Veteran actor and dad, Tunji Sotimirin has shared about his marriage and life lessons in a weekend interview with PUNCH’s Tope Omogbolagun. The dad-of-three who is also a university lecturer at the Theatre Arts Department, University of Lagos, shared on the qualities that drew him to his wife of 27 years.
He answers the one question many young couples worry about– will the spark fade with time?, and he shares on must-have traits that couples who desire a happy and lasting marriage should possess.
Read excerpts from the interview:
What year did you marry?
I got married in 1993.
Can you recall how you met your wife?
I think I was driving home after a recording and she saw me and screamed. She said, “Oh! I see you on the television.’ I gave her a lift and that was how we started.
What attributes did you see in her that attracted you?
She is smart-looking, beautiful with a wonderful figure. She looked to me as someone who would be intelligent. She proved that right at the end of the day. That was what made me decide that I was going to marry her.
What did you enjoy most about your wedding day?
I found it interesting that I had to perform on my wedding day. I performed with a band and also anchored the wedding with the master of ceremonies. At some point, I had to stand up to recognise some people during the wedding. It was a participatory kind of event; I didn’t feel like the groom at my wedding.
For how long did you court your wife before wedding?
We didn’t court for long. I can’t recall for how long but it was for few months. I don’t like gambling. When I got to that stage in life, I knew I was ready for marriage. I told her I don’t like to deceive people and I don’t like it when people deceive me either. So, we were on the same page.
What do you think are the ingredients for a lasting and successful marriage?
I will say patience and resilience . You have to ignore some attitudes in your spouse that do not go well with you. In the course of the relationship, there are things you have to ignore and others you absorb. You have to be humble.
There are times you have to tell your partner you are sorry. Be fervent in prayers. Be sincere and open with your spouse; let your spouse know all you have. Also, appreciate your partner’s contribution to the family; it might not be monetary appreciation all the time. The time you spend with your spouse also matters. Try to be real. Let them know you are open and sincere.
Some people say marriage changes with time. Is it true?
Of course, it changes. When you are married, you will be young and agile so love, drooling over each other will reduce and it will now be another level of affection. You will care more from a deeper place. I am someone who gets deeply involved in my work and my wife knows .
I might not be doing the ‘I want to come home and kiss you’ and all that. But whenever I come home, I make up for my time away from the house. It might not be as hot and sparkling like when we started. But it doesn’t mean that you have stopped loving each other.
What is your advice to young people about marriage?
I will say they need to be patient. They don’t need to be looking at the handsomeness or the unnecessary glamorous looks because people like to judge by what they see on the outside. What matters most is character. They need to be real. People sometimes lose their God-ordained partners by focusing on the outside. Give people a chance and God will intervene.