Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Saturday, 24 August 2013

HEALTH CHECK 1,2...1,2....

Today, just like most saturdays, a lot of people will seal their love in Matrimony. I wonder if any of these couples-to-be have done any intensive health checks and have fully disclosed their health status to their partners. I am not referring to HIV status; If he or she has it, the other partner may have it by now considering the sad fact that sexual abstinence has now been consigned to the Museum. 

I am referring to a more general Health status: 
  • Does the man know, beyond his gargantuan erections, whether he is potent or not?
  • Can the woman conceive and hold a baby?
  • Is there a history of previous abortions that needs to come out? In Africa where abortion is not a particularly pleasant topic, hence people hide to do it, you may want to check whether the quark doctor left something in there after all the scraping with his horrendously crude instruments.
  • All you see is a man who is always at his best whenever you steal time for your illeg-intimates encounters; is he on Viagra or some other sexually enhancing drugs? Because as a married couple you cannot depend on these to crank the engine.... you can't jump start your car every morning. Young man, are you on something? Disclose!
  • Have you checked your sickling?
  • Is any of you undergoing any therapy and what are the health implications of the therapy especially on your reproductive health
  • Does any of you have any history of a fatal injury that may have some debilitating effect on you in the near future? 
  • Has any of you had to deal with any STD/UTI and how did it go? How long was the battle, did it lead to some deeper complications, did the doctors talk of any future repercussions etc
  • Have you been on any birth control programme? When? How Long? What was the nature?

  • is any of you on any health time bomb.... Because for some of the conditions or ailments make every day in your life and that of your partner a miracle.
  • Does your partner's general state of health, make them prone to certain crises under certain environmental conditions - eg are they asthmatic, are they susceptible to various allergic reactions, do they have sickle cell anaemia etc. This means they cannot do certain chores, as they may trigger these crises
  • Can being pregnant endanger the woman's health?


All these and many more are questions you need to ask. For some people, love covers everything; it is true, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Marriage is not for the faint hearted and you are better off knowing exactly what you are getting into before you go in to discover them.



 Unbelievably, [And I do not mind if you disagree with this reality] some people love certain aspect of marriage rather than the complete marriage itself, and they [go on to] see that singular thing as the major thing that defines the entire marriage. For some people, that singular thing that gives meaning to the whole institution of marriage is the bliss of having a BIOLOGICAL baby. If it is the woman who has such a view, and she is not getting it because her husband only fires rubber bullets, then she does not mind going behind him [DNA tests notwithstanding, putting the man in a terrible dilemma: do I divorce her for the world to know I am impotent or stay and be insulted by the presence of an illegitimate child]. Some men do not hesitate getting a child from somewhere and keeping it hidden until he is 10 years and suddenly shows up like a concealed shameful habit. Much as there are many modern ways of solving childbearing related issues, the question is how many people worldwide can access them, in terms of availability and affordability. Therefore, the problem of infidelity/Divorce/spousal abuse arising out of childbearing related problems is very real in most part of the world.

For some people, what defines their marriage is the joy is sexual gratification. To have a man who cannot sustain a journey to Tarkwa and land a sister safely there, is not a plan she wants to work with. B3ma gyina wo nanso di asa ma y3 mma wo mopia na di3n ni?  Much as men really care more about getting to that point and erupting like an active volcano, they still prefer women who are active participants in the heating process than women who is just lay flat like a thick frozen coal tar. Yaa ki ka wo ho kakra na wo koraa wo y3 nipa b3n...b)teee saa 3di3n nkoaa? 

Some people just want to know so they stay on their guard. They attempt to seek early solutions prior to and after the marriage and excuses in case family and friends get nosy. It makes them take the shock of such revelations better. Do not forget people reason clearer when they do not fear they do not have options. When there is the fear of being trapped in a dead-end marriage, some people can go berserk before they calm down, by which time they would have done the unthinkable. Panic. 

Some People also want to know so they do not go into their marital homes with illusions and wishful expectations. Once that knowledge is available to them, they put in the needed financial, emotional, psychological and social efforts to be able to cope and manage such a partner. 

For some people, it is a simple, 'Lemme know so I see if I can stay or leave cus there is no way I want to spend my life with a man or a woman with this condition.' It may be a painful thing to hear from the lips of someone who professes to love you; but at least it would save you the inevitable heartache that will follow if you continue to marry them.


I accept that it is easier said, and I know of people's fear of the all-too-certain consequence of divulging such personal health information; the fear of losing the person they have grown to like. The codicil of such a loss might be the person going away with such sensitive information and potentially sharing it with someone. 

I appreciate the consternation of anyone who might find him or herself in such a situation; nonetheless you must let someone love you in utmost good faith. Let the person love you for who you truly are. Some people divorce their partners or switch off not because their partners have certain health conditions or might have put themselves in some health situations; they do that because they kept such information away from them, knowing such information might have changed a lot. Well it is still your loss and the person might still walk away with that same information. So the ultimate question is, ‘which one do you like; To be heartbroken and have him/her walk away with that personal info, or to be divorced or cheated on...and the person still walking away with that info? Remember the fact that they walked away does not mean they are going to tell people. I think most people are reasonable.


Let us love and let us do it wholeheartedly. Let us date mature people we can trust with our lives. What are you doing planning to marry a person you cannot trust with your life and the stories therein?

This article is just to set the ball rolling; the rest is for you to do. For starters, consult a qualified Medical Practitioner [someone actively engaged in reproductive health and family planning would be a plus] and ask them all the questions you can think of and let them tell you all there is to know...just so you know. 

 PG Sebastian 
Copyrights 2013

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Saturday, 17 August 2013

THE SCAVENGER

Most often, it starts innocently. It started when he gave that girl a lift...that neighbour...that colleague...that woman he met at the party... She is a woman and it was an innocent offer to her.  However, within this short period of their innocent acquaintance, the man has realised he hasn't had that kind of conversation for over six months with his wife; He has not has someone listen to him with rapt attention as he raves and rants about politics, soccer, cars, business ideas...and many other trivia of life... No one has engaged him in any intellectually stimulating conversation in a long time. Suddenly he realize he has become an un-greased rusting piece of intellectual metal.

His wife is a corporate woman, always busy; either with her blackberry responding to a never-ending avalanche of mails or taking care of the children, for which he is grateful. There is their home to manage to make it comfortable for everyone and he knows she is trying her best.... Therefore, when he comes home and they are having a conversation and emails or the scream of a child distracts her, he understands; he does not hold it against her. When he is in the mood and he touches her and she recoils, or she makes no attempt to show interest, he turns away quietly without a fuss.... and sleeps...she is tired....he understands....

Except he has been understanding this and many other things quietly and silently for four months, maybe six months; he has lost track of time with sparse and dry let's-get-this-done-and-over-with kindda sexual encounter. He has been ‘understanding’ this for the past five months; he cannot confirm if his wife knows about all that has happened in his life during that period. He is not sure if his wife can recall the details of his promotion...or what led to it; he remembers how he had to start the story four times with him getting distracted each time by a mail or a phone call or some other random thought she could not suppress. So, in the end, he had to tell the abridged version of the story in two minutes, so she could return to her busy schedule while he resorted to doing one thing in the house or the other; watching movies... going to visit a friend. Some other man would have been angry and thrown a tantrum or decided not to tell her anything; no he tried his best to compress the story and make it snappy, eliminating all the juicy non-essentials. But he understands; it is a routine as a gentleman, he has come to accept.

He loves his wife dearly and is very proud of her corporate achievements. He speaks highly of her to his friends and he makes sure they envy him. He has been there for her through thick and thin; for the kids and for the family. He always understands. The kids have an angel of a father, the woman, an Archangel of a husband; a man who understands.

So this other lady, tells him his beard is scruffy, his is putting on weight, his shoes look stunning and she even innocently asks, 'I am sure Regina told you that this morning?' He laughs it off. Regina did not, as has been the routine for a while now. If you are married to someone like Regina, you must be ready to do without some of these compliments; she is busy, he convinces himself. He even knows she is Choleric and that is their nature so he is ok with it.

But this other lady is also a busy woman; a manager at her workplace, not the same schedule at Regina, but she also works for someone, has similar demands, yet makes time every morning to check up on him. She does not forget to ask about the kids; indeed, she seems not to forget anything he tells her. This woman makes time to call him every lunch, for the past few months they have been seeing each other, to find out what he will eat so she can organise it for him; either for lunch or dinner. When he closes from work, she always calls to find out if he is home and the children are doing well. She even speaks with Regina every time she calls and Regina is around.

She does not intend to intrude, but she cannot help being herself, being nice. She is a mother too; two children with a man who did not know the difference between a gem and worthless piece of stone. After a few years of failing to resuscitate an effectively dead marriage riddled with bullets of infidelity, mistrust, seething hatred, muted communication, entrenched perspectives and uncompromising positions, they decided to go their ways. She knows she had her own part to play in the divorce and she had vowed to be a better woman to whomever she marries again regardless of her own definition of what a better woman may mean.

While she was busily insisting on her rights to be and be a woman in the prime of her life enjoying all the bliss that came with it, as Nat Cole Beautifully captures in his hit track, ‘Ballerina’,  some woman was making her husband feel at home…feel like a man worthy of his title – Married man. That was easy to let him slip out of her hands. She knows she is a great wife and mother, but she knows she could have done better….so she has resolved to do better.

Better, she is doing; giving Regina’s husband all the care and attention she did not give her ex-husband and thinking ‘oh blimey, it was not that difficult after all!’ It was a just a matter of planning and tact, and a man is yours for keeps. She now knows a man is but a big hairy baby; breastfeed him and put him to sleep then you can have the rest of the world to yourself. You can keep your pride and refuse to pop out your breast in public, and you can be sure to create a scene for yourself with his screams. It takes a few minutes of sacrificial public display of the gorgeous boobs, if you cannot find somewhere discreet to do it, for you to have hours of a sleeping baby and a world of freedom to yourself. She has learnt to emulate the latter and she now realises it works. Breast feeding and rocking a man to sleep is part of the married-baby management skills one needs to acquire to enjoy a measure of tranquillity at home.

Now she has that man to herself and all she did to get her was to allow him to feel good about himself even if he was worse than a used toilet paper…which clearly most men are not. This was something Regina could have easily done to keep him. She has visited them a couple of times  in their home and she knows the differences in his voice tone, facial expressions and responses when he is at home and when he is at work or…with her….or even with his two children. She sees how great he is as a father and a husband…she sees it in the way he plays with his children and her own children; how he has something to say about everything…everyone…. Except Regina…Busy little Bee Regina…Always with the Honey making business…Honey that only drips in sepulchral throat… Too Busy Reggie, too too Busy.

All he ever wanted was someone to notice him and break a shard of attention for him…. Regina has taken advantage of his being a lamb and has indirectly preyed on him. Regina has taken a part of the story of the virtuous woman in the book of proverbs; the ‘bringing in her ships and merchandise from afar’ part, forgetting that the complete story includes, ‘providing for her home and making her husband comfortable and secured’.

She recalls the many evenings she had called him pretending to discuss a corporate biased issue with him, just so she could speak with him…only to hear his sleepy voice, and Regina on the phone in the background chatting happily with her sisters and friends…. This is usually before 8:30pm and he is already half asleep….sleeping away his boredom…his loneliness…. But Well he understands.

Maybe if she could do what the other woman who took her man away did, she can also take that which belongs to Regina; as despicable as it sounds, the world as she has come to know it, is not fair to those who do not guard what they have. If you leave your door ajar a thief will sneak in, if you display your precious items close to the glass windows thieves will break in for them, if you treat that which is precious as if it is of no worth, someone will claim it… she has been a victim.  Even though she does not intend to victimise anyone, she is also playing her part in this vicious cycle of taking-the-man-the-other-woman-is-toying-with. It is unfair, but a sister has learnt her lesson and she is ready to correct her mistakes. Night after night, she wishes it would not be another woman’s husband…. But in reality, which single man wants a woman with two kids except another man with kids of his own?

Maybe one day Regina will wake up and know that her kind-hearted, loving and understanding husband is gone; she will curse her, be angry, and let the world understandably join in in the vilification process. She [Regina] may write a blog and tell people how cruel men are; with all her energy, she might even create Facebook page named; ‘Ladies Against Unfaithful Pigs’ and have a million LIKES….

On the other hand, she may just break down one day and cry bitterly, carry out an audit trail introspection to find out where she went wrong…. In the process, she may discover that maybe; just maybe, she should have lifted her head every now and then to keep her eyes on the road. She may realise she should not have been too busy and naïve to realise this other woman in her husband’s life needed a close watch. Maybe she should have learnt to draw a line between work and family and know that you cannot be married and live as if you are single and working….the same way you cannot conduct your corporate business as if the office is an extension of your marital home…. She should have known that if the latter could get you fired, then the former was no different. Regina should have learnt the fine art of fair balance and multi-tasking; maybe face the fact that she took a sacred task inconsequentially.

Sacred tasks are accomplished through the help of prayer, not spending your free time at church, and making your marriage second to it. God created Marriage and fellowship with him, not a church. He created a family we need to fellowship with, not a house we sleep in and wake up to go about the toils of life not tilling first the lives in that house. Maybe Regina would learn that God gave her everything to keep her man and it was not just prayer and working hard for some employer....Prayer is the icing on the cake. In any case before Abraham met God and started praying to him, he had a faithful wife who did her bit as was expected of a wife. It was not a prayer that kept them, even through the droughts of barrenness; it was commitment to that institution that kept them.

She prays Regina learns the bitter lesson that an ‘understanding man’ is not the same as a walkover; he may understand and learn to keep himself from erecting…or manage his erection…. He may understand to keep his thoughts and conversations to himself… he may understand and learn to eat from restaurants in most part. He may understand to take it when a woman pretends to be listening while seriously doing some calculations in her head… he may understand it all….Until someone comes around who will not let his life always end in understanding why he cannot have anything he desires to have.

Until someone comes who will prove to him that someone’s leftover or rotten piece of meat, has a need and use. She will not dispute that her actions are nothing but those of a scavenger; but then, scavengers go for the things we allow to rot and throw into the trash can…or? She is not aware of a scavenger that entered someone’s deep freezer and took a well-kept and preserved piece of meat.

She is not in his life to make him 'understand' as Regina has been doing. There is nothing to understand when you deal with a man; you only need to find a way of keeping his bone in his mouth so you can keep the leash in your hand. ….In this case who becomes the boss? The one with the bone or the one with the leash controlling both the bone and the bone eater? she is simply going the extra mile to meet both targets; the corporate target…and the target of getting Regina’s husband…and keeping both and excelling. That effort is paying off. She hopes Regina will be a better person in her next marriage [clearly this one is over…not after all she has revealed to this man]. Regina can choose to be bitter and paint men black; she can pray all the tongues in the world and bind all she can, but she should not forget, it was not a dog that took her man away [much as she would not fight you if you called her a bitch]. It was another woman; a woman with two kids like herself, a woman who works in the corporate world…like herself, a woman who has bitterly learnt the valuable lesson of getting married, taking it serious and staying married...like Regina is about to do.

She is a woman; another of the same kind. She does not mind if the world judges her and call her names. She has seen enough pain and tears and she has decided not to cry again. Maybe Regina and all those like her can see clearer if their eyes were washed with a few tears of loss.

It is not a fair world, but it can be fair and warm to those who learnt to dance to the rhythms of its exigencies. Regina and the likes of her can argue and shout on top of their voices… but tonight, she is going to spend some quality time with him. She is extremely tired from preparing the documents for the board meetings, She could use some rest… But as soldier ready to take over and keep Regina's husband for life, she is willing to do anything to make him happy rather than fall into the folly of Regina, and hope he understands. It is not about those who are fighting over the true ownership of the crown, it is more of, on whose head the crown sits….and tonight, like she has in the last four months, she is wearing her crown, let the contenders contend.


The end really is not to please him and his ego as a man [callous as it is], which is how Regina and her kind see such sacrifices; no. The end is to please her. The start is to suffer, the end is to gain; no pain no gain. And for the bigger gain of having and keeping such a gem of a man, she will overlook his transient needs for satisfaction, and endure…that is the spectrum of light invisible to Regina’s vision.    

PG Sebastian
Copyrights 2013


Sunday, 11 August 2013

A GREENHORN'S GUIDE TO DEALING WITH IN-LAWS

We sometimes deceive ourselves into thinking we marry an individual not a family. I say it is not what we think, it is the various interactions that we all face and how they tell on our marriages that tell whether we married just a family member of the entire family. 

If we accept that for as long as we stay married, our in-laws will be a part of us and we must learn to live with them and properly integrate them into our lives, it will make it easy for us to move on in peace with them. This article picks on a few issues every marriage is likely to face and I attempt to offer some form of leeway around them so we can all enjoy some peace at home and keep our families intact. 

Let's start by saying he loves his mother and sisters.  He may or may not have told you, and if he has, it may have been through a hint or in plain terms. Whatever you do, do not take your relationship with his mother and sisters for granted.  There may be exceptions, but your average man is who I am talking about. He will fight with and disrespect his mother and sisters; do not join him. Anything you say against them, may sometime in the future, be used against you by the same man. He will stand with his family against you in a later confrontation with his family. 

He may not say it or he may have said it once or twice, but he secretly wants you to call his mother and siblings every now and then to check up on them; he wants you to visit them, remember their special moments and make your presence count even when he forgets. For your own good, DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES. When a man expects you to be there for his family, an excuse for not doing it is like putting a can of flammable liquid and lighter next to a year old child; it is just a matter of time before an explosion goes off.  Make the effort and let him see it; make it on time, make it relevant and make it count.

I am not teaching you what your western feministic mind accepts, I am teaching you what will keep your marriage from caving in without warning.

Young woman, if your mother in-law or sister in-law is your friend, power to you. However, I want you to think as though they are not your friends; the same way your boss is not your friend. Yet for the sake of keeping the cash tap dripping, you lick their boots. For the sake of keeping your marriage intact, keep your in-laws at bay and minimising the wahala from those quarters, learn to play your politics well.

I totally agree some men are unreasonable and are not up to the task of being fair when it comes to mother-wife refereeing; but trust me most family problems just do not start between his wife and his mother. There is that comment you made about his mother [deliberately or innocently] which did not go down well with him; he simply kept his peace, but that said a lot about you and raised some antennas. That thing you were supposed to do, but for one reason or the other, did not do; procrastinating it and creating the impression it was not that important to you. The way you nag about his mother; you forget that at 62 years old and effectively Men-O-Paused she is just a ricocheting talkative, you forget that he is her oldest child who was the family breadbasket until you showed up, you forget he was her only companion at home, the baby-last, until you showed up and took him away, you forget her other daughters are not as lucky as you are with their men and you forget she herself treated her husband so badly she sees only a ghost of her past haunting her. But well, you do not know that; all you see is her nagging and talking and snooping around, so all you do is nag complain and end up disrespecting her to your husband. He does not like that. He does not speak with and about your mother like that.

Unless he can put his finger on something and land the fault at his mother’s feet, he will stand by the woman he has known all his life than stand by the one he has known for just under 10 years; 10 years of misunderstanding, personal issues, aggressive rivalry and most likely personal limitations. 10 years of everything his mum never was to him. Sometimes we must face the truth that the bond of blood is thicker than the bond of words hastily spoken in the presence of a priest, the law and a cheering crowd. A man will always love his mother no matter his love for his wife.

When you AGREED to marry him, you were to be his helpmate and by implied unwritten convention, the helpmate of his entire family. So get ready. His sisters will come and eat in your marital home and the silly ones will not lift a finger to help with the preparation of the food or cleaning of the kitchen thereafter; find a nice way of drawing his attention to it. If he does not act on it, bring it up the next time it happens again... nicely. If again he does not act on it, do not talk about it again in the near future. He will not forget; one day you will be surprised how he will descend on them for how they treat you. If you complain and he makes a comment to the effect that there is nothing wrong with you serving his mother and siblings, then you are in for the long haul; row on sister. God be with you. The question really is, how often do they come to your place to eat and leave a mess in their trail? Take them as visitors and sort it out. Yes, I know this is madness, but this is what kept your grandparents married for life. (I don’t know about your parents though)

Young people, when you marry into any family with a family feud, do not take sides. Your in-laws may bring the fight to your turf by virtue of your marital ties to a party to the feud; refuse to play. When your partner forces you to join in on their side, decline. Sometimes it's better to hang your boots than prove you can play. In the end, you might be the villain and take the fall for it, and not those who have fought that battle for ages. 



To the mothers I say, treat that woman like your own child knowing your daughter will also be an in-law to someone if not one already. In love, admonish, correct and guide her for the ultimate good of your son. Do not see her as a competitor over your son. How many years have you to live in this life that you want to ruin the life and joy of a young woman because of your own inability to socially adjust to and accept his moving on? Some mothers have wrecked their sons' marriages and their lives by thinking they were rather helping them. Do not let this be the story they will tell about you.




You allowed him to do whatever he wanted to do while growing up; chilling, fooling around and said he was old enough to make his own choices. What has changed that he has suddenly become a boy to you to control and intrude in his personal life now that he is married and starting his own life?

Young couples, be willing to listen to your in-laws when they advise you on diverse issues. If an in-law gives you a clue on how to treat your spouse be happy; most people don't know how to treat their spouses in a personal off-the-book style anyway. I have seen marriages where the first three or so years was a period partners were trying to discover new things about each other for themselves. Such discoveries are critical and the couples themselves best do it. However, you cannot discount the advice of your mother in-law or sister in-law on something they have known about him all their lives. You cannot play down the advice of her big brother on how to relate with her at certain times. Why try to invent the wheels? Do you know how long it took them and what they went through to get that information? So now, they have given it to you; just look in that direction and see if it works. Don’t learn about your partner in the hard way; know them in a smart way.

Men have a problem when their wives' fathers or their more successful big brothers intervene; they see it as a case of intrusion and a statement that they are not in control of their homes. That is a legitimate feeling and most men don’t sit well with it. They may not openly disrespect the intervening in-law; they will simply listen and still do what they want to do or worse, avoid that in-law. 

Let us look at Moses from the Bible. He used to administer the whole of Israel singlehanded, because he believed it was God's responsibility for him. Then one day his visiting father in-law, Jethro, saw the tedious job his aging son in-law was doing and he thought that was ridiculous. He sat him down and told him to decentralise and appoint tribal and clan judges to sit on petty matters and only take care of things that were of greater import. Moses listened and acted on it and he saw the tremendous benefit of it. Your in-laws may have experiences you need to succeed; talk to them. If they also willingly come to you to offer it, think about it with an open mind and see how best you can work with it. You do not know it all and your parents might not have given it all to you. They are your in laws; you are all one big family, there is no shame in depending on them for advice if you need one. Men I am talking to you.

Some of you women do not know jack when it comes to home making abilities and it may not be your fault; your mum always did it for you, you were surrounded by house helps, you never had a strong close-knit family. Whatever it is, you are married to a man from the opposite world; a man surrounded by women who know how to make a home feel like heaven in terms of cleanliness, food, order, bonding, name it. You are a big fool to think that because he is married to you, he must learn to live with you, cut his ties with his family, and take the little you have to offer. Wake up; he is a hu-man not a switch on a wall. If he came from your background and you his, then the argument will hold, because you would be giving him something better. However, what you are now giving him is something worse; people do not accept worse, when they can get it better. Yes, he married you; but he did not marry you just because of your home making abilities, no.  Your score in that department is an abysmal 2 over 10. Sorry baby, but what it means is that you get only 1 in 5 stuff you do at home right… ouch. [Don’t cry Bath-sheba was worse…. Where did I get that? Anyway as long as it put a smile on your face]. He married you for other reasons, so in this area where you are deficient, let someone help you. 

For 30+ years, he had enjoyed this beauty of a home and you think he will suddenly take yours and clap for you? Go to a conflict zone, drink their kind of well water, and see if you will not have a tummy upset. That is what happens when you move from good to bad; your system rejects it. So if his mother and sisters show up and in the kitchen they attempt to intervene by making a comment or two about how things should go, swallow your big pride which is clearly not taking you anywhere and learn. This is not your PhD in Law that is being attacked, it is your High school certificate in the Kitchen you are struggling to get; do not confuse the two and fight them. ‘Fa wo too known ne w’akata ne ahantan no sore ho and Keep Calm and be taught.’ 

Mostly it is a wife’s inability to stand this that spark animosity between herself and his mother. 

My advice, however, to all of you in-laws, whose help no one needs, but out of presumed love and genuine concern, you decide to offer, please when you are done offering the help, do not go and stand on the tallest buildings in the city and shout it; do not make it a topic at your family gatherings! You do not prove anything but your immaturity and ill motives. And when your daughter in-law or son in-law give you that respect and let your into their home and accept the help you are offering, know your limit and do not use it as a launch pad to launch rockets into their homes with your long and snoopy noses! Respect your boundaries and do not let them regret allowing you into their homes. 

My final thoughts on in-laws  is on brothers and sisters of the couples. Your brother's wife is not your slave, remember that. She is married to your brother, who cannot even call her his slave; treat her with respect. May be she is not the kind of woman you wanted for your brother, maybe you have your own prehistoric, previous-life bone to pick for which reason she cannot stand you; there could be many reasons why you are not cool with her, but they are not married to you. Keep your distance and be courteous the few moments you both are together at a place. She does not live with you, she lives with your brother, do yourself a favour and get a man to make a home for you or get a woman and make a home for her. Stop being in her hair. We are not interested in what relationship you have with your brother; his marital status has changed, deal with it and move on. In this current dispensation, you are the stranger in the equation. In his house you will behave. Maybe he tolerates your ill manners, but that is not a green light for you to continue doing it. Be reasonable. [Ok George calm down….Lawdharmercy]

We do not want to know what you suspect she has done to your brother, for him to turn his back on his own family....Hold on, which family? His OWN family now is what he has with his wife, not you and your mother and father and siblings; his new family is the one he is starting. Start working your own things out. It is not for you to have a coup d’état in your brother's home if he is satisfied with the government. Only pray he will come to his senses if you feel the same is impaired. That is just about it. Nevertheless, I know how it feels like being abandoned by a brother who meant the world to you because of his wife.

And you young men who think you can get into any skirt you want, if you have no respect, do not take it on your brother's wife; you have no idea the kind of family hell you will raise if your brother should hear of it, whether you failed or succeeded in sleeping with his wife.  

Young women, do not be too available in your sister's home. Some men cannot stand your young body, compared to the fast degenerating one his wife has after years of giving birth and lack of personal maintenance regime. Do not be too nice to him. He is your sister's husband, not one of the many men who are falling under your enthrallment. Watch your dressing at home and let the word privacy have a meaning. 

Young man, learn to respect your sister's husband. When you offend him, he may not confront you for fear of sparking a family war, he will take it on your sister. For your sister's sake behave. Most women bear the rage of their husbands for the sins of their relatives. 

Whereas women mostly fight their in-laws for their sins, men fight their wives for the sins of their [women’s] relatives. Most women fight the sisters or mothers of their husbands, when they cannot take their intrusions, but rather report to their husbands the problems they are facing with their [husbands’] brothers. Men on the other hand, most often play their politics well, keep good faces, tend to say little to their wives' relatives when they have issues with them, and rather take it on their wives, expecting them to act. When a man sees his wife acting, he is satisfied. Men's ability to stay aloft is generally because they are not into the day-to-day intrigues of the family and can thus avoid many of the things that spark these fights. When a man is not happy at home either because of his wife or the actions of her relatives, there is simply no limit to the extent he can go while staying away from home. 

Women, learn to keep your siblings leashed when it comes to your marital home. But I admit men have a lot more leashing to do, and shorter leash at that, when it comes to their family members. 

The family is a beautiful thing, when we learn to play the family politics well, everything runs in its place and everyone is happy. The family with the prospect of growth behaves in some ways like the military; if you do what is expected of you without fuse and unnecessary questions you will be safe, but if you start thinking about everything and arguing it out, always trying to make your point, you risk unpleasant consequences. The Problem is that we always equate the family system to our corporate world; what we fail to see is that, when it comes to family any pronounced change which is too off and inconsistent with the original intend of the family is bound to derail the coherent nature of the system. I may be wrong, but I think families of old may have had their own problems but it was ‘their own problems’ not a social problem. Most great leaders, thinkers, inventors, authors and the like came from these families of old. Our modern family outlook, which is supposed to remedy the ills of the families of old, has met serious family problems, which are not just family problems, but are now major social problems. Talk of broken homes and single parents, talk of indiscipline among children, talk of infidelity...look at all these and how they now affect our society and tell me which era you would rather to be in; the current family dispensation or the old dispensation? 


Let us not treat the family as we treat other areas of our culture, as something trivial and light of consequence to be tampered with in the shivers of our modern eccentricities; the family is sacred, ordained by God himself. Let us all play our roles well. Where there is the need for role modification, let us do it with love and respect, bringing on board all those these modifications will affect and let us move together in unity. Let us not impose anything on anyone because we feel we are in the position to do it. 

I believe this is a good article. Please click on the relevant social media icon and share it with your friends. As many as you can share, please share and save a family.


PG Sebastian 
Copyright 2013 

Friday, 9 August 2013

THE BEAUTIFUL BLANK WALL.




I read a story some 10 years back which recently hit me while thinking through a few issues. It was about these two patients who were sharing a hospital ward. One was sleeping on a bed next to the only window to the room. The other was sleeping on a bed far from the window and therefore could not see the window or anything beyond it. His condition was such that he could not turn. 

Each day, the patient by the window told the other patient far from it some exciting things he could see through the window. He told him of beautiful flowers, trees and buildings.  He told him of a park by a river and how lovers sitting on benches gave beauty to the whole scene. He told him of the beauty beyond the confining walls of the hospital room. Each morning, and as often as he could, the one on the window bed tried his best to paint a beautiful picture of the outside world to his ward mate. 

Then one day, the window patient suffered a seizure and started struggling for help. He could not press the button that was to alert the nurses. As he struggled, the other Patient kept quiet and did nothing till the suffering patient succumbed to the icy fingers of death. 

Immediately the authorities came for the body of the dead mate, the other patient requested to be moved to the window bed, which they obliged. To his shock and dismay, he realized there was no view beyond the window except a grey blinding wall of another building. There was no park, no river, no flowers or trees nor anything beautiful. It was a blank grey wall. [that is the crust of the story]



All he wanted to do was to experience with his own eyes the beauty which was daily described to him, and for that he did not mind sacrificing the life of the one enjoying it to gain an advantage.   


This story opened my eyes to a poignant lesson: even through pain and suffering, people are able to paint the brighter side of life to others just to alleviate their [the other person’s] pains and give them hope and confidence of a brighter future. Through their own heartaches, they manage to put smiles on the faces of others just so they can console them, not giving a thought about what they are going through themselves. Remember they were both patients, meaning they were both in a state of dis-ease. 

It was easy for the other patient to think the other one was having the best of the situation, that he was even probably not that sick. I am sure he was even praying he was discharged soon so he would have that bed. You see through his pain, he still had a place in his heart for envy, jealousy and greed. He did not see the effort his friend was putting in to make his condition containable; all he saw was why not him? Why was he not the one enjoying it? And I can only imagine the extent he was willing to go to get that bed, and the end of his friend gives us an indication of what he was willing to do [or not to do] just to get that bed. For him, it was nothing personal; it was not about the life in question, it was about the bed and by extension the location. 

Sometimes all we see is the laughter on people’s faces, the words of encouragement, a word of advice, a word of caution… Sometimes, people stop all they are doing to offer that help, they cancel their schedules just to make that time, they give their little bit just so you can have and be ok. Parents sacrifice so much so their kids may be in school; have a mussel of meal.

That pastor who is fasting and praying for you has a million unanswered prayers, yet he keeps a bright face and his words positive, and paint a brighter picture of God’s unfailing love just so you will be encouraged and keep faith; just so he can encourage himself with his own words to you. That counselor is fighting a running battle with children who are bent on dragging his name in the mud, a partner who has silently sworn to do exactly the opposite of what is being counseled others.  Yet, when you visit, they speak with confidence, believing in the very words that seem not to be working in their own life, hoping and knowing it will work for you. 

You envy your friend’s marriage; and clearly it is understandable. Her husband is an epitome of a perfect husband; her children are the ideal children we all crave for. But you have no clue the sleepless nights she has had to endure, the pain of being married to him, the difficulty in keeping those children. Yet her gentle spirit prevents her from spilling it into the public; so she would rather keep her husband’s reputation intact, sealing it with a smile and made up stories of how beautiful marriage could be, and how sweet having children and watching them grow could be. The two of you could be in the same room, with the same ailment, but she is able to rise above her pain to give comfort to you.  Do not think you have the complete story and therefore act cruelly towards her because of that.   

We see people looking nice and living well and that is enough to think they have it all and therefore they should give ‘some’ to us when we ask for it. Oh that your Auntie or Uncle in the US or UK is so cruel. How much will it cost for them to fly you to the US or UK for holidays. Clearly you have no idea about the bills, you do not know of the mortgage and the bank loans. You have no idea of the various lenders who are chasing them, the pressure on the perceived ‘big moneys’ they get and how they are collecting from one place to pay them at another place. You see their pictures and how they dress when they are in town and that is enough for you to hate them. When you find yourself in their shoes, you may not survive the gloom of their existence. But they have tried to keep up the smile and with their occasional handouts, managed to put some on your face. 

We all have our problems, pains and hurts; we have our unanswered prayers and our pains that keep us awake at night. We all have our glooms, yet we look that blank wall and tell nice stories to others as if the world around us is all that blissful. 

I have heard people refusing to offer help to people who needed it because the people did not look needy enough or because they did not look like the kind of people who will need that kind of help. I have seen people refuse to help others because helping them means those people get to stay where they are; a place of advantage while by their help the helper stay at the disadvantaged part of the story. 

But you see, People simply learn to dance in the rain and paint in the night and in both cases make the outcome beautiful.  Be happy for people, you have no clue what they are going through; most importantly you have no idea the cost they are bearing trying to put a smile on your face and joy in your heart.  

PG Sebastian
Copyrights 2013