Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Intimacy Test in Marriage

Lasting marriage is all about intimacy, once it is lost, that marriage would inevitably hit the rocks. More than anything else, this is one thing that should be closely watched and jealously guarded by couples.

When I talk of intimacy, not just of the bed (that is perhaps 40% of the intimacy equation). I am talking of the intimacy of thoughts and actions. I mean the intimate bonds of true friendship.

long after the hoopla of wedding receptions, what makes marriages to go the marathon distance is not the hubby-wife relationships and duties, but the intimate bonds of friendship that runs deeper than public certification of marriage. This is what made me publish this story of deeper marital lessons from my dear friend, Omodesola Ilechukwu (Mrs.) Please, enjoy:

"When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her
hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate
quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

"Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let
her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic
calmly.

"She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me
softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw
away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That
night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she
wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could
hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew.
I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

"With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which
stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my
company.

"She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who
had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt
sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take
back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly.

"Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected
to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce
which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and
clearer now.

"The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing
something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep
and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.

"When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just
did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

"In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't
want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce.
She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal
a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a
month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

"This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked
me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

"She requested that everyday for the month's duration I carry her
out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was
going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her
odd request
.

"I told Dew about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed
loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she
has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

"My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce
intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the
first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is
holding mummy in his arms.

"His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the
sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her
in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son
about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down
outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove
alone to the office.

"On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned
on my chest
. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that
I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she
was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair
was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I
wondered what I had done to her.

"On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning.
This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

"On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was
growing again
. I didn't tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry
her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made
me stronger.

"She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a
few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my
dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so
thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

"Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness
in her heart
. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

"Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry
mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an
essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer
and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I
might change my mind at this last minute
. I then held her in my arms,
walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her
hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly;
it was just like our wedding day
.

"But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I
held her in my arms, I could hardly move a step
. Our son had gone to
school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life
lacked intimacy!
.

"I drove to office... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door.
I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...
I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I
do not want the divorce anymore
.

"She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do
you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I
said, I won't divorce.

"My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value
the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other any more
.
Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day
I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

"Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then
slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove
away
.

"At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers
for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled
and wrote, 'I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart'.

"The small details of your lives are what really matter in a
relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the
bank, blah..blah.. blah
. These create an environment conducive for
happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

"So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things
for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Feel free to share this story with someone out there, you just might save a marriage. Thank you sister Omodesola for this story and happy birthday to your Son, on Friday, 15th June 2007.

"I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today. I know that the world is a looking glass and gives back to me the reflection of my own soul. Now I understand the secret of correcting the attitude of others and that is to correct my own."

4 comments:

Emmanuel Olofin said...

Phil, Thank you for this interesting posting on intimacy in marriage. I am a marriage instructor in our Chaplaincy. The general idea contained in this write-up agrees so much with my views that I am downloading it to give to my "students" at the next session so that they would know that I am not alone here. Extend my gratitude to your friend.

Anonymous said...

Phil, thanx a million times 4 dis pix dat u sent to me it really makes my day. I hope a lot of married couples will know dat intimacy is far more than words can alter. God said they were both naked (together in one mind, one heart, doing things together) and were not ashamed. Clemon

Anonymous said...

Phil, thank very much for posting this intimacy in marriage, i think i real enjoyed, and i know it has saved a lot of marriages, and my regards to ur friend who brought this to you, for publishing. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Phil, thank very much for posting this intimacy in marriage, i think i real enjoyed it, and i know it has saved a lot of marriages, and my regards to ur friend who brought this idea to you, for publishing this. thank you.