THE LOVE TANK
Written By: Oyekunle Lizzy Oyebola
“She is a nag despite the fact that I give her everything she asks for!” Dan said and I smiled as I made my documentation.
“The last time I went to Dubai, I got her an iphone 7. Ask her now that where is it and you will hear what will shock you!” He said and I looked into his face, really concerned
My friend looked really pained!
I could read in his eyes that he wanted it to work but all seemed to fail.
“When I went to India too for a conference, though those stuffs cost me almost a million rupees, I got her about ten different complete original sarrees. I have never seen her wear one since I got them!”
My mouth watered at that!
Oh my God!
I so much loved them.
“I got my wife a washing machine but now I feel that that is the worst mistake I have ever made in life!” He said as he shook his head and I looked into his face intently for more explanation
“Of course Zee! I get home and find the whole room littered with those precious clothes. Its very painful! The children look unkempt, my wife looks very unkempt, the whole room looks very disorganized!”
I smiled as I had always known that the point he had just made was a major problem in their marriage.
“If I had not bought the washing machine, maybe she would have been washing. If she washes, nothing will litter the whole house” He said and looked up at the ceiling and then fumbled with his wristwatch for a while
“Tell me more!” I said and he shot me a look of depression
“Zee, the summary of the whole thing is that I am losing it! I am losing it so much that it hurts me! I am losing it so much that I don’t know what else to do!”
“The worse thing is that my wife understands it all! She is a virtuous woman! That is what she tells me!”
“Have you prayed about it?” I asked and he smiled sadly
“What are you saying? I have prayed, fasted and cried to God, yet nothing has changed!”
“You don’t think you should talk to her about it? You are her husband. You should be best friends” I said and he gasped sadly
“I had my beautiful plans about the married life. As I sit before you Zee, I have many challenges that I am passing through which I want to share with my wife but she is not there for me! I keep them in! They are killing me!”
“Why can’t you talk to her about all these?” I asked . He paused and buried in his head in his hands
“She doesn’t listen! She can’t listen to me! I know Debbie had always been so high minded about herself but I thought she would change in marriage! I was wrong!” He said as tears gathered in his eyes
“Check through your deepest heart and tell me sincerely. Do you still love Debbie?” I asked and he opened his mouth in shock as he shook his head
“Its a hard question Zee! I don’t know if I do!” He said and I smiled
“I give you about ten minutes. How do you think Debbie has changed?”
He closed his eyes and tears strolled down after some minutes
“She has changed greatly Zee!” His eyes were still closed as I watched him swallow
“She tells me daily that I am lucky to have her. I told her that many times during courtship, fine! But is she supposed to remind me daily especially when I don’t see the reason for her specialty anymore?” He said and I smiled sadly as I wrote down
“She dresses shabbily, ties wrapper, with her hair unkempt! My wife could bare her whole chest while feeding her baby even in front of our visitor without shame! It makes me go crazy, Zee!” He places his head on my table and coughs for a while
“The house is dirty and the children are dirty too. I hate my mum coming to the house because they will fight! Just like me, my mum loves a very clean house and I hate it when they fight! I should be behind my wife to support her but whatever mum complains of is actually very true! What do I do then? If you check the freezer, its a horrible sight! What of the store room? No organization in there!”
“Another problem is the children!” He added almost immediately
“The children?” I asked for clarification and he looked up at me with his blood shot eyes
“Zee, as much as I hate to admit it, I see my children as threat to our marriage!” He said and I looked into his face for more
“If my wife and I have an issue or the other, she picks her children and starts singing Asa’s song in a remodified way. Tori Omo mo n jiya nile oko… bla bla bla! Who does that Zee? Who does?! What suffering is it that her marriage to me is dishing her? What?” He was almost shouting angrily.
“Do you help with house chores?” I asked and he looked into my face
“I don’t help with house chores! I do the chores! All of them! My wife only cooks for her children and sit before the Television all day”
“Oh! You don’t eat at home?” I asked and he laughed in a funny way
“Eat at home? Nah!” He shook his head and I looked dumbfounded
“When I wake at 6, my wife is on the bed still having a serious devotion in her war room. By the time I am leaving at around 7.30, I knock on her war room and she waves as me as she mutters her prayers and shakes her head deeply in prayer.”
“When I get to work, I take breakfast and lunch and get shawarma or steak on my way back for dinner”
“It is well” I said and he shook his head
“How about your sex life?” I asked and he hissed a bit
“I can’t say anything about that” He said and just then, I saw the curtain under which I had hidden Debbie shake.
I was disappointed because I had told her to just listen and no matter how heated up the conversation was, she shouldn’t respond.
“You can never be able to say anything about that Dan! You never can!” She said as she pointed her finger at his face
Dan was shocked to see her and I tried to explain by signalling that he should calm down.
“I am so sorry for barging into the discussion and making you lose confidence in me Zoe! But I had to give him the instant reply here once and for all” She said as she faced me
As she explained, the veins on her neck competed for prominence
“Dan, you know how to paint me black so that when your hearers hear, I will be seen as the wicked one, right? Why didn’t you mention all of your bad stuffs too?” She asked and there was silence as Dan’s head remained bent
At last, he looked into her face
“Just give me one bad stuff I have done to you since we got married” He asked and I waited for her answer
“I will give you a millio!” She shouted back and he nodded
“Zee, you have enjoyed the bad stories about me but listen clearly to all of his too” She said, her voice becoming shaky already
“Dan does not have time for me. He buys Iphone and a car and clothes and shoes and bags and kitchen gadgets and all. Fine, they are all good but I didn’t marry those things. I married him!” She said and I smiled as I started getting where the problem lied.
“He complains that I don’t take care of the house and all of that. Zee, I am a nursing mother with three healthy kids. It is not easy taking care of these children but despite all these, I still take time to disinfect our room and make sure the room is good looking”
“Who cares if the room is clean as long as the other rooms are not?” He asked and I smiled
“I care! I doubly care!” She retorted
“I don’t care! I want the whole house clean!” He shouted back
“You can’t kill me. I can’t take care of the three kids and still do all those!” She screamed back and he shook his head
“When last did you clean Debbie? I clean the whole house. I mop and cook and clean and I have not died Mrs. Nursing mother!”
“Yes, you have issues with the love I shower on my kids but that is your problem Dan! If I don’t find joy in my so called husband, won’t I look for the joy elsewhere? Won’t I?” She was growing so angry and her face looked hurt
“Debbie, can you sit down please?” I asked and I was surprised as she sat down without any argument. I saw as she wiped her face and knew she was hiding her tears
“Debbie, were you crying?” I asked and she looked so mad as if to chop my head off
“Cry? Because of a man? God forbid!” She said and I smiled
I knew she was lying
“If your husband hurts you, why can’t you cry and show your emotions?” I asked
“Does he show emotions in front of me too? Who cares? Those without husbands are surviving! I will survive!” She said, her voice shaking
“You sound hurt. You still love Dan, right?” I said just to push her near the wall again and she really fell into my trap as she stood up and faced me with her red eyes, her stressed neck and angry face
“Zee, stop all these! On whose side are you here? How will I be hurt because of a man that does not care? I hate when a man thinks highly of himself! My joy is not in his hands. My joy is in the hands of the Almighty God!” She said and I knew where the problem lied.
I just wanted her to admit and say it.
“You still love Dan?” I asked and tears actually ran down her face at this point
“I thought you were a real lady but I was so wrong Zee! How can you ask me such a question in front of an egoistic man? Love is reciprocal. If a man loves you, you will definitely love him back and if he hates you, you hate him too! Simple!”
“How do you know that he hates you? He does a lot for you and even carries out some house chores for you. He gets you so many stuffs that some ladies are dying to…”
“That is their problem! I am not in lack! He knew the level in which he met me when he married me! I needed a man! A man that would love me greatly and show me. A man that would go on strolls with me and tells me he cares! A man that satisfies my needs. Such a man!” She said and wiped her tears. She faced him then and shook her head
“Don’t ever think I am crying for you! You are not a real man! You have failed!” She said and Dan shook his head
“You said a man who satisfies your needs. I think he does that abi?” I asked and she shook her head
“Zee, please stop all these talks! Is the material thing the only need of a woman? I can’t talk about this anymore” She said and picked up her bag again.
I knew she was avoiding saying that which I was trying to get from her.
I knew where the problem lay but I wanted her to say it!
As she approached the door again, trying to escape the burning furnace of discussion going on, I cleared my throat and faced Dan
“Dan, you have been very very wrong!” I said and that had a magical effect on her as she turned back and started walking back to me
“You are just making sense Zee! Tell him!” She said, very excited. Dan looked a bit lost. I faced Debbie too and smiled
“Debbie, you have been equally very very wrong!” I said and she stopped in her track
“Me?” She asked and I nodded. I signalled for her to sit and she obeyed
“Debbie, why do you think your husband sacrifices all he has to get you the best of all things? Especially the house chores equipment?” I asked and she smiled weirdly
“Pride! Thats the reason! Everyone must know he works with CBN. Even though he is not doing his normal stuff at home, his wife and children should look good so that he would be called responsible. That is kuku why!” She said and Dan shook his head
“You are wrong Debbie! Some people feel so loved when you do something for them. They are people whose love language is called Acts of Service. If you can clean the house for them, dress well, look beautiful, they feel loved and appreciated. They can give their whole lives to you in return. He wants that and to make you feel comfortable doing it for him, he gave you all you need” I said and Dan’s face lightened up as he pushed back his chair and started jumping
“You gorrit Zee! You gorrit!” He exclaimed and Debbie looked at him with disdain, her nose raised at him
Dan sat down some minutes after and smiled widely on and on
“But Dan, you have been wrong too! I said and his smile faded a bit
“When you realized that your wife is not taking care of the whole house but the room is sparkling clean, what do you think she is doing it for?” I asked and he looked lost
“I really don’t get what she tries to achieve by doing that. It feels very absurd to me” He said and Debbie hissed silently
“Dan, that is where her love is! Her love language is called quality time. She takes care of that room because that is the room she loves best. She wants both of you to sit down in there, gist about how the day went and have good quality intimacy and probably sex together.” I said and Debbie looked at me shyly, crossed her legs and looked to the other side of the office with a sly smile on her face.
I knew I got it!
“So, why wouldn’t she ask me ‘Hey, my hubby, lets have fun together o’ something as simple as that” He retorted and Debbie turned to look into his face in slow motion
“Dan, you are wrong! Very wrong! How can I as a woman stoop so low to demand sex from you? That’s not done!” She said and I shook my head
“Debbie, you are very wrong too! There is nothing wrong in initiating such a thing from your husband especially when it makes you feel loved.” I said and Dan spread his hands at me in agreement, a wide smile on his face
“But Dan, both of you actually have the problem I call communication gap. You both should be able to communicate your betrayal, lust, love, jealousy, fears, your emotions to your spouse. For instance, when you felt threatened by your children, telling your wife that ‘Darling, I feel jealous that these children are taking more of the time meant for me’ is not a bad idea. Is it?” I asked and Debbie started laughing
“Ask the yeye man o. He is always right!” Debbie said sarcastically and I smiled at the naughtiness of my friend.
The buzzer on my table rang and I knew it was time to close for the day
“You both have eaten deep into my time today o. You are owing us a whole deal o” I said as I started packing my stuffs
“Name your price, your excellency!” Dan said, smiling and Debbie’s face shone
“Igberaga! What are friends for nah?” She asked and I laughed
“I was just kidding. So, we have reached a successful point this evening. I am giving you what to do in a week. After that, come back and lets talk” I said
“Bring it on” Dan said, excitedly
“Erm, firstly, your children will have to go on a compulsory holiday away from your house for a week. You can bring them over to my house sha” I said and Dan nodded in the affirmative
“Ehn!” Debbie screamed and I smiled
“Secondly, for the first few days, you will take care of the house together. The walls, the floors and rooms, everywhere!” I said and Dan looked enthusiastic while Debbie looked lost in thought
“Thirdly, both of you will sit down at home alone, discuss deeply the matters that border on your love, the secrets you had both hidden, the crushes you had during the break, everything” I said and Dan smiled as he fumbled with a book on my table. He was enjoying it, I knew
“Fourthly, you both will go to the bookshop, get this book ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman and then, go to a resort and read quietly where there is no noise” I said as I picked my files
“Wow!” Dan exclaimed and Debbie looked at him with disgust
“That first one though!” Debbie said and I smiled
“Debbie, its just a prescription. Just like drugs prescribed by a doctor, it is not to be used compulsorily. It is an advice you can decide to sweep under the carpet” I said and she scratched her hair, a small frown on her face.
“After that, you come back to me for an analysis after a week. Taken?” I asked and Dan clapped.
“But you just said it is not compulsory. Its just a prescription” She said with all firmness as if all we had been saying didn’t make sense
“Shall we pray?” I asked and we stood up. I made to hold Dan and Debbie’s hands but there was reluctance in Debbie holding Dan
“Debbie, hold Dan” I said
“Why must I make the first move?” She asked, almost irritated and I signalled for him to hold her. As he did, she gave him a look that almost sent even me packing
“Father we thank you!” I started praying
Oh how many couples have empty love tanks! We are emotional beings and love to be loved! But we have just so many factors ranging from ignorance, to ego, to a lot of factors jare!
Many of us can’t even ask for the kinda marriage our parents have….
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