Wife Speak: Lessons on life from marriage


The job of marriage is like a journey through a well-trodden path

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On three occasions, I have wondered, how the hurricanes didn’t anyone tell me about some important life stuff? Why did it take the marriage relationship for me to learn these things, or is this why the husband-and-wife relationship is referred to as a ‘mystery’ in the Bible?

The job of marriage is like a journey through a well-trodden path. Millions of others before you have walked it, yet, like a conspiracy of silence, they choose not to share some nitty gritties of the journey. You would expect some signposts if there were a corner or a bump, but no, they choose to let you learn the ropes while you are smack in the middle of the journey.

Unlike the majority of the brides that I have interacted with, I did not fancy an elaborate wedding. With an arsenal of supporters, my job was to show up on that day. But two days to the wedding as I did my checklist for my honeymoon, I thought of something that no one had mentioned to me. I counted my dates.

Ask a woman close by what this means, in case you are floating. My dates indicated that my wedding day coincided with the red army on their monthly march. Mother nature has jokes! Like seriously? As I panicked, the gods felt pity for me and I remembered a former school mate, now a medical officer. We had not stayed in touch for years, but she forgave me when I went straight to the point.

“How am I to survive?”

“Science has a way around mother nature.” She said, very calmly as medical people do when faced by panicky mortals. And just like that, after passing by a chemist, I was sorted. With the intervention of science, the red army held off through the wedding day. They stayed away while we enjoyed the honeymoon and only showed up on the last day of the honeymoon, which was just as well because we had a tiff anyway.

As I marvelled at this new discovery, I could not help but wonder how come no one ever told me about the magic pills in all these years? They could have come in handy during my 12 long night trip to college. During those days, the night buses would make bathroom stops in the dirtiest washrooms they possibly could find on the routes, and a woman had no choice.

Bad, bad blend

If I had this knowledge prior to sitting my final secondary school examinations, the red army stoppers would most definitely have ensured that I got better grades in the Mathematics paper. Cramps, exam fever and dyscalculia do not blend at all.

It is only in marriage that I have come to know that women were created just as sensual and sexual as men, sometimes, even more amorous than these sons of Adam. The sages of marriage made it seem like the pleasurable ‘act of marriage’ is a fun and absolute necessity only for the men. That a good wife is to be nice, coy, and possibly frigid.

Even with age, or more so with it, a woman is like the legendary fine wine. One day, she is this young wife, mother and unsure of how to please her husband as ‘society’ reminds her about the virtues of a ‘good girl.’ But one day, she wakes up from her humdrum life of restraint to a silver haired goddess who fully loves and understands her body and is much more focused on her pleasure than ever before. The husband does not know whether to be shocked or pleased.

“Just catch up,” is all she can say.

I have learned that a woman mirrors the truth of who her husband is, not what he is. To the rest of the world and while in public, he might be this charming lovable human but his wife’s demeanour towards him will tell you the true character of the man. If, like me, you are wondering how to make your electoral choices, be on the lookout for the male candidates with wives. Is he a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Check his wife. We are wired to love and nurture, but there is something extra that we exhibit towards a man when he is tender and caring to us. The opposite is also true. The playwright, William Congreve, said it well when he wrote, ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’

Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. [email protected]