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When you are more romantic than your spouse


Bishop Charles Ighele

My wife, Carol grew up in a more romantic environment. Her parents (Bishop Michael and Rev. Rachel Marioghae, now with the Lord) could kiss and hug each other in public, even at old age. Their pet name, when translated into English meant “friend.” We still have in our custody a very romantic photograph they took, when they were younger in marriage. It remains one of the most romantic photographs of any couple that I have seen. You can, therefore, see that my wife came from a romantic background.

As I have had cause to state in my articles on this column last Sunday and the previous one, my parents (Israel and Rebecca Ighele) were not romantic at all. I never saw them hug each other any day, not to talk of kissing, even when they were in the best of moods. I, therefore, grew up in a non-romantic background.


I know that out there are many marriages, where one of the spouses grew up in a more romantic background than the other. And of course, there are many marriages also, where the husband and the wife grew up in Okonkwo’s kind of non-romantic family, as could be found in Chinua Achebe’s classic “Thing Fall Apart.”

Let me now go back to the heart of the topic of today’s write up. When we got married newly, Carol was more romantic than me. Before we got married, I decided that I would not allow my family background to define the quality of the romantic life I would spend with whoever I take to the altar of God to be my wife. As is generally known, growth does not occur in one day. But because I had made up my mind to grow romantically, I kept growing, until I became more romantic than my wife.

In our home, all our children know that I am more romantic than their mum. My being more romantic, however, created a new problem, a new challenge. At a stage, I found myself carrying almost all the burden of trying to live a life that is highly romantically lovely. I had two choices. The first one was to get frustrated and give up. I saw that this choice was dangerous, as it would lead to stagnation and then deterioration of our love life. As a marriage and family counsellor, I know that many couples have chosen this path. They complain that they gave up the interest to grow their love life romantically because their spouse was not responding. But I tell people that if your spouse is not responding to your lovely and romantic dance steps, do not give up. Be a good and patient teacher. There is no way that your non-romantic spouse will remain the same five years later if you decide to be his/her good and patient teacher in the love making and romance department of your marriage.

Are you married to a person who does not know how to respond to your romantic moves? It can be discouraging, but take courage. What you have to do to him or her is to teach the person the attitude of how to respond. Do not give up, even if he or she makes fun of it and laughs at you. If your spouse belongs to the second category of not knowing how to initiate romantic moves, but responds when you make the move, then you do not have much of a problem. Keep making the moves. The Bible says, “God is love.” I pray that couples will allow the love that flows from His Kingdom to overpower any form of non-romantic love that flows from our family background and tribal traditions. Love you.


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