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Not many will agree that entering a marriage is similar to starting a business enterprise. Both involve signing contracts, require much hard work if they must succeed and are long term relationships.

Most importantly they both require frequent evaluations. It is not unusual for businesses to hold quarterly retreats. They look back at the period under review and take stock of the progress that has been made. Plans are then made to consolidate the gains and minimize losses.

It was with this mindset that 13 couples convened at the Epe Resort and Spa last Friday for the Married Couples Retreat; a weekend of discovery and rededication to marital love.

Organised by the Institute for Work and Family Integration, the retreat kicked off on its first day with an exhaustive discussion on temperaments and understanding why people act in certain ways.

Not a few couples exclaimed in understanding as they each identified the temperaments that best explained their personalities.

It continued on day two with another talk on the importance of communication and dialogue, given by a member of IWFI’s board of trustees, Mrs. Gloria Osezua. She emphasized the importance of communication in marriage.

Gloria said, “Modern couples do not have time to listen to each other; there are too many technological distractions and other external noise. “This is why we are all here with our spouses today, to make time for each other. Knowing who you are is important and the gift of each other is more important than what anyone can ever acquire.”

It was a moment of revelation during the classroom activity as each couple wrote down how much they knew of their spouses. Needless to say, some discovered what they thought they knew was not the same with the actual person their spouses were.

Gloria said it was important that couples verbalized their knowledge of their spouses as it enabled it each couple know where they are starting from. .

IWFI Chairman, Engineer Charles Osezua, tried to reassure dismayed couples who were unhappy with their performance at the test. He said, “After 40 years of marriage, I still cannot say I have a Phd knowledge of my wife. I learn every day.”

He took the class on the meaning of true love and explained why couples stumble in marriages. Charles said, “Married love requires a paradigm shift; marriages have issues because people think love should be rewarded.

“If my love is based on reward, there is a problem. True love is a sacrifice, made for the good and happiness of another person. It is a conscious decision and mission driven process. It is only when one has been able to embody this ideal, can one be called a lover.”

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