If we can have a successful marriage in future, then you must be prepared to do away with this utopian attitude of yours towards our relationship. You seem to be living in an imaginary world and think our relationship should be like the ones you see on television.
Your obsession with telenovela and romantic movies, especially those of Ghanaian producer Shirley Frimpong Manso, do not only take away your precious time but seem to have given you a perception that is far removed from reality. In recent times, I have observed with keen interest your tendency to cite movies, soap operas and telenovela anytime we are discussing issues affecting our relationship. And I think our relationship will come to ruin if you continue the way you’re going.
There is not perfect picture anywhere, Serwaa. There is not perfect picture anywhere on Oboade’s planet. We can only strive towards perfection.
I love literature and very much appreciate creativity. I also believe that some of the fictions we read and the movies we see depict real life situations. At the time of production, the creator of the work may not link with any such real life situations persons or but some of them appear so real.
Last year, for instance, I called my brother in Tamale and asked that he get a copy of Buchi Emecheta’s Joys of Motherhood and read. When I read the history of the powerful Nigerian writer, I realised that the woman had passed away long time ago. But I found out that some of the chapters were so related to happenings in my own family that it left me wondering how that became so coincidental.
So I’m not by any means dismissing the fact that literary works can be cited to support argument in real life situation.
However, you’ll be making a suicidal mistake if you want to model your relationship on what you see on the screen. Some of them are too artificial and do not depict real life relationships:
You find a young guy and his fiancée who behave as though they’ve inherited all of the world’s wealth. They attend clubs, beaches and live the happiest of lives. The only conflict is that either the guy or the lady is a hot cake, who is being snatched away from the other.
When it is marriage, it is the plushest marriage everybody would dream about. The relationships in movies and the telenovelas you see often depict the ideal situation. You even fantasise about them to the extent that you have the courage to compare how romantic I am to those on the screens.
Serwaa, I was really appalled when last week you gave me that tall list containing some of the things you want us to be doing. You claimed that our relationship is becoming boring and the best way to inject life into it is to adapt to “changing trends” as you put it.
In that list, you said we should have regular weekend outings, have a romantic dinner in one of the best restaurants in town at least one once a week and a host of other recommendations you think we should incorporate into our relationship in order to conform with “modern trends.”
Serwaa, my response to this is very simple. I cannot live above my means. Neither will I start something I cannot sustain. It is irrational to adopt such extravagant lifestyle and not get a decent accommodation or have sound financial background after marriage. We have to start planning how we would want to live our lives from now.
If you want us to have a happy relationship and a happy marriage, then wake up and let’s face the stark reality. First of all, know that our relationship is not going to be all joy. It is going to be characterised by tears, disappointments and hardships. There may be days in our marriage we would not want to see each other for one reason or the other.
There will be days that life will become very bitter for either you or me and we’ll need each other to comfort and help each other through. I have realised that every couple faces one form of trying moment or the other in their marital life. It is not always financial problems.
Sometimes interference by family members, problems at the work place and a host of social and cultural challenges that shake the very foundation of their marriages will not spare us. We are not angels, you know. These are real life challenges we must brace ourselves for.
But if you condition your mind towards the imaginary scenes in movies, you will be completely swept off your feet when the unexpected realities strike. We are in this relationship, not only to enjoy together but also to suffer together. We’re in this relationship to bear each other’s burden, rejoice over each other’s feats and also share each other’s reproach.
We can work to minimise the negative aspects of the relationship, but we must also brace ourselves for the worst. Our love for each other cannot be said to be strong until we overcome the challenges that will arise. These are realities you do not see on the screen often.
Serwaa, you might have seen a lot of relationships and how they do their things. We are not like everyone else. Let us reason together and chart our own course. Trying to live like others is like imitating the left-handed. You’re bound to hurt yourself if you do that.
Shirley Frimpong Manso’s movies are not the model for our relationship. Neither is our marriage and life together going to be determined by what we see on the screens. We have to wake up and confront the stark reality on the ground.
On this reality shall we build our marriage, and the gates of disruption shall not prevail against it.
I remain yours and only,
The Writer, Manasseh Azure Awuni, is Senior Broadcast Journalist with Joy FM. Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org