Wifespeak: In marriage, goodwill goes a long way

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

Some good humans create such heart-warming stories that makes you want to watch a movie remake of their life together. George and his wife managed to rise above juvenile behaviour and conjure interesting ways to revive the warmth in their lacklustre relationship.

“How did you do it?” I asked him. “It’s the goodwill.” He simply said. He had no idea why his wife had been giving him a cold shoulder for more than two months. “When she spoke, it was either a snide remark or a reminder about the kids this or that.”

He too let it slide and before they knew it, their bedroom was colder than a winter night in Helsinki. One Friday morning, he decided that enough was enough. Aren’t I a man like the rest? Before he could splash the remaining cologne on his neatly trimmed moustache, a voice arrested him. “She is the mother of your children, the wife of your youth and now, the wife of your middle age.”

As if zapped by a magic ward, an idea came to him. He stepped out with a spring to his step as soon as she drove off to work, not even bothering to respond to his mumbled, “good day.”

He put his idea into action. As soon as he had locked the gate after her, he went back to the house and changed into easy shorts and a Tee-shirt. He got bucket loads of water, cleaning detergents, and a mop.

“I cleaned and dusted like my very life depended on it.”

Their children were all in boarding high schools. His wife had a full-time job. “It occurred to me that she was probably feeling overworked since the house was a bit neglected.”

I cleaned and dusted like my very life depended on it. I did the laundry too.

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After hours of scrubbing and rinsing, he stripped their bedroom of all beddings, put them in the washing machine and - I kid you not - watched a clip online on how to make a bed as perfect as those of luxury hotels. He achieved the mean feat.

“By now, it was past lunch time, I was starving, plus I am a lousy cook.” Another inspiring idea later, he found himself in a shopping mall. After a light meal, he took the items of clothing he had grabbed from his wife’s closet and entered a female clothing store.

“I want a dress the same size as this one,” he told the sales lady.

Then he went to the lingerie section. “I want these for my wife.” Lastly, he carried packed dinner and went home to await his wife’s arrival.

The surprise started from the gate when she noticed the laundry flapping about on the drying lines. “Did you hire a cleaner?” She asked him. It was the first time in months that she had spoken a full sentence to him. “It was extremely encouraging.” George says. The evening turned out as he had hoped. “Two years later and I think we are still on honeymoon, in spite of the normal conflict here and there, we have never gone to bed without speaking, since then.”

She even procured a loan to inject capital in his business.

The other story started with music cassettes, way back in the nineties. They may be out of out of vogue now but Edward’s wife has pinned one next to their family portraits. “It is still one of my best gifts from Eddu.” The music collection is a composition of a playlist from some of the best works from every decade possible. You see, Edward gifted her this collection when they were in college. He skipped meals and scrapped every coin to get it together. He had a serious crush on her. “I stood no chance but I had to do this.” He knew one thing other blokes did not. “She loved fine music. She was also a music major.” He researched on the various genres of music and included all in the collection. From the Mozarts, Tshakovsky, Bach to Tabu Ley, Miriam Makeba, Air Supply and Bryan Adams. When she received the gift one Sunday morning, she allowed him into her hostel cubicle and made him tea. “The rest is history.” Edward laughs. It remains on her favourite playlist whether in traffic or road trip. Goodwill. That’s the key word.

Karimi is a wife and mother who believes marriage is worth it.