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Marriage and Family

Customised conflict resolution mechanisms


I have been observing this young couple in church since the Sunday after their wedding. They are always on suit-and-suit (clothes made from the same fabric). Over the years, they have had three children and they still wear suit-and-suit to church every Sunday. I saw them again last Sunday and it just occurred to me that this suit-and-suit might be one of their customized conflict resolution mechanisms (personal ways of resolving differences).

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Mental disability only

I read many novels in those days. But age, new responsibilities and interests have altered my focus. But I cherish the knowledge I acquired from these novels. I remember something I read in one of the novels. A man got paralysed and found himself unexpectedly in a wheelchair. He was naturally downcast and demoralized; life became meaningless. That was when somebody close to him gave him a wakeup call. He told him to stop wallowing in self pity; a man lives not by his ability to run around, but by what he’s got between his temples (his brain).

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Rape and incest, a big shame!

“I started sleeping with my 15-year-old daughter sometime in January after I lost my job.” This is part of the confession of a 41-year-old father in Vanguard, June 28, 2016. He claims frustration over the loss of his job led him to alcoholism and incest. But he was still sober enough to sleep with his daughter only after his wife has gone to work. He therefore knew full well that what he was doing was wrong.

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President Buhari

Rascally breeding

Monday, July 11, is World Population Day, a day set aside by the United Nations Development Programme since 1989 to focus on the urgency and importance of population issues globally. In the last 300 years, especially, the world’s population has exploded. According to available records, the world’s population hit the one billion mark for the first time in 1804. It took about 123 years for the world to double its population to two billion. By 1959, however, it increased to three billion, four billion 1974, five billion 1987, six billion 1999 and it hit seven billion by October 2011. It is expected to hit eight billion by 2025.

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Still on getting our priorities right

Two weeks ago, we talked about getting our priorities right as spouses and parents. This is just an addendum. I do not know what the person who coined the phrase “better half” had in mind, but spouses must strive to be just that in every sense of the phrase to their wives/husbands. As a better half you have an obligation to make your spouse a better person. It is, therefore, a failing if after a while in matrimony, your spouse is worse than before you met him/her. Complement his/her strength and make up for his/her weaknesses. Your spouse should feel incomplete without you in the normal everyday living. We know we are mortals and dispensable, but as long as you breathe, be indispensable in spouse’s life. You are on shaky grounds in your marriage if your spouse can operate as if you do not exist, as if he/she is whole. If he/she is whole, who are you half to (we are not even talking of “better half” now)?

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Getting our priorities right

“The White House said President Barrack Obama will not attend the funeral of Mohammed Ali, which coincides with the eldest daughter’s graduation. ‘They will be attending Malia’s high school graduation in Washington DC.’” (Vanguard, June 8, 2016). Can you imagine that? Obama, the first black American president, did not physically pay his last respect to the legendary Mohammed Ali, a fellow black great and arguably the greatest boxer of all time.

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Youths and betting

I took my eldest son for a haircut, on the insistence of his housemaster, near his school last Sunday. As we approached the barber’s shop, I saw youths clustered around the two shops on either side of the barber’s shop. Initially, I thought they were watching a soccer match, but then I remembered the European football seasons were over. As I moved closer, I said to myself, “I hope it is not what I think.” Yes, it was; both shops are betting shops, the young men came to wager.

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What is romance?

You would have noticed that I have never written on romance in this column. Well, that is because you cannot give what you do not have, or so I was made to believe. At my 40th birthday party long ago, I told my hosts (they actually organized it for me) that “my wife has been wonderful and most supportive, but she complains that I am not romantic.” They roared into laughter, while a friend jokingly commented that “how can she say you are not romantic, yet she is pregnant.” But you know even rape can result in pregnancy, yet rape is not romantic. I know that for a fact. In other words, sex can be romantic, but not all sex is romantic.

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After their 10 wedding anniversary, John and Rose’s seemingly rosy marriage was falling apart. John was tired of living a lie. He was determined to make the marriage truly happy or pack it up. He decided to start from where all sensible couples should: communication. They did not travel abroad or go to some exotic hotel or resort to do it; that is for people who have the means and time. They did it right there in bed where they have earlier had a grueling intimate moment (some call it grudge sex).

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“Forsaking all others”

Ruth is in a rude shock. She is bemoaning the fortune that came to them and “tore” her and her husband apart. Ruth, her husband, Gerald and four children, two boys and two girls, “were living happily in a three-bedroom flat where we cramped ourselves. Male visitors stayed in the boys’ room while female guests stayed with my daughters.”

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File: Family

Happy family day

Tomorrow, the world celebrates the World Family Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to draw attention to the importance of the family. The day was also declared in response to changing social and economic structures which have affected and still affect the structure and stability of families in Africa and other parts of the world. After God, the family comes next. It is good to have a successful career, hang out with the guys/girls, but nothing comes near the family. Great wealth without great children to manage it after your retirement/demise often becomes a term activity.

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Spouse stops drinking


We live in a free world, but virtually everybody is in one form of prison or the other. We are prisoners of nature and nurture. Nature refers to all of the genes and hereditary factors that influence who we are, while nurture refers to all the environmental factors that influence who we are. Nature is inherited from our parents, while nurture is environmental.

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Marriage is not a bed of roses

We live at a time and in a country where time-honoured clichés and sayings are being partly or totally debunked. For example, “the patient dog eats the fattest bone,” but many a time in Nigeria the patient dog meets an empty plate. At a seminar in a foremost hotel in Abuja, lunch was a buffet and participants were going table by table. My table was among the last and when I saw some people from my table shunting, I was disappointed, but by the time we got there, I understood why.

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