What does “for better, for worse” really mean in a marriage?


With a heavy weight seated deep in her heart, Ngozi wiped away the tears in her eyes; her husband had just accused her of having extra-marital affair again. She had gotten a call from an older colleague in her office, who had called to find out why she was not at work.

After the call ended, her husband wheeled up to her and told her that he knew she was having an extra-marital affair and he was not going to condone it. He said it was better if they came to an agreement and everyone went their separate ways.

She could not understand his insecurity; why her husband was always accusing her of having extra-marital affairs. She was really tired of it but did not know what to do about it.

In the end, she cleaned herself up and called the older colleague, who had called her earlier and asked him to talk to her husband, explaining who he was and ensuring he mentioned that he was not her lover, only a colleague who worked with her in her office.

It was until her husband got that call, that he calmed down and grudgingly apologized to her for accusing her of a heinous crime.

As bad as things were, Ngozi remembered vividly that they had not always been like this. They had met in the university but did not started dating until they found themselves in the same state for their national service.

They were part of the few graduates who came from the same school; seeking familiarity, they stuck together and there began their relationship. It was smooth sailing for the most part, but as is normal in most relationships, they had their turbulent times.

They weathered the storms and her parent’s objections to his domineering tendencies, which they had noticed, even before they got married and all was well. Their life was fine, their marriage literally a bed of roses and then it happened.

Ngozi’s husband was involved in a fatal accident that killed his driver and rendered him useless from the waist down. It was indeed very trying times for them. Ngozi had to care for him and take care of the family. Life as she knew it took on a new meaning. Her husband’s business was doing fine without his physical presence but still, things were never the same with them.

Their sexual life was on hold for over a year as her husband underwent physiotherapy. Those were months of frustrations and unfulfilled desires. Her life was anchored between her home and work. Leaving either was a scheduling headache; because it meant having the nurse stay longer with her husband, a situation, he never liked. In the end, she stopped bothering with other engagements, if it could be in her house, fine, if not, she was not a part of it.

As the years wore on,  and it looked like it was going to take longer for her husband to recover, the self pity stepped in and he became angry at the least provocation, and before two statements were uttered, the dreaded, “Is it because I’m in a wheelchair?” statement was thrown at her.

Every time, it got to her and she shut her mouth, before the situation escalated or else risked being seen as bullying her husband. That was how bad the situation had deteriorated.

Soon, other people noticed what was happening in their home and they came in with their advice; Ngozi should always keep her calm, didn’t she realise her husband was going through his own personal hell? She should try and solve all challenges like the married couple they were, regardless of each party’s physical condition. And there were those who advised her to walk out on her marriage, after all she had been through a lot of torture and pain already in the hands of her husband.

Starting with the advisers who asked to always keep her calm whenever an issue came up between her and her husband, Ngozi had done that and it had always resulted in her feeling depressed. She hated that she had to be the one who always had to let go to make peace. She was tired of being the peacemaker, but in the end, she wanted her marriage to work.

When the advisers who suggested she handle her marital issues, as she would if her husband had no physical disabilities at the moment came through, Ngozi knew, it was a tough call. It is hardly easy to have a rational conversation with a man in a wheelchair and sunk in self pity. Very hard to do, because she always ended up feeling like a bully, this was way off the mark.

As for those, who asked her to seek for divorce, she wondered if her situation was that desperate. If she were to be truthful to herself, she had thought about it. She wanted to be able to walk free of her marriage but that was not what she signed up for. Her marriage vows had included, the “for better, for worse’ part and she had said it before men and God and was going to stick by it. So help her God.

And God did help her, she stood by her man, her marriage in those trying times and after four years of therapy, her husband regained full use of his body. He was a man again; he became the man Ngozi had married. Gone were his self pity and depression. As he became upright again, the gloom over his life, his marriage lifted and once more, he saw the beauty in his wife, a beauty that was way past the surface. He saw the beauty in her soul and he was even more appreciative that he found his own jewel of inestimable value.

That was Ngozi’s testimony but not many people would tread her path. We live in a world where standing up and stepping out of a marriage is seen as a symbol of strength. While I will not take a stand, I feel, some feelings should be spared the woman, who chose instead to cry out to her Maker and the third cord in her marriage to make it work.

Don’t you think?

Blowing kisses your way! :loveangel:   :loveangel:


Kristine is a member of the The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.

Photo credits:

1. http://www.huffpost.com/

2. http://citifmonline.com/



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