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Opinion

The Mystery Of The Heart

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Marriage

By Francis Ewherido

I was a very relieved man when I got married, especially to the one I loved and have deep feelings for. The love and feelings remain deep. One of the irritants some of us had during our bachelor days was having deep feelings for girls who either could not reciprocate or did not even give a hoot about us.

To add to our frustration, we got loved by girls whose deep feelings we could not reciprocate. We were like “God, why don’t you just transfer the deep feelings Girl A has for me to Girl B, who I have deep feelings for, but is not reciprocating, so that I can just get married and move on with my life.”

I am not sure God answers such prayers of “transfer of love.”

But once in a while, some of us did meet girls who also had deep feelings for us. Some of these relationships with mutual feelings eventually hit the rock, while some led to marriage. I guess even in our sinfulness, God’s mercy was still very present with us.

Some of these marriages are still waxing stronger like old wine. But some of those who went ahead to marry those they did not have deep feelings for out of sympathy have a different story to tell. Those who forced themselves on their current spouses, using traps like money and pregnancy also have different stories to tell. It takes fundamental love for a loving marriage to endure. Every marriage goes through turbulence. Among other factors, fundamental love helps it to overcome the turbulence.

 That is partly why I can never understand how any normal person can go into a marriage where it is obvious from the beginning that your spouse will not love, celebrate, respect and honour you. These are some of the fundamental ingredients of a happy marriage. It is foolish to go ahead and get married when there are red flags like these.

Unfortunately, this foolishness is driven by desperation, and desperation is more blinding than river blindness.

But history keeps repeating itself. Many of those coming behind have learnt nothing from those ahead of them. They still want to get married to people who do not have deep feelings for them and vice versa. And when they are rebuffed or jilted, they dig themselves into a mess because of desperation, anger and sometimes unforgiveness.

Recently, I read a story of a lady who poisoned and killed her herself and her former boyfriend, a week to his (former boyfriend) wedding to another lady. What message was she sending? If I cannot have you, no one else will.

You take your own life because a man jilted you? What foolishness? The man was never meant for you in the first place, that was why he left you. As we say in Warri, water when you go drink nor go pass you. I have said it before, I believe that for every woman who is destined to get married, God created a man for her.

It is your responsibility to pray for God, to lead you to that man through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When you meet that your prospective husband, no woman, born of a woman, can take him away from you. So, those men and women committing suicide because of the loss of a lover are just killing themselves for nothing.

Do not get me wrong, being jilted is traumatising; it can lead to suicidal tendencies. I have been there before and I know the pains and agony first hand. But I also know that nothing lasts forever and time heals.

When you get jilted, even in your pains and agony, give God thanks giving, because we are admonished to praise God in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Having done your thanksgiving, turn to God; He is a great burden carrier, if you take refuge in him (Matthew 11:28). Finally, God has a way of replacing what you lost with something equally good or better. There is absolutely no need to kill yourself or maim, poison or burn a lover who dumped you.

The best and sweetest form of revenge is to be successful. Become the rejected stone that became the cornerstone. That is best form of revenge for anybody who rejected you, whether in a relationship or other aspects of life.

Rather than wallow in self-pity, build yourself, improve yourself, work harder, get better. It is a sacrilege for anyone who rejected you to meet you where he left you after a while. Success is from God and he gives it liberally. God uses people to bring others success, but if the person he sent to you refuses, God will either force him like he did with Jonah or fleshen dry bones to get it done (Ezekiel 37). Why will you commit suicide or homicide because someone rejected you? Is that person God? Does He have the final say?

Bad as being jilted is, young people must realise that being jilted is nothing new. It has been with man from time. Sometimes, it is just a mystery of the heart. At other times, it is just the heart of man being desperately wicked. Jeremiah 17:9 captures it succinctly, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick, who can understand it?” 

While I was growing up, I heard the stories of artisans who sent their fiancées to the university. The thinking was that it is not good for both husband and wife to be uneducated. By the time the women graduated, they refused to marry the men who sponsored their education. There were also women who took care of the home and supported their husbands for higher education. By the time they came back, the husbands dumped them because they were “beneath their new status.”

Some of these women were lucky to remain in the marriage while their husbands married second wives who “matched” their new status. Nothing is new under the sun. Your life is precious. Do not waste it because of a man/woman who cannot love and appreciate you.

The last word is for people who kill or maim former lovers. The truth is you are not marriage materials. Marriage is an institution where you forgive, forgive and continue forgiving. And you do not get into marriage before you learn the act of forgiveness.

It is a habit you should bring into marriage. So if you do not know how to forgive, marriage is not for you. Second, love partly means protection. You protect what you love. If you can kill or maim someone because he/she jilted you, then you never really loved him/her before; your feelings were different. Some married people, who were jilted by their exes before they got married to their spouses, still maintain cordial relationships with these exes. They wish them well. It does not matter how the relationships ended.  Whatever happened is in the past.

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