Therefore it is imperative that parties to a marriage abide by the code of conduct that makes marriage work and work well. Icheoku calls it the "TRC" of marriage - trust, respect and communication. Also imbibe the culture of replacement of "me, I and mine" with "we, us and ours"; and where possible, maintain and operate a joint bank account with the woman running it. Encourage things that bond you people and de-emphasis things that separates you like mine and yours. Above all, make sure you find out why you want to get married and to that particular person too. Lastly, tier up the three Cs of marriage - companionship, children and comfort and weigh how each matters to you in priority and then hedge your bet accordingly.
According to the story, the guy felt so guilty afterwards that he worked tirelessly to win the girls hand in marriage to atone for his sin of drunkenness. One other girl confessed to her would be husband that she has had several abortions to which the spouse responded not to worry, I have made so many girls commit abortions too. So why hide your past when it might be one uplifting disclosure with nothing more bottled inside of you to bother about. The rule of the thumb is that any man or woman who loves you will not stop loving you simply because of some youthful indiscretion in your past. Most reasonable people will rather focus on the future than than dwell on the past when they were not in the picture. Just learn to be an open book and all the kinks will work themselves out, towards ensuring an enduring relationship.
Communication solves many marital problems and it helps to easily and permanently check sources of fear and irritation; except of course where one of the spouse is done and wants out. When you have issues to work out in any relationship, communication is the key. The reason why many marriages fail is because couples choose to ignore one another or refuse to talk things over or rather wave aside or gloss over their spouses' complaints, issues and concerns. Tone-deafness to spouses' concerns and complaints is one sure bet of alienating a spouse and eventually your marriage altogether. So learn to share your soul's burdens and delights with your better half and even if he or she ridicules you, persist until he or she learns to be reasonable. As always, it is also important to know that it is only a fine thin line that separates silliness, stubbornness and stupidity; and a wise spouse will always know when to halt and make rapprochement.
The magic three letters "I am sorry" also provides some booster tonic to marriages; so know when to back-down, apologize and make over. No spouse likes being the permanent underdog in a relationship so learn how to periodically pick up the sock. Like the dog said, "if I fall for you and you fall for me, that's playing; but if it is me falling all the time, then it is fight and I have to fight back." Saying sorry or apologizing for something never diminishes anyone, rather it shows that stooping down for a dwarf did not make that one any less taller. It is magnanimous; it is being bigger and larger than life, to humble oneself to apologize for a mistake or complaint in the interest of peace, regardless.
Icheoku says if only marital vows mean anything to spouses making them or who made them; and they actually indeed became one with the tying of the knot, it should not matter who owns what or who does what or who brings what to the union? But unfortunately, like with every ceremony, once the vows are exchanged, many spouses withdraw to their default positions and dig into their respective ownerships interests, hence begins the war of the worlds of marriage. Such oddities set in including "I did this, you have to do that." "I own this, that belongs to you". This is mine and not yours," etc. If only we could learn to continue doing all those things which come naturally to us and which we were used to doing before the union and let guilty conscience move the other party to render help. That will be one sure way too of working it to make it work.
Many people often prioritize their children, but this is where they get it all wrong because those children were not there at the inception and will likely not be there at the conclusion of the marriage. They are mere visitors to the union and would someday move out and move on with their own lives. Before their arrival, you had the companionship of each other and long after they move away, you will or ought to maintain the same companionship of each other. This is the reason to find a good companion while taking a spouse. Therefore, your ever faithful spouse must not and should never be relegated to the background or be displaced in your heart by those strangers, no matter what. The children should be accommodated but never allowed to displace a spouse. In short there is no marriage or there should be no marriage devoid of good companionship, period.
No party to a marriage is exclusively ever entitled to anything as of right and to the detriment of the other party. Both are co-equals who should continually strive to work the marriage in order to make it work for them. They should continue pleasing each other without ceasing. Marriage is a what is good for the goose being also good for the gander situation. A give and take situation, so only give what you will like to receive in return and if you cannot take it, please don't dish it out to the other party. Like the bible tells us, a husband should look after his wife as a treasure from heaven; and a wife should please and appreciate her husband mightily in order for them to live happily ever after. The principle of contract of "nemo dat non quod habet" do somehow also apply to marital relationship. No party to a marriage can give happiness to the other party, if that party does not have happiness or is not happy himself or herself. In the same vein, no one party to a marriage can give a loving attention and affection to the other if he or she is not similarly so loved in reciprocity.
Finally always bear in mind what Redeemer's Overseer Enoch Adeboye, in his "Mathematics of Marriage" sermon, once said, "Above all, each spouse must have a reasonable expectation of the other spouse because none of them is an angel nor a super-human and are limited as to what they can do." Now you know, so ask yourself have you done all that is possible within your ability to make your marriage work? Are there things you could have done or done better to improve the odds? Finally ask yourself if you still want to sustain the marriage or is it mentally over for you? Are there the "but-for" things that are holding you down in the marriage, without which you would have long since been gone? Can you go with them or can you afford to dump them or juggle them along with your departure? Depending on your answer, then decide whether to work it or abandon it; but always remember that only the living enjoys anything including a happy marriage. You have only one opportunity at life and life is to be lived, so live it.