Getting married is easy…
Staying married is more difficult…
Happily married for a lifetime would be considered among the fine art.
- AUTHOR UNKNOWN
I have counselled and spoken at several meetings, I have repeated seen the effect of loneliness in marriages. Men who would rather attend all church programmes, engagements, clubs, visiting with friends and late hours at work with the sole purpose of avoiding their wives and women who spends countless hours shopping, outing with friends and business involvement to avoid the loneliness in their homes.
In reality, no one goes into a marriage to live a miserable life. Marriage begins with a man and woman wanting to be together to share life but when the bride and the bridegroom walk down that wedding aisle, they never see the dangers ahead. They are like soldiers walking blindfolded into a field filled with land mines and booby traps.
Dennis Rainey summarized it all in his book ‘Staying Close’ with these words “…Many couples think marriage promises fun that will never end. Nothing in the world arouses more false hope than the first day of the honeymoon”.
Can you actually remember what was on your mind on the first day of your honeymoon?..
How many years gone now?
and how far had your honeymoon dream gone?
When I was called by our front desk officer that someone wants to see me but is without an appointment, I wonder who it could be. I requested the person be asked if he/she can wait till am through with a counselling session am already booked for and she responded the person is female and she wouldn’t mind waiting. About an hour and a half later, she was led into my office and I couldn’t hide the expression of shock, surprise and worry on my face when I saw her.
I had met this woman about two years ago when she attended one of my teaching engagement in Lagos and she had walked up to me to introduce herself as a wife to a man of God( they are both into church planting) and invite me to speak at their church. Due to my schedule, this wasn’t possible until about a year later when I was privilege to minister to the women in their church. It was a wonderful experience and since then I lost touch with her, until today at my office as she walks in looking so lean, sad and unhealthy.
I offer her a sit and couldn’t resist the urge to ask ‘what happened to you?’
She smiled sheepishly and said, ‘it’s a long story’
I responded ‘I have got the time’
I had to clear my desk of all pending work as I sat to listen to her story. It was about her marriage of eight years. She narrated how she had gotten married with enthusiasm with a man that meant the world to her, the joy at the beginning and the gradual relapse into coldness in the home. She narrated how her husband doesn’t have time for her as he pursues the growth of the ministry. How she had to stay alone at home as he travels round the world on crusades and revivals. How she repeated cry for them to be together and work on their marriage. How she began to get lonely, cranky dishing out harsh and bitter words with her husband responding back with relegating her of duties in the ministry, withholding her access to fund, taking away privileges and keeping her in the dark on his missions. They began to exchange heated words, daily arguments, shouting at one another until they got to the point no one is talking to the other. All these, happened gradually over the years.
Eight years into the marriage, they stay together in the same house but as total strangers and the loneliness was choking her. She explained that she repeated cried herself to bed nights after nights wondering how they got to this point. She lost her appetite and started experiencing several health defects with doctors telling her there isn’t anything wrong with her she just needs to rest more.
She narrated how she taught she was going to go crazy except she leaves the house and this she finally did about seven months ago before she walked into my office.
As she talked, I asked myself, “Why did this family die?” “Was it the ministry work?” “Was it anger and bitterness?” The look on her face, says it all- LONELINESS!
Today, a client came in to my office and before I could say ‘Good morning..’ she burst into tears and shaking violently screamed ‘ I am tired of this life, nothing is working, ..(sobs) I have served God all my life… I have prayed and prayed but God seems not to be interested’… (more sobs).
It took her almost the next twenty minutes before she was calm enough to even explain what her challenges are.
Many of us, had said more this… when it seems the whole world is crumbling down on you. You had cried and cried to no avail as It seems no one hears your cries, even God seems to have gone on sabbatical leave.
Friends and families are no where to be found… the ones that stayed, you can see the helpless in their eyes as they look at you.
Fear! Anxiety! Worries! Helplessness! Broken-hearts! Loneliness! Sadness! Brokenness! name it….
Wonder if you had ever felt any of these before? Wonder if your world had ever crumbled?
How does it feel?….