By Hope Nwawolo
The desire for a blissful marriage is topmostfor any couple that decides to start the journey together. However, the possibility or impossibility in achieving this can be likened to the saying that it takes two to tangle. In this line, several preachers and marriage seminars speakers outline different antidote for marital peace. Many of them believe the woman has a greater role to play in the success of the marriage, with bible quotes on submission and virtuous woman to back their directives. Few liberal ones usually have a word or two for the men folk on their expected responsibilities to the women. The crux of the presentations usually gives the impression that all marriages should follow the same pattern to achieve the same result; peace.
There will always be issues of disagreement between couples but the peace in the home is in their ability to understand the importance of not allowing the issues split them.The uniqueness of each couple have shown that same rule may not give same result to different couples and therefore the importance of understanding what works for each couple is paramount. This is what translates to peace and also the reason for the difference between a house and a home. While the house embodies the structure and all the things put in it to beautify it, the home signifies joy and serenity that flows through the environment and radiates to all occupants as well as extending to visitors that come in from time to time.
Contrarily, a marital scenario that is usually overlookedby speakers and preachers, is where the couple portrays a marriage that the outside world sees as blissful or peaceful but actually laden with unexplainable rifts. For reasons best known to only two of them, the problems will not just go away. It is worse because they keep these away from people and pretend all is well, particularly when they must attend functions together. Just as two tangle to achieve actual peace in the home, these two also tangle to exhibit fake peace in the house. In most of these cases, there is no physical abuse or violence. This is what can be referred to as peace on purpose. Is it ideal?
The holy books teach that one should strive for peace at all costs. This admonition has encouraged tolerance and patience in the institution of marriage, at times, to the detriment of some people who are not alive today to tell their stories.When communication breaks down and the couple no longer believes anything can salvage the marriage and yet do not want to let the cat out of the bag by going their separate ways, they become used to the forced serenity in the house (not home). This is as a result of unspoken emotional pain caused by abuse, rejection, betrayal, abandonment, criticism, and other unforeseen negative attitude of one of the partners in the marriage.Rather than discussingthese critical issues to resolve the emotional pain which is worse than physical pain, some couples struggle to hide it, pretending all is well. This is only a defence mechanism to protect their mental balance. Is it really the ideal?
Unfortunately, several couples seem to exhibit the popular saying of enduring, rather than enjoying their marriage. This is probably when the hope of a blissful togetherness is lost and they just want to wade through the marital journey, as long as one is not physically abusing the other. What they fail to realise is that this preference for outer peace in the absence of the genuine inner peace can be more traumatizing as the years roll by. If they are not secretive enough (and usually they are not) to keep their unspoken war from the children in the house, the environment becomes stifling anytime they are all at home, with the children locking themselves in their room. The older children who find themselves outside the house for school or work, do not look forward to coming home even when on holidays because of the coldness between their parents.
Some couples today, opt for peace on purpose as the ideal when they have reached their ends wit to having genuine peace built on love and mutual understanding. Every of their attempt to iron out issues through forced communication, meets a brick wall, and they find themselves ending the sessions with argument. These couples will want to present an atmosphere of peace to their children, and fail to realize that children are sensitive to identify genuine love between their parents as against the cold and rigid atmosphere that comes with just peace on purpose.
As time goes on, they refrain from bringing each other into their daily lives and resolve to sharing their joys and sadness with friends and colleagues in the office. This makes them eventually drift to a point of peace without each other. Sometimes, they may not confide on these outsiders, the state of affairs in their homes.Unfortunately, they end up craving and and getting themselves into relationships that might just give them some similitude of succour to fill the vacuum created by their resolve to have peace on purpose. The consequence of this is the birth of an example of a family environment that aspiring couples will not deem to be ideal if onlythey can see through the veil of the marital peace on purpose.
Hope Nwawolo, Ph.D ([email protected])