Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Honestly... would you?

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?


N.I.L (Naijamum in London) said...

Very difficult to say yes or no.
The truth is that we all look for partners/ friends/ associates that will cause us minimum stress.

In most cases, the disabled person must have something really special to attract one.

Saying that physical disability is much more easier for me to deal with than mental disability.

9jaFOODie said...

Heavy sigh. I guess you never fully know what you will do until you are in the situation.
God forbid if anything happens to my man today, I will definitely stay with him, as far as that is what he wants, I love him to death and no situation can change that. If anything happens to me I wouldn't want him to stay ( I will feel like I am crippling his life).

os said...

My short answer: Life turns.

The long answer would probably turn into another post.

Marrying a person who already has a disability is an easy option – I would if all things considered, I truly love the person and see myself able to live out the challenges the disability entail. At least, one has the opportunity to count some of the costs ahead and adjust. And most likely, there will be something attracting me to the person in the first place; something that the disability did not cloud.

But like I said, life turns. One may marry a “perfect” person and things can change. What will then happen? Or the better question is what if, God forbid, it was me who became disabled? Would I expect desertion or resentment from the person who had loved me when I was “whole”? Of course, some people would prefer the other party go on to other things in life but some would prefer to have the company.

I think the best perspective is to pray and hope for the best but know that we cannot always shape what the future will be. Life turns – we keep praying that God always turns it for good.

’Just my thoughts on the issue. Sorry if I didn’t quite answer the questions.

Blessing said...

Hmmm...this is a tough question.
Disability exist in various forms...some can't be seen by just looking at someone...

I really don't know, if love is as strong and intoxicating as those that are in love say it is...then why not?

Throughout a marriage, each person will most likely change physically...marriage vows are the REAL DEAL!

No what happens, I pray that my future won't become ill but I pray that God will give me the grace to get through it....good question!

enybees-hub said...

Hmm,this isn't an easy one oh!

I can't give a concrete answer my dear bcos as os said "life turns". Living with a man/woman with a disability isn't easy as I analyse ur post BUT I believe God gives people like Cohbams wife and many others I know "exceptional grace" to stay with a disabled person. I have a friend who was exceptionally beautiful and after a while suffered a severe health problem. Her husband really stood by her. I was just talking about her before seeing your post. That man shocks ‎​​me till date,he didn't abscond but has been an anchor throughout that situation. My dear there are many more disabilities we encounter in marriage o,that will make another post and since I don't have an answer,I'd say let us marry the one ‎​​we truly Love so that when the trials and test come,we can stand through it all.
LOVE will be tested P.E.T!

'Lara said...

Really tough questions.
| have a cousin who is SS and from experience I have always told myself I cannot marry an SS, even though my genotype allows but because I cannot deal with the stress.

So one without any form of disability, i would not lie, it is hard.

Myne Whitman said...

This is a very difficult situation indeed. I actually think blindness may be preferable to other physical disabilities if the person is hardworking otherwise. What is more problematic is when it is a mental issue. But you're right that we should marry people we love and can care for if worse comes...

dayor said...

Funny, Ojuola Asuquo happens to be my cousin and if there is anything I love about her, its her courage, bravery, guts and the ability to stand for what she believes in.

When I met cobhams I couldn't bring myself to ask her, if she was ready to go through with the marriage, as if she knew what was on my mind, on her own she just spoke about it, I was so touched and at the end I just came to the same conclusion that os made...life turns

P.E.T. Projects said...

NIL: Re:In most cases, the disabled person must have something really special to attract one.

True, i guess only then would one see beyond the diability

9jaFoodie: But dont you think askin him to leave you'll be unfair to him? How wld he show the depth of his love if u blow him away?

OS: 'Life turns'... we must therefore hope and pray for good turns only!

Blessing: The unseen diabilities are even more challenging arent they?

Enybees-hub: Re: 'Love will be teste'.
I'ld like to read a post about the other disabilities in marriage, it should be an eyeopener about certain things

Lara: The genotype thing can be a deal breaker. Dealing with the crisis takes extra courage and financially/emotionally tasking.

Myne: Physical blindness... probably if he/she doesnt have the beggar mentality!

Dayor: Really? I going to keep pestering my cousin, i need to meet them. They sound to me like a couple anyone in pre-marriage counselling should interact with.

Muse Origins said...

She really is brave. But i think a big factor is the attitude of the disabled person. Cobhams doesn't act like he's disabled, which matters a lot

Muse Origins
Muse Origins (Creative Nigerian Features)

P.E.T. Projects said...

Adiya: True. Thats what I meant by 'beggar mentality'

Adura Ojo (Naijalines) said...

It's difficult to know what one would do when presented with a particular situation because life is just not like that. I've seen seemingly 'angelic' people behave like monsters without a conscience...so yes, 'life turns.' Lets just hope it does not turn on us when we need strength and reassurance.

The other thing I would comment on is the notion of disability in our society. Africans generally have a lot of taboos: cultural, religious and supernatural hocus pocus about disability. This usually prevents us from having a sensible debate and doing something constructive in the lives of the disabled people in our community.

gretel said...

mehnnnnn,this one is tough,me I'm always a child oh,all those things yhu lsted,hide and seek etc,that's me,I don't know what I'll do if my partner is deformed,as Myne said,blindness is better but seriously,yhu have to be very intelligent oh.
abeggg,God forbid bad things,I don't want a miserable life jor

@ilola said...

Actually Cobhams is my friend, so I don't know if I should be dropping this comment.
If you happend to know him, you will realize that there is nothing blind about that guy. His intelligence is off the shizzle. He can do all you can do, including driving. Though, he doesn't.
Believe me, he isn't what you will call a scik relative o. If you knew him, you will know what I am talking about.

enybees-hub said...

@tilola on POINT! I've also met people who've had dealings(friends) with him and its so true that he's a whiz kid. Actually,he's one out of many other disabled guys but for Cobhams,I salute that guy

omoba-adeteju! said...

...the Bible says, "as a man thinks in His heart, so is he..".disability is strictly a thing of the mind!

I will rather refer to a person wth any form of disability as being a "special person" instead of using the word "disabled"....having lived with my immediate younger brother who falls into this category.(though, we lost him 13 years ago).

scenario 1-if the condition is known from the get go-it takes TRUE AND REAL LOVE to still go on with the relationship and i quite agree wth you-separation/divorce should NEVER be an option!
There is an elderly woman in my church with a blind husband, this woman is the man's walking aide. I see them as a true reflection of REAL LOVE each time I see the woman hold the man's hand and bring him to church not only on Sundays but also during the weekly activities. (I do not know if theirs falls into scenario one or two)

I am also an advocate of "MARRY SOMEONE YOU TRULY LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY!" TRUE lOVE will see the relationship thru the stormy periods.

To your question, if i LOVE the "special" guy UNCONDITIONALLY, then I can marry him.

Lastly, I align my prayers with os-"may God always turn life for good for us"...

very lovely post, sorry for the long comment!!!

***hugs and kisses***

Anonymous said...

it depends on the type of disability.......it is can be easy to say LOVE would see us through but when reality dawns.......

Anonymous said...

I am so ashamed of you. from some of the post you have wrote before, u're suppose to be a christian but you are here condeming disabled people.

Shame o you and all the people that are supposrting you in this shamefil post.

You should ask God for forgiveness because uou have scrosseed the line.

Its people like you that give women a bad name in front of men.

Love.live.learn said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. You're the very first! Hmm, this is a dicey one. I love the honesty of your post. I'm not sure. I pray daily for God to give me the grace for unconditional love. Its easy to say that love conquers all but for anyone who's experienced caring for a partner or relative with a terminal illness you'll know its no joke. But life is uncertain, the 'able' one today could be 'disabled' tomorrow and we must stick to the vows we have made.

P.E.T. Projects said...

Naijalines: You're so right about disability in our community. From the common man to those in power, no one seem to be doig anything substantial to make life a little easier for these people.

Gretel: LOL you sound scared already! Easy babes.... breath

@ilola: Although i havent met him, I've heard alot about how Cobhams gets by, i do not argue the fact that he has turned his situation to his advantage I only sited the case cos it inspired this post.

Enybees-hub: Right!

Omoba: Thanks for the 'long' post. I really believe only people who have had to live with relatives with special needs understand what it truely takes to show them love.

Its easy to stand on the other side of the road and make assumptions, only those who've been there can truely say!

Ibhade: 'when reality dawn".... exactly my point!

L.L.L.: I'm first? Yipeee, when am I getting the prize??
Yes dear, its no joke to deal with disability in the family.

P.E.T. Projects said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thanks for stopping by and taking time out to read however, I need you to calmly read the post all over again and understand each paragraph because honestly, I dont know what you're on about!

Im not sure if you're male or female notwithstanding i'll like you to reconsider your choice of friends because if true to your claims me do not like women like me who are honest with themselves then the world has more problems than we know.

N.B: It wont be a bad idea to leave your name next time, and probably your blog address; you're obviously very opinionated and i'ld like to read some of your posts (if there are any) and understand you general outlook to life.


Anonymous said...

When reality dawn how? So when reality dawns, what to do? Run? Everybody should speak for themselves and don't assume people who are shouting 'love CONQUERS all' don't know what they're saying. Nobody has special grace to take care of 'disabled' people. Sometimes, things happen and you just find the strength within you to love and help the person. It's not about any reality dawning. Only the fickle-minded will think it is such a big deal. If you're perfect physically and mentally, thank God and pray you will always remain so.

LOL said...

why so much bitterness ANONYMOUS?

like you said, EVERYBODY SHOULD SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, which i believe everyone had done!

so was your problem?

your comments alone had shown either you are disabled or taking care of one! if so, my apologies because no pun intended here, but don't take it out on people who simply expressed their feelings which might not augur well with you!

i had taken care of sick people and it's no joke! it takes toil emotionally and physically! if the disability occurred during marriage or courtship, then i would stay but if i had seen the disability before embarking on the relationship,then it's my choice ALONE to make! love is sweet but it can turn sour when the trials or stress becomes too much!

if i decided to marry a blind spouse, then there must be a 'catch! it is either there are people around to help when she is pregnant and i have the resources to look after her because i won't expect her to work! or for a lady that agreed to marry a guy with a spinal cord injury, she would definitely ask if his 'congo is still shining?' because sex is important in a marriage but children optional.

if this disability occurred when the couples are married,then it is WRONG for any spouse to jump ship! because it is for better for worst!

........my 2naira!

Anonymous said...

hahahaha! LOL, are u sure u r not PET writing as a man?

OK, make una no vex o. I must have come off on a wrong note. No, I am not in any way disabled but I have taken care of people with special needs, and some of the comments came out a tad bit insensitive. Again, my apologies.

P.E.T. Projects said...

Dear Anonymous,
People need grace to accept and care for the disabled just as they need grace to pull through difficult times!
And yes, its a big deal to show love unconditionally not everyone can!

LOL: You got be cracking up with the 'congo shinning' bit. Its good to see that someone understands the point thats being made.

You've summed the entire post up in that paragraph, I wish Anonymous would read it and understand that this is not a gender issue.

P.E.T. Projects said...

Anonymous: You're back again? FYI in blogsville, royalties do not accrue for the comments on each post, when then would I comment as LOL on my e-space.
Think about it, and try to move on!

dayor said...

I just saw @anonymous' first comment and sincerely I think you came off on a wrong note, from what I read..@PETproject Wasn't trying to put anyone down. Remember I said Ojuola is my cousin and I probably should have stayed mute on this matter, but then I have also met Cobhams and I think you can never find a better person that has turned a 'disadvantage' into a great deal...and guess what? He is probably living making his mark in life better than most of us

But I have also been in an example of "life turns". My father suddenly fell ill after like 26 years of marriage to my mum, d sickness left a minor disability (thank God he's a lot better now) and some how it was a lot of hardwork taking care of him, esp at that time

So I totally agree with @PETproject when she said "People need grace to accept and care for the disabled just as they need grace to pull through difficult times!And yes, its a big deal to show love unconditionally not everyone can!"

So dear @anonymous: I think youread a different meaning to an innocent post.

Truth is; life is life, and whether we want to accept it or not, it turns and it hands different stuffs to different peeps. We all just need to continually pray to see the good side of life and ask for grace to cope with the "not-so-good" ones

My opinioin

dosh said...

Thinking about it on the surface, i'm tempted to scream "NO" but the truth is we don't pick the people we fall in love with. I think that if i fell in love with someone with a disability i would sooooo marry him

BUT! if we were already in love before he became disabled then wahala go dey o cos 1. i may not be able to handle it 2.it may change his perception on alot of things, thereby change his personality, thereby make me fall out of love with him.

But who knows? The prayer is for God to bless us with the wisdom to make the right decisions in life

omoba-adeteju! said...

I was totally shocked when I read anonymous' first comments....
@ P.E.T.PROJECTS: Your blog is your world where you have freedom of speech and thoughts. There was no condemnation in this particular post as alleged by Anonymous.
Never expect all comments to be polite and nice, expect the nasty ones but make sure you do not get discouraged one bit. Understand that all humans are patterned out differently.
Lastly, its obvious that Anonymous later realised his/her mistakes from the comments and also apologised, so pls P.E.T PROJECTS, accept his/her apologies...
Keep up the good work!!!

Anonymous said...

A lack of passion for life is a disability in my eyes and I will not marry anyone who doesnt have that.

I havent had a close experience of someone who married some with disability but i have seen stories from the Western world which leave me in awae. God bless us as we try to show love the way he taught us.


kitkat said...

i dont think i'm brave enough to live with someone with a major disability. it doesnt make me a bad person (i can help in my own little way), but i'm jst not tough or patient enough or the job. Kudos to those who are.

Mikki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mikki said...

Wow. I don't know what I would do. It's like saying would you jump out of a burning building.. Ofcourse I would say no but who knows what would happen if I was put in such a situation (God Forbid). It really does depend on the state of the relationship before such an accident. Was he caring, was he committed, were you committed etc.

A perfect example is given in the movie Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Even though the guy saw the error of his ways I think she was right not to go back to him (although our culture would be in total disagreement). I think too each his own.


deolascope said...

Getting married to a man or woman living with a disability is a dicey one, especially for one living without a physical disability. But we must consider two things:
1. Is someone living with a disability not worthy of having a life partner. What could be going on in the mind of such a person regarding marriage?
2. What if you get married to someone without a physical disability and somewhere along the line, say very early in the marriage, the person has an accident that leaves him with a permanent disability?
That is why it is so important to love one's partner for who they are not for what they look like because a fire, an accident, an illness..... could take away some of those physical attributes.

P.E.T. Projects said...

Dayor: Thanks, I also know first hand what it is to care for someone with disability so im not writing based on imagination!

Dosh: You understand the point im trying to make.

Omoba-Adeteju: Noted! Being a min hope all's well.

Ginger: I think this kind of disability is even worse than physical disability. Imagine having to drag a partner everytime something important is to be done. That's going to just leave you psychologically tired!

P.E.T. Projects said...

Kitkat: I have heard that God will never bring you to it if HE doesnt have plans of bringing you through it... I know this for sure so fret not.

Mikki: To each his own... hmmpph!

Deolascope: Well summarised!

Daughter of Her King said...

So I will use the special needs term rather than disability.

I think living abroad helps u to appreciate, u can fall in love with anyone with situation. Really, the culture here is, disability is not an issue no matter how severe ... (I watch alot documentaries and I know stuff).

Having said that, life overhere is alot more bearable than in less developed countries. The infrastructure in developed countries e.g. UK ensures anyone with severe special needs have access to the state funds and 24 hour carer, E.g. cerebral palsy etc.

I would like to think am not bothered about it, I have thought and spoken with God about it. I am sure I have thought about my hubby feeling dependable or me perhaps. Even though I will get scared, I still know there is grace and it is sufficient.

About getting married and coping with a partner that has special needs can be tough but it is doable. WHY: U said through health and sickness I will stick by you. I can't say it wont be hard, it wont be frustrating, it wont be emotionally, mentally draining etc. But it doesn't stop there, there is strength, there is hope, there is love and there is GOD and that my peeps is the joy of my strength. Besides, I am a motivational freak it is a gift, I cant stop being encouraging, will always remain faithful by the GRACE OF MY FATHER.

I am sure any person born with severe special needs or made like that wishes it upon themselves but life continues. I used to have a lecturer who suffers severe arthritis, he is on a wheel chair and he jokes about it.. (In fact he tells us about his shopping spree with his kids, self -confident dude.

As I say we are all created in the image of God. Which makes me think that there must be different sides to creation.. Anyhoo my imagination can run wild.

Whatever happens life is still life.

I pray God will teach us in ways we are yet to be taught.

P.E.T. Projects said...

Daughter of Her King: Thanks for ur contribution

A-9ja-Great said...

Truth is,there are questions that can't be sincerely answered until you're faced with the situation first hand.Right now i can't tell you whether i can or i can't,but all i know is that it's going to be a very difficult situation.

LOL said...

ANONYMOUS, i accept your apology,but the hostess was not the one that replied you, that was a wrong assumption,please apologize to her also.


Gbemisoke said...

Many times, I've said "I can never" only to go on and act differently, so I've learnt to never say never.

My dad's leg was amputated after he was shot by robbers. Years later, he told my mum how much he appreciated her for standing by him when he lost not just a limb, but his business and self esteem.

He told her that if she was the one all those things had happened to, he wasn't sure if he would've stayed.

I don't know what I would do either. I just know that God won't give us more than we can bear.
Everybody has issues. The thing with physical disabililties is just that they are obvious. Many people look alright on the outside but have serious emotional and/or spiritual issues. Those ones are probably worse.
God help us

P.E.T. Projects said...

A-9ja-Great: truely very difficult

LOL: *smile* Thanks Miss/Mr LOL

Gbemisoke: Now thats real love on display.
And you're right, mental/spiritual disability is worse!

Olabisi said...

Hmn, I'm liking dis post o. Its gona be difficult no doubt but as Gbemi said, d only reason we're particular is bcos physical disabilities are obvious as opposed to other types of issues pple go thru.
Another thing I noticed is most pple commented while assuming they wuld b the ones without disabilities (God forbid) bt y'all should imagine urselves being d disabled person, wat would your expectations be? & hw would u take it?
I have a friend who's new on blogville & is on wheelchair. She's probably not gona like dis so I'm using my name instead of signing in. She however is the happiest person I know & hilariously funny too. She doesn't have a problem with herself & u can totally tell wen u relate with her. She's sooo pretty too & wuld probably av been a bad*ss if she was walking. She's dated a lot & u'll b surprised at d rate she gets "scopers"
She got paraplegic when she was 15 & in second school. She wasn't very serious in second sch bt afta a long stay @d hospital for d issue (docs still dnt knw exactly wat caused it) she went to Uni, was one of d best in her class, has masters (phd grade) & is currently trying to start her phd(she schooled in naija o, so it wasn't easy)
D girl is awesome & has achieved even more than myself. She's a gr8 source of inspiration to me & a lot of others.
She's sassy & has a smart mouth bt absolutely lovable. She's currently single bt I don't think she will be for long
Oh my, can't bliv I went on for dat long. Point is, never say never cos it could b you.

I'm loving your blog & may God help us

Bisi said...

@PET, sorry for d long comment o. Its almost more than your post itself :-)

Anonymous said...

mehn.. I try not to think about it happening after marriage.. it is tought - but like everything else the God we serve gives us grace sufficient for each day and will not bring anything our way we cannot conquer..

as for cobhams and his wife.. he serves the lord.. and God has given him his reward and many more to come.

Anonymous said...

"...I’m still not sure I can." Truth be told, many will say otherwise, however, assessing a situation is (very much) different from being an active participant in it.