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Latent interference – Francis Ewherido

It is ever present at weddings. If it does not come up during sermons in the church, it will come up during the reception. I am talking about advice to new couples not to allow family, friends or others get involved in their marriage. Often those advising do not distinguish between interference and intervention. It is a blanket non-involvement of outsiders in the new marriage.


I always like to distinguish between interference and intervention because there is a little but significant difference between the two words. On the one hand, interference means, “to meddle,” “to obstruct a process,” “be a hindrance.” Intervention, on the other hand, means “mediation,” “to come in as an extraneous factor.” It goes without saying that interference is bad, but intervention is good. Some newlyweds need intervention from time to time while they are maturing because it could just be the critical difference between success and failure of their marriages.

But even when people advise against interference, they focus mainly on physical and obvious interference: Parents trying to run their married children’s homes and lives, siblings becoming alternate government in their brothers’/sisters’ homes and friends who forget their buddy is now married. The silent but deadlier form of interference is often ignored. It is deadlier because it is there but invisible; you never get to notice it, but you just find out one day that it has wrecked havoc in/on your marriage. I am talking about latent interference:

One, anybody who provides you an escape route from your marital challenges ALL the time, is latently interfering in your marriage. In marriage, you teach people how to fish, not giving them fish. Teach people how to confront their marital challenges, not helping them confront them. Marriage is a cage; stay in there and solve your problems. Ninety per cent of the marriages you see today will be no more if there were easy escape routes. So, continue to dialogue, continue to resolve conflicts, continue to forgive and continue to learn how to live together happily. It is never ending.

Two, anybody of the opposite sex, who lavishes you with compliments ALL the time, is latently interfering in your marriage. Wetin e see for another man/woman wife/husband body? Tragically, spouses of such people are pining for the minimum attention, yet they do not get it. Such people practice Afghanistanism; they are ministers of external affairs. Their eyes are always outside on other people’s spouses. Be wary of such men/women; many of them are predators.

Three, a male colleague in the office, who deliberately goes about with a bulge to distract female colleagues, is latently interfering in your marriage; ditto for a female colleague who leaves nothing to imagination and in fact, flaunts it before male colleagues.  In flaccid state, 99 per cent of manhoods can easily be parked away and prevented from being “public nuisance.”

The owners of the remaining one percent XXXL can wear long tops or baggy trousers if they really mean well. But if they are out for mischief, married woman, train your eyes to mind your business. You know what you have at home; a trial of an external XXXL can easily become a permanent distraction and the road to ruin. Be on your guard.

Four, my people say you do not use another person’s eyes to x-ray, appraise or determine how you live your life; you use your own eyes. In other words, you view issues from your own perspective. It is good to listen to advice, but ultimately, work with that which falls within your latitude of acceptance, core values, environment and circumstances.

A young lady was just graduating when she got married. She subsequently got a job. Over time she rose in her job and became very comfortable. That was when the mother came in with an advice. “You know I slaved with your father to build his empire. When the money started coming in, his people advised him to take a chieftaincy title. Soon, they said monogamy is an aberration for a titled chief like him.

That was how your stepmother came to reap where she did not so! My daughter, you may support your husband, but keep separate accounts.” Now what do you think will happen if the son-in-law wants joint accounts, but the wife swallows the mother’s advice hook, line and sinker? How can the mother use her husband as a basis for judging the son-in-law? Does the husband’s blood run in the son-in-law’s veins? No be only son-in-law the young man be? You can see the mother did not obviously interfere in the marriage, but she has planted a potential time bomb.

Five, it is good to meditate, read, listen and observe, but what you think about, read, hear and watch can easily interfere in your marriage latently. Couples kiss each other goodnight lovingly and go to sleep, but one wakes up a monster the next day. As we say in marine insurance, there was a “loss of specie,” overnight; that is, your spouse is not the same person you beheld last night; he/she has fundamentally changed all of a sudden.

Six, friends and family members, who spend hours on the phone with your spouse ALL THE TIME, are latently interfering in your marriage.  Often, dinner is served late due to Berlin Conferences (long telephone conservations); children’s school assignments are left undone and the other spouse is shut out a lot of the time. I come from a closely-knit and loving family and I can tell you free of charge that this is latent interference, not love for siblings.

Seven, I am out of space; add yours.

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