I have this book called A Box of Delights: full of jokes, one-liners and amazing quotes. It cracks me up when I want a good laugh. Here’s an extract from the section on in-flight safety by an airline attendant.
Welcome to flight XYZ. To operate your seat-belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle and pull tight. Should the cabin suddenly lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children or adults acting like children.
As funny as that joke is, it does have a point. There are adults who behave like children. In my few years of marriage, I have discovered that there are childish things that we need to deal with before we can be good partners to the people we love. We need to stop being adults acting like children in our relationships this year. Here are some of those things:
Having your way all the time does not happen in the adult world. Selfishness is a trademark for children. When we were little, we were always being taught to share. Don’t eat that sweet all by yourself, share with your friend. Well, sometimes we did, sometimes we didn’t. You can’t bring this attitude to marriage. You will be required to lay down your opinions and your way of doing things every now and then. Remember, love is kind and does not seek its own.
Throwing tantrums has no place in marriage: I am sure you have seen a desperate mother trying to calm her little angel down who is crying and kicking because she wants everything in the supermarket. Not a pretty sight. Do you cause a scene when you are angry and no one can calm you down? You need to deal with that awful behavior.
Silent treatment is a lousy way to solve conflict: The days for sitakuongelesha juu ulipoteza rubber yangu (I won’t talk to you since you misplaced my eraser) are gone. In the adult world, people sit down and talk through the conflict. No yelling or name calling is necessary. That is all I’m saying.
Keeping score and getting even is for the playground: This idea of reminding your partner all the things they have done since 1964 has got to stop. This is an issue especially with us women. I admit even I do it. I need to work harder this year to forgive and forget. We need to stop trying to get even, to have the last word. A wise man once said that you can win an argument but lose a friend.
Commitment issues: Children are known to have a short concentration span…They get distracted easily, especially by shiny objects. 🙂 This should cease with age. Concentrate on the one you love, focus your attention to her and if she is what you want in a life partner, commit to her, and to her alone. Don’t be distracted by shiny objects…
No one can love you the way you should love yourself: Marriage is not the place to have your self-esteem issues solved. Learn to love yourself. If you expect your man to love and validate you all the time, you will be disappointed. Only God can love you fully, man will always fall short. Be complete in God first; don’t expect someone to complete you.
Happily ever after takes work: Most stories and movies always end with boy and girl conquering all to be together and they live happily ever after. What no one tells you is that meeting the love of your life is just the beginning. Successful and happy marriages take lots of work. We need to look at our folks to learn – married for 30 years, 4 kids (or more)…they have given you a good education, taught you great principles and they are still investing in your life by calling you every now and then. Now, that is not easy; it is something you do deliberately and continuously.
As we start 2014, lets strive to be better people in our relationships. Let us stop the childish behavior. Happy New Year!