Reloading Lukewarm Marriages


All living creatures on the face of the earth, biologists say, are made in twos — male and female. The organisms that are not separated into two are configured in such ways that their organs perform dual roles to meet the reproductive purpose of creation. For adherents of the Christianity and Islam, the maker of the heaven and earth ordained marriage as a sacred institution.

Like all relationships, the union of two people in marriage is not devoid of certain crisis resulting from misunderstandings. Indeed, since the Holy books record that man in his obstinacy disobeyed God, the plague of conflict and self destruction has not deserted mankind. So for those who believe in God and those who do not, the quest to maintain cordial relationships with their spouses remains a onerous task.

As a way of finding a common solution to the nagging problems associated with modern day marriages, Bishop Charles and Carol Ighele have done a beautiful handbook for the purpose. Titled: Handling Quarrels in your Marriage, the 16 chapter book offers refreshing insights on how to enhance the workability of marriage. The text also equips couples on strategies of managing the essential aspects of daily life, disagreements, quarrels and misgivings.

The writers set out by acknowledging that most times a man can be on the wrong footing with his wife and vice versa. The clergy couple identify the causes of the quarrels. Ill conceived concepts of marriage itself, cultural barriers, the natural make-up or biological set up of man and woman and unnecessary comparison of a spouse with some other person. Also listed, is the grand and persisting evil of infidelity to one’s husband or wife.

In the following chapter, the book explains in lucid terms the reasons why many families don’t chew fat. In various passages, they cite the retention of past sour experiences in the present home. Such lingering memories as maltreatment, rape, quarrels, divorce, are dangerous. These factors are accountable for the little “wonder many marriages have been involved in constant accidents (quarrels and divorce).” To avoid these uncanny attributes from manifesting, married people are advised to work hard to make their sex happy, always having a reason to believe that things are radically different from the past nightmarish experiences they may have had.

Since arguments lay the foundation for most quarrels, wives and husbands, the author say must watch and measure the limit of quarrel. The submission of the writers is that couples need to comprehend the role of argument as well as understand when it can degenerate into irredeemable and frosty relationship between them.

Perhaps it is the inclination of the writers to the “things of God” that they argue that it is not tantamount to cowardice for couples to fight, retreat and fight another day. According to them, “it is by retreating, suspension of movement and advancing that the finest generals win their wars…”

In continuation of pointing out the chameleonic nature of family skirmishes and brawls, Handling Quarrels… lists the various ways that aftermaths of quarrels may take. These include the weapon of mass destruction type(open declaration of war) , ice cold block ( Speechlessness and cold malice), the pussy cat( where one party always returns to the fold, despite the degree of hurt incurred during the quarrel). The others may take the pattern of the pity party, (who blames his or her misfortune on other), the honest broker (argues diplomatically, protecting the family’s interest while also making a case for self.) Whether one belongs to any or all of these groups, the admonition is that conscious energy should be exerted to ensure that arguments do not end up tarnishing the image and the personality of the other party.

Five nasty quarrelling habits chronicles the uncontrollable dimensions that marriages can take. Some of these as discussed in the book are; saying everything including diatribes and hurtful tirades at the opposite number, physical combat, when silence refuses to be golden. In other cases, walking out on your partner, listening to reply, constitute acts that fuel marital acrimony among couples.

Prospective couples are alerted that there are instances of quarrealling in advance. Culprits or victims of such quarrels always rant about perceived non caring attitudes of partners. Women particularly are the main complaints. They worry about their husbands reactions to their ill-health, birthdays not remembered or properly celebrated, as well as a multitude of other emotional things that may be of little importance to the men.

Perhaps the greatest prescription that couple will consider as an enduring palliative is that which the writers aptly title Keeping malice after a quarrel. In this chapter, various ways of post quarrel trauma are itemized. In all these, readers are advised to follow the Bible injuction which implores people to “… to in malice be children but in understanding be men.” To achieve this, every home presided over by the man and woman must imbibe the principles of: apologizing when they are wrong, break the ice of malice as a way of resolving an impasse in the home.

To live this inevitable enemy of marriage therefore, certain rules must be observed. They are quite a hand full. Some of them are; no exchange of fisticuffs, threats of divorce, threats of murder and suicide, reference to previous quarrels, avoid singing annoying songs among others, avoid walking out on your spouse etc.

Another module make provision for peace after a rift between couples. Very interestingly, the book is silent on who to lead the peace effort. Rather, it says “ …the most mature of the couples should make the first move towards reconciliation…even if you are 10 per cent wrong, apologise for it.” The meek party is encouraged to keep beg until the offended responds to the lorry loads of apologise tendered. Broadly, husbands or wives must learn to say lovely things to one another, talk about something else, if misunderstanding persists, trusted elderly couples can be brought in to intervene and always hold on without contemplating giving up on solving a lingering quarrel.

From chapters 10 to 16, the book proffers ideas for the maintenance of love and peace. Chapter 10 offers exciting ways of cuddling a carrying woman so that her weeping does not get out of hand. The next digs deep into the emotional functioning of the sexes, with a focus on solving the itinerant problems that may occur when such understanding is missing. To help curtail the quarrel from having effects on the children, Bishop Ighele draws an outline for achieving this in chapter 12.

Chapter 13 particularly aims at bringing to bear to the attention of married people the need to let tender loving care flourish. It simply asks “ Should you allow your spouse sleep when you cannot sleep after a quarrel?” Readers will find soul- touching answers here. In 14, the reader is armed to guide against expectations not met. If you anticipate a sorry and it does not come, what do you do? This rhetoric is explained with far-reaching insight to the techniques of coping in such circumstances. The last two chapters tackle the issue of sex in marriage, ending with an instance of how a man who was plagued with a hiccup that hindered his marital bliss got it solved.

It is possible to read Handling Quarrels on a social context rather than a scriptural pontification. The authors utilize the outlets of humour creating images that vividly convey their messages to the readers. For example, in talking about a vindictive partner, he relates that “ a man had a quarrel with his wife one morning before going to his place of work. Immediately he arrived, he suddenly remembered some hard words he forgot to unleash on her. He quickly undertook the moderately long journey back home, released his suicidal words and went back to work…” shouldn’t we call this comedy of marriage?

This new must-read book, will provide answers to many confused and dangling marriages today.

The book was published in 2010 by Carl and Carl, Lagos.


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