I read this letter by Ferdy to his wide Lilly, sometime last year on Bellanaija.com. I not only loved the sincerity behind his words, I also completely fell in love with his portrayal of marriage. Too often we either see marriage as a destination filled with candyfloss and rose petals or as a place where each person becomes shackled to the other till death does its thing. In Ferdy’s letter to his wife, he shows us the commitment of marriage- the good and the bad but most importantly the reason for marriage- partnership and all the benefits it brings. I hope that as you read this letter you become inspired to love again (or love more readily) even if you are married or single.
I remember like yesterday when we took the solemn vow to love each other no matter what. I am certain now that much of the import of those words were lost on me. Really, I must confess that these eventful two years tested those vows with little or no decency. But I found out one thing; our enduring love for each another has triumphed. Yes, I am learning each day of the true meaning of marriage, of the cost of love and the pains of sacrifice. I am learning that love is not always as tidy and airbrushed as we think. Our idealized version of romantic love is perhaps the real enemy of real love.
Each day, I learn that marriage isn’t just about giving up a carefree lifestyle and coming to terms with new limits, but also enjoying the joy of a partner committed to your life as much as you are. I am learning how to always pass my plans and choices through the filter of ‘us’.
You come first. It wasn’t a choice I made; it was a reality I accepted. It is a blessing to be married to my best friend, my biggest fan and my partner-in-crime. To be with someone you can be totally free with is the truest gift of love. More so, I am super proud of the family we have created. This beautiful small world we have is my most important consideration.
Today, we share the joy of raising such a lovely and energetic son, Kayima. I believe no duty in my life is more sacred than my role as a father. It is not lost on me that my supreme responsibility is to love you with a sacrificial, purifying, caring and unbreakable love.
Each marriage is as unique as the people who join their hands together. Ours is uniquely us. We have been through many adventures; those days when the car wouldn’t start, when the rent would go up and our savings was at an all-time low. Those days were hard. Those nights that we would drag each other into unpleasant arguments, instead of simply walking away, weren’t always fun. But I see that we have become stronger and better after every wobble. Although, it has been challenging, it has also been far more rewarding. I wouldn’t trade where I am for any other place. I wouldn’t trade you for any other person.
With you, I can take deep breaths and be myself because the more openly we discuss our differing expectations; the more we create a vision for a lifelong happy marriage. I believe in our marriage and I reaffirm my love for you and renew my vow to you. I know that a good marriage requires hard work and I am willing to give that much. There is little to say that you haven’t already heard, and little to give that is not already given. Your beauty, heart and mind inspire me to be the best I can be.
As the years go by, I am more honest about my tendency to drift away and get lost chasing endless business goals. I vow not just to grow old together, but to grow together, to make my accomplishments ours, and your challenges, mine. I promise to love who you are now and who you are yet to become.
As time passes, I promise to be willing to face change as we both age. I promise to spend each day working to become a truer version of myself, and I will do my utmost to help you do the same.
May we have many adventures and grow old together.
This letter was written by Ferdy Adimefe and was published on Bellanaija.com on 5th August 2015. The original version can be seen here