"There's no fear in love"
A few months ago, we were on our delayed honeymoon in Thailand. While having dinner, we met a couple that were in a family vacation with their children. After seeing the husband wearing a Comrades t-shirt, Skhu started making conversation. While conversing with the couple, I asked how long they had been married. She said 16 years. While admiring that, she asked how long WE had been married. At the time, we had just celebrated our 6 months wedding anniversary. When I said this, she rolled her eyes. “Oh! So, you’re still in the honeymoon phase?”. I had heard this a lot.
There’s a reason why I’m sharing this story. Let’s get the formalities out of the way. “She has no business of writing a marriage blog after 1 year of marriage. Let’s see if they’ll still have the same hype and energy after 5, 10 or 20 years in. That’s if they will even make it there”. There’s probably a certain level of truth in this. Thank you. This has been noted. Now, let’s move on.
While I was very excited when Skhu proposed, I was scared of marriage. When I looked around my circle, I didn’t have the best examples of what marriage represented. Ma married in her early twenties. It was an arranged marriage between two families. After physical and emotional abuse, because her in-laws thought she was barren, she escaped and found herself in Port Elizabeth. My brother and I’s existence in the world is a reminder of an affair between our parents. My father was married. And Ma had been a willing participant in possibly breaking up a family. Understandably, her view of marriage has not always been the most encouraging.
While trying to manage my fears about how this could translate to my own marriage, a friend of mine, Sivuyile Boqwana, came to my rescue. I may not always tell her this, but its her words that will forever benchmark my marriage. “Nozi, make sure you have fun. Wherever possible, make sure you travel. See the world. Go where your heart desires. Create beautiful memories. Things, at times, change. You will have children. And when you do, the dynamics may change. You may not go out as much. Priorities may change. A trip to Thailand may take a backseat because you need to pay school fees. Your ailing parents may suddenly become your fulltime responsibility. While trying to juggle your jobs, your children, you may also need to take in your parents. All of this is happening while you’re still trying to make your marriage a priority. You may drift apart. It happens. But…it will be the memories that you created in your first years of marriage that will forever be embedded in your memories, that will sustain you”.
She may have said this in passing. For all I know, she might have even forgotten that she said this to me. But I will never forget. I don’t even think she realized the deep and meaningful message she passed on to me.
Past experiences of failed relationships have taught us to fear. In some cases, it’s not even our own failed relationships. Its relationships of people we admired. Our parent’s 20 year of marriage that suddenly fell apart. The Beyoncé/Jay-Z kind of relationship that didn’t work. They hurt because we benchmarked our own relationships against theirs. “If they didn’t work, what chances do we have?”
There’s a bible verse I absolutely love that I wanted to share. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love”. 1 John 4 verse 18.
From then on, after that talk with Sivu, I refused to live in fear anymore. While we may plan for the future, time and time again, it has been proven that we have no control over what tomorrow holds. The corona pandemic is proof of that. But what I do have control over is what I can do today. And I choose love. I choose to love without any reservations, without any doubt, without any fear. What that may look like tomorrow, in a year, in 5/10/20 years…I don’t know. I may be busy with nappy changing that writing something similar may not look like a priority. But what I do know is that I will look at this very moment and have no regret. In fact, it may be a reminder and a revival of how I felt in this moment…and that was love.
Thank you for joining us as we took you on our love journey. The love and support you ave shown us has been overwhelming. We love you all back. In case you missed any of our videos, please see links below to our 4 part #MayabaLoveJourney series:
#MayabaLoveJourney Part 1 of 4: How I met my husband: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLKLIJEOYYo&t=235s
#MayabaLoveJourney Part 2 of 4: Reflecting on the day I disclosed my HIV status to my husband: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzygKUesFhY&t=1s
#MayabaLoveJourney Part 3 of 4: Q & A session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sov7fuwFGxc
#MayabaLoveJourney Part 4 of 4: Our quarantive wedding anniversary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH6gAAKwCiM&t=2s