How to build bridges with your spouse
Whether or not to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) seems to be the next political battleground in our nation. I’m not here to drum up support for or against the BBI, but one thing, maybe the only thing that I like about this initiative is its name.
Indeed, a lot of bridges need to be built in our country in order to connect us back as one nation. Unlike our country, which historians tell us has never been a united republic, but rather a coming together of different nations (tribes), in marriage a husband and wife are united as one and promise each other to live thus. But after the honeymoon period is over, reality sets in and we suddenly discover things that we either didn’t know were there or that we simply ignored coming back to bite us. We move into what we call the drama stage, which if not handled well, can either lead to a divorce or the two living not as one, but as two separate individuals.
And so, what we need in our marriages so often after the dramas is rebuilding bridges initiative (RBI). This is because so often, during those dramas, we tend to destroy those bridges that once connected us. We thus end up as two separate islands. One of the key skills that every couple needs to survive this drama is good conflict resolution skills. They also need to have an attitude of humility and be responsible enough to take initiative in rebuilding those bridges. In our counselling sessions, we are always asked this question, “Who should be the first one to seek peace, simply stated, who should take the initiative?”
In the case of the BBI, it has never been clear who reached out to who between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they met and things changed overnight for this country. Similarly in the case of a couple, it doesn’t really matter who reaches out first—what is important is that you meet and solve your differences. Remember for the two to remain one, we need to fight for each other and not with each other.