Hello beautiful people! Hope everyone’s New Year has kicked off brilliantly! I personally haven’t made any specific New Years’ resolutions – well… I haven’t made ANY to be honest. But I do believe that this will be my best year yet and I’m excited to see what God has planned this year.
While I haven’t made specific resolutions, I am however praying and trusting in God to help me grow and to be better in all that I do and that includes within my marriage – where I need to grow and develop and trust God more for His promises and to make sure that I’m doing my part to the best of my ability.
This new year with my husband I believe, will be one that will be a fundamental changer by God’s grace. And as I contemplate the year ahead of us, I’ve also been reflecting on the year we’ve had – our first year of marriage.
Below is the post re telling how I found my first year of marriage. It had previously been posted on Bella Naija but here it is in it’s original form (where sex was NOT the selling point of the article lol). For those who haven’t read it before… Hope you enjoy – and for those who have… Hope you enjoy it again lol!
The last time the story of my marriage was in the public eye, it raised a few eyebrows, questions, debates, and many… many… many comments – some good and some bad. Regardless, it was my testimony to share, whether people believed it or not. I thank God that in the midst of it all, it was able to inspire many people, some of whom have now become good friends and I pray that God will continue to use my marriage to glorify Him and to be a blessing on to others.
It’s been a year since I married my lovely husband and as we celebrate our first year wedding anniversary in Paris right now, I’d like to reflect on a few things that I’ve learnt in my first year of being Mrs Busari. By no means am I a marriage expert – especially considering those who have been married for 10, 15, 20…60 years! However, I do feel that it’s good to share and reflect on our experiences as we never know whose life it’s going to touch in a positive way. Especially as a newlywed, there’s a lot we can learn from each other and a lot we can still teach to those who are also about to tie the knot soon.
My first year of marriage…well…what an interesting ride it’s been. It’s so funny how everything that built up to that amazing wedding day is still resonating in every fibre of my being… even up until today. They say once the wedding’s over, your honeymoon has come and gone and the stories about the hen night, bridal shower and traditional wedding that all preceded the big day…have fizzled out like stale champagne…you’re left with a gaping big hole of debt, the reality of what it really means to be stuck with each other for the rest of your lives AND… For those who were virgins before the wedding night…there’s the excruciating process of trying to overcome the pain of having sex for the first time and establishing a fulfilling sex life with your husband…
Well I for one am so grateful to God because He’s blessed my family and my husband’s family in such a way that debt and money issues regarding the wedding was not even in the picture for us… so smooth sailing on that front. Thankfully, a combination of the upbringing we have had, the teachings we receive from the pulpit and relevant books/seminars on financial integrity have enabled us to be sensible when it comes to the subject of money. And this is extremely key, seeing as approximately 65% of marriages end in divorce because of money issues. We’ve always had financial goals and aspirations but over this past year, we’ve been encouraged to put these ideas to paper and to plan out the next ten years of our lives – which is a great help. It allows us to consider what things should even be on our radar regarding savings, investments, our future children’s education etc. Sometimes it can seem ridiculous to plan every aspect of your life…and in most cases it’s true, because people can become overwhelmed or even oppressed by their plans, especially when certain goals haven’t been reached or when the plan isn’t …well… going to plan! But nevertheless, making plans and setting goals does help when used as a guideline, so as to not go off track and end up in a financial situation where you and your spouse most definitely don’t want to find yourselves in.
As for being stuck with each other… I absolutely LOVE spending every minute with my husband (and praise God the feeling’s mutual…otherwise that would have been both awkward – and problematic!) At the same time, it’s also good to have your girl time with your girls and for him to have his guy time with the boys. I am incredibly blessed to have a beautiful close circle of friends to spend time with, pray with, go out with, and likewise with him and his friends. But then I also cherish every moment my husband and I have together, especially because our first year of dating was primarily on a long distance relationship basis. That’s when I mastered the art of knowing which phone cards to buy and memorising that +234 dialling code… But seriously, in the past year, I’ve found it’s important to always keep the fire burning: Date your spouse. Just as we used to go on dates when we were courting, it’s still special in marriage too. We don’t have a specifically assigned Date Night for each week as some of my friends do, which I feel sometimes I would prefer, so at least I know I can say that on this particular day…I don’t have to cook! However, I guess this allows for us to be flexible and spontaneous with our date nights, which is also great.
Going on holiday and having alone time away from it all has also been a wonderful and interesting experience. I had never travelled abroad with him whilst we were dating because that would mean booking two separate rooms etc. so for me, holidays had always either been with my family or with my girlfriends. We’ve travelled to The Dominican Republic, Portugal, Quatar and Dubai together in this past year as well as to some countryside locations in England and it’s always interesting discovering new parts of the world together. The best thing is being on holiday with not just your man…but your HUSBAND! Whenever there’s a guy staring at you on the beach or trying to approach you at the bar…just flash your ring at them! It works like a charm…well…most of the time. Either way, it’s a great feeling being away from it all and being away from the normalcy of life, just having a break, like a Time- Out session together, to recuperate before hitting the grind again.
Alongside that however, I’ve also learnt to treasure the everyday, even mundane moments with my husband. As great as it is chilling with our friends and going out to dinner parties, events, visiting people etc…sometimes, I just long for those moments when we’re both curled up in the living room of our riverside apartment in Essex, the balcony door left open, letting in that crisp, cool river breeze, as we’re wrapped up in a blanket on the floor (despite having a very nice sofa suite), with a big old bowl of popcorn (me), suya (him) and Supermalt(both of us) or tomato juice(most DEFINITELY only him), watching one of our favourite shows (Suits, The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Orange Is The new Black, 24, Scandal etc) hooked up from his laptop, via that oh so precious HDMI cable – and it’s just the two of us in our little haven of home.
Speaking of home, this past year has been a true revelation of what Home actually is. When I was younger, I would always hear the popular phrase: ‘Home is where the heart is.’ I simply took this to mean that home is our special place, full of love and warmth and family etc. Which is a some- what correct take on the phrase. However, my first year of marriage has taught me that there’s an even deeper sense to the phrase. It’s easy to find or be found by a guy, fall in love, have a lavish wedding and live the rest of your lives together. But what kind of life is it that you’re spending together? There are many married couples who have spent decades together but the kind of life that they’ve lived has been an unhappy one. And I believe that the heart of one’s life is in fact their home. The home they came from, the home they’re in now or the home they hope to build. And thus, having been a newlywed, I was determined to make my home where my heart was. That meant building my home in a way that would be pleasing to my husband – to both of us. Making it a safe and loving place where he knows he’s the king of our home…And when there’s a King, he must recognise his queen – which is how my husband treats me each and every day. In the space of this past year, I’ve been so grateful to my mother for the home training she instilled in her children when we were growing up (At the time, I thought it was an abomination that she was making me cook stew and okra at the age of 10 – but I sure do appreciate it now!) Taking care of my home is something I take great pride in. It can be annoying and stressful with cooking and cleaning everyday – no doubt…but it keeps a happy home and there’s pure joy in seeing your husband’s face when he comes home from work and you know that both of your hearts are happy in the home you’ve built.
(I’ve learnt that it also helps to wear something nice and sexy when doing the cooking and cleaning – or nothing at all with just an apron on can suffice – you’ll find that the food tastes – oh just that bit sweeter! The whole house seems to be just that bit more sparkly and clean …and it won’t just be your excellent culinary skills that have kept him very… how do I put this? That’s right – Satisfied!)
Now, it’s interesting that I can joke about S.E.X. right now – because a year ago, when we got married, to be quite frank…I was in tears when I fully realised how painful it actually was to lose my virginity. It was not a laughing matter at the time AT ALL! And I don’t mean painful in the sense that I felt I was losing a piece of myself… far from it! And it wasn’t even the fact that it just physically REALLY hurt! The thing that pained me the most was the fact that I was with the love of my life, we had just had the most beautiful wedding with all our friends and loved ones, dancing away and popping (non alcoholic) sparkling wine… and when it was now time to Pop The Cherry…I was too afraid! I felt as though I was not fulfilling my first wifely task. We had stayed at the spa hotel in which we got married for a couple of days before we flew off to the Dominican Republic (and not Barbados – private joke) for the honeymoon…and I felt so distraught that I was letting my husband down. On the night of the wedding, I was full of mixed emotions. I had finally gotten married! It was all I had ever dreamed about. All the planning from when I was 16 years old and now 10 years down the line, it was my wedding day. It was so lovely and beautiful and my husband is the best thing that’s happened to me apart from Jesus…he waited for me and respected and adopted my views on having no premarital sex from the beginning – so WHY was it so difficult to Just Do It? ‘Nike’ lied! I wanted to…but just couldn’t.
At church, the message from the pulpit is always ‘save yourself for marriage’ – which is very good…and it’s what I did. However, The Church seems to be producing batches of women who yes, come to their married bed ‘undefiled’ as virgins …but are more or less left to their own devices after that. Old wives tales, advise from mothers and jokes about it from friends aren’t really enough to fully prepare you for what to expect. I guess everyone’s different and everyone’s first time will most certainly be different – but The Church should also have in place a platform (or a session included within their premarital counselling) whereby they’re not afraid to touch on the subject of the Wedding Night and how it’s different when marrying a virgin. It would be good to have some sort of dialogue in place between the future spouses regarding the importance of being gentle and patient or even perhaps certain positions that will help make it easier, such as propping a pillow under your pelvis (for the woman), which helps make your fist time go a lot more smoothly. (A technique I learnt from Google whilst on my honeymoon. For the first couple of days I would be like: Hold on! Let me quickly get the pillow first! Lol!) Thus couples can discuss these different methods beforehand, which should help better prepare them for their wedding night.
I was very fortunate to have two married woman in my close circle of friends who gave me a lot of very useful advice, one of them even slipped me a small container of Vaseline whilst I was on the dance floor in my wedding dress, telling me I would need it for later that night. I was laughing at the time when she gave it to me. I was soon to find out (as mentioned earlier) that it was not a laughing matter at all! I was so lucky, as my wonderful husband is just the best because he was so patient and gentle. The key is to relax they say…well…according to numerous “How To…” tips on google that is. I tried to…but I just kept hearing this voice saying…”You’re letting him down…You’re letting him down…He waited for you all these years and now that it’s time to do it you can’t!” It was horrible knowing that I was not able to go through with it. The pain, the anxiety, the fear of him being disappointed in me…there was no way I could relax.
However the most beautiful part of it all was remembering that God does not give us more than we can bear. He had blessed me with such a wonderful and caring husband and he just kept telling me “It’s ok, it will happen.” There’s no way I could imagine going through that process with someone who didn’t love me or who was just using me, as some women and even some teenage girls have to go through. I thank God so much that it was someone who loved me, who had promised to be committed to me, who had taken marriage vows with me and who was ready to help me through the first (and only – thank God) major challenge of our marriage. He was so kind and loving and understanding and that’s when I realised that I needed to step up. Sex is designed to be enjoyed by both partners and I needed to make more of an effort to make this work.
If God has promised that He won’t give us more than we can bear, then we need to step up and receive what’s being dished out because in the end, it can only be for good. I realised that I needed to take this seriously. And that’s when prayer came into it. It sounds a bit silly and over the top but it’s true! And it works! I asked the Holy Spirit to open up everything that needed to be opened in order to make this happen and to give me the ability to stop overthinking everything and to just relax. To make light of the situation, my husband so lovingly reminded me that the children that we’re looking forward to having one day, are going to have to come through this avenue. We laughed… and laughed some more. It was good to be with someone who was so calm about the whole thing and that also helped to make everything easier. Something that is supposed to be a natural process of life, something that I had been waiting for, for 26 years, was not going to be turned into something that would now try and steal my joy. Oh no honey! When I prayed, I prayed for Wisdom – wisdom for how to best deal with the situation and for the strength to bear the pain and to overcome it so that I could please my husband and so that we could both enjoy something that God himself had created for us to enjoy in marriage.
Praise God, like a dream, everything just calmed down, seemed more relaxed and my body discovered a new found flexibility that had never existed before! It was going into positions that I hadn’t even thought it could do. My husband is a very reserved man of integrity in public and in private but he sure does know how to handle his business! And now everything is plain sailing! I call him the captain of my ship and will often send him a message when he’s at work saying “Oi! Oi! Sailor!” because he knows how to navigate this vessel towards reaching the best…well…I’ll just say it: Orgasms out there – whether the tide be low or high!
And finally…perhaps the most important thing I’ve learnt in my first year of marriage is something that I’ve always known , except now that two have become one, the meaning of it resonates on a much deeper level. It is the power and importance of Prayer. Praying for each other, praying together and spending time in God’s word together. I’ve always been a prayerful person but being spiritually connected to another human being …to your spouse and praying together is phenomenal. It allows us to focus on what God wants for us as a family and how to best serve him and how to communicate this to each other. We have a Couples Devotion Bible, which is really great, as it helps us to plan our weekly bible study around the theme of our marriage and everything else more or less stems from there. We also have Holy Communion together once a week at home. The assistant pastor at our church once mentioned how it doesn’t have to be limited to once a month in a church service or every week at mass. Why not bring it into your home? After all, like I said earlier: Home is where the heart is – has a more profound meaning to me and this is one of the ways that we express it as a married couple and as a way of honouring God and giving Him full control of the home and the marriage ministry that He wants us to build.
At my bridal shower, amongst some very…shall I say… Stimulating gifts, one of my very close friends also gave me something to stimulate my prayer life as a married woman. It’s a book called “The Power of a Praying Wife”, by Stormie Omartin. It’s an incredible book and has truly helped me when it comes to knowing exactly what aspects of my husband’s life to pray for… from praying for his work, to his finances, to his integrity, to his faith…and everything else in between really. Even how to handle arguments, and falling out with each other would be covered by prayer. Fortunately, my husband and I don’t really argue. In the past four years that we’ve been together, we’ve only ever had one major argument thank God. It sounds strange but it’s the truth. And it’s not just because we get along so well like Jack and Jill…it’s primarily because of prayer. Prayer in a relationship teaches us when to talk and when to be silent. I’ve learnt that’ sometimes we just have to let some things go because there’s no point making a fuss and escalating things beyond their proportion. Yet I’ve also learnt that at other times, it’s important to call things to attention and to deal with them accordingly. We had made a promise to each other, before we got married, that we would never go to bed feeling angry with each other or not resolving any issues and it’s worked so far – but being prayerful is what has been the biggest help to us.
I know that it’s only been the first year and we still have A LOT to learn as we continue on our journey of life as man and wife. As stated earlier, by no means do I proclaim to be a marriage expert in any shape or form but I do believe that the first year of marriage can be one of the hardest for many couples who do not know what to expect or how to deal with certain situations. I know that God has brought my husband and I together and I know that He wants to use our marriage to be a blessing to the lives of other and to honour and glorify Him and thus we are happy to have shared our 1st year of marital bliss with you.
Faith, Hope and Love,
Mrs Lola Akindele Busari