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Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Samantha Kambule |
19 April 2013

Jafta and Rose are going through some marital problems, so we asked Bra Solly for advice.

Now why are we asking Bra Solly for advice? Well, it turns out the former Rhythm City actor Jerry Mofokeng, who played Bra Solly, is also a marriage counselor!

On Rhythm City, Rose wants a divorce from her cheating husband, and they keep shifting the blame. So we asked Jerry to help us out with some sage advice on relationships.

Most people know you as an actor but you are also a marriage counsellor, how did this come about?
Marriage counselling is something that grew on me and my wife. It started with friends coming to us for advice. My wife used her training as a nurse and her professional skills as a nursing lecturer in the field of Psychology to help. I then decided to equip myself on the field and acquired a clinical psychologist to mentor me. I did extensive reading on the topic and we have a library on books, both circular and spiritual at home. When we started this in the early 90s, it was to help friends and family but the demand grew and the past five years have been a period where my wife and I have been offering marriage counselling on a full time basis to the general public.

You have been married for 33 years, what is the secret to a long and happy marriage?
There’s not really a secret to it, my formula is simple and involves sticking to the basics which include faithfulness, communication and having time for each other. Most partners lose the essential need to make an effort in their marriage. It shouldn’t be approached with a cruise control mind-set because love must continuously be revived. Couples must be willing to try different things and find new opportunities to spoil their partners.

A lot of married couples complain about the spark no longer being there, how can couples keep the spark alive?
Marriage is not a destination you reach and then put your feet up. You have to find new ways to love your partner and don’t get tired of loving them. Don’t assume or guess in a relationship, instead ask your partner what they want, take cues from them and never lose your temper. A lot of problems arise from expectations that are not communicated. Share your aspirations and dreams with your partner.

Young married couples are often accused of giving up on their marriage too soon – how can they tell when to throw in the towel and divorce and when to keep fighting?
Couples who want to enter the union of marriage should first get pre-marital counselling to know more about what marriage entails. Most people divorce for flimsy reasons and later in life find themself saying, ‘had I known what I know now I wouldn’t have divorced.’ Secondly, don’t invest on your anger and rightness in any matter. Lastly, before heading to the divorce court make sure that you have exhausted all avenues. Start with sitting your partner down and communicating your concerns, consulting the elders and counselling. Divorce must be the last option and not the first when things fall apart in a marriage.

How do you know when you’ve found “the one”?
My advice is to check why you met objectively. If you enter into a relationship when desperate or on the rebound, there will be problems later. Give yourself time to go through troubles with your partner to see the strength of your union. I also recommend a compatibility test where you firstly check if your dreams are similar and if you and your partner have healed from previous relationships. Also look at the financial, cultural and spiritual factors and see if you have a similar understanding and importantly find what binds you.

Jerry Mofokeng will host his next seminar on relationship and wellness in Joburg.
Date: 11th of May
Venue: Blandford Manor, 106Hyperion Drive in Northriding, Randburg
Tickets: Book online at www.strictlytickets.com  or directly through Blue Moon Productions by 26 April 2013 for a 10% discount. Contact Amanda +2711 039 6545 or +2773 374 6873. 
Will Jafta and Rose call it quits or try and patch things up? Watch Rhythm City Monday to Friday at 6:30PM.