by Tayo Fasuan
I just got home some minutes ago, and if you know the speed with which I was driving, you would think demons were chasing me. I was mindful of the time and how worried and silently annoyed wifey would be. As I was driving, I remembered my past and who I was. And I quietly sighed.
You see, I wasn’t really a club man during my bachelor days. But I was literally what you would call a nightcrawler. I loved going out at night. By nine o’clock at night, day just broke. And with my all-star snickers on my feet and enough fuel in my car, the night life of Ibadan was my vision and mission.
I like the fun that night offered: the blowing of wind, the streetlights, the semi-empty road, the sights of guys and girls holding hands and doing lovers’ stuff. All these were simply irresistible to me, and if you could not roll with me at nights, then you couldn’t roll with me at all. It was that bad. Even when I was dead broke, I would still take a stroll through my street to the express of Old Bodija to sightsee and get fresh air.
Now, look at me. 7pm these days, I’m usually nicely seated playing with the kids in the sitting room while wifey cooks in the kitchen. I can hardly remember when I purposefully go out to come back late at night. In fact, I don’t even nightwalk anymore not to talk of nightcrawl.
Hey, it wasn’t that my wife stopped me. She tried to fit into that lifestyle, but she couldn’t. Even when courting, whenever she visited and I took her to watch football matches, I would end up missing the entire second half because she would have dozed off, and I had to take her home. She preferred us going out to buy the suya, asun, shawarma and pepper soup, and bring them home to consume instead of devouring them onsite.
Gradually, consciously and irresistibly, I was adjusting to her demands and needs. It wasn’t easy, but I adjusted. In fact, I compromised so much that I sometimes wonder if I had a past life without her. If I, a person with a compulsive disorder for orderliness could ever be like this, living with a woman who believes some clothes here and some shoes there add to the fun of a home, then marriage indeed is the biggest compromise ever for any man and woman.
It’s not easy, I know. That’s why a lot of people are either getting divorced or refusing to even marry sef. But, marriage is the only type of partnership and association where any perceived ‘punishment’ is balanced by a ‘reward’.
I heard a story last week that made me sad and concerned about unmarried people with too many principles and standards. The lady allegedly broke up with her fiancé because he suggested something that was against her religion ethics. The fellow wasn’t even given a chance to defend himself before he was called a pretender and given the boot.
It saddens me because most people do not know that for two people of different background and upbringing to decide to stay together forever, till death do them part, it requires a lot of mental, social and physiological preparedness which could only be achieved by coming down to the level of the other person or bringing them up to your level.
In marriage, you either walk the whole way to meet him/her or the two of you would decide to meet halfway. In most cases, the latter is often the commonest, and it requires a level of maturity and humility to both agree on some issues which had hitherto been a rigid rule in one’s life.
Don’t get me wrong. In most cases, no discussion is ever had. In fact, most times, it might be through arguments and quarrels that most of these compromises are reached. Eventually, after so many tries, you would realize that some things could be changed, others couldn’t and some only halfway.
Of course, the compromise is both ways. My wife too compromised a lot for me. She brought her sense of dressing right up to my high standard. She dropped her religious fanaticism and she also learnt to keep our secrets. It wasn’t easy for her too, but we’ve quickly learnt that this lifetime contract that we signed is going to involve lots of sacrifices, and we are fully committed to it.
Besides, we are moulding ourselves into what we want each other to be, and what more could be exciting than that? We keep changing and influencing each other’s lives in so many positive ways, and we are still going strong.
Of course, you shouldn’t compromise your faith in God for anything. But with adequate talking, sharing of knowledge and rubbing of mind, new enlightenment would be achieved that will increase the faiths of both of you.
Finally, don’t go into marriage thinking you cannot change or be changed, or that your principle is supreme, or that you can’t bend. If you still have this mindset, then marriage is not for you. You can simply go and get married to your rigid principles and stop wasting your time looking for Mr./Mrs. Right. It’s that simple.