By Francis Ewherido

Tomorrow, January 26, is Spouse day. Spouse day is a day set aside to celebrate and honour our spouses. It is a day we should not only tell our spouses we appreciate them, but show them we do. If there is one major complaint married people have against their spouses, it is being taken for granted and  unappreciated by spouses. Spouse day offers us the opportunity to prove to our spouses that we treasure them.

What about Valentine’s day? Well Spouse day might not be as popular  as Valentine’s day, but it is in good company as a forerunner (to Valentine’s day in this case). John the Baptist is nowhere near as famous as his illustrious relative, Jesus and Jesus’ divinity increases the gulf between them; nevertheless, John played some role in the salvation of mankind just as Spouse day can strengthen marriages.

Spouse day differs from Valentine’s day in some ways. One, it is unique and specifically for spouses only. It emphasises the uniqueness of the marriage institution unlike St. Valentine’s day that everybody can be part of.

Spouse day is also free from the commercialisation and pollution to which St. Valentine’s day has been subjected. If you go out there today or tomorrow to look for a Spouse day branded card or gift to give to your spouse, you will not find any for two reasons: first, Spouse day relative obscurity means that commercial considerations have not overtaken its  importance. Second, spouse day is not really about giving physical gifts, although it is not allergic to it. Spouse day is about giving your spouse one of the greatest gifts of all: yourself.

So what are you giving your spouse tomorrow? If you are an absentee spouse, make the sacrifice of turning that side of your bed that has always been cold warm tomorrow. Not only that, give her/him some spousal intimacy that your long and constant absence have denied. For husbands who are good cooks this is the time to take over your wives’ kitchen and do their favourite dishes. But if your meals taste like paper, please do not go there and ruin the day; look for other activities. For senior babes who have cooks, please let your cook take tomorrow off; go into the kitchen and give your spouse a treat.

For gunners, red devils, blues, saints and the rest of football fans, leave the sports channels alone tomorrow. Join your spouse to watch that sitcom, movie, reality television and the likes that she has always watched alone. You might just find them interesting and entertaining. But even if you do not,what is a good marriage without sacrifice, without dying a little to self? And madam, what about sitting with your spouse to watch those 22 boys running after that round leather object and an umpire keeping an eye on them to ensure they play by the rules and also step in when things boil over? I am sure doing that tomorrow only will not kill you.

Yes, your spouse complained that the last time you publicly professed your love  was when you took your marital vows during your wedding. How about making your neighbourhood your love lane tomorrow? Take him/ her by the hand, no, waist and walk around during the day, not at night, for mankind to see.

You can also give your spouse the gift of peace of mind by promising to kick out that terrible habit that has been causing a nervous breakdown. Oh! she is sad because you do not participate in family prayers. Surprise her tomorrow by joining her and your children in family prayers.

Your spouse is happy that you pay the children’s school fees promptly but sad that you have never taken time to look at their school work or monitor their progress. Do the unthinkable tomorrow; for the first time; go through children’s school work and help them with their assignment and prepare them for school on Monday.

So what happens after tomorrow? Just continue your makeover until it becomes a habit. That is one of the ingredients for turning a bad marriage into a good one and a good one into a great one. Change for the better.

And what happens in less than three weeks from now when it will be Valentine Day? It is another wonderful time to shower love (and gifts) on your spouse. If you have the resources, spoil your spouse with gifts, if you do not  with love…. You know, sometimes the best things in life, as Janet Jackson sang, are free: air, rain water and spousal intimacy.

The origin of Spouse day or who started it is not really clear, but that does not diminish its essence.It offers us an opportunity to appreciate our spouses. Have a wonderful Spouse day.


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