“MURDER? YES, DIVORCE, NEVER”
That was the answer Billy Graham’s wife is reported to have given to the question whether she’d ever considered divorce. I have been there too. Many times when I have felt like throwing in the towel, I used to say I will do something we will all regret. But, every single time, I have come out of that “my marriage sucks dump”, not much in the War Room fashion, but by an optimistic and pragmatic approach. Yes, I am a realist and a pragmatist and often do hurt myself with the truth.
So as the story is told, the woman in Kano, Mrs. Emeka Nnatuanya burnt her pregnant self and her husband to death?
Who do we blame? The gods? The kinsmen? The ancestors’ crime. Normally, that’s what the African traditional religion and world views will have us do. Spiritual manipulation. The belief is deeply rooted in our culture.
But in reality, have you ever paused to wonder about her mental stability the combined effects of prenatal depression and the mental torture and pain of having a third party in her marriage, the said husband’s ex whom he keeps calling?
I have not come to play the victims card here nor have I come to apportion blames, but the wise learn from other people’s experience too. If you would take anything out of this story coming out of Kano this week, let it be this: “BE CHARITABLE IN YOUR ACTIONS AND WORDS TO YOUR SPOUSE” and from this also flows the rule, “DISSOLVE EVERY OLD ROMANTIC ALLIANCE” and do not plan for new ones outside the home.
Some of us are criticizing the way their marriage was started saying he married her at the mom’s instance. That’s irrelevant to the fact that he accepted to marry her, not at gunpoint, I mean who does that anyway, but in an adult fashion. Even my 16-year-old son stands up to me these days. I only suggest things that will be best for him in my opinion, but the choice is all his. I can only make faces and grumble for a few days and I get over it. There are many ways to start a marriage. Sometimes its because you have “fallen head over heels in love” and sometimes it is because you need to settle down and you found someone who met a good percentage of your criteria. Sometimes its because you knocked her up and doesn’t want the kid to be called a bastard, so you decide to make an honorable woman of her, and sometimes too it’s because of furthering family alliances, or a marriage of convenience. It is not solely based on feelings alone. That is simply not enough. Feelings do change. And it will be absurd to say that since your feelings towards each other have changed then the commitment is no longer binding. That’s so wrong.
Once both spouses see their marriage as sacred and above their own personal desires, then they can put in the necessary effort to make it last. This is where the grace comes in. In modern times, we are trying to discard the notion of God, but you know what, I am never going to subscribe to that view. That childlike knowledge of a higher good and the tenets of my religion will help me steer away from wrongs and that principle of serendipity will keep flowing in my life. So we all need ‘amazing grace’ of God to live out our lives as a couple rightly. To be able to subdue our selfish desires for the higher good, the family which is the foundation of the society.
Over the years I’ve been married, I have learned that marriage is an honorable vocation. Not one of the contractual relationships where you have an option of getting out. It has a kind of permanence to it. That year my son was writing the secondary school common entrance into one of the schools, I met this lady, an interesting one. She was full of worldly wisdom. Been through convent schools, married a Catholic, worked as a teacher ingot a job in one of the oil companies. I lost her contact but her wisdom rubbed off on me. And by the way, if you ever read this bad (guys and ladies help me share so she can read this), hit me up on this Facebook.I still want to know you more. So she said something that stayed on my mind. She had suitors coming, and her mom’s advice was this- if a Catholic and men of other faith comes to ask for your hand in marriage, marry the Catholic. Their faith encourages the permanence of marriage, and that’s true. Nowadays, we are importing the Walmart tradition into marriage, i.e, if it doesn’t please you, return it. But come on people, real love means discarding those fairytale, childish ideas and expectations and knowing that love thrives when you live it out on the basis of COMMITMENT.
I heard this story once, of a newly married woman. She kept noticing these calls from her husband’s ex, and it usually comes late in the nights and when they’re in bed. Yes, she looks at the screen to see the same name always, let’s call her, “Ezenwanyi”. She was hurting privately, especially when he picks the phone and goes outside to answer. She kept trying to be a good wife, until one day, he’d dozed off once he hit the sheets and the intruder’s call came in. What she did can help someone, she simply picked the call, told her calmly, yes I know who you are, the ex. You’ve been making these calls intruding into our family life at these late hours to put a wedge between us, but I must advise you to move on. This guy moved on when he chose to marry someone else but you and you’ll be wasting your time on a man who I am not about to let go. Go find you some other man who’ll love you enough not to leave you and marry someone else. Some WW3 ensued but that’s a tale for another human interest story. And truly, after that day, if the “other woman” did not have a rethink, then she’s quite a nitwit.
Infidelity hurts. It can make one go into a depressive maniacal state. And some individuals have a huge personality disorder that can boomerang in ways that can tip over families into misery. I mean some people have literally jumped into lagoons, taken an overdose of drugs, poured acid on others because of fatal love, and some have hired assassins to do their dirty deed. We must not blame the dead. We do not know why she could deliberately burn herself, baby in the womb and husband and not the third party. We do not know if she absentmindedly in numbing grief, dazedly brought fuel to flames, or if the cooker was left on in that grief and fire razed everything torching a can of fuel kept in a usual place. We do not need to apportion blames anymore, but we need to learn from this. REFUSE TO BE THE OTHER WOMAN.