THERE’S a group of people I have grown to appreciate for their contribution to the survival of the marriage institution. Going under the banner of Jordan Touch Communications, these cyber pastors have constantly kept me well supplied with gems of advice through their group on Facebook.
I must admit that on the several occasions that I might have contemplated jumping ship (and if you are married, this is familiar territory) their timely interventions have brought me from the brink.
One topic that they deal with admirably is that of how one can cultivate a healthy relationship with one’s spouse. Unfortunately though, the cases below seem not to have been exposed to such advice, for if they did, perhaps the outcome would have been different through avoiding falling victim to the ultimate recourse in marriage, that of divorce.
Now that’s one thing that scares a lot of people thinking about getting married. But again, if we were all afraid of getting hitched (which is ordained by God) just because there was a chance we would get divorced, then there wouldn’t be married people around.
There are those of us who aren’t afraid of divorce because they simply will get married again. We can count celebrities among this productive group from the marital side of things so to speak. Larry King of ‘Larry King Live’ fame on CNN has divorced so often that he would have to hire a stadium for their reunion. Elizabeth Taylor changed husbands more often that Imelda Marcos changed shoes while King Henry VIII (1491 to 1547) went to the extent of founding the Anglican Church just to get divorced!
Hypothetical Khumbulani, on the other hand, lives with a lovely woman, with kids, but he refuses to marry. Why? He has three brothers who had long relationships with their girlfriends and inevitably got married (supposedly at gunpoint but that’s beside the point). According to him, the result of these unions was an immediate escalation of fighting and divorces a couple of years down the line. So Khumbu says, quite logically, if you don’t want a divorce, don’t get married.
Money guru Robert Frank writes about an episode of ABC’s soap drama “Dirty Sexy Money” (now that got your attention). A filthy rich heiress Karen Darling gets married, for the fourth time, to a gold digger. Minutes after the ceremony, she decides to have a divorce, leaving the golfer to wonder about his US$3 million guarantee in the pre-nuptial agreement. Mercenary unions, price-tag partnerships or cheque book breakups, Frank writes, are increasingly making the headlines. Yet the more stupid divorces aren’t.
At this point, let me put out the disclaimer that I am not the source of the cases detailed below, neither do they intend to disclose the status of marriages that exist anywhere in the world. The names are purely coincidental and are not intended to be identified with any person either living or dead, nor half dead for that matter.
Now that we have got the legal niceties out of the way, there was this couple who broke up because of toilet paper. She was a sensible sort of lady who insisted that the loo paper should hang with the loose end as close as possible, so that it was easy to reach. He on the other hand was an engineer who knew all about air flow. Talk about incompatibility!
He explained it’s alright for a woman, but when a man has a pee, the rush of fluid causes a partial vacuum that can suck the loose, flapping end of the toilet paper into its path. “Now you do not want me to wet the toilet paper, do you?”
“No,” she said, “and I don’t want you to hang it the ‘wrong’ way either!”
So for a number of years, their toilet paper had a sort of a yoyo existence. One could easily tell who the last visitor to the little room was by the way the roll was facing. They were both right and they were sure that they were right. Eventually, they had to part ways due to this particular irreconcilable diversity.
Doesn’t it remind you of the perennial wars of the sexes involving the toilet seat whether it should be left up or down? But for one to go to the extent of seeking an annulment ..?
What of the contentious issue of mothers-in-law? Men know that if not handled properly, they can break up marriages. But this case involving Themba and Fiona was a bit unorthodox. When Themba’s father-in-law died, he incredulously suggested that Sally’s mother move in with them. While Themba seemed to get along with the old girl, he was not getting along that well with Fiona. So whenever they had a squabble, Mamazala took Themba’s side. So, at last, Fiona walked out saying that since the two where such an item, she might as well leave them to it.
Another interesting case involves what is familiar territory for traditionalists and those married to them. It was that of a man who wanted a son but his wife gave him twin girls, and another girl, and another until they ended up with 11 daughters and not one son. After the eleventh he gave up, and ran off with a woman half his age which is quite typical. He couldn’t win though – his new wife refused to have any kids at all! Serves him right, the Neanderthal.
Those with pets will identify with this one of a mechanic who lost his wife because of the dog. Everyday he came from work, took a shower, got changed into casual clothes and took the dog for a long walk. Sometimes he was away for hours, which was alright until his wife glanced at him as he was undressing for bed. He was wearing a bit of lipstick – on his navel! She didn’t think it was a lick from the dog.
The following case that really takes the cup involves a young couple who divorced because of an acute case of ‘while you were up’. They would be sitting in front of the TV, both dreadfully hanging out for a cup of coffee, but both hoping that the other one would make it. As soon as the bottom left the chair, the other would say, “While you’re up, could you make me a cup of tea?”
So, not being the one to get up became a serious contest of wills. Eventually, this led to chronic bladder problems because both held back with such determination. I was the consulting medical specialist who recommended a divorce!
So for all these people was divorce the easy way out? Definitely not! It is about being the right one. Deep inside the love might have been there but through the years, strife is allowed to drive a wedge. Ultimately, something as silly or significant is stirred up culminating in the parting of ways. If you ask me, it sounds rather selfish.
My take is that if you divorce because you can’t stand your partner, then you were never meant for each other in the first place. However, the reality is that we will never be like-minded because God tuned us differently. The idea is to get together in order to complement each other. Understand that in a relationship, it’s not always about being right. It’s about keeping strife out of your life.