Mo and Phindi are relationship counselors, television presenters and authors who give our readers a pertinent look at romance in their column for Weekend Post. Today they look at what happens when you’ve been waiting a long time for that wedding.
For some reason, marriage is generally known for the most awful things.
Many view it with the backdrop of conservative social gatherings, eating broiled fish for supper, compulsory bonding with other boring couples, kids that completely change your life, terrorist-like in-laws, the car of no one’s dreams, the wife who wears granny-panties and endless arguments with a cheating, childish and inconsiderate husband.
Let’s take that from the top! So marriage has earned a reputation of rewarding you with a boring person with whom you go to boring events in a boring bakkie, where you meet other boring couples who like broiled fish too.
Back home, you have to then muster up some energy and maybe have yourself a tasteless cucumber sex, before falling into a dreamless sleep where you subconsciously struggle for covers through some grouchy snores.
Ok, we may have exaggerated point a little bit, but you get the idea.
However, if your relationship goes unattended and is allowed to drift, the above can be a reality.
We come across many couples who believe it’s normal to be bored with your partner. It’s a myth.
Married life is what you make of it. You hold the cards in determining how it’s going to turn out. For example, the granny- panties aren’t donated by a retail store. You voluntarily spend your hard- earned money buying them.
Unless you had boredom issues before you got married, it isn’t normal to be bored with your partner. Marriage doesn’t necessarily add or subtract anything from your behaviour, it simply exposes and perhaps amplifies what was already in you before you got married.
If your partner is irritable, it’s probably hormones, financial issues, work-stress, lack of intimacy or a deeper issue.
Isolate and diagnose the problem for what it actually is and deal with it, but don’t make the mistake of basing your entire belief about such a vast relationship on assumption, what you’ve read or what you’ve been told by people who’ve had an unfortunate experience.
Boredom is not automatic for every relationship. It’s a sign that you are taking each other and your relationship for granted.
It’s not inevitable with every relationship. You actually cultivate boredom by not doing anything to make your relationship exciting.
The second myth about marriage boredom is that sex is boring. Whenever we hear someone say this, we ask: “Who told you?”
If the myth is peddled by a married individual, it’s usually because they are experiencing a very boring sex life and somehow make you believe it’s the case with every married couple.
It can’t be the fault of the marriage certificate that you only ever have sex at night because you are at work all day and, in any case, that’s the only time to have sex.
You make the choice to have it in the dark, in the missionary position because that’s what tradition dictates and on the bed because that’s where married people have sex. These are all choices you make.
We’re not judging! But if that’s the case in your relationship, you’ve just confirmed the myth to be truth. But why is marriage blamed for your choices?
Sex is such a fundamentally important part of marriage that if your sexual connection isn’t satisfying, it will affect every other part of your relationship.
It’s crucial to keep your sexual intimacy fresh, so that both of you regularly look forward to an unpredictable and exciting adventure.
Lastly, imagine if you had someone who liked everything you liked. Your partner wants to watch everything you watch, go everywhere you go and order the same food you order every time you go out.
It’s a myth that you have to have similar interests. This may seem cute at first, but also gets annoying over time. While similar interests are good, separate interests allow you to remain a couple, but have individuality at the same time.
It is also unwise to fake an interest just to make your partner feel happy. If your partner loves the opera and you think it’s awful, it’s ok. Faking interest often leads to resentment and anger at a later stage.
There is no rule that says you need to spend every waking moment together. In fact, we recommend that you enjoy some separate activities and hobbies. Keeping a refreshed posture is good for any relationship.
We can think of so many reasons why having similar interests in a relationship is not a good thing.
You’re less likely to hold interesting conversations, you’re less likely to get out of your comfort zone, you’re less likely to be adventurous, you’re more likely to get bored, you’re more likely to feel you’re married to yourself, you’re less likely to be challenged and, lastly, you’re more likely to grow tired of your partner.