My wife of almost five years and I were ready to go our separate ways when we received help from a book we stumbled on. A family member had come visiting, and she noticed the way my wife and I lived as cat and rat. Well, I’m sure she was amazed at the trun of things because she was very much aware of the love we shared. How it turned sour, she could not tell, but I can.

Let me take you down memory lane. I am the first born of my family. We are four children of my parents. This position rubbed me of the attention I longed for. My parents were always doting on my younger ones, and they were the center of time and affection. This was not because they hated me though, but because the responsibility of being the first was saddled on my shoulder. The bulk of the work in the house was on me, and I had little or no time to rapport with other members of the family. This affected me a great deal, and I vowed to make sure things would change when I get married.

While I was dating my wife, I explained things to her and we both agreed that we would always make out time to spend together no matter how tight our schedule was. This was our reality all through the period of our dating into the first two years of marriage. Things began to dwindle and there was suddenly little or no time out of the multitude of hours in a day.

“Treasure, where are you now? I’ve been seated here all alone for the past two hours and I’ve not even seen your break light. What are you doing now?”

“Darling, you should know I’m in the kitchen because of you. At least you don’t expect me to leave what I’m doing to come and sit with you, doing only God knows what.”

“Here we go again, Treasure. How many times do you want me to tell you that you should try to minimise the time you spend in the kitchen so that we can have time together. That’s the reason I leave work immediately I close so I can be with you, and help you in the way I can so we have our ‘we’ time.” I said, approaching the kitchen. “I appreciate all your effort in trying to prepare food for me and keep the house tidy, but I appreciate and love you more if you can just spend more time with me. I need you more than I need all these other things.”

“Honey, I’ve heard you. Must you always revisit the same issue over and over again? I keep explaining to you time and time again that I have a whole lot on my neck. Moreover, the popular saying is that the way to a man’s heart is through his mouth. That’s why I spend time preparing sumptuous meals for you. Besides, I’m preparing your favourite.”

“Here we go again, Treasure. I’ve offered to get a help for you so your work load is reduced, you refused. Besides, the way to my own heart is in the quality time you spend with me, not in the food you prepare. I’m not saying the food is not okay, definitely it is, but the most important food to me is your time and attention.That’s why I don’t hangout with friends after work hours. Please, Treasure, try to understand.”

“I’ve heard you. I’ll see what I can do about it.”

Things only changed with words of mouth, but there were no actions that backed it up. The pain of loneliness started eating deep and the frustration was obvious. I started staying back at the office to kill time so I don’t have much time to spend at home. At least, the reason for my running home each day is not appreciated so, what’s the point? The first week of coming home late, my wife noticed, but she did not pay attention to it. At least, I had stopped nagging her over the matter. Weeks rolled into months, and it became my way of life. If I wasn’t at the office, I was with my friends hanging out at a bar close to our office. They were the ones that filled in the gap my wife had created.

While I stayed back at the office, I did not notice that my boss’ secretary, Lisa, had noticed my consistent lateness. Little by little, she worked her way into my heart. She would come to my office at the close of work when I was not with my friends and we would talk at length about all the recent happenings in the office and in the country. This was what I wanted from my wife, but since she wasn’t giving me, I fell into Lisa’s hands. This continued for almost six months, and on some occasions when we talked late into the evening, I’d drop her at house. This was not without us exchanging pecks before our departure. Our occasional pecks graduated to deep kisses. While I felt hurt betraying my wife, a part of me desired and loved the attention I received from Lisa.

It was on a fateful Friday evening. Lisa and I were so engrossed in our discussion we lost track of time. When we set out to leave the office, it was a little after 9 p.m. As usual, I drove her to her house, and we started our kissing session. I was about taking my leave when she pleaded that I followed her into the house, and I obliged. I entered into her tastefully furnished house, and she came leaning into my chest, telling me how much she has fallen in love with me. She drew my head closer to hers and we started kissing again. One thing led to the other and we ended up together in her bed. Guilt tore at my heart when I realized my foolishness, but I decided to ‘man up’ heaping the blame on my wife for allowing it to happen. I got dressed the following morning perfecting the lies I would give my wife.

Getting home, there was not so much fuss from my wife. I was able to convince her that I slept off at the office while completing some task I had on my table. She drank in my lie like water.

The rendezvous between Lisa and I continued for almost a year before my wife found out. Lisa had sent me a message appreciating me for all I had been doing for her, and feeling the void that had been in her heart since her husband left her. My wife was with my phone when the message delivered and she read the message. She was distraught. She challenged me, and I tried to lie to cover it up, but the lie I made up was not perfected this time. The cat had been let out of the bag, and I had to dance to the tune that was being played in my house.
While Lisa occupied a major portion of my heart, I had to look for a way to salvage my home that had hit the rocks. Truly, I loved my wife, but her nonchalant attitude to my needs was what drove me into the waiting arms of Lisa. I tried all I could to regain the trust of my wife, but she was to pained to give heed to my pleas.

Having tried and failed to win my wife back, I had no choice but to turn to God for mercy and pardon. I repented of my folly and cut ties with Lisa. It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary if I wanted to save my home. This did not make my wife change. She had closed her heart against me and only remained in the home because of what people would say. Things continued like this for another six months before help came in the form of my elder sister. She had come to spend some time in our house, and when she noticed what was going on, she asked me and I explained all that I had just told you to her.

She joined me in prayers, as she also helped me to beg for my wife’s pardon. Pardon was granted after much plea, but the real issue remained unsolved. I informed my sister and she gave me the book that healed my home completely. The title of the book was “The Five Love Language by Gary Chapman.” I read it and decided to gift my wife. On her birthday, I presented it to her as a gift since she loved gifts. I had learnt that giving of gifts was her love language. I however made a request that we should read it together and we should discuss things that needed change in our marriage. This we did, and we were able to point out where we had gone wrong.

Well, all these have become a thing of the past because I’m now enjoying bliss in my marriage. I’m sharing this with you because it our 10th year anniversary and we have both agreed to share this story with couples and intending couples out there. I’m sure you were blessed, and you learnt one or two things. Make sure you get a copy of the book because there are a lot of things to learn from it.

Till we choose to share another phase of our lives, we remain the Bankole’s. Stay blessed.