Valentine’s Day: Celebrating Love, Commitment

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Prince and Princess Sulaimon and Titilayo

Valentine’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Valentine is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian feast day honouring Saint Valentinus. Although it’s not a public holiday, it’s a day for the celebration of love and affection. To celebrate the season in this era when marriages are seemingly doomed even before they start, Ayodeji Ake and Sunday Ehigiator speak with couples whose marriages have stood the test of time despite the storms that often buffet them. The general consensus was the importance of commitment in every relationship as they share with us some of the factors that sustained their marriages

Prince and Princess Sulaimon and Titilayo
We got married in December 1984 and now, we are blessed with three children and one grandson. Why we are still in this marriage is because of the love we have for each other coupled with my children and grandchild. The downsides are when two young persons from different backgrounds gets married, there are definitely challenges but each person’s willingness to compromise and accept that there’s is no Miss or Mr. perfect will make it work out.
But any marriage could crash even after 30years if the the Almighty God is not in charge. Sometimes, even love isn’t strong enough to withstand pressures but the ability to forgive each other, among others.

Mr. and Mrs. John Oyeku
We have been married for over 42years and we are blessed with children; both boys and girls. We thank God for his grace,undiluted love ,and protection over us to be together till date. We put God first in all we do, we don’t allow third party in our relationship.

Our children are our friends and I don’t carry my family affairs to any family or friends, though we let them know what they should know when necessary. Since I got married to my husband, we ensure true love dwells in our home. I have true love for him and I am sure he loves me dearly too.

I take good care of him in every aspect you can think of. We eat together most times if he hasn’t eaten; I will not eat up till now; even if we have little. I will first offer him food, I will not let him know that I have not eaten, later I will find something to eat if any. Since I have been married to my sugar I have never requested for money for food because I believe that if he has, he will give me. I learnt this from my mummy. And he does his best to care for us. I always monitor my husband’s dressing. I get upset with him if he is not properly dressed. I do choose the style of what I want him to wear for his tailor and he always trusts my judgement. Also, I wash his clothes and underwear. We are best friends. I do pray for him when he is going out and coming in.

At times his actions sometimes hurt me but I will overlook it and I will asked myself where am I going to? I will endure and call him at midnight to discuss our issues and it will be over. Secondly, to God be the glory, we have mutual respect and understanding for each other. We tolerate each other and this is helping our love grow stronger.
Understanding and tolerance have kept us this far. We are content with whatever we have in my family. I never look at other family to judge my husband. He is the only sugar in my tea. We like to wear matching clothes as well. To say the fact, I built my home. We are both disciplinary parents. Meanwhile, my husband is most handsome man in my face in the whole world. I will chose my family over and over again. Young couples should note that tolerance, understanding and love is the true answer to a successful marriage.

Mr. and Mrs. Okechukwu Nwanguma
I have been happily married for about two decades now, and blessed with children. On what has kept me in marriage for this long, I will simply saw that I am a lucky man. I have a wife who understands; because by the nature of my work, I am not always around, I am always on the move. And it is not every woman that can bear that kind of man who is never there all the time.

My wife has come to understand who I am, the work I do and decided to accommodate it without complaining. But occasionally, as a human being, she always wants to express this desire to always have me around. And what I do to make up is that, whenever I am around, I try to give them the full attention as much as I can to make up. Otherwise, I still think I am a lucky man, because some other women would have just decided to end the marriage due to my lapses.

However, some of the reoccurring challenges we faced at the early stages of your marriage and how we dealt with them were the fact that the first thing was that I met my wife when I was still trying to find my feet in life. She too wasn’t that kind of woman who was looking for a man already made. She was prepared to work and grow with me. So we grew together and built a home together, and today I can saw that we are both happy for those decisions we made back then, because, we have not been doing badly.
Although, some years back we used to have the challenge of child birth, but eventually, they came and thank God they grew up so quickly, and by the grace of God we have been able to take care of them to the best of our abilities.

I can’t really point to any challenge back then, except; like I said, it wasn’t really easy as at when we met. There were a lot of expectations then, which weren’t fully met, but because she is a woman made for me from heaven, she was able to cope with me with maximum understanding and support.
On words of advice to young and intending couples he said he thinks the reason why we have so many broken homes, especially among modern days couples, has to do with changing moral values in our society; the values that our young people imbibe.

The damage done to our society and democracy by the military which led to economic downfall, and crippled our education system, moral beliefs, and lack of job, has now made every young man as we have now, born into a society of ‘how to make it quick’. The value of hard work is now eroding. There is now the culture of advance free fraud. Everyone wants to be on the fast lane, and you know; some succeed, and some don’t. And even those that succeed, their success don’t last.

So, when people go into marriage today, you find out that a lot of those women are only concerned about the already made man, throwing caution into the air of other important aspect of marriage worth consideration, like character and moral values, or the family background of the man or woman as the case may sometimes be.
So because such wealth is ephemeral, once it perishes, the love dies. Or once, the man starts to exhibit some characters, they never had cared to check, they immediately want to opt out.

So it is an issue of moral values. We also need to tackle it from the educational system, because it addresses the issues of values in our system, and illiteracy, and build the mind set of every young one out there to work hard before spending.

And again, who are the role models of our young people, the 419’s, Politicians who steal money and not through hard work. So, the culture of hard work is gone.

This valentine, for me, there is also a twist in what the name valentine represents. It ordinarily ought to be a solemn occasion when people demonstrate love to each other. It is been celebrated after a man called St. Valentine who was actually a religious figure, but today, what a lot of people know about valentine is a day, the young men and young people go out to party, drink, fornicate and all that. But, I think it is also a time to reflect on how to show love to each other, in terms of helping the needy in our society.

There are those who are well placed in the society, there are others looking up to daily meal; not even sure of what to eat as we speak talk less of the next day. So for me, while I celebrate with my family, I would rather like to visit places that people have certain needs that I can meet; either through donations or think about someone around my environment who needs food or other form of help. And that is the best way to celebrate love.

Mr. and Mrs. Nwokoyi Doris
By October 1, I would have been married for 31 years. And God blessed us with five children; four boys and a girl. What has sustained us this far is first of all, God. Then patience is the secret; because there must be quarrels. But as couples, you must be willing to dialogue, and talk about it with the aim of settling it. As a woman, the destiny of your home belongs to you, so you must be willing to fight for your marriage no matter what happens. Be patient; because both of you are strangers from two different family background. You must learn to understand yourselves as well and always been willing to apologise.

As an Igbo woman, I am very strong hearted. I was born into a family that doesn’t encourage divorce, but encourages you to fight on till your marriage is peaceful. I am from a Christian family. So, even when my husband asks me to go back to my parent’s house, I will refuse, and I will tell him, ‘this is also my house, we started together to lay the foundation of this marriage, with my children, who will I leave them for?’. No way. My parents did not leave me, why will I leave my children or marriage because of challenges? At the end, we will sit down and settle it, and that has been how God has been sustaining our marriages for this long.

Valentine to me is a day lovers appreciate themselves in a way that is good not in a wrong way; because some of our youths today see it as a day to misbehave, and fornicate, or have fun in an ungodly manner. But it is not so. Though, I am not saying it is only for married people, no. It is a day that you express love to anybody you love; either your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, or even just friends or strangers. Just show love. On Valentine’s Day, my husband always takes me out in the evening.