Hi Achokis. I’m in my late 30s and still single. I have been in a relationship for the last four years. There’s a lot of pressure from my family members to marry her, they keep asking “when is the wedding?”
I know my girlfriend is also getting impatient with me— I really love her, but fear commitment because of the many stories I hear about many failed marriages and have even seen the same in my family.
Is there any hope and what do I need to do so that my marriage doesn’t fail? Please advise!
Thank you Job for your question. It is good to be honest about your fears. So often, people think that men are scared of committing and nobody ever bothers to know why. Don’t just get married due to societal pressure. We all go through pressure one way or the other.
Human beings are difficult to please. One gets a job and people want you to get a better one. You get a spouse and people place certain expectations on you.
So, do not be baffled by the statement “when is the wedding?” After the wedding they will ask you when you are getting children and then they will have an opinion on how you should raise them.
There’s the positive side too
It is normal to fear committing because of the negative stories you have heard, but who talks about the positive stories? It is true that many marriages are breaking, but it is also true that there are many as well that are thriving today— couples who have been married for long and are happy.
We are not saying that you will never have challenges as a married couple. But it is how you learn how to resolve your conflict and navigate through those challenges that will determine whether your marriage survives or not.
So what do you need to do so that your marriage doesn’t fail? There are no guarantees in life. But there are some things you can do to prepare yourself well in marriage, beginning by working on your conflict resolution and communication skills. You need to hang around couples whose marriages are working to become hopeful. Couples, who despite the many challenges they have faced are still in love with each other.
Overcome your fears
Both of you might want to read a book together to get more information on marriage. We also highly recommend good pre-marital counselling.
You may consider doing individual therapy as you might just discover certain things about yourself from your past that may affect your marriage. Building trust, offering forgiveness and not allowing familiarity to creep in, are other things you can do.
Lastly, let your girlfriend know your fears and purpose to walk this journey together. How you handle issues now might just be the way you handle them when you get married.
Build on your friendship both now and after the wedding. Your story can also be one of the positive marriage statistics.
The writers are marriage and relationship coaches