Sometimes, it takes more than two to tango!
September 29, 2015
liufadmin (615 articles)

Sometimes, it takes more than two to tango!

It takes two to tango, a saying goes! If two people want to be together, genuinely, then hardly will anyone be able to pull them apart. Unfortunately, it is not all the time that this happens.
Experience has taught us that relationships are sacred and delicate, so they should be jealously guided and skilfully managed by the duo involved. To ensure that our relationships are protected, we look for security, first by claiming ownership through introduction to family and friends, everyone must know that we’ve found our missing rib.
Then we seal it by contacting all the available modes of wedding ceremonies. And like me, many of us go through all the works, family introduction to engagement, from registry to church and Nikkah, the Muslim wedding rites, just to stamp our seal on the relationship, believing that is all it takes to remain husband and wife till death do us part.
Unfortunately, we often forget that while we may want to remain faithful and committed to our partners, signing of the dotted lines and our loving devotions may sometimes not be enough to see us through this peculiar journey of life. It is not for mere show of pomp and affluence (no matter how limited they might be) that weddings are contracted. Traditionally, marriage is a bond between two families and not just the two lovers. The families are bridges for couples to be able to achieve great heights and successes together.
The families indeed provide a shield, buffer and shelter to the couple, as they navigate the vagaries of life. And should they hit rock bottom, they are expected to go on a rescue mission, since as they say, “agba kii wa loja, kori omo tuntun wo”. Ironically, not all in-laws readily or willingly live up to their calling as bestowed on them. Just as there are notoriously evil mothers in-law, there are unbearable fathers-in-law, mischievous brothers and sisters-in-law. Some in-laws have been known to be the death of their children’s marriages.
Some act as catalysts to the progress of marriages, setting themselves up as clogs and blocks to the peace and stability of their children’s home. Some, simply play god over the destiny of their daughters and sons-in-law, dictating the terms and conditions under which the marriage must thrive. I am often elated when I come across stories of super in-laws whose interventions helped to save a marriage at the verge of collapse.
I met Dora, at one of my “hen” groups. (believe me, I attend quite a number of them). A business woman married with four children, she was quick to interject that she has the best in-laws any woman can desire. But for them, she would have been separated from her husband through a grand conspiracy by their landlady and her daughter. Her story:
My in-laws helped me save my marriage. But for them, my husband would have married another woman and abandoned me and the children by now. At the rate things were going then, he probably would have divorced me and I would be left hanging with two children to care for. But his parents stood by me and ensured that it did not happen.
We had been married for about four years when the problem began. I never knew that our landlady’s daughter was having an affair with my husband, right inside our apartment. I thought of her as a little sister because of the way her mother and I related. She was like a big aunt to me. So, naturally, her children felt very much at home with us.
They often came to play with my children, who were in fact, born into their arms as I was heavily pregnant when we got married and moved into their house. Like many women in Ojo area, her husband had died and she had inherited the house. So, she was raising all her five children by herself. Ada is the first girl but third child and we soon became very close. When she was not in school, she would be at our place. I enjoyed her company as she could run little errands for me as well as take care of the kids whenever I went out. In return, I was a good aunt to her.
I assumed we were a family. My parents knew them and so did my husband’s family.
So, it was a surprise when I caught Ada in my bed with my husband. It took some time for what I saw to register in my head, but as soon as it did, all hell was let loose. I did not know who to attack first, my husband or the stupid girl. I tried to go for the two of them together. The girl was assisted to escape in one of my wrappers as my husband held me down. It was our first physical fight.
My shouting brought the neighbours and we were finally separated. By this time, my children were already crying. To believe that they had the audacity to carry on in that manner in the presence of my children was unbelievable. But to my surprise once again, it appeared that the whole compound and beyond knew about the affair. I was the only one in the dark. Our landlady was not around, but she had heard everything by the time she returned. She had nothing to say except that I should be patient while everything is sorted out.
That night, my husband did not return home, same with Ada. Their mobile phones had been switched off. The following day, one of the neighbours called me aside to tell me that the affair between Ada and my husband was far advanced than what I knew as they suspect that she was already carrying his child. Suddenly, I was drained of all emotions. Even if I was angry, who do I direct my anger at as both of them seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth.
By the time my husband’s parents were informed of developments, it was another story entirely that we heard. My husband had called his parents to inform them that I had fought with him over some minor financial matters and had become very violent, tearing his clothes and even stabbing him with a knife. It was the neighbours that saved him and took him to the hospital. Since then, he had refused to return home and wants to teach me a lesson. So, should I come to them with any story, they should not believe me but send me away as well.
However, after hearing my side of the story, my father-in-law became very angry. He took sides with me and told his wife never to allow his son into their house again until he returns to his family. He said if it was true that he had indeed gotten the girl pregnant, he should stop considering himself as a member of his family.
That the girl and her child would never be accepted by him since it was obvious that he was bent on ruining his life. He told me that my husband had always been the black sheep of the family, refusing to go to school and eventually dropping out at class four.
They have been patching him up since then and his current job as site manager of a construction company was secured for him by his father. He concluded that my husband’s confidence to have gotten the girl pregnant must have stemmed from the fact that he was now doing well at his place of work, adding that he was going to teach him a lesson. Immediately, he picked his phone and soon began talking to his friend, my husband’s boss. He told him that his son had returned to his wayward ways and he wanted him sacked from the job. His mother looked at me but said nothing. That was it.
Though it took almost two years for him to return to us, that phone call was the answer to all my problems. I moved out of our rented flat to my parents-in-law’s and they assisted me set up a small business which has grown into what I have today.
Though Ada had her baby, she was not allowed into the family house, her child was not given a name by my father-in-law and they did not attend. With no job and no money, made worse by a lack of educational certificate to secure another, my husband had no choice but to come to his sense and navigate his way back home. That was about 10 years now. Ada no longer lives in Lagos, she “married” another man and left with him for Delta State, we were told. The child, a girl, must be preparing for Secondary School now. They have not made contacts with us ever since. We now have four children and are doing fine, she said. Thank God for some in-laws.

Source: Yetunde Arebi (Vanguard)


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