I review everything in my life. From achievements to failures. If you've followed my posts, you'll see a few examples of those. It was necessary for me to particularly review my married life every year, because I did nurse the fear that I might not have so much of a good one, hence once the opportunity of getting married to someone I felt could live with me presented, I took it without hesitation, thinking that should things go awry, we'll both quickly end it, so I can go back to enjoy what would be left of my life, before leaving terra firma, without so much of what would be the encumbrances and entanglements of marriage. I'd stated in a post such as this, made on a day such as this as well, that we had an understanding, that either of us could decide to leave, once s/he finds the other impossible to live or cope with. My intention had always been that marriage shouldn't become burdensome a thing for us, interestingly one of the things I didn't bargain for, was being in marriage for seven years, and yet still wanting more of it. We both have grown so much into this. I admit though, to growing so sluggishly into it initially. I'm not saying that the possibility that we'd one day find that there are irreconcilable differences between us isn't there, what I'm saying is that the chances of that occurring is slimmer today than it was a few years ago. In seven years we have slowly, but surely encouraged each other, to see enough reasons to keep the flame of love between us from going out. I must confess that there were times that we had just smoulders, times when I was stupid enough to not know which between the 80 and 20 (in the 80/20 Rule) required much of my attention (like I should have been considering the 20 for space in the first place), when she did actually contemplate her place in this, and if it was wise to continue with me, considering the circumstances. But we elected to give us a chance after getting too close to the cliff on those occasions, with nothing but emptiness to fall to, on the other side. I have also once stated that marrying my wife was one of the best decisions I ever made, this position still stands seven years on. This woman makes soaking garri in water for a meal, without sugar, honey, fried fish or meat, milk and the likes, feel like you're eating a sumptuous buffet. We could both trek distances together, and it will feel like flying first class in those posh seats (that look like mini-beds) with flight attendants dotting on us, or in a Bombardier Challenger 605 Private Jet She's such a huge motivator (like I always say, the most optimistic person I've ever come across) that sometimes all I have to do, to gain encouragement to go face a challenge is just look at her. In seven years, the gains have been bountiful and immeasurable. And this was one marriage we both went into, blind to some extent. I didn't have time to attend counselling sessions, of course I'd thought we wouldn't be doing this for the long haul, only for us to experience many of the pitfalls that we would've been taught to avoid during counselling sessions, in our married life, then constitute a means to pull ourselves out of it. Had it not been for her maturity in the early days of our marriage, I'd probably not be qwertying this today. Though I have found that love is essential for a marriage to be successful (not sure if marriage is one of those things one could be said to be successful at, or what parameters would constitute a successful one), there are other things, that have absolutely nothing to do with love, which happens to couples in a marriage, that'll either strengthen or weaken the love they have for each other, which will ultimately impact on their marriage, enough to determine whether they remain in it, or get out of it, or even, as it's become more popular these days, to fake it, to wit when there's finally a separation, you hear either parties claiming that of a truth, the marriage ended way long before both parties decided to do the needful, some unfortunately even before the marriage itself was consummated. Seven years isn't enough for one to become a marriage counsellor (though not like I'm aspiring to be one), because for all you know, my wife and I could, after having a blissful seventh-year anniversary time together today, fallout tomorrow morning, and have an embarrassingly public divorce situation thereafter; but I can categorically state that one of the conditions that have continued to strengthen our union is the fact that we contracted ours unconditionally. We actually sat down and reviewed possible scenarios, and what we both thought of each, and what we individually considered to be the best response, and choose for each of them. We didn't do this once, but severally, not necessarily during our few anniversaries, but anytime the need arises. Indeed, there were times when we had such sessions twice in a week, sometimes following verbal altercations (no one else but us heard, while we were about it, many times in the dead of night, or in the wee hours of the morning), that usually ended with soothing words, and more often than not, make up sex. I remember, sometime before we were married and she'd come to visit me when I had just relocated to Lagos and squatting with my parents, and my late elder sister asked me how I could be so sure that my then girlfriend (now wife) will be my last Bus Stop. My response was that she is the only one that could manage my "madness". My sister was alarmed, she took the madness part literally, and asked me if I had mental issues, but I told her I meant that I am a very difficult person to manage, to live with, but that this particular girlfriend of mine had found a way around me, and seemed to know how to manage me. In seven years, I can say I've removed from the wild, and tending towards being tamed, as she's blunted much of the sharp edges about me. Something else, that I figure that might have also helped must have been our interest in each other's business, as well as the fact that we also run a business together, and making the decisions that affect the business as well together. I had known her not to be materialistic while we were still dating, but interestingly she didn't change after we tied the knots. There were times when some of our investments paid off, and we could have decided to go blow some of it on us, but she advised that we plough same back into our business, or some other, if we considered what we were engaged in too tedious, or boring. The first time it happened, I thought it was happenstance, when it happened again, I thought it was coincidence, but since then it has happened so regularly that between us both, I can no longer tell who is practising Warren Buffet more. What I failed to acknowledge in my ENTREPRENEURSHIP SERIES is that the day-to-day running of the side-hustles I talk about, has been largely borne by her, besides the fact that she also runs her own business. We laugh together when we make a hit, and rant and cry together when we record losses and endure disappointments. Marriage hasn't been a bed of roses for us. In fact, we face challenges that threaten the foundations of other people's marriages, and though seven years isn't enough to tell if we wouldn't fall off the grid by reason of such challenges remaining unhinged. I have cause to believe that we will trudge on in spite of what life throws at us. We are learning with each passing day of the different flavours of lemonade we can make with the lemons life throws at us. We are making all six numbers from the dice count for us, holding no number to be special over another, as we waltz through the path displayed before us to career through. On a lighter note, I'd love to inform you that I passed the test my wife set for me on Friday in flying colours, when she asked when our anniversary was, and I told her it was today without hesitation, only that it appears I've failed in getting her a gift, seeing as I have spied on the one she got me (Eni is like that) while she slept, and I, in my insomnia rose to qwerty this for our special day. I’m grateful to YAHWEH for giving me her, as well as making us see the first Sabbatical Year of our marriage, for which big things a’gwan. 'kovich PICTURE CREDIT: - https://mulpix.com/instagram FIRST MARITAL SABBATICAL YEAR https://madukovich.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/siete/