Mudipapa: Walking through marital differences – Francis Ewherido
By Francis Ewherido
One day, Jacob Emoregbe called Mudipapa. Jacob was Mudipapa’s protégé before his retirement. After the formalities, he requested to see Mudipapa. “But Agbara is far from Lekki,” Mudipapa reminded Jacob. “Can’t we talk over the phone?” Jacob insisted on seeing Mudipapa. He shrugged and gave him an appointment.
“Bose has completely gone gaga,” Jacob started after the initial pleasantries. “Jacob, that is a very harsh way to describe your wife. Is she walking the streets naked,” Mudipapa asked. “No, sir,” Jacob responded. “ So what exactly is the issue?” Mudipapa probed further.
“Ok, it all started when Bose started attending a different church service. Normally, we all attend the 7am service. But about a year ago, Bose started feigning tiredness. She’d tell me that she will attend the 9am service on Sundays.
She knows I prefer the early morning service. Later, I found out she has left the Anglican Church and was attending another church about a kilometre away from our church. When I confronted her, she did not deny.” What reason did she give?” Mudipapa asked. “None, she just said she’s done with the Anglican Church. Look at the embarrassment this woman is causing me.
How can my wife be attending another church? I, Knight of St. Christopher?” “There we go again; instead of finding the root cause of his marital problems, he is worried about the embarrassment his wife is causing him as a knight,” Mudipapa said to himself.
Jacob interrupted his thoughts. “Bose has become very rebellious. Whatever I say or do, she takes a contrary position. When Junior was to start secondary school, we almost fought. I wanted the young man in the boarding house, but Bose would have none of it. She wanted to tie him to her apron strings.
These squabbles have become daily occurrences and they are taking a toll on my life, work, love life, spiritual life; everything,” Jacob lamented. “Have you tried discussing these issues with Bose? Mudipapa asked. “She is not saying anything. She just grumbles about everything. If I sit on the bed after she has made it, she complains. She complains that I litter the room after she has arranged it. She even complains about how I squeeze the toothpaste. Her cooking is not as delicious as it used to be. It is all so frustrating. Fifteen years after, marriage is beginning to taste like paper in my mouth.”
“Jacob, stop getting worked up. My wife and I are visiting Mado in two weeks and we shall spend the weekend in Agbara. I will see both of you,” Mudipapa consoled him.
Two weeks later, Mudipapa was with Jacob and Bose. “Bose, how has it been?” Mudipapa asked “Fine, sir,” she responded. “You’re not a good girl o! Since we moved to Lekki, we don’t hear from you anymore,” Mudipapa queried her.
“You Know Lekki is far from Agbara, sir.” “Oh, too far to call?” Mudipapa asked. “Sorry, sir,” Bose apologized. “So, what has been happening to you?” Mudipapa probed. “Not much, sir. Just going through the routine,” she answered. “Jacob said you left the church without telling him,” Mudipapa stepped up. “It’s the same God we are worshipping, sir.” She shrugged. “Yes, but when two people agree on something, both should also agree on changes,” Mudipapa told her. “Not when you are meant to be seen, not heard, sir,” Bose replied. “Now we are getting somewhere,” Mudipapa said to himself.
From the discussions that followed, Jacob took unilateral decisions without consulting Bose. She got pissed off and decided to ‘retaliate.’ “You see, marriage is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. It is apparent that both of you are enduring this marriage. You are barely tolerating each other. If you continue this way, you will wake up one day and realise that there is nothing left of your marriage, not even bones. By the way, when was the last time you had sex?” Mudipapa asked. “I don’t keep a register, sir,” Bose responded and sarcastically gestured at Jacob.
“It has been a long while, over six months, sir,” Jacob responded soberly. “But it’s not as if she asked and I declined,” he rationalized. “Look at you, have I been the one initiating it,” Bose shot back. “And will the heavens fall if you initiated love making, Bose?” Mudipapa asked. Bose was mum.
“Now, before I continue, I want to ask a question: Jacob, do you still love your wife?” “Of course, I do, sir,” he responded. “What about you, Bose.” She bowed and when she raised her head, tears were rolling down her cheeks. EseOghene offered her tissue paper. After a while, Mudipapa insisted she answered the question verbally, because the tears were ambiguous. After a long while she responded: “Heaven knows I love Jacob.”
“People who love each other do not inflict so much pain on each other the way you have done. In marriage, differing opinions are inevitable, but they need not graduate to irreconcilable differences or you will be courting break up. You have to learn to live happily with your differences… But that does not mean you should be afraid of confrontation. Confrontations are part and parcel of marriage. Some of the hottest sex between couples usually take place after confrontations.” Mudipapa looked the way of EseOghene mischievously. “Why are you looking at me like that, Mudipapa? Rotten old man.” For the first time since the session started, there was laughter; everybody exploded into laughter. Mudipapa spent the next one hour counselling Jacob and Bose.
“Now have I spoken to somebody?” Mudipapa asked when he was done. “Of course, you have,” Jacob and Bose chorused in unison. Now, let’s move to the dinning area so that mummy can delight us with her delicious cuisine.” They spent the next hour eating and chatting away more than half of the time. It was apparent that Jacob and Bose had not only starved themselves of sex, they had also starved themselves of companionship. After the meal, hand in hand, they thanked Mudipapa and EseOghene profusely for their intervention and the meal.
“Now,” Jacob said, “we need to get home and confirm whether the hottest sex actually takes place after a confrontation.” They all roared into laughter. “Mudipapa, you are not the only filthy man here after all,” EseOghene said and more laughter followed. “I would have offered you the spare room, but after over six months without sex, I am afraid you might break my bed,” Mudipapa added. At this stage, Bose collapsed into Jacob in laughter.
This is the last excerpts from Life Lessons from Mudipapa on this column. The book is out and you can order at mudipapa65gmail.com or +2348186535360 (for SMS)