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Could you be better friends after your divorce?

Written by Bunmi Sofola
~Vanguard Nigeria. Sunday, January 14, 2018.

THE major reason married couples divorce is that they couldn't stand each other when they were married. Most marriages could be acrimonious, but there are some couples who got along better now they don't have the responsibilities that committed relationships bring. Mandy, 42 and Frank 39 swore they've forged a close friendship, even though Frank walked out on her when their second daughter was only four.

"I was distraught when Frank left me four years ago," confessed Mandy. "I had recently suffered a miscarriage and was really depressed. On top of which the doctors had really advised 1 shouldn't try for another baby at my age"'. That made me feel really old and emphasised that at 35, Frank would think his child-bearing age was over. We already had two adorable daughters, would he want a son like most men?

"Frank assured me he'd got all the family he ever wanted and 1 relaxed. A couple of years later however, 1 got the news that shattered everything. A friend called she was just from a naming ceremony where the new dad was Frank. And you guessed it, the new tot was a boy! Frank didn't know her, so she was able to give a blow-by-blow account of the ceremony. 1 literally died inside.

How could he? After he'd assured me he was fine the way things were? 1 didn't even suspect he was having a serious affair. This was a man who, even in my darkest moments was there, assuring me 1 could count on him.

"When he eventually showed up and I addressed him by the name of his new son, he was taken aback. Then he became defiant. He told me he didn't ask for what happened, but when one of his mistresses became pregnant and refused an abortion, he resigned himself to his lot. But when he realised he'd had a son, he was really happy. The only problem was how to tell me, but this 'well-meaning' friend had made things easier for him. And he meant to be a responsible father to this son who was born due to no fault of his.

"I assured him we should be able to get past his indiscretion and that the baby would always be part of our family. He was relieved to hear that and for a while we forged on. Then my friend showed up again to let me know she was at the 'wine-carrying' ceremony by Frank's relatives to his mistress' parents' home. She is now officially a second wife. The day the event occurred, I remembered Frank had called letting me know he was at a function, had problems with his car and was staying at a mutual friend's place until the next day when he could have the car fixed. I even spoke with the friend amid some background noise I'd assumed was from the party. Not knowing it was at the actual traditional wedding of a man already married to me!

"This time, he didn't sugar-coat anything. And he intended to shuttle between the new home he now had and our matrimonial home. I told him I wasn't having any of that and he shrugged. He wasn't in his 40s yet, he reminded me when we started yelling at each other, and he wanted more children which I couldn't provide him with. In the end I told him I wasn't cut out for that kind of primitive arrangement. If he wanted more children, then he was free to go and live with his baby factory. And that's just what he did!

"We had little contact after that and we didn't discuss getting a divorce. Then towards the end of last year, he started coming to the house more often, purported to see the children who still adored their dad. He said he was really sorry for what happened and how ashamed he was. I was the best friend he ever had and he would wish for that friendship to be rebuilt. My friends thought I was going to be used again and might get hurt, but he started coming to the house more often and we even went out as a family. Officially, we're still married after all. Now we're really close and the children visit his other family. They even have nice things to say about their half siblings (now two) and their mother. I now have a regular man in my life and I'm sure Frank's found it easy whenever he's found him in the house. He jokingly told me once the house belongs to him, if I wanted a bunk, I should go and do it in my boyfriend's house. But I just ignored him knowing he was pulling my legs. I only thank God we're now just good friends who understand we're free to meet other people."

Sheyi, 39 a divorced father of three has such a rapport with Adesua,his ex wife that they sometimes even sleep together whenever they felt like it! "Adesua was already a divorced mother of two when we met through mutual friends. We were so much in love that we tied the knot almost straight away. 1 also got on well with my step-children. My problem really was that I am a free-spirited person and Adesua complained 1 shouldn't expect my life to continue as the same before now we were married. But I couldn't change my bachelor ways and enjoyed going out with friends most nights.

"I was so used to the single life I'd be hung over on Sundays and would spend all day lying on the sofa rather than helping out. My wife was always nagging to be more responsible now we had four children but 1 was resentful. Two of them were not mine after all.

Then my office sent me to manage a new branch in another state for a few months and 1 so much enjoyed the freedom I realised married life wasn't really my thing.

"When 1 came back, 1 moved into an accommodation provided for me by my office. Adesua didn't kick up much of a fuss and 1 was surprised I enjoyed helping out in the house as long as I could go back to my bachelor pad. Whenever the mood takes me, 1 sleep over and at first my wife kicked at us having sex, but I think she now looks forward to it as much as 1 do!"

Just How Square Can You Be?! (Humour)

The C.O. had just welcomed the young army officer, shown him around the camp and was outlining the recreational facilities.

"On Mondays we have snooker tournaments, a jolly good show with the winner taking the jackpot." "I'm afraid 1 don't play snooker sir," said the officer.

"Well, on Tuesdays we have a darts match," continued the C.O., "and first to make 301 wins the drinks." "I'm afraid 1 don't like gambling or playing cards, Sir." "Really?" said the c.o. "Well, on Wednesday nights a few girls come up from the village for a dance and a bit of hanky panky and … " "Sorry Sir," said the officer, "I have no time for women."

"Good God, man," said the C.o. "You're not gay are you?" 'Certainly not Sir," said the officer. "Oh dear," said the C.O; "then you are not going to like Thursday and Friday nights much either."

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