There are some things about my married life and courting days that stand out better than the rest and amongst these are our little acts of togetherness. I recall my early years of courting and married life when my spouse and I did almost everything together. Only when we were out at work were we out of each other’s sight! I am sure many of you, especially newly-weds, have experienced this in their new journey of life. With fewer responsibilities and few mouths to feed, time is on your side as a newly-wed couple.
When we were first married, we were up in the morning at the same time and we were in the kitchen preparing breakfast together. Then, as my spouse watered the plants, I kept him company by hanging around in the small garden. As I washed the dishes, he stood nearby chit-chatting about the happenings of the day. As I chopped the onions and vegetables, he cleaned the meat and fish. Certainly, many hands did make light work!
When my husband went to the grocer’s or the market or the shops to pick up something or even run little errands, I was there in the car in my comfortable home clothes. But the point is, I was there providing the companionship he so enjoyed and this was mutual. We chatted and smiled and laughed and life was just fun. The togetherness made every chore a breeze. We enjoyed each other’s company in every sense of the word and every minute was important as, at other times, we spent a big portion of our time at our respective workplaces.
Nonetheless, as time passed by and with the arrival of one and then two additions to our family, time became too precious, so it did seem, to be keeping each other company while the other ran errands. Even with the arrival of the two children, we valued the importance of enjoying each other’s company and considered this a necessary ingredient in a happy marriage. So we carted our little infant and toddler together with us in the little vintage Volkswagen whenever we went out. There was so much of sharing and talking and seeing each other that our life was certainly fun and enjoyable.
The truth is, we hardly did things separately. We went to dinners and family functions - whether it was my extended family or my spouse’s - together. To us, this was what marriage was all about. Both were responsible for each other’s happiness. We were always seen planning our activities and holidays together. Both had a say in almost everything we did and every place we visited. We sought each other’s opinion all the time as we felt two heads are better than one!
Today as I look around, I see partners going their separate ways. I know a lady who never attends the ceremonies or events of her spouse’s family members. If her sister is celebrating a birthday, she visits her leaving her spouse behind at home. In fact, she doesn’t even tell him where she is going, as if to say that is none of his business. Likewise, if his brother is having a celebration, he then attends it alone.
To me, because we are so busy with our careers and our kids and have very little time for ourselves, it is all the more important to accompany each other to these functions. It makes a difference as we spend time with each other in a relaxed ambience. Besides, making an effort to dress and look attractive to each other is an essential part and parcel of love and romance that is not to be overlooked. Let us not underestimate the fact that, as a marriage matures and the babies arrive, we should not forget to look after ourselves and there must be times when the two of you ought to be looking in your best.
The more time you spend together as years go by, the better your retirement years will be when you need each other the most! Even today, if my spouse is out of the home playing a game of golf, I feel the emptiness at home. Of course, my commitments to my grandchildren do not allow me to accompany him but we try to spend as much time together with the grandkids when we are at home together – and this is most of the time. Quality time with each other is what I emphasise and this is something that cannot be remote controlled – you have to be around for each other in person and spirit.