Couples Life and Style

‘Tolerance, forgiveness key to our successful marriage’

HOW WE MET with KAPALA CHISUNKA,Lusaka
“IT is almost impossible to sustain a marriage while being tolerant and forgiving but that can only happen when two people love and respect each other. A marriage is a difficult institution, and having proud partners makes it a lot harder to handle.”
These are the wise words of Joseph Muyambo of Kabanana Site and Service Township. And after 47  years of marriage, it would be detrimental for anyone to ignore his advice on how to sustain a good marriage.
Mr Muyambo, 68, who met his lovely wife Mary in Mansa district in 1966, described their first meeting as love at first sight.
Mr Muyambo was enchanted by his wife’s beauty and personality that it did not take long for him to approach her and make his intentions known.
“I knew I was attracted to her the first time we met. She had just moved into our neighbourhood. My feelings for her grew each day. My search was over. I had found my wife in Mary,” he said.
He said the two soon became friends although he had already informed her that his intentions were to marry her and settle down. After one year of courting, Mr Muyambo said he finally approached her family at the end of 1966 to finalise marriage arrangements.
“Although we courted for one year, I already knew that she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The woman I wanted to be the mother of my children and I knew that with her as my wife, nothing would separate us.
Thankfully, her family also accepted me when we went to introduce ourselves formally and tell them of my intentions to marry their daughter,” Mr Muyambo said.
Mrs Muyambo quickly cuts in with a chuckle and adds that it was easy to accept the marriage proposal because it was love at first sight for her as well. She said apart from his physical appearance, he was a kind, warm and caring man.
She said she knew from the start by how he treated her that he would make a good husband and a great father to her children. Mrs Muyambo said she met her husband at an opportune time as that was the time she felt ready to settle down in marriage.
“He was extremely different from other men. He knew what he wanted and he did not waste time playing games with me. He wanted marriage and even his behaviour towards me pointed to that direction. I was happy when we finally got married,” she said with a smile.
And that was how 21 year old Joseph married 17 year old Mary in Mansa. Together the couple have eight children, 12 grand-children and four great-grand-children.
According to Mrs Muyambo the secret to their happy union is, “love, respect and being understanding towards each other’s short-comings as no human being is perfect.
“We are of the old school so tradition and culture have played a role in how we treat each other. No matter what happens, my husband is always head of the house.”
She said although it would be difficult to compare marriages in the olden days to this generation respect for a spouse in the institution of marriage still applies.
Mrs Muyambo said although women in this generation have become educated and can contribute to the running of their households as much as their male counterparts, issues of gender equality should never be allowed to bring divisions in the union.
“Obviously, there are roles that only women can perform as well as roles that only men can perform. That is how God intended it to be. I do not subscribe to a culture of women wanting to exchange their roles at home with their husbands all in the name of gender equality.
“Let’s learn to uphold our cultural and tradition and not copy things which do not build us as women,” she said.
And Mr Muyambo said the secret to sustaining their happy marriage has always been and will always be placing God first in their relationship, as well as loving and respecting each other.
“No one can ever say that marriage is easy because it is not. It has its ups and downs but it is up to the individuals to make it work, to cherish what they have and to love and respect each other. Pride should never be allowed in a marriage,” he said.

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