As promised, today we start off the Love Chronicles series!!! Writefreak and I are so excited!!! :)
We are honoured to have Gbemi who blogs at http://gbemisoke.blogspot.com/ kick off the series.
I was very delighted when she agreed to let us into her love life with her man. I smiled as I read her story as I could see a lot of similarities between myself and her. I hope you enjoy her story as I have and I am sure she'll be willing to answer any questions you have for her.
- Please tell us about yourself ?
Gbemi Adekoya. Christian, Wife of a great guy called Debola, Mom of Nathan Ademide, Alexis Ademidun & David Ademidara, Sister, Tailor, Friend, Work-in-progress.
I like to think that I'm an easygoing girl. I love to laugh and I'm grateful for God's blessings, especially the ones that money cannot buy.
- How did you meet your husband and how long have you been together before you got married?
Long story *chuckles*
First time I ever saw him, we sat next to each other at the crossover service in December 2002. Subsequently, we would run into each other in church and that was it until my boyfriend at the time gave me a book, "Date...or Soul Mate? How To Know If Someone Is Worth Pursuing In Two Dates Or Less". It's written by Neil Clark Warren, the founder of the dating site eHarmony.com.
I took the Personality Profile test on eHarmony and they started to send me compatible matches based on my results. At that stage, eHarmony would only send you the Name, Occupation and Location of your matches as well as let you view their profile. To contact them, you need to become a paying member and being the scrimper that I am, that was never going to happen, besides, I was already in a relationship, so that was it.
One of the matches stood out though. Debola, Architect, Lagos. From his profile, I knew that he went to my church, because he had mentioned our pastor, Sam Adeyemi in one of his answers. It didn't occur to me that it was the cute guy I sat beside and kept running into at church, until one Sunday when I stopped to say hello to him while he was talking to a mutual friend and I heard words like Auto Cad, Drawings, 3D being thrown around… My brother is an architect, so I was familiar with the terms. It was then I thought "Wait, could this be the Debola, Architect, Lagos from eHarmony?" I asked him if he was an architect and he said yes. "Did you sign up to eHarmony?" I asked, he said yes. I was like "Oh, really?!" and moved on, thinking to myself "What are the odds?!"
He caught up with me later and wanted to know why I was asking about eHarmony. Not wanting him to get any ideas, I said "nothing, I was just curious". But he knew something was up and wouldn't let up, so I told him we were matched on eHarmony, explaining how I figured it out. Then he wondered why he hadn't seen my profile and I said he wouldn't have known it was me because I used a moniker. I quickly pointed out that I wasn't on eHarmony to find a partner, as I was already in a relationship, which was why I wasn't keen on telling him we were matched. He happened to be in a relationship too, so that took away any pressure and we became friends.
Fast forward to the following year, both our relationships hadn't quite worked out and we were single. We ran into each other again at Daystar Leadership Academy, a month long course at church and we got to spend a lot of time together. He asked me out in the summer of 04 and we got married in November 2006
- How did your hubby propose?
Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles.
He was over at mine one day and he started to talk about the future, what his plans were and how he was convinced he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I sort of knew where he was going to, but I wasn't ready yet, so instead of a Yes or No, I asked for some time to figure it out and when I was ready, I called him up and asked if his offer was still good. We got together, had a long talk and I knew for sure at that point that he was the one :o)
- How did you know he was the right person for you?
Hmmm… Several things.
I had a shopping list. Two lists actually. I made them after I read the "Date or Soulmate book." One for "Must Haves", the other for "Cant Stands". He was 4 out of 5 on one and 5 out of 5 of the other. We were friends. We could talk about everything and nothing for hours on end. I had also sought (and got) clearance from God about him. I was attracted to him, my dad liked him, we shared common values, and we were good together. We almost didn't get married when we had challenges with family consent. Going through that made us so much more determined to be together, because we realized that what we had was special and worth fighting for.
5. Is marriage what you expected it to be?
Yes and No
I expect(ed) marriage to be work. I believe that you get out of it what you put into it, so I got married with the mindset that I need(ed) to work hard at building a strong marriage. With life being so short and unpredictable, having a good time ranks high on my list. Marriage for me was a chance to take a great relationship to the next level, an opportunity to make someone's life as beautiful as he made mine.
My no is because there have been things I didn't expect. I have had to learn and grow and even though our marriage hasn't been without its challenges, it has been an amazing experience.
6. What changes did you have to make in your life when you got married?
The biggest one being learning to let someone take care of me.
I had become so used to being independent and sorting myself out, that I had to consciously learn to "chill". I'm learning that being able to do things myself doesn't mean I have to. Like, I can change a flat tire, fix blown fuses, basic plumbing, you know, stuff one would normally leave to boys. I'm not very good at waiting on someone to do stuff for me. Now I have learnt that not only does my husband want to do things for me; he likes it when I ask for help. So I have changed and I am still changing, from being a "Me, me, me" person to a "We" and "Us" person.
7. Does being with one person for the rest of your life scare you?
Should it? That's just me being cheeky *chuckles*
Being with one person gives me a sense of security. Getting to the level of intimacy we have has taken a lot of work. Why would I want to put in all that work over and over again with someone else? Once I find something that works for me, I find it hard to change. I'm like that with things; I'm like that with people.
8. How do you handle finances?
This can be tricky, but we find ways to make it work.
I'm a hoarder, my husband isn't. This used to be a problem because all I wanted to do was save. I derive pleasure from watching my savings grow. I chilled out when the stock market crashed and I watched my investments lose value. I realized that my husband was right after all, what's the point of working so hard if you can't enjoy what you've worked for. I still hoard, but we usually manage to find a middle ground when it comes to investing.
9. How do you resolve conflicts?
Conflict is inevitable. You knew that already, didn't you? *chuckles* see how I said it like I was dropping some deep revelation…
Seriously though, we have found that resolving issues promptly as opposed to letting them build up helps us. We've also learnt to agree to disagree, respecting the other person's right to see things differently. My motto is: Different does not mean wrong.
We try to fight fair and we have rules. No name calling, attack the issue not the person, speak like you would like to be spoken to etc. When conflict is channeled properly, it can help rather than hurt our relationship. At the very least it promotes intimacy, if you factor in make-up sex ;o)
10. How do you put God at the center of their relationship?
This doesn't happen automatically. It's so easy to let life take over and before you know it, God has stopped being a priority. When we let this happen, we remind ourselves that He brought us together in the first place. He's the only one who can keep us. You know what the scriptures say about a threefold cord not being easily broken. It's a journey we are still walking and I trust God to help us get it right
11. When the bible says "wives submit to your husband" what does that mean to you?
I really don't think that submission is that big of a deal if I keep my eyes on the big picture.
While I do not agree with every decision my husband makes, letting him take the lead is not so hard when I realize that we are a team and he's the leader. We are on the same side and the ultimate goal is to build a marriage that glorifies God.
That said, I must admit that my husband has proven over time that I can trust him and by doing so has earned my respect. It also helps a great deal that he asks for my opinion and factors it into the decision making process. He makes it easy for me to follow his lead. I know that that is not everybody's experience, so let's look at that scripture a little closer.
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."
I'm supposed to submit to my "own" husband. First, it's personal, not subject to the opinions and interpretations of others; I'm supposed to do what he wants. Second, I'm supposed to do this "as unto the Lord" which I think means that I should obey him within the limits of what God says. Submission is not at the expense of my relationship with God.
So my interpretation of submission is "What my husband wants, within the limits of the word". Not so hard if my husband is committed to obeying God as I am. Different story if he isn't.
12. How has being a parent affected your marriage?
*sigh* Where do I begin???
I'll just say that my children are simultaneously my greatest sources of joy and stress.
Please feel free to point me to any resources that might help me do a better job. Thanks in advance.
13. What steps do you and your spouse take to make the marriage feel "alive" or "new"?
I honestly can't think of anything special, off the top of my head right now.
I believe that life is short and tomorrow is not promised, so I personally make it a point to maximize the moment and make the best of whatever life brings. I approach life, and my marriage, with this attitude and I find that it works for me.
14. What advice do you have for singles looking to get married?
Marriage is a beautiful beautiful thing. We are bombarded by examples of so many marriages gone wrong, it's easy to give up on the dream of being happily married. Marriage is God's idea and He wants us to be happy. His way is best. I know this. It's the reality that I live. My marriage is not perfect, but it is strong. If He could sort me out, in spite of all my "issues" he can sort you out too.
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