SPECIAL FEATURE

Couple’s Hangout With The Simpa

Couple’s Hangout with the SIMPAs.
Anchored by sister Esther Oyekunle.

PLEASE, SIR AND MA, KINDLY TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELVES.

Mrs Simpa: My name is Joan Simpa. I am a Chartered Accountant and practising as one. My husband and I started this journey about 6 years ago and have been blessed with two great men. So, I am the only girl in the Simpa boys’ hostel.

I love being creative, I don’t like kitchen work, I love music, I love working in a team

Mr Simpa: My Name is Simpa Daniel Ozomata. I’m an Architect CEO of Altop Konsult LTD. Married for 6 years to the love of my life Mrs Joan Simpa.

WHAT YEAR DID YOU MEET AND HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT YOUR SPOUSE WAS THE “ONE”?

Mrs Simpa: I can’t remember the actual year, but we were both in the Choir together with no special interest in each other.
In fact, it was only greeting that joined us.
But in 2011, we met again. I just felt glad to see an old friend, little did I know that this old acquaintance was going to be my husband.

How I knew he was my husband.
It took him proposing to me to get me thinking in that direction.

Did I get other proposals? Yes I did
But his own, gave me the peace I needed
I am not the dreaming Joseph, neither did I get signs to point to him as the one
But I knew I had the kind of mind rest I didn’t have with other suitors.
Was the mindset concrete enough to make my heart not to waiver? NO
But when God is leading you, you know it deep down in you

Mr Simpa: We met 2011. Actually before I saw her that day, I have been doing some prayers, marriage prayers, praying for the will of God. And I saw her that day in church. I was in the choir, playing my musical instrument. I just sighted her in the gallery, immediately I felt a shiver, THIS IS YOUR WIFE.

It was so captivating that I said No oh.
After the service, lo and behold, the person I saw on top of the church just walked straight to me and was greeting me. But you know as a bro na, I was trying to be holy. I did not want her to know I was having feelings for her.

Mrs Simpa: The way he made me feel bad that day ehhh, as if it was a crime to talk to someone I used to know. I got angry and promised myself I would never pay any attention to him.
But see me na, where did I end up, in his armssss 🤣🤣🤣🤣

So, how has marriage been so far? What are the challenges you have encountered and how have you been able to overcome them?

Mrs Simpa: I can say it has been Beautifulllll.
Of course challenges have come and gone. Truth is, the day you stop facing challenges, you stop growing
Challenges?
Keeping up with housework
Understanding some peculiarities in his character
When we first started, I wasn’t comfortable with the way my husband makes some statements and conclusions. Or how he gives orders and just wants me to obey
How did I overcome it?

First I had to ask God to change me or help me adapt.

Finance has not been an issue for my hubby, but for me, I have seen a lot of areas I felt could be worked on.
Overcoming challenges is about mindset.
Determine that nothing will throw you off the peace and quiet and unity you desire in your home and you see it happening as you want it.

Mr Simpa: Well for me, Marriage has taken me out of this world. Marriage has been something so special. I never knew it was this wonderful. Beautiful. You learn everyday, you learn new things.

Marriage has been very wonderful, very very wonderful. And the beautiful part of it is seeing marriage grow day in day out, seeing yourself becoming mature everyday by day.
Challenges
No 1 was the birth of my first-born Brian, new experience, new things, new psyching and new attitude and behavior. That’s one of the challenges but thank God with prayers we overcame and reading of books too helped.
2 is loss of job, when she lost her job. That was the second major challenge I think we faced as a family.

WHAT 3 THINGS DID YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU GOT MARRIED?

Mrs Simpa: That marriage is not as easy as it is called. That marriage meant giving up me for others.
That the independence notion I had was far from being true, As I was free from my parents to get hooked to another 😁

Mr Simpa: 1) how to carry a new born baby….ahhhhhhh!!!
2) The weight of responsibility for a REAL Man ( husband)
3) Being the Spiritual/ physical shield for the whole family

What very sincere advice would you give to the singles here? Any word for the married too?

Mrs Simpa: To any cadre it is, single or married. Knowing God personally and always finding your way back to him is to secret to fulfilling satisfaction in this life.
You can’t get that from any spouse, even if you are married to an angel.
So make the choice to start today to seek God with the sincerest of attitudes

For singles:
1. Know your God personally
2. Prayer( be specific in your request)
3. Seek advise
4. Ask questions
5. Know the person ( love ) your heart should beat for Him
6. Know his family
7. Let purity be your STAND
For the married: It’s a journey.

There will be hold- up (wait), there will be go- slow ( learn), you will drive on high way (watch).
Be determined to get to the End of your Journey.

On behalf of my husband and I, I would be presently a little talk on COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SPOUSE/PARTNERS.

I trust God that the words will leave a footprint in your heart as it did in mine
No need to define the terms as they are everyday language. But why do people get it wrong?

There is so much conflict and commotion because of communication.
And I must say, that the one reason why marriages are broken today is because of lack of communication.

Beyond love and respect is COMMUNICATION.

Homes are shattered and divided for communicating wrongly, or not communicating at all. Follow me please as I put down some points to take note of
Before I go ahead, please take note that communications starts from the period of courtship.

Remember how you lay your bed is how you will lie on it.

Singles, please be as open as possible during courtship. It’s better bro D know this is who you are, than he begins to find out after marriage. By the way, why lie to someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Be intentional about spending time together talking. The average couple spends only 20 minutes a week talking with each other. Turn off the technology and make it a point to spend 20-30 minutes a day catching up with each other.

My husband is the TV person, he can stay 3hrs or more watching programs. I am the phone person. I can stay hours on my phone. This are not weaknesses in themselves until your partner begins to feel neglected as a result of those actions.

If you discover your partner has such weakness, communication does not say talk it out of him, rather communication says work him out of it. If you remove something from a space and don’t put another thing there, something else will feel up the space.

So don’t be selfish about it. You are not working on that weakness because you feel neglected, you are working on it because you want it to make your home a better place. So it takes patience, gentle nudges and the Holy Spirit.

Be specific when there is an issue. Do not generalise and do not continue to repeat past mistakes. Some of us are blessed with the kind of memory that remembers the date, the time, the year something happened. Please use that memory for something else and not as an edge to communicate with your spouse or your partner to be.

Avoid mindreading.
It is very frustrating when someone else acts like they know better than you what you were really thinking.

Then don’t expect that your partner knows what you want or how you like it. If you want it say it. It makes life much more easier. The way of saying it also matters.

Say ‘I would have loved it if you did it this way or don’t you think it will come out better if it is done this way. Instead of,’ but you should know that this is how I like it

Express negative feelings constructively
There will be times when you feel bitterness, resentment, disappointment or disapproval. These feelings need to be communicated in order for change to occur. BUT – How you express these thoughts is critical. “I feel really disappointed that you are working late again tonight,” is very different from, “You clearly do not care one whit about me or the kids. If you did, you would not work late every night.”

Listen without being defensive.
For a marriage to succeed, both spouses must be able to hear each other’s complaints without getting defensive.
This is much harder than learning how to express negative feelings effectively.
Try to feel your partners pains when listening rather than think of replies to all points raised.

Freely express positive feelings and do that more often than you would complain.

Most people are quicker to express negative feelings than positive ones. It is vital to the health of your marriage that you affirm your spouse. Positive feelings such as appreciation, affection, respect, admiration, approval, and warmth expressed to your spouse are like making deposits into your love account.

You should have five positive deposits for every one negative.
If your compliments exceed your complaints, your spouse will pay attention to your grievances. If your complaints exceed your compliments, your criticism will fall on deaf ears.

Before I end this session, Let me share with you what ROB FLOOD shared as 5 tools that saved his marriage.

First things first, have an experience of and with Christ.

Next thing is get off your high horse, learn to prefer/put the other (your spouse, partner) above yourself.

The best way to communicate better is to do INTENTIONAL COMMUNICATION.

His principles/tools are:

1.The Principle of First Response: The course of a conflict is not determined by the person who initiates, but by the person who responds.
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” .
By following the principle of first response, we were being called to take a poorly spoken comment and redirect it.

2.The Principle of Physical Touch: It is difficult to sin against someone while you are tenderly touching him or her.
If you are unmarried, do not go beyond holding of hands, I repeat, do not go beyond holding of hands.
A difficult time to apply this principle is after an argument has begun. However, a perfect time is when you know you are about to sit down and have a discussion about something that might lead to tension.

3. Principle of Proper Timing: The success of a conversation can be maximized if the timing of the conversation is carefully chosen.
Giving the right answer at the right time makes everyone happy.
Proverbs 15:23 CEV

4.The Principle of Mirroring: Understanding can be enhanced if we measure it often throughout a conversation.
Have you ever meant one thing by what you said but the person you were talking to heard something else? It can make for very frustrating communication. If you’re not sure if your spouse is getting what you’re talking about, check to see if you hear this phrase a lot: “What do you mean by that?”
Mirroring can help you test whether you are hearing your spouse properly. Once your spouse makes a point … repeat it to him or her. Say something like this: “So, what I hear you saying is …” or, “Are you saying … ?” Then, in your own words, tell your spouse what you understand to have been said.

Then, the most important part of mirroring comes. You must allow your spouse to either affirm or correct what you’ve said.

He went ahead to give this example:
As we learned this principle, I often didn’t like Gina’s negative or inaccurate summaries of my statements. So, I defended them and failed to allow her the freedom to speak honestly. In time, I learned that her summaries actually were quite accurate; my reactions were negative because I didn’t like how they exposed me.
The point of mirroring is not to be right, not to defend yourself, but to know that you are hearing accurately. If you seek to understand rather than to make yourself understood, then you are primed for success with the principle of mirroring.

5.The Principle of Prayer: Success in communication is more likely when we invite God to be an active participant and guide.
One of the greatest difficulties that couples face with this principle is awkwardness. They are not used to praying together. So, as they begin to like each other less in the midst of unconstructive communication, the thought of praying together is not very appealing.

Flood learned an easy fix to this and he advises thus:
Start praying together. Begin with 30 seconds of prayer as you go to bed each night. Pray regularly as a family prior to eating. Pick one night a week to pray for your children, your pastor, and your marriage. Among the enormous benefits that you’ll see in your family, the regularity of prayer will make praying in the midst of communication breakdown more probable.

Before I drop my pen, REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT COMMUNICATION.
DON’T FORGET THE PLACE OF PRAYER IN COMMUNICATION.
I have practiced it and it has helped me a great deal.
I’ll draw the curtains here.
Thank you for following through.

Question from the group:

How do you cope when your partner has mood swings. Not a negative kind of mood swing that he/she will be misbehaving but such a person just wants to be quiet and be all alone?

First thing is to understand him
Understanding leads to acceptance which then leads to constructive ways of making changes.

Why not give him the space, he is having his space, and you are praying in your heart for the Holy Spirit to give him peace
That time is not the time to talk, try rubbing his head or massaging his feet or doing something he likes that does not require voicing.

You can play him music he likes.
The question that comes to mind is Will he do same for me if I am in that shoe?
My answer is this, who are you looking up to? Your husband or your Saviour Jesus Christ?
If it’s Christ, then be sure that he has made arrangement for your peace of mind.

You talked about communication, while I was much younger I always expressed my feelings just the way they are, over time I got silenced for it and I find it very difficult to do so now. I could be hurting so badly but I won’t be able to talk, I would either suddenly become quiet or would cry it off to God.
I really don’t like it. Even people that are younger to me I find it hard to tell them when they do things that are wrong. Please how can I overcome that. More so, I’ve really prayed about it but still mouth won’t open.
You actually don’t have to bottle up your feelings
All you need do is look for constructive ways to say them
If you say them with so much anger, at the top of your voice, the person you are talking to will only see and hear anger or disrespect ratchet than the points you are trying to make
So why not try counting 1 to 10 in your mind before you respond or leave the matter and talk about it the next day, when you have gained composure and the best way to put it.

Truth is there are many things we won’t be able to discuss during courtship, you discover them when you are already living together. I didn’t discuss that with my hubby during courtship. What I did was to go online, gather enough questions that I couldn’t think up naturally and was bringing in each question gradually on different occasions.

Same principle applies whether married or single, composure helps you to do intentional communication.

I should think that he is not only your husband but make him your BEST FRIEND…..and trust me you tell your best friend everything

Can you tell us share with us some moments when you felt like giving up on marriage and how you were able to have a rethink?

First of all, MINDSET
My mind is made up, that this is I do till death do us part.
There are times when I feel like, I feel very overburdened, overwhelmed.
I feel like if I am alone, if I am staying by myself, there are no children to feed, or to always look for food for, as in like I need my me times, so what if I just give it up.
And then the Holy Spirit says, but my grace is sufficient for you. And then its like somebody poured cold water on you. And then He goes further and says but if you pray about it, I can give you strength. And then the next morning, during my devotion, I see a passage that is more like cast all your cares upon me.

I need to also add that, during courtship, I asked God to let me feel the worst side of my husband because I don’t want surprises neither do I want any kind of display that will make me want to give up on the marriage.
God answered that prayer.

So nothing he does throws me off balance.
He can get me angry to the point of crying.
But I have learnt to be crying and praying, O God help me forgive him, help me see it from his perspective
I might sleep off, but I’ll feel better

For me I’ve not had any reason to give up

We appreciate the opportunity to share

Our prayer is that every home represented here will experience the peace of God.

Compiled by Olaki Mercy
BUD Writer’s Unit

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