Your spouse’s powerful friends
One of the big lessons I learnt early in my life is that I should not have friends that are more powerful than me. I am not talking about mentors. My mentors can and should be more powerful than me. I am talking about friends. During my growing up years, I had a friend that was too powerful for me. He influenced me without my knowing. He was about the sole decision maker in our friendship. He defined what was “fun” and we went partying only where he wanted us to party. Thank God for my parents, who insisted on my breaking the friendship. They rescued me from a friend, who was too strong for me.
Whenever I see my children moving with friends that I think are too powerful than them, I try to discourage such friendship. But Mr. James Thomas (not real name) did not learn such a lesson early in his life. James is a handsome and highly educated man, who had a dream of getting married to a responsible wife and building a very good marriage and family. He has a good job and earns good money. He succeeded in building a very close relationship with his wife. In fact, they became friends. But after some years, he started building another friendship with a male colleague, who was stronger than him. The intellectual and professional ability, as well as the natural domineering wisdom of the male colleague made James to become the “nama” (cow) in the relationship, while his colleague was the shepherd.
At a stage, he started disregarding his wife’s views and friendship. His friend believed every responsible man should take good care of his wife and children. James also has such beliefs. But the friend further believed that, while a responsible man should cater for his wife and children at home, he could also have “bush meat” outside. To him, the wife at home should be well fed like a sacred cow, but a real man should have “bush meat” on the side. The “bush meat” is the mistress the man can spend an hour or two with, after close of work or go clubbing with about once or twice a month.
His reason is that feeding on only cow meat can be boring. He felt that bush meat should be eaten once in a while outside. He would say such words as: “enjoy life. Variety is the spice of life.” Gradually, the young man abandoned his dreams, entered the bush and started “pursuing bush meats.” His wife started becoming unattractive, until the couple started living like two strangers in the house. The marriage was no longer alive, and was merely surviving. How do you dissolve the friendship between your spouse and the person misleading him or her?
Do research on people who have behaved in the past the way your spouse is now behaving. Get detailed stories of the hardship the entire household faced. Do not talk about what the spouse that is being oppressed is passing through. This is to say you do not talk about how your spouse’s behaviour is bringing suffering upon you. If you do, let it be minimal. But at regular intervals, draw his/her attention to how people that have passed that road ended. Never say this in a nagging or threatening manner. This strategy backed by prayer and fasting, has helped many to separate from friends who are too strong for them. It is dangerous to allow your wife, husband or children to have friends that are too strong for them. Discourage such friendships before “play play go turn to eat and go.”
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