By Francis Ewherido
My hard-line views on LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders) notwithstanding, I sympathise with brand expert, Kenny Badmus, who is gay and HIV positive. According to Badmus, who is going through a divorce with his wife: “After six years together, I knew I was not getting any better. I still loved men. And one day, because I didn’t want to cheat on her, I humbly asked her that we should go our separate ways. That was when all hell broke loose. She suddenly forgot about how it all started.
In court, she told the Judge how she suddenly found out that I was gay, and how it’s against the law of …Nigeria. In other words, she wanted me sentenced to the new 14 years jail term… Luckily, I was in a civil court. Sadly, that day, I had to duck my face in shame as the crowd jeered at me… ‘You faggot!’ ‘Oh what a shameful man!’ ‘homo!’ ‘Na wa o!’ I still don’t know how I walked out of the court premises that day. What about my business? Tell any client in Nigeria that you are gay, and you lose their business. That’s exactly what happened. I lost friends, businesses, sponsorships and family members. I had to start my life all again.”
Why do some spouses go all out to bring down an ex when things go wrong? Somebody told me how a wife destroyed the promising career of her banker husband in those days when bankers in foreign exchange department and treasury departments made fortunes. At 31, the young man was already a senior manager and stupendously rich. Then he had problems with his wife and to get back at him, the wife tipped off the bank on the husband’s questionable wealth.
His promising career came crashing down. In those days too, a wife had a misunderstanding with the husband. The husband reacted by giving the wife and their children an acid bath and attempted to take his own life by drinking acid. Their sights were terrible when they were shown on television.
He was full of remorse, but the physical and emotional damage had been done. Acid baths by spouses and lovers, when the relationships get sour, happen every now and then in our society. There is a new trend where spouses and lovers leak private photos of their former spouses and lovers online. Bad as it is, my conservative mind is still to comprehend why a married woman, who is not a porn star or Kim Kardashian , will take her nude photos in the first place and then allow somebody else( spouses and lovers can easily come somebody else) have access to them.
Sometimes you hear the unbelievable during divorce proceedings. Husband: “My wife stinks to high heavens.” He is just finding out after travelling through the “road” for over 10 years. Wife: “My husband’s penis is too small, he can’t satisfy me.
That’s why I cheated.” Thank God it was at least big enough to sire your four children. If you must divorce, can’t it be done with dignity? Must dirty linen be washed in public? Some people are hopelessly cheap and petty. Joseph, Jesus’ foster father, found out his brand new, young, virgin wife, Mary, was pregnant with a child that was apparently not his. “Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately ( Mathew 2:19).
Permit me to digress a little. Badmus claimed he told his ex-wife about his sexual preference prior to their marriage, but the wife told the church’s counseling team “that my feelings for men would all be gone (after marriage). I guess she meant she was going to f**k my brains into heterosexuality.” While one wonders why Badmus still went ahead with the marriage conscious of his sexual preference, the wife made one grievous mistake. In marriage you change only one person: you. You do not have control over spouse; neither do you have a right to change your spouse after marriage. You either marry what you see, or you take a walk. If you want changes in your spouse, you do it through appeals, suasion and prayers. In other words, you do not shift the goal post after the match has started. If you have to, it should be by mutual consent, not spousal fiat.
Back to our question, why do some spouses and lovers go all out to ruin an ex when the relationship goes sour? The reasons range from desire to revenge, pain, anger, pettiness, to jealousy and envy. There is no doubt that it is very heart-wrenching when a spouse breaches or betrays your trust, be it adultery, lying, separation or divorce, but does killing, hurting, or getting back at your spouse solve the problem or soothe your pain? What about the collateral damage, the children you had together, other members of both families and those wonderful years you spent together? If you cannot forgive, is it not better you walked away.
Is it not better you let go, difficult as it is, and rebuilt your life? When you carry a hurt for too long, you put yourself in self-imprisonment, your life comes to a standstill and you put your health in jeopardy. Absolutely nothing good comes out of it, no benefits.
Prisons are brimming with people who killed or physically hurt spouses to get back at them. Is it worth it to waste your precious life away in such a manner? You need to take a firm control of your life. Stephen Covey said something, which, though difficult, is very true: “It’s not what they’re doing that’s the issue. The issue is your own chosen response to the situation and what you should be doing.” Before you do something rash and stupid, tarry and think very hard. The Joseph approach is probably all you need: Maturity.