By Bishop Charles Ighele
Last Friday, December 6, makes it exactly thirty-three years since we wedded. By the grace of God, we’ve had a very nice marriage. I love her and she loves me. But that does not mean there have been no disagreements. Just as I have never come across anybody who has not mistakenly bitten his tongue; that is how I have never come across any couple that has not had disagreements.
Let me clarify the point that, having disagreements is different from quarreling. Disagreements lead to arguments, while arguments lead to quarrels and quarrels can lead to so many ugly things.
Some people say, “Trouble no dey blow whistle.” But I normally tell people that trouble dey blow whistle, as far as marriages are concerned. I tell them that, the whistle starts blowing with disagreement and that at the level of disagreements, couples or friends should see to how the disagreement is resolved so that it does not lead to the next stage, which is an argument. I then go on to suggest to people that the most mature among them should look for all means to make sure the argument does not lead to a quarrel.
In my marriage to Carol, we have tried to see how we do not leave the disagreement stage. One of the periods I use to re-strategizse, energise and build our marriage and family life is when she is away on a long trip or I am away on a long trip. For over five weeks, my wife Carol was away in a faraway continent.
These five weeks made me think and come up with solutions on an area in our marriage where there has been a minor disagreement.
In marriage and family life, if some minor problems are not wisely handled, they can turn to “the little foxes that spoil the vine.” While she was away, therefore, I had to look at some aspects of her behaviour, which gets on my nerves and my behaviour, which she does not like.
For example, after Carol has opened a bottle of water to drink, she will not cover it properly. Instead of putting the cover properly on the bottle of Eva water, Nestle water, Cascade water, etc, she will just put the cover on top or at best tighten it half way to the extent that any little shaking can make the water spill. I am the opposite. I cover it properly. I don talk tire, but my wife no dey change.
So, the period she was away for five weeks gave me some time to think of how to handle the situation. Eventually, I came to the happy conclusion not to worry about water spilling over the place again. What I decided to do is to properly cover any bottle she did not properly cover. And since she came, I have become a better lover by doing things like this.
I have seen during these thirty-three years that each time she is away or I am away on a trip of over one week, it has given me time to reflect on how to make our love life better. This is almost making me come to the conclusion that it is good for married people to once in a while be apart for a week or two, and that they should use such time to work on their marriages, as well as learn to miss each other. We love each other while we are together, but we miss each other more, while we are away in different places for a long time. You can try it to see if it will help you. But do not try it, if you know it will not help you. Love you.