Marriages shouldn't take a back seat just because…

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January 5, 2010 – A friend of mine recently asked me what my plot for New Year’s Eve was. 

“I will spend the evening with my wife. At midnight we shall say a prayer and toss to the New Year,” I said.

This answer shocked him.

“Mambo yako ni ngumu (Your story is complex)” was all he said.

That got me thinking about modern day families. To him spending time with my spouse does not qualify as the ‘thing’ to do on a day like New Year’s Eve. To him and many in our generation partying all night with friends, having a drink with pals or dancing themselves crazy at a party is more like it.

John’s perspective of life is one I have gathered from many in our generation. A modern day house is one of “everyone for themselves.” Family time remains the seldom elusive moment that is now a preserve of Christmas.

It’s a mad world where crucial family decisions are made in the bar after consulting one’s drinking peers (at the expense of your wife) or at a girls night out after listening to the opinion of the women (at the expense of your husband). Office relationships and flirting at the work place have become the norm. Such is our world.

When we are not out catching up with the boys or girls we are in the house watching the latest series or movies. It’s not surprising to meet the wife in the bedroom watching desperate housewives, the husband in the sitting room with his CSI series or catching up with the newspapers while the teenagers are in their bedrooms with the latest movies or hip hop videos.

The growth of the social media and the increased access to the internet has not helped matters. Facebook and Twitter are taking over the dinner table. They have become the favourite pass time.

A while ago I witnessed an embarrassing scene in a hotel where this social media craze seems to be the alternative to conflict management. A couple came in, each stuck on their phones. It was disheartening to see their son trying so hard to catch their attention. All he got for his effort was a scolding from the father who I relationships_1_962019151.jpgguessed saw him as a bother.

The days when fathers used to get home early, help children with homework, have dinner together and share a prayer are gone. This looks like an ideal home which does not exist even in the rural areas.

Divorce rates are high, dysfunctional families are increasing and family values have disappeared. Such are the times we are living in.

Spending time with one’s spouse and or family has slowly turned to be “a favour” something your significant other, in most cases the woman and children, have to beg or keep hoping for. What used to be treasured is now dreaded by many.

It’s like the life of bachelors; going home with a ‘plot.’ Movies and pay TV form the list of the basic needs in the ranks of food.

Many of us are out there making money but it is sad that after amassing the wealth you will have no family to enjoy it with.

This reminds me of a recent incident when a friend of mine was shocked when I told him I was missing the bonding sessions with my dear one. He asked me what we talk about with my wife since we don’t seem to get enough of each other, yet it’s just the two of us in the house.

I am a firm believer that human beings, white or black, male or female share some basic humane characteristics. One of these is the desire to share our thoughts. There is an intrinsic desire to listen and be listened to. In most cases this need is best served in our most intimate and closest circles, but in some cases (which are now increasing) it is being attended to by outsiders. This could be our friends, workmates or the ‘mpango wa kando.’

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Some people ask how they can sustain communication with their spouses who they see daily. I may not have stayed there long enough to have enough wisdom, but I know few of my friends who are making it. Talk about everything; your dreams, finances, career paths, memories, families and more so, your relationship.

Go for it. Talk about anything but make sure you talk. Communication is the sure way of keeping it together with your spouse!

 

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  • Wambu M

    "Talk about everything; your dreams, finances, career paths, memories, families and more so, your relationship."
    That is the best tha should be done by all couples. Communication is the only way of understanding each other and the only weapon of saving marriages.

  • Wanjiru Karuga

    Profound wisdom right there..Kudos Kagiri..thats why u r my friend n will forever be..as i look forward to get married nxt year,this is the kind of stuff i nid to hear,not the rotten misconception that is goin round that marriages dont work.

  • Shanny

    it's good that first this is an article written by men, the only few who can stand up in the ways of God and respect the family institution. I am sure people (especially men) will make fun of the writer, but the thing is there are many nice men out there. so those who proudly have mipango ya kando should know they lack dignity and all they are doing is harming themselves coz nothing extra they will gain from secret relationships instead- diseases, BP, stress, name it, you know the kind of stress they go through cooking lies to convince their families who already know who they are. Imagine what their children think of them?

  • Janice

    Good Anthony, and l was just wondering who said marriage should be boring? We just gather lots of excuses to make it seem so, flirting/teasing, outings once in a while,with and without kids etc should be encouraged to keep the fire burning. I know when kids come in the picture and many other demands start cropping up in marriages many seek solutions out but the question is, is it worth to go out looking for the 10 percent which is lacking in your marriage and lose the 90 percent you have worked so hard to achieve over the years? Fact, challenges will arise in marriages bcoz we come from diff backgrounds and none is born a husband or wife but if you learn to appreciate what you have next to you not even the strongest storm can separate you. Just a thought Anthony maybe you can start a talk show on successful marriages, we are tired of radio shows that only focus on failing marriages lets get something diff am sure you will have a huge multitude of converts and success stories.

  • leah wanja kariuki

    this is an amazing article! and glad that there are good examples of people who actually enjoy being married. and this writer, is the real deal!!!

  • JAMES KAHURIA

    It is for sure true that communication is the key to a successful marriage but it is also sad to note that most marriages are breaking for lack of it. It seems so hard then for majority of the people today to practice this at home, maybe we need more insight and emphasis on the need to put a little more effort than we are doing in ensuring that we are able to communicate effectively in the family. But in my opinion it is an accountability problem, you can not talk much with someone you don't want to expose so much to, finances and time are two major areas where accountability becomes a major challenge, and it breaks down communication about many other issues. It is common to hear couples complain that as long as we are discussing other people, we talk so smoothly but the moment we one of them brings in an issues regarding them for discussion, the communication breaks down and the discussion dies before it begins. I just think that we need help, and prayers and lots of teaching, especially bible principals

  • mercy gakii

    This is truly awesome! I am enjoying marriage, annd I hope every other young person can work towards enjoying their spouse! Marriage was instituted by God, and therefore God will always watch over these families. However, the devil will also bring other ideas to makes it fail;and the enemy uses breakdown in communication to kill homes. He is now using these social networks as a tool, and yet we the young people should use them to our families' advantage. And people, remember that your marriage must be surrounded with prayer! pray pray pray!!!

  • Omuse Alex

    Thanks Anthony for keenly like a surgeon, disectiong a key aspect of life which is bit by bit being ignored. The family institution is one or the kind that is deeply being wounded and no one is there to nurse the wounds. We direly need this kind of wisdom so as to illuminate the dark corners which hide the pests that feed on our crop of health relationships. I look forward to reading your articles even as I look forward to a marriage. Being a good n loving husband is my desire and spending time with my family is the string of music that I will love always to pluck and listen to its music.

    With gratitude,

    Omuse Alex

  • kennedy kamau

    this is good and spending time with you wife/husband and family is the key to a healthy relationship. With the hectic schedules that we have nowadays, having dinner with the family and a weekend lunch will be a great way to enhance bonding. On thing i have learnt over time is that a good relationship with your spouse is a real mental booster and the way you relate to you spouse greatly affect the kids perspective to live…

  • Beatrice

    Profound and very true! Such truths are needed to redeem the true picture of family that God intended from destruction.It is our mandate to uphold these truths no matter how strange and out of date they seem to be to the world, indeed what a better way to explain you should not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds……

  • Beatrice

    Profound and totally true, these are the truths that when embraced will save the family unit the currently is at the brink of destruction and get it to be what God intended it to be. What a true way to depict ' do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds….no matter the pressure, we need to watch out so as not to get the world setting for us the standards of living.

  • Fred Bwire

    This is powerful. We need more of such sober reads. Be blessed

  • Shellz

    This should be said more often, who said marriage is a hell hole? People need to know it is what you make of it, you and your partner and not what has happened to other couples and this should also apply in relationships. But it is sad that we are living in times where technology has overtaken our lives and no wonder the pastors keep saying "this are the last days"!!!

  • Fred Bwire

    This is powerful we need more of such sober reads. Be blessed

  • tony

    Very true, its time marriage and the family unit were put first, because if not we are in for a crisis in the near future.

  • Pauline

    I do agree that the basic and easiest things in life have been neglected and that is why the ideal family is fading away. Being listened to and listening are values so vital that they even determine how a child develops even while in the mother's womb. I agree that we should encourage healthy communication at home as we do at work and other social spheres. It does not cost us anything to share a thought or to hear out the other person.
    Thanks for the reminder. Pauline

  • Elijah Mwaluko

    A very refreshing read…have researched on this topic and I echo your insights…
    Family unit is the building block if our nation is to undergo real rebirth.

    Keep it up!

  • Kale

    Quite insightfuland true!

  • Joyce Mwangi

    I like very much….true true waht you have expressed…

    Just thinking you should do a followup on the article after communication what next or what else can you do as couples to keep you marriage strong and fun….

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