Thirty-two-year-old Faith got married a year ago to her dream man. She and her husband had shared many details about their pasts even showing each other their respective account details and reports soon after they were engaged. At getting the knot tied, they opened a joint account.
All these explain how much trust the couples had built over time leading to their resolve to settle down together in for rest of their lives. But dreams most often do not turn out the way the dreamer had wished.
Faith, a civil servant from Edo State, was out for work one day and when she returned home, she noticed her husband was seriously engaged in a telephone conversation in their bedroom with a strange woman. She was not too sure who he was speaking with, so she consciously sat in the sitting room while she listened to what her husband was saying to the woman on the other side of the call.
For about seven minutes, they wrapped up. This time she was not too sure if it was what she was thinking. She sat down with her jaw resting on one of her hands, thinking of what to say to her husband or the best way to approach him.
Few minutes later, argument had ensued and they almost brought down the roof over their heads as she screamed; “liar! I said you are a liar!” and the voice continued till it fainted and turned into sobbing that could tell of an emotional outpour and regret.
She had just discovered that the lady from the other side was her husband ex who had a son for him 10 years ago and she was not aware of it.
The lady had called to remind him of their child’s school fees and wanted to know when the money would be available before her son’s resumption date.
They had agreed and the phone was handed to the child to say hello to his father. They exchanged pleasantries and the last two minutes of the call ended with him and his son exchanging love. “I love you Dad” and he reciprocated: “I love you too son”.
All these while, unknown to him, his wife was back from work and was listening to every bit of the conversation. Left with shock, she could not utter a word but sat down to imagine how she has been fooled into marrying someone she had mistaken for the man of her dream.
“It was never in my dream to marry a man who had child or children out of wedlock, never”, said Faith who told her husband that she will take a stand after a meeting with her parents and the church.
Does she really have a choice when she was already an expectant mother? Although her husband passed away after a brief illness, her case is not peculiar as there are many other worse scenarios threatening the fabric of some marriages and relationships, yet untold, and most victims just have to learnt to live with these unpleasant realities because it was what they have signed up for- for better for worse.
The case of James (not real name) was that of jumping from frying pan to fire. He had dated for few years and now concluded that he was old enough to tie the knot with his girlfriend but not before going for a blood group and genotype test. Sadly, the test showed they were not matched (both AS) and this led to the end of the relationship.
Years later, he met someone else, who he declared interest for marriage for and went straight to tell her the status of his genotype and she said, she was AA. Yes they were good to go!
They got married and were blessed with their first child and two years later, another was welcomed into the family. But months later, the baby began falling sick and it eventually grew worse till the child died.
Again, the wife took in and gave birth but few years later, they started visiting hospitals frequently. Tests were conducted to know the reason for the sickness, and on the day of result collection, his wife went to the hospital with the child, collected the test results and kept the truth to herself.
When she got home, James asked to know what was detected but she gave him a wrong diagnosis. The child’s health challenge grew worse and the father decided to take the child and mother to the hospital. While at the doctor’s office, he asked to know the reason for the frequent sickness, and he was told that his child was an SS.
Shocked at the discovery, he accused his wife of having an affair outside, which she denied repeatedly. It was later revealed that his wife was AS instead of AA as she made him believe. She pleaded with him to forgive her, but that was truly the end of their marriage as their relationship with one another drifted apart.
At some point, he made the marriage unbearable for his wife and his love for her gradually faded away. It was also discovered that, their first child escaped the crisis because she was AS. For over 25 years, the couple grew apart despite efforts by the wife to make the union work till her death.
Sandra a lady in her late thirties has been in a relationship with a young man who is in his twenties for more than five years and plans for marriage are ongoing. A reliable source told LEADERSHIP Weekend that the groom to be and his parents are not aware of the age difference. The source disclosed that, some relatives of the bride are in the know, but they have decided to stay mute, to avoid being called derogatory names when the truth unravels.
Kolawole Folorunsho, who is on an online relationship platform, had recently revealed that, a man just found out that a woman he had been married to for 10 years had lied about her age before marriage.
“The husband found out when his wife’s younger brother who resides in the United States, paid a visit to the family in Nigeria. On the day of the revelation, the wife was not home when her brother came visiting. He met her husband at home and they were engaged in a frenzy conversation, sharing ideas and experience, when the in-law from the United States mentioned his age, and the husband was left confused because it meant, his wife’s younger brother was older than his wife’.
Kolawole revealed that, the said man, did all he could to keep his cool while he waited for the response from his spouse. She got back home, spent some time with her brother and he left. At night, he confronted her with the truth, and she apologised for it, and said she did it to save her relationship with him and was afraid the truth would put an end to the relationship’.
Now, the husband is torn between staying in a marriage that was built on lies and putting an end to the marriage since he no longer finds his spouse appealing and feels he was violated because she is eight years older. He still believes she is keeping other secrets from him, but what about this?
Emmanuel Hannaze, had lived with his grandparents all his life, thinking they were his biological parents, meanwhile the woman he referred to as Aunt was his real mother. But this was not revealed to him till the death of his grandfather (his supposed father) when his grandmother told him that she and the late father were not his biological parents that they were only his grandparents and the woman he always addressed as Aunt is his real mother. This Revelation came after his youth service.
While Emmanuel was still a toddler, his mother, Doom Hannaze, had married another man and had kept the secret about his existence away from the man. Doom was said to have been impregnated by a man who abandoned her during her study at the college of education, Oju Benue State.
A woman, Kenny, who also shared her experience with LEADERSHIP Weekend, said she had lived a different dream from what she had wished for before she got married.
Like Faith’s husband, her husband had concealed his past before they married and she only got to discover that six months in the marriage when her husband enlarged his sons picture, which is presently fixed on the wall of their house.
Why do spouses keep secrets even when they are conscious of the fact that such cover-ups will not enjoy perpetuity?
A leading pastor of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) Gwarinpa, Rev Stephen Andrew Gyang while speaking with LEADERSHIP Weekend on the issue said that, there is a six month premarital counselling for intending couples.
He said during counselling, couples are asked if they are sure it is God that has brought them together and have also spent time to pray and ask for direction as intending couples.
“For about 12 years now, my wife and I have been anchoring extra programs titled Couples Forum which is also known as Family clinic and Moment with Singles which have affected the lives of members positively,” said Rev Stephen who noted that, there is an existing theory that is used during counselling which has been very useful.
“The “PPF” theory, P- past, P- present and F- future. He explained that the first ‘P’ helps the couples to sincerely open up to each other both the negative and positive things that has happened for transparency and to also checkmate themselves before going into marriage.
“The second ‘P’ which is present implies that everything that has to do with their present lives, be truthful to each other, no pretense, no camouflage. Some couples go as far as telling lies about what they do not have in order to get all attention,” the Pastor said.
“’F’ which is future, explains why “couples need to share their plans and motives.”
He said the institution of marriage by God in Genesis 2:23-25 is the origin.
He advised that in “Christian marriage, secrets that are sinful should be told but that which is a man or woman’s weaknesses and strength should be held back and not told to friends or the public “never wash your dirty linen outside.
“Indeed, secrets held back has led to divorce, young intending couples’ dreams have been shattered.
“As a pastor, my advice is that couples should live, unite and be one. Be truthful to each other and marry because of who he is and not for what he has.”
A marriage councillor, Dr Anoka Njan, acknowledged that one’s birthright in Christ and having a personal relationship with God are important in the lives of couples. He said, a question of being born again is asked at the first meeting because marriage is a mystery.
“One has to belong to the kingdom for a better understanding of the mystery of marriage he added”
As a teacher, he said he tells prospective couples that marriage is ordained by God. “Not all secrets can be shared among couples and children. There are Secrets that is between you and God till eternity but once a third party is involved, the partner has to be informed to avoid future occurrence,” Njan said.
He said there was a time in his own house, he felt it was not necessary to tell his wife about a long time family secrets because he did not expect that it will resurface.
“My wife is truthful to the point that whatever she purchase, she tells the amount she got it for, surprisingly after about six month into the marriage, that long family secrets came up, since it was a family secret I felt it was not necessary and she concluded by saying that the marriage is not necessary.
“In Africa, it is known that when you marry a man, you marry his family. The fact is that I did not want that to affect my wife and children, but I had to tell her everything to save my marriage.
“Another scenario I experienced was a friend of mine got married to a woman who had three kids but had concealed it as a secret. When it became an issue, I encouraged him to divorce her since they had no child. I backed it up with Psalm 11:3” when the foundation is faulty, what can the righteous do.”
He advised young persons intending to marry to open up to each other as there is no reason to lie. If the person truly loves you, he/she will go ahead despite your short-comings. “By the way, is it not better for you to lose a man/woman because you told him/her the truth about yourself than live with such a person perpetually wishing he or she never finds out the truth?”
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