God help me with all the pet names I call Dokun. From Dokzy to Baiby. “Ha Tolu, it is well with you”. Yes o. But can you blame me? Marriage is for eternity and it must work“now” and we must find a way to make it work. Some people when they hear Dokun and I calling each other pet names, they say Tolu, na wa for you o. Please leave me o. Like we Yorubas will say “ha! Temi yemi” (translation- I am the only one who understands my situation- hopefully I translated this right)”. In addition, you all know marriage can get boring if one is not intentional about so many things. So, I invent and “uninvent” all the time. I have to stay connected with Dokun and giving pet names has helped me tremendously. So, I try different things to spice it up including giving multiple pet names. I must confess though that somethings I try don’t work. If I see that it isn’t working, I quickly drop it and try something else. But overall, I think we are trying sha. What do you think? So today I’m sharing 4 things that have worked for Dokun and me.
Communication- Communication is the bedrock of a healthy relationship and you have to be intentional about it if you desire to have an intimate relationship with your spouse. Another thing I will like to throw in here is that relationships are living organisms. If you don’t nurture them, feed them, they will eventually wither away. As for me, communication comes a little easy because of my nature/personality. I am a very expressive person. I do not like to sweep matters under the carpet. If I notice that a friend is acting in an unusual manner towards me, I will call the friend to see if I did something wrong. This gift really helped me in the first few years of my marriage. On the other hand, my husband is a reserved person. He is not as expressive as I am so anytime I feel something is not right, I dig and dig until I get to the root of the matter and it is resolved. Do not sweep matters under the carpet. It is dangerous and will boomerang on both of you someday. A patent line of communication brings one closer to one’s spouse. You get to know each other very well. Their dos and don’ts.
Pet Names- Pet names can help you to stay connected with your spouse. Pet names increase attraction. One feels endeared to the caller. There is a positive “charge” that comes with being called a beautiful not to talk of a cute name. Ever heard of the phrase “terms of endearment”? Well, pet name calling falls within it. Research shows that couples that use pet names or cute nicknames for each other have stronger relationships. Another thing to add here is that I know once Dokun calls me “Yejide” (my first name- which he never calls me) it’s a cue for me that something is not right with our relationship. Quickly I begin to dig deep. I start doing my detective work of bridging the gap by questioning him until he tells me what is wrong. It’s just something I have developed over the years though unintentionally, but it works for us. My point, pet names are good, you should try them.
Verbal Affirmation- Ever read the book “The 5 love languages”? I once wrote about it here. “Unfulfilled Husband- Do you know your wives love language”. Research shows that we exhibit one or more of these love languages. Word of affirmation is simply paying your spouse compliment. And honestly speaking, a lot of couples take this for granted especially in the African marriage. Now let me play the devil’s advocate here 😊 and speak for women. “We love to be complimented”. Just because you did it last week when we went out or even yesterday, does not mean we don’t expect it today o. No. We love it when you compliment our food, our makeup, clothes etc. And it is not vanity. When your boss compliments your work, don’t you like it? Exactly! Same goes for women. A quick joke here…… my mom (God bless her memory😊), came visiting us once here in the US. I cooked “ila alasepo”. On finishing and served, we started eating and honestly I was just enjoying it so I said “mommy ha, this ila-alasepo tastes so good, did you taste the shrimp and panla in it?” She said yes and then said smilingly “Ha, Yejide, you cook and compliment yourself”. Then I responded, “of course mommy, I can see everyone enjoying the food and I spent 3 hours on my feet cooking it, the least I can do is to compliment myself on a job well done”. Period! Shikenna 😊 Point is, we all love verbal affirmation.
Create “us” time- Spend time together. I’m sure I’ve written on this before. I know a lot of couples who take time out to go on a date with their spouses so I know some people practice this. But not to act like I live in a cocoon, I am also aware that some couples take this for granted. If you fall in the latter category, this is a new year my brother, my sister, take time out this year, this month and if possible this week and connect with your spouse. When you are together with no third party, you get to know each other more. You rekindle that beautiful thing that brought you together.
May God bless our relationships. So dear reader, I know one or 2 things must have gone through your mind while reading this post/ I look forward to your comments. Please leave one below.
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