My wife was going to be graduating from the Integration School of our Church. That’s the platform where new members are introduced to the basics of the faith and the vision of the Church.
Few days to the graduation, she noted that she’ll like to have a new attire for the graduation. I promised to get her one that day without fail. So while she was away at work, I went to a popular market in our city to get the fabric.
I left the market and dropped the fabric off at the tailor’s place, paid for the sewing and then I started my way back to my office warming up to face the humongous work waiting for me.
I was already close to the office when I descended a slope close to a mini roadside market. I suddenly heard a loud bang. As my eyes opened, I realized that my vehicle had veered off the road and hit a car parked by the road side. Everywhere was up in dust. Immediately, a large crowd surrounded the vehicle. It was like a dream. I couldn’t believe I was the dramatis personae.
It was then I realized I had dozed off behind the steering for a few seconds. The AC was still on, everywhere cold. I guess my tiredness plus the AC had been responsible for the dizziness. My car was badly damaged. The car I hit was badly damaged. It was a miracle that human beings were not affected. Someone who would have been hit stepped away from that very spot some few seconds before.
As I alighted from the vehicle and everyone was asking for what happened, I was too ashamed to tell them. How do you tell people you dozed off? This was my 17th year of driving. Such a thing had never happened to me before. I was thoroughly humbled.
When I finally got home after a long day of negotiating with the third party car owner and the technicians who will fix the cars, I returned home unable to tell my wife what had happened. She asked how my day went, I simply said, “fine.” I didn’t know what her response would be. Would she be able to receive the news? Will she adopt the mistake as hers or blame me? I was already a bruised reed; I was too afraid of any further breaking. It is humiliating enough that “a whole me” – there is nothing like that by the way – dozed off behind the steering and nearly killed pedestrians.
Then, the repairs was going to cost us a lot of money. Family money that ought to be used for other urgent needs.
The following day on her way to work she saw the damaged vehicle on her own and came to ask me what happened. “Yes, I had a little accident, but never mind, the insurance company will fix the car. I’ve gotten in touch with them.”
“How did it happen? Explain to me the details.” It took me another twenty four hours of her persistent asking to tell her exactly what led to the accident.”
She took a deep breath, thanked the Lord for His deliverance and encouraged me. Asked about the steps being taken to fix the vehicles. No blame game. No review in the immediate. She later suggested I get some chewing gums and put them in the car to chew in order to prevent such dizziness in the future. I obeyed ???. And when I drove her subsequently, she didn’t start saying, “Mr. Man, hope your eyes are clear o.” She trusted I had enough sense to also ensure such a thing never repeats itself. We’ve done several interstate travels since then and sometimes, she sleeps very soundly as I drove for hours. What an implicit faith!
I later told her I was quite impressed with the way she responded to the entire issue. She adopted the mistake as hers. Thank God I had shown her that example prior. If I had been a critical person in her own past errors, it would have been my turn for serious lashing. And this is the fastest way for the love a couple has towards each other to transmogrify into hatred.
But note that the repairs cost us over #200,000 (Nigerian Naira of early 2022). Scarce resources that ought to go into other urgent family projects. It then means that sometimes, a wife may be drinking “garri” instead of eating chicken for a mistake she made no contribution to at all. Some mistakes of our spouses can cause huge economic losses or other forms of losses or pain that we’ll both have to bear for months and sometimes years; and yet there must no be no complaining or blaming. We must stand with each other all through the repercussion, the pain and the loss!
When they made progress we also shared in the progress. When they had a pay increase, we spent in the money. When they experienced other blessings, we enjoyed the blessings. Now, they’ve made a grave mistake that will affect us deeply, we must share in that too. We didn’t complain when it was a blessing. We mustn’t complain now. After all, marriage is not only for better, it is also for worse!
Through the stretch of the long years ahead of us in matrimony, we must prepare our hearts for errors, mistakes and omissions that our spouses will make which we will adopt as ours eventhough it will affect and inconvenience us greatly. Our destiny is already inseperably joined.
But one thing is sure, if we stand with each other through thick and thin, by the time we overcome those challenges, our bond would have been stronger; our love would have been fresher; our value for each other would have doubled; we would have literally become inseperable.
But certainly, marriage is not for babies. It’s for men and women who are strong at heart. For to succeed, it requires a lot of absorbent capacities.
May we succeed throughout the future.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org