with flesh and blood, it is only a mirage to find a person with such supernatural qualities. In fact, such a human being does not exist. Only God is perfect and that is why Jesus Christ advised us to trust only God with all our might, heart and power. Unfortunately, humans trust humans and that is why when someone you trust disappoints you, you feel just so bad; it may be your husband, wife, brother, sister, friend, in-law, uncle or any other relative. So, it is advisable not to trust at all in the first place, even yourself, because so many bad incidents have been recorded in history due to betrayal of trust.
Just do your best to love your spouse. When you love, it is easy to forgive when you are offended because you will reason that that person erred because he or she is not a perfect being but just flesh and blood. Indeed the adrenaline runs much lower when a loved one disappoints than when a trusted one disappoints. As indicated above, suicides, murders, rapes, thefts, etc, have at one time or the other taken place because trust failed.
- Let the man be man enough to shoulder his responsibilities to his family. When this happens, be sure to get a family nowhere happiness is always the order of the day. As briefly mentioned above, when the wife temporarily provides for the family, let no man ever allow this to continue longer than necessary. Take it or leave it, the moment the ability of the man to fend for his family becomes questionable, that is when he will truly know how or what or who his wife is or who she is not. Indeed, no wife that provides for the family is ever happy doing so. My own research shows that more than ninety percent of women who provide for their family are unhappy, pretending to be happy. The ultimate result of the woman providing is that the authority or headship of the family in practicality now lies with the wife. One can easily guess what the rest of the story can be. And so, every husband should try hard to provide adequately for his family, putting a limit to how much the wife can assist materially.
The major effect of the true ability of the man to provide for the family is that when the necessary things for the family are in place, there is bound to be happiness in the family: children always in school because school fees are paid, children always eat well, the wife eats what she needs, and so on.
- The number three above notwjthstanding, there is high probability that there will be a great deal of happiness in a family where there is mutuality between the man and his wife in doing house chores. In a typical Nigerian cultural setting, most of the chores are left for the woman and children at all times. But a responsible and caring man may not be disposed to this culture, and such a man will not wait to be told to assist in doing some of the things whennecessary including cooking, laundry and cleaning house. Provided the woman does not abuse this, the man will always be happy to assist in this regard. As a matter of fact, a good husband and father must readily do anything to lessen any physical burden on his wife. Likewise, when a wife helps the husband to do his duty, he is happy. For example, in absence of husband, she pays their electricity bill thereby preventing their line from being disconnected, instead of waiting for the husband.
- Doing some things together significantly engenders happiness in the family. One great activity that readily comes calling is eating at the same time either together on the same table or separately. If the kids are still growing up, this avails them the opportunity to learn some table manners directly from their parents. Going out for fun together is also a very strong bonding factor that earns the family a great deal of happiness.
- Mutual respect for in-laws on both sides of the couple is also a factor that engenders happiness in the family. As I pointed out in one of my previous posts, in a typical Nigerian culture, the nuclear family hardly stays in isolation from their extended family members. And so, one time or the other, these relations will come on a visit. From what I have found out,seamless relationship is not ubiquitous during such visits. But I have found out that during such visits, the wife feels highly elated when her husband treats her relations well, and the reverse is the same for the husband.