Features: Tony & Stella's Spectacular 25th Anniversary Celebrations- #Tonystella25

Delighted to be sharing this beautiful love story which was shared with us early last year. We hope it equally inspires you. Mrs Stella Olaleye narrates her destined meeting with her husband Tony, and offers inspiring advice for couples on the beautiful journey of marriage.

It all started one afternoon in August 1986, while I was doing Industrial Training in Shell Petroleum Development Company, Warri and he was also there from Lagos as an external Auditor. We had a not friendly few minutes business contact the day before and now he walks up to me and just pops the STATEMENT, “ I like you and I want to marry you.” My reaction?

A rhetoric question to no one in particular, “Is this guy crazy and is that the way they marry in his village? You just see a girl from nowhere, you don’t even know her name or anything about her and you are talking about marriage.”
That was the beginning of a hot two years “chase”, another two years silence and finally, a two years courtship that culminated into marriage and the beautiful story we share today …25 years into it.

Mind you we are from two different tribes - Yoruba and Urhobo which was not so common then.  So I can assure you it was no easy ride. We had opposition from family and surprisingly some friends too, some of which were very strong, but I guess all based on fear of the unknown. But with prayers, consistent strong Godly character, a resolve to let the fear of GOD guide our affairs with one another and with others (particularly when you feel you have been unfairly treated or judged). The bottom line is to make a choice to treat others right irrespective of how they treat you.

Mrs Stella Olaleye and her beautiful girls.
Tips on marriage - from these years;

It is all about God and God and GOD! Knowing that God is the author of marriage, He through His word has always been at the centre of our relationship. Our choices and decisions most times (of course, there is that occasional time you want to prove a point) are guided by God’s word. Submission to one another and particularly from the wife to her husband makes all the difference.
One factor that helps you to keep your resolve to stand on God’s word is your COMMITMENT to one another and to the relationship. The opposition and challenges we went through before marriage made us stronger in our commitment to make it work. Rather than allow issues push us further, we used them as cement to bind us closer together.

Please note my use of the word “issues” and not “people” in the last paragraph. The point here is to focus on the issues and not the people behind them, otherwise it becomes difficult if not impossible to keep loving certain people over time if you feel continually aggrieved or hurt by them. This could include your spouse, family and friends. Never see them as the enemy.

This brings me to the issue of FORGIVENESS. Cultivate a forgiving spirit, not just to your spouse but to all around you – including your in-laws. Don’t keep a list of who or what offended you over the years. If you must keep a list, let it be of the one good thing those “enemies” did for you. A positive attitude not only fosters good relationship but adds to your days in good health.

APPRECIATION is a key factor in relationships but most times familiarity makes us trivialise or ignore it altogether. Make a conscious effort to celebrate the 80% good in not only your spouse but also in your children and people around you. Even when it is so obvious and want to rub it in their faces, avoid emphasising the “ugly” 20%.
In doing above, NEVER COMPARE your spouse or family with others because everyone is different and are on different paths.

Marriage as ordained by God is beautiful and will remain beautiful if we walk in obedience to Him.

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