Issues of Life

Marriage is an exciting vocation that tests daily our ability to love…

Originally published on Lagos Convo

We are still celebrating families and marriages in this month of love.  From the comments on the previous posts, we are convinced a lot of you are really enjoying this series.  The love story of Mr & Mrs Toritseju Ashogbon is another powerful one, you will certainly enjoy every line of the story.  There are also plenty lessons to be drawn from it.  Happy reading.

1.What’s our name?
Mrs Ufuoma Emerhor-Ashogbon aka Ufuomaee
2. What’s your spouse’s name?
Mr Toritseju Ashogbon
3. Can you recall the first time you ever set your eyes on your spouse?
Yes, he came to my office, Fair Life Africa Foundation, to volunteer for a programme.  He accompanied our mutual friend Tosin Jegede, who came to teach the children.
4. Did it occur to you at that time he/she could ever become your better half today?
Not at all.
5. Was it a case of love at first sight?
Not for me.  I don’t know if he would say so for himself.  His story keeps changing.  But he was definitely into me from the get go.
6. If it wasn’t love at first sight, how did the relationship begin after the first meeting?
He became a regular visitor/volunteer at the Home, where we had some children we took off the streets.  He was good with the kids, and he also helped us with fundraising.  He wore me down!  I was  actually fasting and praying about relationships and marriage at the time he came, and he was a major distraction!
7. Did he officially ask you out or?
Yes.  I had to put off giving him an answer until I had finished my fasting period.  The day I accepted was during our outing with the children to Lekki Beach.
8. For the wife/lady: How did you react to his proposal for friendship or courtship?
It was and is always good to be wanted and desired.  I was cautious, but I was also happy.
9. How long did you date him before he proposed?
About two months!  I saw it coming too, because he came on really strong, and I knew he would.  I was still surprised when he did though.
10. What is it about him that made you accept his proposal?
I’m one of those weird girls that like my space.  After having an ex that was too much in my face, I was put off such men.  However, I never felt that way about him, though we were together almost all the time.  He felt like home.  And also, I knew he loved God, and he was attracted to me because I am and was fiercely passionate for the things of God.  We had both been celebate before we started dating, and his commitment to it while we were dating was also an important factor in making my decision.
11. How long did your courtship last?
We got married just over six months after he proposed.
12. Were you ever under any pressure that she/he might call  the relationship off during courtship?
No, I wasn’t.
13. Did that thought ever cross your mind?
That he would call it off?  No.  I did think we were moving fast, and I would have gone for a longer engagement, but my family advised us not to have a long engagement but to be sure of our commitment to each other.
14. How was it trying to keep other ‘toasters’  or ladies at bay during the period of your courtship?
Funny enough, they disappeared months before he came on the scene.  God’s favour I think.  I was tired of wasting my time.  I had been praying for God to send me someone.  My prayer was for someone who is “True and Kind, Yours and Mine”.  I didn’t want a man with complications about his faith or his relationship, and that was the one I got.
15. How did you feel when the date of your wedding was confirmed?
Happy and excited.
16. Describe your wedding day.
It was blessed, beautiful and I enjoyed every second of it…even the whole week leading to it, because I didn’t burden myself unnecessarily.  I was fortunate to have family who worked hard to make it a beautiful occasion!
17. Do you still remember the  theme of your wedding day?
Garden theme with lost of flowers, crystals, cream decor, aqua and baby pink asoebi.  It was my dream.
 Wedding (425)
 18. Sex is usually shrouded in secrecy but if you were to describe your wedding night experience with a sound, which will it be? a. Kakpooooom! b,kpoooom! c,kpisho!
None of the above.
19. How old is your marriage?
We will be three years in May.
20. What is the  journey like so far?
Lovely and humbling.  It’s a learning process, especially since I’ve always been a strong-willed woman.  He’s patient and humble, and we work well together.
IMG_6003 (533x800)
 21. What is that one or a combination of very vital ingredients every marriage should have to ensure happiness?
I think there are many right answers, and there is no short answer.  But I want to share the advice I gave my younger sister before her wedding:
Firstly, ‘The Three Fs’;
Forgiveness – Big or small, you have to start truly forgiving from the start, otherwise, resentment could destroy your happiness.  Contrary to our human rational thinking, nothing is too big to be forgiven, especially when it comes to love.  Love will always give you the strength and hope to let go of the past and hurt, and try again.  As you learn to forgive, and realise how much you’ve been forgiven by your husband and God, you will truly be able to overcome any challenge.
Friendship – Probably the strongest stone of every relationship, and tested most in a marriage.  It means respecting each other, trust, companionship and partnership.  Your husband is really your best friend, because he has vowed to take the good and the bad when he took you as his wife, and you must do the same for him.  It can get hard to like someone when we know so many of their bad triats, but a good friend always remembers why you were friends in the first place and fights for your friendship.
Forsaking all – There is a reason this is added in the marriage vow, i.e. forsaking all others.  As humans who don’t know the future, we take a risk when we enter a lifetime contract of marriage.  When times get tough, or the romance runs out, we often think of the past and long for more romantic relationships or excitement to take the stress away from our lives.  People who look back or dwell in what ifs are the most miserable people, because they do not appreciate the present or have hope for the future.  Temptations will also come in the present and you have to remember that that is all they are; temptations, and only a fool falls for them.  Often people who tempt married people from their relationships are not sincere or do not believe in long-term commitments, so going after them will surely lead to misery!  It is easier said that done (speaking from experience), but you have to truly forsake all others and put all your faith in your marriage for better or for worse.
Secondly and lastly, there are also ‘Five Things To Remember When Married’ (well more than five, but I thought I’d keep it simple);
– You are in this together, he’s not the enemy
– He’s just a man, men aren’t perfect
– Nothing good comes easy, every good thing deserves an equally good fight
– He really loves you, even when it’s hard to tell
– If, and when, all else fails, prayer will see you through.
Also, I’d just like to add (though you may not personally agree) that God instituted marriage, so if you want it to work, you have to make sure that He is a part of it from the beginning.  You can always trust and rely on God, even when you feel you cannot trust or rely on your husband.
22. What would you say to a youth seeking to know the truth about marriage married people might be keeping away from them?
Marriage won’t make you happy!  Even when you are married, you have to ensure that God remains your no 1 and is the source of your hope and joy!  Marriage is an exciting vocation that tests daily our ability to love… If you grow in love, you will enjoy your marriage.
23. What’s your view on valentine’s day?
It’s just another day.  Don’t let it be the only time you show your husband or wife that you love them!

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