The Outsider

May 25, 2021


A lady came to see me in my office
She talked on and on about her
He was a good man, a wealthy man
but a man whose orientation was
based on the idea that the wife is
an “outsider”
He would often say “A wife can leave
at any time, so a wife is not family
but children are”
This philosophy pervaded his life
He would buy properties and keep all
the documents with his older brother
The house he built in his village was
mostly for the comfort of his relatives
His wife said whenever they travel
to the village, her husband’s relatives
will take over the
house, cook whatever they wanted or
sleep wherever they wanted without
any regard for her
She felt like an outsider, exactly as her
husband described a wife to be
She wanted to leave the marriage
She said her husband would rather
listen to his people than her and most
times take decisions without even
consulting with her
She was at her wit’s end when we met
She wanted God to change her husband
so that he can support her emotionally
and treat her as a man ought to treat
his wife
That was her prayer request, her heart
I listened to her and we prayed
One month later, her husband decided
to relocate her and her three children
to Canada
Her last child was diagnosed with
autism and her husband felt she would
get better care over there
The process began and within six months
she was out of the country
She was very happy with the
Her husband has not changed but she
was free of his family members and
the constant denigration
She would be by herself and breathe
some free air
She got to Canada and was fortunate
to get a good job with a logistics firm
She didn’t tell her husband about
the job…
Her husband continued to support her
and the children from their home country
Two years after she got to Canada,
her husband got involved in a labour
dispute with the oil company he was
working with and he lost his job with
eleven other people
The labour union took up the case
They expected that the case would
be resolved quickly but it was not
It dragged on and on
About four months after losing his job,
her husband decided to travel to
Canada and spend some time with
his family
He called a friend of his in Canada
and arranged to be picked up at the
When he got to his house, he was
shocked to meet his wife’s mother at
home with the children
His wife never told him she started
working not to talk of moving her
mother to Canada to babysit
He took everything he saw in stride
He felt his wife’s decision to get a
job was in response to the issues he
had at work and considered it a
With that in mind, he understood why
his wife brought her mother to Canada
to help her out
When his wife got home from the office,
later that day, he welcomed her with
a smile and great joy
He told her he didnt
inform her he was coming because he
didn’t want to stress her unnecessarily
It was a happy reunion
The Union continued to insist that
those the company sacked must be
given their jobs back
He was in the thick of it even from
afar, so he was always on the phone
even while he was away in Canada
One Sunday morning, just as they
got home from church, he received
a call and had to step out of the
house to pick it
He had a favourite spot in their
compound where he loved to stand
while receiving confidential calls
Naturally he was a soft-spoken man
but the issue he had with the union
was between him and his wife
He felt he would lose respect if his
wife’s family members got to know
that he was no longer working with
the oil company
Money was a strong factor in their
As he stood listening to the conversation
on his phone
He overheard a conversation between
his wife and her mother
His wife’s mother was talking to his wife
about a charm she has which helped her
to control her husband (His wife’s father)
and through which she was able to
secure most of his properties after he
died without any family interference
It was in the course of the conversation
that he heard that his wife had been
working for longer than he was informed
and was earning way more than she
disclosed to him
He also realized that his lack of a job
at that time was not news to his wife’s
It was galling to him
From what he overheard, his wife was
counseled to use the charm on him so
that he would travel home, bring back
all the documents he had kept away
from her so that she can secure her
future and that of her children in case
he didn’t get his job back and decided
to start selling his properties
It was crazy
He sneaked back into the house,
pondering on what he had heard
Later that day when it was time to eat,
he declared that he had started a
three days fast
The next day, as soon as his wife left
for her office, he started packing his
Within an hour, he left the house
claiming the labour issues he had back
home needed his attention
He knew his wife and her mother had
agreed to use fetish means to manipulate
him, but he didn’t want to sit around
claiming the charm couldn’t work on
him when he could flee
So he fled
He slept in a hotel that day while he
booked his flight back home
He didn’t say a word to his wife until
he got back to his country
He sent her a mail detailing everything
he heard and how disappointed he was
He said he wanted a divorce because he
couldn’t bring himself to trust her any
He wished her well in her future endeavors
As soon as she read the mail, she started
calling him on the phone
She felt she needed to explain
She felt what he claimed he heard was
not only defamatory but scandalous
She needed to put everything in the right
context for him but he refused to pick
her call
He just didn’t want anything to do with
her again
So she called me
She explained everything that had
happened and how much she needed
to explain her side of the story so that
her husband does not go about
claiming all sorts and spreading all
sorts about her to people
She said her reputation was important
to her
She cried a lot
She also sent me her husband’s number
Please call him and “talk some Holy
Spirit into him”
I listened to her and told her I will get
back to her after speaking with her
I waited on the Holy
Spirit for one day before calling her
Her husband said when she met her,
she was a very down to earth and
honest woman
He said he loved her from afar before
asking her to marry him
He said when they went to her family
house for their introduction
He noticed something very odd
Her mother was the head of the family
He said it was so glaring that her
mother was the one controlling her
He said her father couldn’t say a word
without her mother’s nod of approval
He said it was evident for everyone
to see
As if her mother was using the occasion
to make a statement of her power over
her father
He said he would have backed out of
the wedding but for his love for her and
his trust that she would not turn out
like her mother
He said all the documents she kept
away from her was as a result of what
he saw during the introduction
He said he kept the documents with
the bank but deliberately insisted it
was with his older family members so
that his wife will not kill him just as
his wife’s mother killed her husband
eight months after their wedding
He said a lot of things
It was quite normal to do so while
He concluded by saying he didn’t
want the marriage again and that he
wouldn’t be sending any support to
his wife in Canada
He said she can either keep the
children or bring them to him if she
couldn’t care for them herself
We prayed and he rang off
I turned to the Holy
What do I do here sir? I asked
I too kept quiet
I didn’t call either the husband or the
wife but I continued to pray for them
He got his job back during the Ephaphata
Programme we had in May 2020
In July, his wife’s mother left her
because without his support
things became difficult
She called asking me to talk to him to
help out in anyway he can for the children
I called him and he said he would take
her back with the children if she would
return to Nigeria without delay
We talked and she agreed to return to
Nigeria as soon as the
lockdown eased
She eventually returned to Nigeria with
her children in November 2020
A lot of talks and apologies went round
She promised to keep her mother far
away from their home
He brought home all the documents
and they reconciled finally on
December 25, 2020

PS: Her mother’s conduct during her
introduction indirectly caused her
several years of joy in the marriage
His reaction was a bit extreme and
so was hers
Let us communicate as couples,
even when the topic being discussed
is not palatable
It is the only way to kill resentments

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