The Death In ‘Till Death’
Let’s talk about death in relationships.
When the man-of-God who’s joining the couple says ‘till death do you part’ I’m sure he means death as in ‘Grim Reaper’ and related subjects. Death; as in the end of physical life.
But as we’ve come to learn, physical death is the least responsible for ending so many marriages marriages nowadays, no?
Let’s consider death in other forms – death of other things. Things that were once exciting – and suddenly are not as exciting as they used to be. When the sight of her body no longer sends you into the mindless frenzy it used to – when his snore and one-pack become the two most annoying things you know.
When we just want to say ‘you know what? This is no longer working for me’.
In recent times we’ve witnessed more weddings than university students around here have attended lectures. We also know of the tales of woe that abound – tales that make marriage sound like a badly written Stephen King novel. And little by little, slowly but steadily, a happy marriage is starting to look and sound like a myth.
We all know there are happy marriages – just as we know there are still virgins (word to Chidinma) but the thing is – these things hardly; if ever get celebrated. No one made the cover of The Daily Sun for being a faithful husband or wife! We’re more likely to read about ‘Pastor Impregnates Wife’s Younger Sister’ than ‘Couple Celebrate Twenty Years Of Marital Bliss’.
And even if we did read that, most of us will probably ‘yimu’ and go ‘na lie jo’.
Now, what happened to make us so disillusioned about getting married?
I think we happened.
WE. YOU and ME.
We simply stopped taking each other seriously.
Someone said something somewhere ‘If we took our romantic lives as seriously as we took our professional lives, we would be lots happier’.
Consider the picture.
Remember that Pacesetter novel ‘Death Is a Woman’?
But then, let’s keep moving.
The vow says ‘till death do you part’. The picture depicts one way death can come into marriage, right?
Now let’s consider the thought that ‘anything not growing is dead’.
Ever flipped through your CV and noticed that for a while, nothing new has been added to it? And then you thought about getting a new job, a new degree, a new experience – something to make the CV fuller and richer?
Can we think about our relationships in those terms?
Relationships in which both partners are individually and collectively thinking of new ways to grow; individually and together.
I won’t lie. I used to think the hardest part was ‘getting the girl’.
But then, as I grew older that part of it became progressively easier until – and then I had a reality check.
The hardest part is making her stay.
I mean really. I had to ask myself; why should she stay with you?
Do you know anyone on any planet or in any reality who likes stale food?
Men want to talk about how men are natural breeders and how men get bored with just one woman. Hello bro. Wake up and smell the coffee – you’re not the only one stuck with her; she’s also stuck with you!
Make it worth her while.
A friend of mine is taking belly-dancing classes. And when I asked her why, she said ‘you never know with men. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it’.
Okay. Maybe belly dancing is kind of awkward if you’re a guy (or maybe not); you can learn how to wash her hair. Learn how to make new dishes regularly. Take her to Dubai (these things are not as expensive as we think!). Be interested in her career – things that matter to her. Come home one day and say ‘I was browsing and saw this online course I think you would be interested in. I already subscribed for the brochure; but if you don’t like we can cancel’.
It’s far beyond ‘dinner and a movie’ these days o. Real.
It’s beyond lying-back-and-letting-the-partner-do-all-the-work. There’s as much competition for men’s attention as there is for women now. We’ve all heard the ‘sleeping-with-his-wife’s-best-friend’ story. Maybe the man was greedy and so on – but where was the wife in the midst of all that?
There’s more to infidelity than sleeping around. And sometimes, the sex is just a by-product; the visible results of some other things. We see the sex, so we just think it was lust. And in some cases it was/is just that. Lust.
But in some other cases…
If we spent more time enriching each other – our partners, friends, spouses – whatever people we have around us, don’t we think things would be easier for all concerned? Don’t we think we would have less of short-term marriages and actually have more people committed to improving themselves and each other?
In Social Studies we learnt the smallest unit of society is the family (or something close). Don’t we think that’s another place a better Nigeria can start from?
I’m just saying.
But I do know this – it’s impossible to do something nice for someone else and not be touched ourselves.
Let’s blow the dust off that record, folks. Let’s get to know each other all over again.
I’m Seun Odukoya. It is a pleasure having you here.
What do you think? What other ways do you think death come into relationships? Looking forward to reading your opinion!
Have a blessed week.