Couples conquered by what they've conquered

What you need to know:

  • Love does not conquer everything; it takes compromise, skills, and understanding for a relationship to truly work. 

In his book, The Gravedigger File, Os Guinness, an English author, theologian, and social critic, mentions a joke among military strategists that any war between China and the Soviet Union would go like this:

"The Soviets would take a hundred thousand prisoners on the first day, half a million on the second, and a million and a half on the third, only to surrender on the fourth day, overwhelmed by the number of their captives."

Love does not conquer everything; it takes compromise, skills, and understanding for a relationship to truly work. Couples as conquerors can also be conquered.

Conquered by career

When we work long hours, we get more money, and our families look prosperous. However, when work takes over, it becomes more difficult to create emotional safety, and this can, in turn, negatively affect our relationships.

So, what looked good has now become a monster. We now find ourselves in limbo.

And honestly speaking, prioritising our relationships is a hard thing on its own. Caregiving to children, family relationships, hobbies, in-laws, and other life cares seem to be enough in their own right.

Now, when we throw two careers into this mix, we could well be on our way to a crumbling relationship. And by the way, do we even know how careers affect our marriages?

We live in a world where life is all about winning, and maintaining a good career is a top priority for many people.

But before we even realise we have no time to talk, we also start facing more conflicts, and most of the time, we start having different opinions and heated arguments.

So, bringing an office home is disastrous. Yes, our careers give us a good life, but they shouldn't kill our relationships; otherwise, the once-conqueror now gets conquered.

Conquered by children

When children come into our lives as parents and lovers, we feel blessed; we become merry, jolly, and perhaps super excited.

And so, many of us feel we have conquered the world; at least we know that if we continue with this obsession, children will slowly start making our relationships less romantic and less satisfied.

It is so unfortunate that most couples feel uncomfortable discussing the stress children bring to their relationships.

In other words, they're not ready to childproof their marriages. But note that raising children is not only time-consuming and tiring; it's also related to frequent exposure to stressors.

The number of stressors increases with the increasing number of children. We need to be very strategic to avoid being conquered by our internal captives.

Parenting needs to be accompanied by childproofing our relationships; careers must be handled with care and self-control; and we must regulate our working hours to allow time for love and intimacy.

Amani Kyala is a counsellor, writer, and teacher. Phone: 0626 512 144