ONE thing that produces marital strife in today’s world is friendships with the opposite sex. In our society, men and women often have friendships with each other outside of marriage, and in some cases these are very close.
However, when one or both friends are married to another person, too often the spouse feels threatened by the friendship and it can lead to tensions, distrust, and accusations and can even tear a marriage apart. How should such friendships be handled? What priorities and boundaries should be set?
First of all, I don’t think men and women should build close intimate friendships with each other outside of a committed relationship. It is not appropriate to build emotional closeness without a plan in place to head towards marriage. Men and women can be friends, but they shouldn’t be sharing their deepest feelings and dreams if they want to remain just friends. Intimacy between a man and woman should be reserved for marriage, period. It is part of the beauty and sacredness of marriage that your spouse knows you more deeply and intimately than anyone else. Your spouse alone should know your innermost secrets, hopes, and desires.
A lot of people, however, will object at this point. Men and women can maintain a purely platonic friendship, they say. They will point to a friendship or two in which they were very close but never had feelings for the other person and will testify that their close friendships of the opposite sex have been good for them, filled a need for them, etc. My response to that is that of course these friendships fill a need – a need that should be filled by your spouse (or your future spouse). We all have a deep desire to be intimately known, to be accepted just as we are, to make deep emotional connections with another. But this need was meant to bring a husband and wife together to fill this need in each other. It is not appropriate to fill this need outside of marriage any more than it is appropriate to fill the need for sex outside marriage. The problem is, we like to think in little boxes. We want to put emotional closeness and sexual attraction in separate boxes and pretend that they’re totally unconnected. We believe we can have emotional closeness with someone of the opposite sex without having “feelings” for them. The problem is, we aren’t robots that can put things in little boxes and keep them that way. We are integrated beings. We are designed to build emotional closeness that leads to physical attraction and its culmination in physical and emotional unity through sex. Again, that’s supposed to draw a husband and wife together. The marriage relationship is about more than just having sex. For that matter, sex is more than just a physical act. Sex is a physical, emotional, and spiritual bonding experience that is designed to merge two people into a single unit. Just as physical closeness (such as kissing and cuddling) are preparation for this marital unification, so too is emotional closeness. The physical and the emotional go hand in hand to bring the kind of unity that God designed marriage to be.
Because of this, when you are married, emotional intimacy with someone other than your spouse is cheating. It may not be physical, but it’s still sharing with someone else what should only be shared with your spouse. Such emotional affairs are not only wrong in themselves, but dangerous. Most adulterous affairs begin with a seemingly innocent emotional closeness with an opposite sex friend. It’s part of God’s design for our sexuality that we feel physical desire when we have emotional intimacy. This is a beautiful truth within marriage. Emotional closeness brings husband and wife together to show their love for each other physically, and the physical act of sex bonds them even tighter emotionally. Both male and female bodies even release a hormone called oxytocin that triggers emotional bonding after sex. This is the way God meant it to be within marriage. But when a person allows emotional closeness to form with someone to whom they are not married, their body will, sooner or later, want to respond as if they were married. Even if an emotional affair does not become a physical one, it still causes damage to the marriage relationship. For one thing, the emotional energy that is invested in the inappropriate friendship is energy that is not invested where it should be – in the marriage. If you feel the need to express hidden desires and feelings to someone else, it is a sign that your marriage has a problem and your immediate response should be to work to fix the problem and restore intimacy in your marriage. Sharing with another person of the opposite sex ignores the problem, allowing the gap to widen between husband and wife, while also building closeness with someone else. No wonder it leads to so many problems. In addition, when a spouse learns of an emotional affair, they often feel betrayed (and for good reason). This can cause a lot of hurt as well as further rifts in the relationship. Thus, even when an inappropriate friendship does not turn physical, it is still extremely harmful. Because of the design of our sexuality, we need to guard our hearts in order to protect our marriages. While men and women can be platonic friends, that will only happen if there is an emotional reserve between them. In other words, we should not build intimate friendships with the opposite sex outside of marriage. With this is mind, we should be extremely careful what we share with others, especially those of the opposite sex. Even what is shared with friends of the same sex should be limited (though, obviously, there’s less cause for concern that inappropriate sharing will lead to inappropriate physical acts). The need to share your inner desires and feelings should bring you back to your spouse to fill that need.
A question that often arises is what to do when a husband and wife are having problems and they can’t seem to talk to each other or regain the intimacy in their marriage. The default position should be to work out your problems with your spouse, not to talk to someone else about how to “fix” your marriage. However, sometimes there is a rift that does require outside advice. Sometimes counseling is needed. Ideally, a husband and wife should see a counselor together, but that requires both spouses to participate. Sometimes a spouse has to get help alone. In that case, here is my advice. Anyone you tell about your marriage struggles should be:
Your same sex,
A happily married mentor figure, and
Given only enough detail to allow them to help and pray for you.
You want to avoid using anyone (male or female) as a dumping bin for all of your frustrations instead of working them out as a couple. And you want to avoid ranting about your spouse on a regular basis to someone who takes your side all the time. This will only cause you to focus on the negative qualities and turn your heart further away from your spouse. The proper kind of mentor figure, if you must confide in one, will challenge you to change yourself, not your spouse. After all, you are the only one you can change.
By Ogunkoya Odunayo.
When is the proper time to start courtship?
The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines courtship as the time when two people have a romantic relationship before they get married. By simple interpretation, It is the beginning of a journey to marriage; an act of seeking to gain love or affection with a view toward marriage.
In a nut shell, courtship isn’t a time of experimentation but of exploration and the prelude to a possible engagement. It is indeed the foundation of marriage, because it determines how healthy the union is going to be. Even though, its purpose is to provide a couple time to discover, assess, and evaluate their compatibility as potential lifelong marriage partners; yet courtship is labelled as a deceptive period in a relationship. Interestingly, It is possible to have a good , interesting and exciting courtship and miss it in marriage.
At this juncture, it is imperative to note that no matter how long a period of courtship may be, people will start knowing the real colour after the marriage, however, every road a man takes is as a result of choice, thus this period also can be as a result of choice we make.
Truly, the activity of courtship may not guaranteed engagement or marriage but a controlled step towards it, it must have some objective guides that will allow either party to know the proper time to start and; they are as follows:
When you are close to the end of your learning
Whichever the route one is taking in life, one will need to work hard and focus on the journey before getting into relationship. Courtship becomes a dangerous distraction when it is started too early along the journey of life. It will be better for a student to get to at least 300 Level before engaging in this necessary, important yet distractive adventure.
If your vision is to finish from secondary school and settle down , then being engaged at SSS II may be okay. But for a young man who wants to be an Engineer or Medical Doctor, it will be totally wrong to begin such a relationship by that time.
When you can handle opposite sex effectively
If you cannot control love then do not go into it. I do not agree with the saying that love is blind. Love is not blind, it is the person involve that cannot control himself or herself. Therefore it is not advisable to involve in a race that you cannot run effectively. You should be able to know what is good or bad and as the same time know what to do about it before jumping into it.
When you can boldly introduce him or her
When you cannot boldly and joyfully introduce him or her to your parent, guardian, mentor or people who care for you. It is an indication that it is not yet time. I heard some young people say ” my daddy will kill me if he catches me with opposite sex”. Even if you cannot tell your parent, you should be able to tell your Pastor, Imam or mentor.
A relationship without someone to guide you may end up no where. Anyone who wants to go along in a relationship with you without wanting, especially your Pastor or Imam to know about it is an indication that it is not yet time. Tell him or her to wait until he or she can take you to those people before your acceptance . Secret relationship usually leads to open disgrace, so be wise.
If your education is not fast and probably you are yet to gain admission into higher institution by 24, especially for ladies, please at this age whatever you are planning , do not neglect marriage out of it . After twenty four years for a lady in my opinion, should go into a relationship but never do it without pastoral or parent approval.
When you can no longer hold yourself
Sex is not a sin when it is within the context specified by religion and culture. Once you know you can finance yourself because it may not be okay to get married while you are still being spoon-fed by your parent. However, it is better to get married early and avoid fornication than allow sexual pressure to make you fall back from the faith.
When there are resources to maintain it
You do not need to wait until when you build a mansion before you can start enjoying the benefits of marriage, especially, when you have resources to maintain the courtshitowards
Marriage: Should couples operate joint bank accounts?
Marriage is the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship, specifically between a man and a woman.
Traditionally, when couples get married they tactically merged their money. This serves as a symbolic gesture of showing the union of two people in one unit. However, research has revealed that more than 42% of people in marriage with joint accounts also operate separate accounts. Should we now say operating a joint account with a spouse is a blessing or a curse?.
Interestingly, operating a joint account has its pros and cons. The symbolic gesture gives access to money whenever its needed as both party has the right to deposit and make withdrawals at will. Also, there is little or no way of encountering financial surprise as you both know when money goes in and out of the account.
To some extent, it also builds up the level of trust you both have for each other. Trust plays a significant role in the overall happiness of the couple as marriage is a lifetime commitment. Spouse feels more comfortable to know that he or she is committing to someone he/she can trust and confide thoughts, feelings and worries to.
Despite its pros, having a joint account (s) with your spouse can also result to loss of financial independence especially early in marriage. In a related development, it can also give rise or bring about rift in marriage especially when they don’t tell each other what the money withdrawn is used for.
While interacting with married couples on this contentious issue, to my amazement few people were in support of Joint Account especially the female folks. At this point, what is trust in a marriage?
Opening a Joint Account is not a bad idea, but there must be some laid down rules to make it work.
There should be an agreement between you and your spouse on what percentage of your monthly take home should be dropped into your Joint Account and also the money has to be used for the purpose it was meant for, which may include house upkeep, payment of school fees for the children and every other things to be attended to in the house. In fact, it saves the hassle of sending money to each other and also makes it easier to keep track of your joint monthly spending.
Then the remaining percentage can be used for other personal matters. This in turn will make your home stronger as you will both feel responsible. No doubt, you will both trust each other and you will also discover that you will live happily.
NAFDAC boss recommends capital punishment for fake drug manufacturers, dealers
The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control,NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye on Tuesday recommended capital punishment for fake drugs manufacturers and dealers in the country.
According to the NAFDAC boss, this will serve as deterrent to those she labeled “merchants of death” and put an end to the unwholesome production and marketing of fake drugs.
Professor Adeyeye who.featured in a special interview programme on the Television and Radio Channels of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, BCOS and monitored by Mega Icon magazine disclosed “NAFDAC is working on more intense punishment on fake and hard drugs.The existing penalty for drug pedlling is not stiff enough. I’m not against capital punishment for drug peddlers. Some hardened drug peddlers deserve capital punishment.
“We will not hesitate to close all the lines of companies falsifying drugs.The war on fake drugs is a marathon.It is all over the world.”
The NAFDAC Director-General while speaking on the prevalence rate of fake drugs in the country explained that “the prevalence rate of falsified products is about 10 per cent,meaning one in every 10 drugs being manufactured in Nigeria is fake.This figure is less worldwide.”
While x-raying the activities of the regulatory agency,she disclosed that in 2019,NAFDAC intercepted and destroyed fake drugs worth one point three trillion Naira adding that the Inspection and Enforcement Directorate of the agency is being strengthened to curb the activities of fake drug manufacturers and dealers.
On NAFDAC’s intervention in the global search for solution to the coronavirus pandemic,Professor Adeyeye said as a vibrant member of the global community,Nigeria is also in the race for global cure for COVID-19.
She said “clinical trial treatment is going on in different parts of the country. NAFDAC reviews protocol to ensure subjectand patient is protected.”
“For instance,the clinical trials going on in Lagos involves Chlo to qui me and other therapeautics.”
She added that about 90 countries are currently working on vaccine research and production but regretted that Nigeria which had been in the forefront of vaccine production for 50 years was not presently in the race.
The Professor of Pharmaceutics kicked against the use of foreign herbal medicine to cure the ravaging coronavirus in Nigeria,saying”we should search for our own local medicine which may have same effectiveness.
She however said the agency was still waiting for samples of Madagascar COVID Organics which will go through safety studies and possibly clinical trial to ascertain its safety for use by patients.
Professor Adeyeye while commenting on the possible benefits of chloroquine and remdesivir in the treatment of COVID-19 said remdesivir is not yet commercially available and very expensive while the use of chloroquine is limited to clinical trial setting and not should be used unless prescribed by a physician.
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