Is Your Dream Marriage Beginning To Fade? Part IV

[This post is a product of my own imagination. The names, characters, places and incidents are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.]

There was no denying the fact that something was terribly wrong between Temwani and Chisala. That sparkle and that glow which glistened in their marriage, radiating a profoundly deep affection for each other was evidently losing its lustre. The two of them were becoming more and more distant to each other. Heart-warming conversations, the infectious laughter, times of prayer together and the frequent outings had not only become rare, but if they did come, and far in between for that matter, they seemed dry and without much of the exhilaration and euphoria of earlier years.

If their friendship was getting a severe battering, much worse was their conjugal obligations to each other in the sexual realm. They both seemed to enjoy it less and less and it became somewhat of a dry routine that they had to get through with as quickly as possible.

For Chisala, she recoiled from it because she knew that her husband did not invest much into it. He was constantly submerged into his work and academic demands, and this distracted him from her. She felt left out of the picture altogether. In just under a year, she went from being a fulfilled wife to a woman who felt less and less loved and appreciated. At times, she felt like a single mother because her husband was absent so much of the time – absent even when he was physically present in the house. She felt isolated, and frequently broke down.

She loved her husband, and was devoted to their marriage, but life was becoming increasingly difficult for her, and for their son who rarely saw his dad. Most days, Temwani left home just before six in the morning, and many nights, he did not return until after twenty one hours.  God had created her with legitimate needs He intended to meet through her husband. And since Temwani was so absorbed outside the home, many of these needs went unmet.

She came to a point where she quit talking to her husband about her thoughts and feelings of isolation. It seemed useless. She had made suggestions, tried new approaches, pleaded with him many times, but nothing changed, for the good that is. To protect herself from feeling the hurt, she thought she should just give up on trying to influence change. But by building a wall of protection around herself, little did she realise that she was also locking her husband out. On the outside, she continued to be respectful and pleasant, but on the inside she knew the difference. There was more formality and distance. She never consciously thought about walking away from him, but she was becoming more and more emotionally disconnected from him.

She often recalled how she encouraged him to go for the MBA. They embarked into this phase of their life together as most couples do, with optimism and eyes wide open. But over time, the stress, separation, and loneliness began to wear her down emotionally and spiritually. She began to wonder whether her eyes were really wide open when she urged him to pursue his academic dream.

For Temwani, on the other hand, there was one primary pursuit in his life – to be done with the MBA in less than fifteen months, and nothing was to stand in his way from accomplishing his dream, not even his wife. When she talked about their disconnect, he often dismissed her concerns, and claimed she was just becoming a nagging wife. He often accused her of being a hypocrite who encouraged him to pursue something and was now reneging on that which she approved in the first place. He prided himself in the fact that he was doing this for the family, and she had no reasonable grounds to be stressed about this. His scholastic adventures captured his heart and became his treasure. He allowed his books, like a temptress, to lure him away. The love of his youth, was slowly and insidiously being replaced with coursework and learning.

As days trudged on, each day bringing with it new challenges on their already battered marriage, little did Temwani realise that the stress he was putting himself through, was leaving him vulnerable to many pressures and temptations. He could not admit to himself that he had become emotionally detached from his wife. He argued that this was a normal passing phase in life, and school comes with sacrifices, and it will soon be over. He reasoned that God understood the situation, and would not abandon him to self-destructive behaviour. After all, God’s goodness was already very clear in that he had been passing his modules with flying colours. What could possibly go wrong?

Yes, Good knew about his situation, and so did the archenemy of our soul. The malignant, and scheming devil. He always lurks in the shadows, waiting to pounce at an opportune time. And that time came rather stealthily.

The source of the trouble for Temwani came in the form of a female course mate by the name of Miyanda. They had struck up a conversation on the very first day of their evening lectures, aided by the fact that they sat next to each other, not by design of course. When Miyanda walked late into class that first night, the nearest empty seat was the one next to Temwani. Not wanting to walk all the way to the back of the class in her high heels, and disturb the class, she chose to sit next to Temwani.

Over the course of time, the two got to know each other. Temwani had the presence of mind to know that she was just like any other classmate. She was working for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Her husband of one year six months was one of the line managers at Zambian Breweries Plc. They lived in PHI. Miyanda was a beautiful lady. Her beauty came with a stunning, radiant smile, which she flashed about with effortless elegance. Her face gleamed with an infectious persona. Her eyes possessed a kind of luminous quality to them, making them look like they can glow in the night. Her voice resembled that of Chisala, with an enhanced musical quality to it.

Temwani soon discovered that she had no strong inclinations to religious things. She and her husband seldom went to church. “My husband gets very uncomfortable with this ‘born again’ stuff.” She told him one day. “So we just kind of go to church once in a while, especially where we can have a good time, some nice music and great motivation speeches that lift you up, instead of talking about sin and hell.”

“A lost soul indeed,” thought Temwani. He was very guarded in the way he related with her, and to his credit, often talked very fondly of his wife to her. The marital vows he made to Chisala still echoed in his mind, and he was cautious not to break them. He innocently gave her his business card, and she gave him hers, and text messages and e-mails from her soon became frequent. Initially, it was just hi, hi, and occasionally a question or two about school, but then, they started getting personal. “I have missed you, looking forward to seeing you in class this evening.”

Although Temwani was becoming uncomfortable with this kind of correspondence, he didn’t do anything decisive to stop this, so she felt encouraged to keep writing, and each new message more intimate than the previous one. One of the evenings after class, she told him that her husband was working out of town, and her car was in the garage for service. “Can I ask for a ride home?” She asked, and then quipped in, “and I will not take no for an answer?”

“But, but, but your house is way past ours, remember I, I, I live in Foxdale” Temwani stammered. “Can I ask George…we were together at UNZA, he lives in Avondale, and he can drop you off at PHI.” “No, my dear, it is you Temwani I have asked, and Temwani it is to take me home.” She said, authoritatively, while poking her finger in his chest. That evening, she was wearing a very tight skirt, way above her knees, and that made Temwani very uncomfortable.       

Well, she got her ride from class at the Bank of Zambia building on Cairo Road, to PHI. “Do you know the other meaning for the initials MBA?” She quizzed him as they drove along. “May be not,” he responded.

“Ok. Do you want to know?” She asked. “Sure,” was his reply. “It means Married But Available,” she told him, with a chuckle in her voice. And, curious, he interrogated her, “and what is that supposed to imply?” “Ah, Temwani, you are doing a Masters, and you can’t figure out such an obvious thing?” As she spoke, she stretched her hand, and began to stroke his thigh. “Married But Available,” she whispered to him.

Temwani’s heart began to beat faster. Many thoughts flooded his mind. His mouth went dry. He forcibly pushed her hand from his thigh, and increased the speed of his vehicle. As they approached Arcades Shopping Mall, he pulled into Ody’s Filling Station on the left side of the road, and abruptly stopped the car. “Can you get out of my car,” he bawled at her. Shocked, she asked, “Why?” “I said get out of my car,” he repeated. She was still seated there, shell-shocked.

He got out of his car, went round the vehicle, opened her door, and told her to get out. He handed her a K50, 000 note, and asked her to get a taxi to PHI. She was still protesting and wanted to know why he was kicking her out of his car.

At that very moment, Temwani’s phone rang. He reached into his pocket to get the phone…it was Chisala, his wife.


Post a Comment