What do you have in common with your spouse?

Holding Hands

You know these couples who you can see about town together – busily chatting while driving to work, shopping for the weekend, elegantly dressed and smiling at an evening event? Clearing the farm silently side by side, donning matching funeral blacks, walking the beach hand in hand? Mr and Mrs, enjoying each other’s company? Well, I don’t have that and I am not sure its what makes unions last.

I do envy the “Mr and Mrs”-couples (or the “Mrs-and-Mrs” or “Mr-and-Mr” as the case may be), especially when I am at an event on my own and drive home alone. Or do I? Because at the event, I will stay as long as I find it fun, socialize with new people,  and in the car home, I will play the music I love, on high volume and sing along. Is that really bad?

I am in a relationship since 13 years and married for about half that time. When we first met, I bragged to anyone who wanted to listen (and probably a few more) that I had found someone who was just like me, a twin-soul. I believed that the “Mr and Mrs”-coupledom was equal to happiness and planned my week around time with my man.

However, soon I could not hold back a yawn when watching football with my spouse and he could not keep his eyes open for yet another art-exhibit. We discovered one of us was more of an extrovert and the other more introvert in personality. Where I have made a name out of my blog and social media presence, my husband belongs to the few who never even got on Facebook! (He does like LinkedIn, the one social media site that does not interest me much). My husband is big on Ghanaian traditions; funerals, family sit-downs, and chieftaincy politics – I enjoy keeping my weekends open to cooking/baking, house parties and time with close friends and family.

After 13 years together, my spouse and I have accepted we are different people. We do converge around late night talks on politics or “Sunday”-special type meals in our garden. We have our children, bank accounts (sort of, but that’s another post), and some future plans in common. But when it comes to interests, we are like night and day. My spouse simply says “opposites attract”, but I think we actually have some key values in common, like freedom, joie-de-vivre, and not-wanting-to-pretend, that we honour by following our own path. That means more often than not, you will see one of us in town alone or with friends, later going home with much to tell.

Photo: Soulascriptura.com

This post is the first in my new series of more personal posts to be posted on Fridays, Personal Friday.

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Should I Change My Name When I Marry?

Today, I have been married for three years.

It has been a helluvaride. If my better half read my blog, I’d send him kisses through this post, but he doesn’t (!) so I will just go ahead and say that I am happy I did.

Also, for anyone thinking about getting married, I have this advice on name change (as earlier conveyed to a dear friend in an email):

About last names and marriage. I think the best advice I can give is
do not change your name.
Do not even add one, like I did. It is a HAZZLE and also
a weird tradition – why should I change my name just because I marry?
(actually it is not the tradition in Ghana and many other countries).

In hindsight, I do not regret adding Adu, just because that is kind of the only thing that makes me blend in a bit more here in Ghana, “aahh, so you are Ghanaian??”, but I am not sure you need that in [the country where you presently live].
Also many times, people call me “Mrs Adu” without ever having seen my
name in official print and that makes me think “why was it so
important to me to take his name officially?”. Finally, the name laws in Sweden
also prohibits me to give Hallberg as a name to my children now as it is now my “middle name”…
So, read the fineprint or just keep your name and live happily ever

Photo from my wedding day by Kerstin Alm.

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