While it was steaming hot, I fought the urge to jump on the bandwagon and air my thoughts on the Idibia family saga. On some days I convinced myself that ‘yada, yada, yada, if its public, its public, and everyone can comment freely’. On other days, I chose to wear the shoes of the concerned people, and this always left me speechless. Now there seems to be some peace and calm, and I am indeed happy and hopeful for the couple – so I’ll write.
This is not a gossip blog, and so I won’t be touching on the messy details that transpired, just one lesson I want to pull out in general, one lesson that topped the chat for me; you can be public in loving, appreciating, and celebrating your spouse, but never go public with your issues if you still want to be together – unlike the stock market, going public doesn’t bring your organization (marriage) any expansion (success/healing). Oh, am I saying suffer in silence? No! This is the essence of having a selection of likeminded, values & faith sharing, trustworthy friends, mentors, pastors or counsellors, and even parents/family.
‘…who you share it with makes all the difference.’
When conflict becomes so bad that you and your spouse cannot resolve it by yourselves and it is weighing you down, sharing it and getting sound counsel or help becomes important. But who you share it with makes all the difference. I’ll touch on 3 categories of people you don’t share your marital problems with, and the weird thing is that all of them are good people!
People who are naturally biased in your favor, and a good example in most cases are your parents and siblings. They love you, and even after you’re married when they must choose, they’ll choose you, and this doesn’t mean they don’t care about your spouse – they do. It’s just a natural conditioning. So, if your spouse has hurt you, reporting to your parent or siblings is not wise. I must say though that there are a few parents who cross the bar and beat the mark in that they are more interested in guarding and keeping your marriage, than being sentimental over you. Just know that these are very few.
‘Can they counsel from a place of understanding and empathy?’
Loose friends. What I mean by loose friends are people with whom you do not particularly share your faith and values with, but who may even be quite close to you – especially if they aren’t close friends with your spouse as well. Popular examples are your colleagues at work, past relationship partners, and unmarried friends. Reporting your marital problems to people in this category makes you vulnerable to manipulations and mistakes. Are they happy if you’re happily married? Do they nurse hidden affections for you? Can they counsel from a place of understanding and empathy? This category can be so tempting to reach out to, but you must resist resolutely.
‘It can leave you more battered and confused than the actual problem.’
Social Media – No way! Never way in fact! Don’t do it, they simply binge on your pain. They are the mixed multitude, sycophants & haters, bloggers & preachers (I dey this group o, but fear them), distant family members curious about your life, strangers & the mentally deranged (azzin ehn sick people everywhere o), your colleagues and your partner’s, in fact, the Pharisees and Sadducees too (all self-righteous folks) etc. There is so much worldly wisdom out there, and once you table your matter there, everyone with a smart phone can comment freely. It can leave you more battered and confused than the actual problem.
‘…a wall without cracks will keep the lizards outside’
There is a Yoruba proverb that says ‘bi ogiri o ba la enu, alangba o le wo ogiri”, meaning ‘a wall without cracks will keep the lizards outside’. Remember, who you reach out to can make all the difference. If you’re yet to be married, start to build the right support network you’ll need in marriage: get planted in a local church, submit to mentorship or tutelage that you can trust, invest in the right type friendships, and practice not venting on social media as an habit.
What are your thoughts? Please share them in the comment section, I look forward to reading them.