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What you expect from your marriage is not what you often get!

Written by Bunmi Sofola
~Vanguard Nigeria. Sunday, June 17, 2018.

WILL the average person experiencing problems in their relationship know the right time to walk away? It goes without saying that divorce now is quick and with little rancour, single parenthood is on the increase and more men opt for the single life despite the fact that eligible women are two a penny (seemingly). Yet, never before has there been that fear of uncertainty in abandoning a relationship that was obviously going nowhere than now. A few months ago, I ran into a friend's daughter and asked after her mother.

Sheepishly, she told me it was a long time she saw her mother last as she was now living with her fiance. That would have been perfectly in order if it was what she wanted too. "I would have preferred for us to get married", she shrugged, "but he doesn't want to commit himself until I'm pregnant".

What happens if she gets pregnant, gets married, and later has a miscarriage? Will the man abandon her some two years later if she can't conceive again? These questions and lots more ran through my mind but I didn't want to make the poor girl more miserable than she already was. She is currently hopping from one gynaecologist to the other and when I asked her if the love of her life had gone for a test too, she said it wasn't necessary as he'd already fathered a child. I wanted to tell her that was no proof. That I knew a few 'surrogate' fathers who'd made a few 'barren' women mothers. The legal fathers are none the wiser and the mothers are now free of criticisms and jibes from their in-laws. Their marriage seems to be on an even keel.

The situation that gives a lot of concern is where the couples know that their marriage is lying on its back with its hooves virtually in the air but sit tight and hope that things will get better.

Unfortunately, they seldom do. Boma, a retired industrial nurse in her 60s now sits alone in her lovely house, wishing she'd had the common sense to kick her wayward husband out of their matrimonial home when she realized he was a bum despite the fact that he was a medical doctor. "I had a very shrewd father who believed in putting a bit by for the rainy day", she said. "When I was working after my training in England, he was always urging me to save and send whatever I could home so he could buy me some property. His letter bothered on an irritation at times but his insistence goaded me into doing temporary jobs – and petty-trading along with my regular job so I could send him money. He always made up for the balance and thanks to him, when we came back, I had a few plots of land here and there.

"My husband went into one of the armed forces and there was a house thrown in with his job. I got a good job too as an industrial nurse, and thanks to my family connections/ I was able to get quite impressive contracts. In no times at all, I had developed the two plots I had in choice

areas then sold the other plots to build another house on Victoria Island. My darling husband, in the meantime, was having the time of his life sampling the delight of the dames around him. It would have been alright if he hadn't been obsessively jealous. Any man I talked with was a potential lover and he was often violent with whoever he suspected. I've lost count of the black eyes he gave me, the disdain with which he'd marched me out of parties because he believed I was too friendly with men. There had been occasions, he'd come to our official clinic to rough-handle senior colleagues I was attending to because he thought they'd come under the guise of being ill so they could have quickies with me in my office! The man's imagination was dangerously fertile.

"I was often regarded with pity and the children too were fearful of him. But as long as he had his Cognac and Benson, he was alright until he got drunk – then it was bedlam. When I left regular employment, I started travelling and he would pinch shoes, costume jewelry or any fanciful female things I had to sell and give them to his girlfriends.

I actually saw one of them wearing a set of jewelry and exclusive shoes that I'd earlier imported, but found missing, at a party and challenged him. He called the lady over and boomed for everyone to hear that she should tell me where she got her shoes from as I thought they were mine. You can imagine the type of re-actions we got from other guests.

"I had a few flings of my own, of course who wouldn't under the circumstance? But I never had peace of mind, and my kids didn't have much respect for him. When he died suddenly five years ago, I couldn't believe the number of women that showed up as mothers of his children! There was even one sporting an advanced pregnancy! It was hard convincing them that the love of their lives was so busy enjoying life he

didn't even bother to buy a piece of land not-to-talk of building a house in spite of his connections. Tongues are now wagging that I'd sat on the property my husband acquired in my name when he was a public officer, that I was denying his other children fund out of spite. Whereas, if I'd left when common sense dictated I should, all these wouldn't have happened. How many accusers would I show documents to as proof?

"These days, I look at my married children and marvel at the ease with which they communicate with their spouses. I'm glad they've learnt from the harsh treatment I received from their father. Whenever any of their friends tell of any ill-treatment they received in their matrimonial homes and I tell them not to stick any abuse that could rob them of their pride, they look at me in wonder, believing old people like me should defend matrimony at all costs."

Do You Think You've Lost Your Spark? (Quiz)

Are you part of the current sexual revolution that feels the least inhibited about the pursuit of sexual pleasure? In the following quiz by Jane, a sexologist, give yourself two points if you answer A, one point for B, and no points for C – and then read on to find out how you can increase your sexual confidence.

1.A peep into your underwear drawers reveals:-

A: Sexy styles that make you feel confident both in the bedroom and out.

B: Classic feminine shapes that are comfortable and pretty.

C: Practical basics that do the job but little more.

2.Which word sums up your sex life?

A: Thrilling B: Satisfactory C: Mediocre.

3.A handsome stranger at a party starts flirting with you. Do you:

A: Think nothing about flirting back – it's harmless fun.

B: Accept his compliments with good grace while keeping your guard up.

C: Feel incredibly awkward and slink away as fast as possible.

4.What's your attitude to ageing:

A: Every year allows me to flourish further; I feel liberated in my body and mind.

B: It doesn't bother me too much; I try not to think about it.

C: Terrible. I have every new line and hide away from the world.

5.Your partner suggests trying something new in the bedroom. Do you:

A: Feel open-minded about it, you never know unless you try.

B: Feel embarrassed about breaking away from what you know but are willing to try him out.

C: Feel mortified and point-blank refuse to take it any further.

6.You're invited to a party with the dress code; 'Dress to impress'. You wear:

A: A daring style that attracts compliments all night.

B: The same old flattering, knee – length dress that you know works on your shape.

C: A figure – hiding frock that disguises your shape.

7.You wish your sex life could …

A: Keep on providing new experiences and sensations.

B: Break out of its routine.

C: Give you pleasure.

D – 5: Your confidence in the bedroom is severely lacking and you may be unduly worried about ageing. Talking to your partner will help and it may be worth trying some confidence-boosting activities.

6 – 10: Your sex life may have slipped into something of a rut and doesn't thrill you any more. Get more advice on how to get your sparkle back.

11 – 14: Your twilight years have given you unbridled sexual confidence and you're making the most of it.

Explore more avenues on how you can enjoy your love life even more!

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