Why we are still dating 16 years after our marriage


Isn’t it interesting how the entire concept of relationships and marriages has changed? Gone are the days when people celebrated you when you finally say ‘I do’ or announce a serious relationship.

Now, ‘it will end in tears’ is a common phrase on social media, especially for those who do not believe marriage works and hence, reminding those posting their love life that it will end in tears.

With divorces at an all-time high, many are cynical about the benefits of marriage in our modern era.

In our quench to gather more insights, we met Pastor Stanley Gachukia, a full-time minister at Heaven’s Gate Assembly Thika, and Anne Gachukia, a fashion designer who has been married for 16 years.

The pair first met in 1996 as members of the Red Cross and they walked down the aisle on 12th February 2005. Their love life demonstrates that love has a way of finding those yearning for it.

Here is the couple’s inspiring story.

‘Lack of good role models when growing up inspired us to have the best marriage’

“I grew up in a broken marriage and this became an inspiration to me that one day, I will have a stable union. Life was not some walk in the park as I watched my mother raising us single-handedly. I grieved for a father, and I made a decision that I would be the best father and spouse, and looking back, my dreams have been fulfilled. I am glad I married my best friend who I have enjoyed every minute,” says Stanley.

“My father was an alcoholic and it was tough for me. He harassed us verbally, physically, and this affected me emotionally. I grew up fearing marriages and I thought that was the worst place to be. However, as a result of mentorship and adequate surrender to God, I discarded my negative thoughts on marriage and embraced the notion that it works. I have truly enjoyed my marriage and If given a chance to get married again, I would still choose Stanley,” says Ann.

Always follow your intuition, they never lie

“In 2004, I met Anne in the streets and something so strong stroked my mind that ‘this is your wife’. It is quite hard to explain this but, I had a strong voice within me, telling me this was the right woman. I had made mistakes in past relationships and I did not want to waste time pursuing any relationship that was not headed anywhere. I recall telling Anne how I felt and she responded; ‘give me a week to pray about it.’ I gave her time and afterward, she accepted. I was so happy and since then, I have purposed to love her as God ordains us to do in marriage,” says Stanley.

Pastor Stanley and Anne Gachukia

“By the time Stanley was asking for a hand in marriage, there was a man who was pursuing me. By then, Stanley was so broke, and just like any other woman I thought there was no security. I was torn between choosing a broke gospel minister and a pilot. Having been in a relationship previously that broke my heart, I was afraid of making mistakes. Hence, I could not depend on my thinking and I had to fully involve God. I engaged an elder woman who helped me pray and I remember making one prime request, ‘God direct me to my spouse and let me develop feelings for him.’ Amazingly, I started developing intense feelings for Stanley, and the attraction I had for the pilot faded. I had so much peace and I am glad I made that decision”, adds Anne.

The thrill of chasing in marriage

The pair have embraced the importance of spending quality time together.

Stanley says: “We value communication so much that we talk like people who are dating. I am always pursuing my wife with surprises, coffee dates, romantic nights out, and adventure in different hotels. God has been our foundation and he has enabled me to love my wife in a special way. I believe the pursuit of a spouse is a mission without an end and hence, I always go out of my way to make her feel loved. When you have settled into the routine of married life, it can be tempting to spend every weekend doing chores and taking care of children, and hence, we always prioritise planning for a romantic getaway just like we would have done when we were dating,” Stanley shares.

To Ann, physical intimacy is crucial to the health of a relationship, and feeling like your partner still desires you is significant.

“I love how Stanley still pursues me. I am still his baby girl. Every day we learn, connect, and say, ‘I care about you’ in word and action. Every day is an empty page with a little note waiting to be written. Marriage is work and we have decided to always bring the best in it,” she adds.

“The first years of our marriage were tough as we had to fully understand each other. This season was full of changes and adjustments and I had to adapt to the new roles. I grew up knowing a man should close the gate and I was always annoyed when Stanley could not close it. We have learnt to solve our differences and this has strengthened our union. I recall in the first years of marriage we would always have meetings to sort cases, but we have outgrown all that. We embraced mentorship which has truly helped us to have a successful marriage,” says Ann.

“When you pursue a friendship with God, you have the right partnership. God is the author of a marriage and you can never go wrong when you choose Him. God’s wisdom guides you to a successful marriage. I would advise couples to build their friendship in marriage as this is what keeps it spicy. Also, make sex adventurous because it is a gift to give to your spouse. Faithfulness is key and I can confidently say, it is possible to be faithful to your wife,” concludes Stanley.

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