What you need to know:
- I like to use my idea of wordplay to describe this relationship; marriage rocks.
- It has plenty of those seasons that test your sanity.
Hubby shared a story he had read about millionaire wives whose husbands had no idea that their wives were wealthy.
I smiled, slyly, smugly, just to mess with him.
“Ala! We are barely getting by and you might just be a billionaire?”
Another smug smile and he almost thought that I was serious. It was a joke for us, but to *Francis, this was his reality which was stranger than fiction. They had what he and the rest of the world assumed was a healthy marriage.
“Every month, ever since the children were babies, we would lay on the table our joint incomes.”
They would look at the income as one and budget together. This way, they managed to buy a plot of land in the outskirts of Nairobi and started constructing their retirement home.
“We have lived in an expensive own-compound home, that was a strain to raise the rent, initially, but my wife was insistent that she could not move into an apartment.”
About two years ago, Francis finally understood why his wife was not about to move out of that particular house. She was their landlady. Yes, you read that right. She owned the house and all along, they have been paying rent into her account.
It took Francis months to get past this shocking discovery. Of course, he felt betrayed, foolish, but most of all, he could not even trust that his wife was who she said she was.
End of marriage
“Maybe she works with the secret service and I am just a pawn in the bigger scheme of things.”
Even her explanation, that she hoped to surprise him upon retirement, did not hold water. Without giving away his identity, Francis warned that withholding of information from a spouse spells the end of a marriage.
We have heard it often enough; that marriage is work, hard work. Others say that marriage is tough, not for the faint-hearted, that marriage is not for little boys and girls.
I like to use my idea of wordplay to describe this relationship; marriage rocks. It has plenty of those seasons that test your sanity. You wonder at your choice of spouse and when you kneel to pray, all you ask of your creator is, why me? What did I do in my previous life to deserve this spouse?
Then as suddenly as that season came, you enter into this other season. You cannot help but feel a deep joy from inside. You walk around with a smile and a glow and you swear that marriage rocks! Marriage is awesome and everyone should come on board!
You kneel in gratitude and ask the Lord to grant you both a long and healthy life because he tailored your spouse as a perfect fit. Then, as sure as the sun rises in the east, the rocky season checks in again.
Marriage is not perfect –no human relationship is – but what did your spouse ever do to make you withhold such vital information? The worst part was, in those years of struggling to rent the house, Francis had occasionally met an elderly man. Their supposed landlord, even though they paid the rent through a letting agency.
Francis discovered all these by fluke, as all secrets, one day, somehow find their way out of the closet.
More questions than answers
While trust is one main reason for hiding assets from our partner, is it worthwhile? Don’t such secrets weigh down on someone, especially keeping a secret for decades?
How does someone not slip up, get drunk and blubber it out or talk about it in their sleep? What kind of straight face does one adopt every time their spouse says that he is calling the landlord?
The more I think about it, the more questions I have. For example, when a man has a child outside the marriage and keeps it a secret, doesn’t this eventually raise his blood pressure, bring on insulin issues, heighten his heart rate, inflate his oxygen levels and simply drain the very life out of him, trying to keep a whole human being a secret?
It does because guilt has been known to weaken immunity and increase the stress hormone called cortisol.
Just, come out with it and live free. Your spouse will bite off your head at first, but they will be happy that you opened up.
Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. email@example.com