DURING ONE of the many political rallies that dot Makerere University, Norbert Mao held the MIC and said, “When someone throws muddy puddle onto your shirt, first wait for it to dry before wiping it away.” Somehow, I have always been endeared to this adage. And where best to apply it than in your relationship!
Many a times, what begins as simplistic argument ends up full-blown and with dire consequences. We shall soon know what model Reeva Steenkamp did to Oscar Pistorius, but it could have been just a fly’s buzz such as displacing his prosthesis (artificial legs). Then at the doorstep here, Paul Bucyana nearly faced 20 years in jail for threatening the life of his neighbour over a chicken-tomatoes wrangle.
In relationships, the only way to avoid such simplistic arguments is to stay single. Just be like the Pope. And retire like the Pope when age brings with it aching gouts. However, once you decide to love and be loved, then you have to arm yourself with a syringe, the content of which will be ‘calmness antidotes’.
When she nags, you have to embrace her. When she throws tantrums, let your temple be the victim, but never shoot back. This becomes more pronounced when dealing with infidelity. Here, even the calmness antidote we are preaching might never be strong enough to reassure you. But it gets worse if you act like a man with a hammer in the hand. You know, when a man has a hammer in his hand, everything he sees begins to look like a nail.
People are going to tell you that Winnie is cheating, but that does not mean you pick up your handgun and aim before assessing the situation.
An old neighbour once got news of his wife’s infidelity. Neighbours would tell Bob about how the woman entertains a potbellied politician whenever he is away, but his response was always the same; “hmmm, are you sure?” The neighbours called him a fool. They wondered what kind of a man would watch as his wife is being banged. But to play his cards closer to his chest, Bob spoke calmly one day: “I don’t treat my marriage like a bank treats clients. You go to the bank to deposit your millions, but if you are to use their pen, you will find it fastened onto a chain-link. Why can’t they trust someone who is saving that much with them?”
The neighbours stopped badgering him.
Weeks later, Bob found Winnie’s phone with a message inviting her other lover home as her hubby would be travelling. Bob decided to nab her at her game. He left in the morning for a few hours and returned when Winnie thought he was already upcountry. Having a spare key, he opened the door and walked in. The bedroom door was ajar, and on their marital bed, the potbelly was sweating at it.
Bob simply pulled the door shut and said, “Winnie, I forgot some documents in the sideboard. When you’re done, please fetch them for me.”
Winnie was in shock. She wept. The potbelly sweated magma. He imagined Bob was already cleaning a handgun in the living room. They cheating pair could not imagine leaving the bedroom to face Bob, who had brewed coffee and was sipping calmly like nothing had happened. Winnie crawled on her knees pleading for forgiveness. But the man brushed her aside, forgive you for what? he asked. This baffled Winnie even more. The potbelly, too, came out begging. He offered money and many other pleasantries, but Bob simply invited him for chai. Of course, he couldn’t gather the never to accept the coffee. He left the house panting. Outside, the neighbours, who had waited to hear gunshots or any sorts of a fight so they could strip the politician naked in public, were aghast.
Can Winnie ever cheat again? For two years, she spent her time trying to atone for her mistake. It was like the man had not forgiven her. Now, imagine Bob had beaten the cheats into pulp, the woman would have even left with the potbelly, saying the beating was a mark of forgiveness.
The question is, can you master that level of calmness in the face of relationship trials? Call on my clinic for the antidote.