An administrator of a WhatsApp group added me by mistake… I mean she had not asked whether I wanted to join the group and after receiving a barrage of messages from people in the group, many of them total strangers, I wanted to tell the administrator to remove me from the group. But she is a friend and I can never envision myself doing such a thing. So I let it be. Today, I am a happy member of the group, a godsend; I call it.
The group talks about marriage. Sometimes a member sends a joke, but those are quickly sidestepped by tens of messages on marriage. A member raises an issue: What does a man want in a woman? What is it about women and their husbands’ phones? Is it true babies cry at night to prevent youfrom making another baby? Why do men cheat?… And a man will also ask, why do women cheat? Why is it so hard to laugh with a spouse the way we laugh with friends? In between someone will post a quote on marriage, or a clip or audio on marriage, sex, old age, finances, in-laws, exes, emotionalinfidelity and so forth, before a funny fellow posts a joke like the one below. Husband: Sweetheart, I’m going for a three-day church conference. Wife: OK; but let’s commit your journey into the hands of God in prayer. Husband: Lead us in prayer then. Wife: God grant my husband a great journey. Husband: (very loud) Ameeeeeeeen! Wife: Don’t grant his manhood erection if he tries to commit adultery. Husband: (silent). Wife: Don’t let him return safely if he manages to have extramarital affairs with other ladies. Husband: (sweating). Wife: In fact, Holy Spirit, kill him if he commits………….. Husband: Ohhhhhh! Shut up, it’s OK, I’m not going anymore because the Holy Spirit just told me that the conference has been cancelled. But even such jokes lead to yet another in-depth discussion. The point I have gotten since joining (thank God for my friend) is that people want to talk about marriage and to hear about it. Some of the members are just months into their marriages, a majority between one and seven years in marriage and few above that. As such, you pretty much get to hear from all ages how marriage is and should be. But the overriding message that I have gotten from this forum is that marriage matters a lot for many people and many want to be successful in their marriages. The news we watch on television, therefore, of man killing wife before committing suicide, woman slashing her husband with a panga, a married pastor caught pants down with a married woman in a lodging, or this and that “respected” couple filing for divorce, and more and more people opting to be single parents, is not anywhere near the real story of marriage. The true story is that majority of people want their marriages to last a lifetime. They are not getting into it on a trial basis. No! Many of us want it to work. Surprisingly even the man or woman who cheats on his or her spouse wants his or her marriage to work. Single men and ladies want to find a partner with whom they can start and build a lasting family. So, what’s the problem? Why is the marriage story told on television becoming like the true story? This forum has given me a possible answer. People are not talking enough about marriage. Couples are not sharing their experiences – good and bad – with others leading to a situation where a partner carries the burden alone without anyone else seeming to understand them. But since joining this group, I have discovered that my experience is not unique to me. So many couples are going through what I go through. When I open up, someone else offers their advice based on their experience. Here’s the secret, fellow brothers, why chama-going women always outlive their husbands: they talk and talk and talk. They discuss their marriages with other wome and therein get advised on how to handle these situations. Sometimes the advice is not the best, but it’s better to have an advice than none at all. So, can we all agree to talk about marriage in our workplaces and social sites and even in the bar? I think that will save a few marriages and make the strong ones blossom. So, go ahead and start your own WhatsApp group and raise any issues you have about your marriage.You will be glad you did!