What is a successful marriage?

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Kweku Oteng got married to Afia Adutwumwaa in a grand wedding ceremony that became the talk of town, they lived happily as a couple for a decade. Their three children are very bright and well taken care of. For 10 years, they did everything together as a family, until something happened.  

Kweku Oteng cheated on his wife and got caught. To Afia Adutwumwaa, it was the height of betrayal, she could not go on with the marriage and filed for a divorce. 

Agya Koo Nimo and Akua Asor have been married for 45 years, over that period, he has given birth to 4 other children outside the marriage. For the most part of the past 45 years, Asor was a lonely woman, she didnt feel the love of a husband but remained in the marriage due to fear of stigmatization. at 72, Agya has lost his libido, he is no longer the man he used to be, the desire for women has faded, most of his friends who helped fuel that lust are no longer among the living. With his kids married and making their own families elsewhere, Asor is the only source of company, they have become closer than ever.

Now, which of the above marriages were successful marriages? What should be the yardstick for measuring a good marriage? Should it be about longevity regardless of quality or it should be quality regradless of how long?

In deed, the are beautiful long marriages with few drama and short marriages without a minute of peace. 

However, it appears that the moment we see a long sustained marriage, our natural inclination is to conclude that it has been a ‘perfect’ marriage and hence an example for this generation. The opposite is also true of us, we see every divorce as a closure to long suffering to at least one of the two. 

In my view, the success of a marriage should not be measured by how long but how well. I’m not convince that a woman who spends all her life grieving but stayed put in the marriage to avoid societal ridicule has had a more successful marriage than one who had a great marriage until…..

This is the difference between modern marriage and marriage of old, our women today are treated better than our mums were because our women today won’t bother to walk away if they realise that it’s not worth it. The high rate of divorce is not a sign of failed marriages generally, but more of people realizing their self-worth and their right to a happy marriage. These are the things most of our grannies sacrificed to give us pictures like below. 

That said though, it is important to mention that there are pictures like what I have attached that represents the latter stages of an excellent marriage throughout, that is what we all aspire to achieve in our marriages. 

In my estimation, instead of using divorce as a factor in determining a failed marriage, we should place emphasis on treating each other right as couples on daily basis.

Marriage is to be enjoyed present-continous, not hopefully, future. 

You can’t waste your youthful years treating each other as trash and cleave at your old age and recieve a gold medal as an example of what marriage should be. 

Perhaps, perhaps, that woman who walked out at a point was wiser than the one who stayed and perhaps the marriage that ended was miles fulfilling than the one that looks like lasting’forever’.

That divorcee might have enjoyed marriage once, that person married for 30 years may never have had the slightest idea marriage is to be enjoyed

Some of you have no idea the horrific stories in the “we have been married for 40 years” motivational messages.

When you ask them, how did you do it, most go like: you have to sacrifice and work for it. You have no idea what made up their own sacrifice, you have no idea what work is being referred to. 

The best marriage is the constant quality from the day we said yes till we become carcass and my gut tell me the pic below is one of such examples. I am not talking about petty regular disagreements.

Let me leave you with this Akan proverb: wote pum pum aa wobidi, ebia na koobi nkwaen

Meaning: when you hear the sound of your neighbor’s fufu being pounded and it whets your appetite, pound yours according to your affordability, you have no idea the kind of disappointment in their soup.

Respect to this couple, I’d love to take such a picture with my wife after 30,

40 years of marriage.  

Isaac Kyei Andoh

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