As I sat on a chair studying Shakespeare one summer night, I came across Polonius’ advice to his son Laertes : “Neither A borrower nor a lender be.” And as I sat cogitating over the meaning of this expression, one of my distant cousins who was several years older than me – and had been recently divorced – entered my room. With awry smile she said: ” Why is it that, you men, whenever you need sex, you tend to behave like a dog upon whose back a bone broth has been placed; and after you achieve orgasm, you tend to neglect your partner…?”. I then asked myself : “What is in a loving relationship?”
One can imagine what a hungry dog does when a bone broth is placed on its back. For a moment, I neglected her and rather concentrated on what I had been reading. I was then naive about sex at the time and still lacked a firm grip on the rules of the game. Moreover, I saw her interference as a distraction. As she sat quietly looking at the rose flowers on top of the piano in the adjacent living room, she murmured: “These rose flowers are as old and tired as the piano itself.” I then sensed that she was about to change the topic of our conversation. I then feigned interest – putting away my book – asking her to repeat what she had said previously.
Her Husband Was Boring And Unromantic
Despite the pleas to my cousin, she refused to repeat her earlier statement. To my utter dismay, she stormed out of my room and slammed the door behind her – thinking I did not lend her a pathetic ear. After this incident, the cognitive wiring in my brain began to transmit a rather high voltage that transformed my entire evening. And, instead of reconsidering Polonius’ advice to his son Laertes, I rather found myself in a pensive mood – trying to figure out what my beautiful cousin had just said. After all, this had been a young and pretty woman who had just been divorced from a man several years older than her and who claims to be a marabout from West Africa. A marabout is a Muslim holy man or hermit, especially in North Africa.
Indeed, this marabout and my cousin never shared anything in common. So what exactly was in this marital relationship? Dreams and deception? Was it that my beautiful cousin had been ‘persuaded’ to marry this man? Was it that she married this man for his money or status? Did she leave her husband because her sex life was abysmal or was it that, it was this marabout who actually divorced her? She never did tell me anything about these lingering questions. I was too young to know these things. I was in a dilemma: I could not have asked her about her marriage, but in my young mind, I suspected “sex” was to blame. One thing I was so sure about was that – my cousins’s husband – that marabout – was as boring and as unromantic as a Church mouse!
Probing The Reason For My Cousin’s Unsuccessful Marriage
To me, the best way to probe the reason for her unsuccessful marriage was to draw a line from the past – when she ‘agreed’ to marry this man – to the time she made this statement to me. I then extrapolated from her statement that her sex life was one of the reasons (if not) the main reason that caused her to leave her husband or was she divorced? We must do our best to speak of the past, convey it, and remember it – in such a way that all lovers and married couples feel it is their responsibility to make sure mistakes done by others in their love lives – are not repeated.
What is important is to change people’s attitude toward love and marriage. How could such a pretty girl be ‘persuaded’ to marry a man she would have otherwise not marry? I knew she had been persuaded to marry this older man – for some reason or another. Is it not only in a corrupt patriarchal world that young and innocent girls would be ‘persuaded’ by even their mothers to marry men who are incompatible? A word for this marabout and his like: “Have you forgotten what your religion – Islam – requires of you as loving husbands?” Remember is not enough just to feed, clothe and provide accommodation for your wives – thinking of yourselves as men of “special virtue”. It is this type of attitude that make some women – who desire marriage – to rather spend their lives like birds on tree branches – not wanting to tie themselves down to a family.
Dreams And Deception
” I believed him, an innocent African girl lamented, when he said to me: ‘I could not have found a better lover had I searched the whole world for years on end.’ ” “Now just look at me, I ‘m pregnant and has tested positive to the HIV virus that causes AIDS…it is likely my child would be infected too…the worst thing is that, I have now been abandoned.” Unable to hold back tears that flowed freely down her cheeks, she continued: “When I insisted on using a condom, he assured me that I was his first love, and that he would never harm me because he loves me… I thought I would rather impress him and make him marry me by sleeping with him.”
In this poignant spectacle, this writer identified two victims – that miserable girl and “love”. Love had been misused in this circumstance. It was misused to exploit an innocent African girl by a powerful man. Another twenty-something year-old girl pleaded with her “boyfriend” in these words. ” if you really love me, why are you insisting that we have sex before marriage.” Her “boyfriend” replied: ” After we have sex, you will understand.” He then continued: The reason why I’m insisting we have sex before marriage is precisely because I love you.” (emphasis mine). He retorted bitterly.
So What Is In A Loving Relationship?
In the case of the former, who tested HIV positive, her “boyfriend” planted a seed of hope inside her tender and loving heart – by assuring her she was his first love, but before it (the seed of hope) took roots, weeds already flourished! She has now been left twisting in the wind – with a fully blown AIDS! In the latter case, the girl was rather lucky – she had resisted all of her “boyfriend’s” unnecessary sexual advances to the end – even at the risk of abandoning the relationship.