The last lesson in this series, certainly not the least and definitely not the last I learned in 5 years because there are countless more lessons that have been learned and are still being learned. Marriage is a lifelong work in progress and with each passing day we glean a little more wisdom.
So drumroll please……
10. Be open to learn from others even amidst criticism.
Marriage is like school, there will always be people who have been married longer than you have and people that have less mileage than you have in the marriage school. You can learn valuable lessons from anyone and everyone and learn disastrous ones likewise. People especially Nigerians are always ready to give advice (usually unsolicited) at the drop of a hat.
Don’t be aversed to listening but be careful about what you internalise.
Better to ask questions than die in silence or assume everyone is walking with the same thorn in their side…
Since I got married, I have learned tons of new things. I could write a book about my now impressive and still expanding knowledge base. From learning how to make my life easier in the kitchen (powdered beans for moimoi, tinned palm fruit for Banga soup) to learning and perfecting dishes from various tribes (ofada, edikainkong, black soup) even lessons in the bedroom (the things the karma sutra forgot to teach you)….There’s so much to learn and tons to unlearn but you have gotta remember that Google is the ONLY knowledge base that provides 100% solicited, unbiased advice without any form of criticism or judgement! Humans won’t be that kind or tactful in their delivery. I have had people complain about wicked in-laws who criticized everything they did when said in-laws were just offering unsolicited advice apparently from a place of love. Realise that in marriage advice will not always be sugar coated, a lot of it may damn well bruise your ego but if you are willing to learn one day you will attain advice- giver status. Don’t be so fast to throw every advise giver into the haters box and nail the lid shut!
The first time I had to make banga soup from scratch for the in-laws, it was the joint effort of Google, my mum (via telephone), the Holy spirit and my humble self. Hubby is used to me taking my phone into the kitchen and performing magic especially for the meals that are gracing our tables for the very first time and he is always impressed at the outcome (so never be ashamed to solicit help). By the next time, I’m now a don and fishing out recipes to women who need them and that’s life basically. Don’t get ticked off when someone or anyone offers you advice about how to do something better. Yes there would be a lot of toxic, unsolicited and frankly useless advice from people who constantly criticise because they themselves need personal validation but keep a cool head let them talk and then you do what is in your heart to do.
If the question is too personal or embarrassing, just ask Google. There’s nothing new under the sun.
After five years of being married I have realised that you are never too old in the business to unlearn something or learn something new and that advice can be from a woman who isn’t married, one who has been married for only a few months or one who has been married for over 30 years.
Give an ear but don’t give your heart till you are sure it’s good advice!
Have a lovely Saturday chutzpah fam,
A new series begins tomorrow!