A marriage is about to crash. I have tried to prevent that but the couple won’t listen to me. The man insists on the biblical injunction “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is appropriate for those who belong to the Lord.”
I advised him that the popular admonition doesn’t end there. It is one-sided without “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them”.But he is like, “how do I love a woman who treats me with contempt?”
I have learned to tread carefully in such situations. The strategy has been more of diplomacy and prayers for the beautiful couple. I got that from the experience of a friend who tried to settle the fight between a couple who were his co-tenants. He restored peace or so he thought, but he was shocked to overhear the husband pleading frantically with the wife to ignore the peacemaker who had blamed her for the crisis.
He said he heard his friend say, “My dear, don’t mind David. He didn’t have to blame you because it was all my fault. I fully accept the blame. Please forgive me.”
Amply advised by the incident, he kept away from their regular fighting. Did the marriage thrive on falsehood? It didn’t. It crashed 13 months after David’s experience.
That is my fear for the bible-quoting husband. I sense a strong ego issue. In the last couple of months, the woman has become very popular on her job and has been enjoying accolades from her numerous fans. Of course, some men among them want something more from the increasingly glamorous woman. They would do everything to sleep with her.
That is where she failed to draw the line. Drunk on the accolades, she became intolerant of her husband and snapped easily at him.
The difference she is blind to is that while these other men want to have a taste of her and move on, the man at home offers more than that. He is committed to her and has agreed to take her with all her baggage. Some women have loads of them.
Ego issues are often left out in the flaws of celebrity marriages. Like in Hollywood, so it is Nollywood. In a publication on my desk, I have just counted 22 crashed celebrity marriages in Nigeria over the last few years.
The transient nature of celebrity marriages is one reason I respect Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha so much. She is a beautiful and great actress who has been able to sustain her marriage for over a decade. I think she should be taken seriously when she says “I have learnt a lot from being a married woman because it only takes the Grace of God for two people who are completely different to stay together for the rest of their lives. One major thing I have learnt is patience and perseverance. My husband and I not only see ourselves as being married, we are also friends”.
More than lust and chemistry
A related reason for the flimsiness of celebrity glamour is the futility of letting infatuation and chemistry drive a relationship. Endorphins and the hormone oxytocin are powerful forces when sexual chemistry is strong. This intense feeling convinces the couple that this must be the right one. An expert who makes this point, cites the Tom Cruise example. Tom said in an interview about Katie, his former wife, “I’ve never felt like this before!” To experts that implied, “I must have this woman right now!”
Although they are exciting, many celebrities are not considered good marriage materials by their in-laws. The women among them are stigmatized as glorified prostitutes and the men, skirt-chasers.
Besides, rather than listening to their families and working through marriage challenges with them, celebrity couples often take the path of least conflict – leaning into the relationship and defending their weakness. But an expert pointed out “without openness and support from family and friends the things that are wrong with a relationship become worse and the access to help decreases. On the positive side, if we have the support and approval of our families it is a real benefit during hard times.”
Generally, most celebrity marriages are based on faulty premises, flimsy and very perishable emotional factors. For most of the reasons cited above, the parties don’t run proper checks. An added reason for this is inexperience, (which is why the involvement of biological and spiritual parents is important) or the fear of expiring on the shelf, as it applies to women.
All relationships are prone to challenges. It is the bile of the sweetness of love. But rather than live through it and learn, celebrities tend to dash to exit door. With plenty of money and fame to spend, they choose to escape reality and start new relationships.
Life is about choices. Relationships should add value and not to ruin life. The flaws of celebrity marriages are some of life’s richest lessons. The very bad cases like the 72-day marriage of Kim Khardashian and Kris Humphrey teach as much as Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha’s