I was helping my cousin address his wedding invites when I saw Mr & Mrs Cobhams Asuquo, instantly I bombarded him with questions of how they met, if I could come along to deliver the card etc. Unfortunately, he didn’t let me but explained to me that Mrs Asuquo used to be a colleague; apparently she resigned a while ago, I’m not sure if it’s for private business or for another job but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her.
I wonder how much of a brave woman she must be, I imagined she must really love him to look past the disability and sign the lifelong contract. Asides from Ojuola (Cobham’s wife), there are a few other people known to have braved the odds. I have raised this issue among friends and while quite a few beat their chest to being able to go that lane, I’m still not sure I can.
It is not about being selfish or insensitive but honestly, it’s not as easy as it seems. If you’ve ever been a caregiver to a sick relative then you know a bit of what I’m talking about. Often times you end up ill from the stress of cleaning and caring for them.
For someone who likes to internalize issues and be realistic about things (I’m not against optimism oh!) I wonder if I can cope. There are those moments you want to act like a child around your partner, just milk a situation (e.g. pregnancy) and demand some extra TLC, there’s when you want to play hide and seek around the house, or on the beach, there are certain times you expect him to scoop you off the floor into his arms... wouldn’t these expectations be selfish if he was in a wheelchair?
How easy would it be to have to run home from work to make the meal and clean up, help with the kids’ school work all alone, everyday without the help of wifey who is physically challenged? Can you honestly say frustration wouldn’t set in at some point? Especially when there are those low moments at work?
I know there are 2 different scenarios here; first is when the condition is known from the get go. Secondly is if it occurs after the relationship had begun.
In the first case, you must have weighed the conditions well, separation/divorce is no option here; at least you were fully aware of the peculiarities before signing the dotted lines. In the African setting, family members may object to the union at first; if you eventually convince them, the burden becomes yours except off course your family understands.
Case 2 buttresses why everyone must marry someone they truly love. Sudden disability affects quite a number of things in the family – sex, career, finances, role-play and sometimes communication. I imagine that sudden disability in a partner will rock a relationship leaving the chance of its survival to the quality of its foundation. It would take sincere love and God’s matchless grace to avert a separation or even resentment.
I once read the story of a guy who attributed his success in life to his ex-girlfriend’s decision to leave him. They had been dating for about 5 years at the time but he never really showed any commitments to her, unfortunately he was involved in an accident that confined him to a wheelchair. He recounted that the lady was patient enough to nurse him out of the hospital and then left him thereafter stating she couldn’t deal with his lack of passion for anything.
Before you condemn her as heartless; imagine yourself in her shoes. Through the 5 years, she probably gave him all the signs that she was ready to be proposed to; I assume he kept promising without any concrete plan. She must have thought: if a guy is never serious with anything what are the chances he’ll not be completely helpless and slothful as a disable? In the end, she figured marrying him would be mortgaging her future hence she left and moved on. Thankfully, he learnt from the experience and has now made something of his life; but do these stories always turn out this way?
I guess this is why everyone must ask themselves if they can live with ‘the one’ when the worse befalls him/her, we must be sure we understand the clause ‘through good and bad times, in sickness and in health’. Most likely, a partner who’s always pessimistic about every little cloud would swing into full scale depression when it rains and probably log out on life if there’s a flood.
The question therefore is; would you marry a guy/girl with disabilities? Are there perhaps some forms of disabilities you can deal with and others you can’t?