My dear Jack, you’re still not getting it are you? Let me see if I can help you see it.
Relationships are at different levels. Friendships come at different depths. Some friendships are surface reality friendships. You can’t count on such people. These are friends of happenstance. You get to meet someone at social functions and you banter inanities each time you meet… Nothing serious. The relationship is facile. But of course some friendships are deeper than that. Indeed the deeper you go the more serious friendship is. The depth defines expectations, responsibilities, level of commitment and duties. The depth of a friendship also defines the degree of data security. The deeper the depth the more the need for data security. Trust factor kicks in at certain depth. You’re trusting someone with your confidential information. The more confidential the information shared the more the expectation of data security. It’s about character. A lot depends on personality of course. Some people are flippant with information, even about themselves. That’s their personality. And you see that all over social media. There’s nothing they can’t share or discuss with perfect strangers. But even these people have expectations of people around them, or people close to them. They neither expect betrayal nor condemnation. They want acceptance for who they are.
The point I’m trying to make you see is, the higher the level of confidentiality in a relationship the greater the degree of responsibility expected. Responsibility defines depth of relationship. Your wife of course cannot be a surface reality friend. Marriage is too serious for that. Infact it’s in marriage you have the highest expectation of confidentiality. You don’t expect your spouse to go to town disseminating confidential information you shared with her. The deepest level of friendship ought to be marriage. At a certain depth a couple totally bonds. There are two people but only one life. There’s total identification, a fusion of being and of souls.
There are serious expectations of confidentiality in marriage. For example you naturally confide your medical history in your spouse. And in some relationships sexual history is shared, though I wonder about the devotion to prurience sometimes. Truth is, some people can’t handle the information they seek. Though for some people it’s some form of control to excavate such information from a woman’s life. Don’t ask for what you can’t handle is a rule of information management in relationship. The irony is that some of the guys who’ve slept the most around are the most sensitive to the sexual history of their partner. They tend to hate lovers who dated their wife even before they met. I call it Henry VIII syndrome. Henry once murdered the former lover of his wife retroactively.
Now, knowing these things I’ve shared, it is the height of betrayal to go to your friends and family to share things your wife shared with you in confidence. Marriages have broken on less. Marriage presumes confidentiality. There are things which must stay between spouses, even during a quarrel. Quarrel is no excuse for vindictiveness. It’s a function of character and principle.
Confidentiality was a major issue in your father’s father’s generation. They tended to share confidential information about their marriage with their family members. And this was partly because they didn’t have a sense of oneness with their spouse. They were more beholden to their larger family rather than their nuclear family. Unfortunately African tradition treats women as disposables. The woman is not considered a permanent fixture. She’s treated as a mathematical variable. She can be exchanged for another woman on a whim. This is what gives mothers-in-law extreme powers. A mother-in-law can instigate impeachment proceedings against her son’s wife. She must be worshipped or else…
Even more unfortunate is the fact that many men don’t have the fibre to confront bad behaviour in their mother. They don’t have the emotional strength. This leaves the wife exposed and fighting a misbegotten territorial battle. And mothers-in-law have extreme stamina. They can keep a battle going for decades. They have enormous capacities. The African traditional system is a mighty enabler. It has a marriage organogram that recognises the mother-in-law as integral to the marriage and very high up there.
If you want a happy marriage you and your spouse must be one. You cannot be divided. Your wife must have the confidence you’ve got her back. It’s important you send a message to your family she’s not fair game or pot luck. Don’t let your family subject her to political genuflection. What you fail to see is, they can’t respect you much if they so treat her. She’s your wife. Notice how they defer to rich and powerful members of your extended family. They don’t dare treat their wives anyhow. They make them exceptions to every rule. It’s because they respect their husbands.
The ugly reality of life is that everyone participates in the dissolution of your marriage but only you will bear the brunt. You’re the one who’s going to pay the price. Don’t provoke a crisis in your marriage through improper handling of confidentiality. Trust is a potent factor in marriage. But just as you can’t share confidential information from your marriage with your family so she’s not permitted to do same with her family. The marriage will fracture. Such breaches are particularly hurtful to men but unfortunately some women have a sense of righteousness concerning such transgressions.
There are things that automatically shatter the panes of glass in a marriage. It’s how the elements take over. The forces of nature begin to exact influence.
Be wise. Millennialism shouldn’t mean foolishness.
Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.orgThe deeper you go the more serious friendship is. Click To Tweet There are things which must stay between spouses, even during a quarrel. Click To Tweet Don’t ask for what you can’t handle is a rule of information management in relationship. Click To Tweet Unfortunately African tradition treats women as disposables. The woman is not considered a permanent fixture. Click To Tweet Quarrel is no excuse for vindictiveness. It’s a function of character and principle. Click To Tweet The ugly reality of life is that everyone participates in the dissolution of your marriage but only you will bear the brunt. Click To Tweet Be wise. Millennialism shouldn’t mean foolishness. Click To Tweet