By Shola Okubote
I have a friend who is obsessed with other people’s marriages. For every couple we know, this friend has a theory about their marriage. For Couple A, he says they are not in love, just in love with each other’s money. For Couple B, his wife is a leech on her husband, he doesn’t like it but he pretends it’s not a big deal. For Couple C, the man systematically slows down the wife’s career so that he will be her all-in-all and for Couple D, they seem like best friends but they are not, they are both control freaks.
For a long time what he says about these couples influenced my perception of them and how I related with them too, until two things happened. I heard what he says about my marriage behind me too and it is like a story out of a tabloid! I also got closer to some of these couples and realized that things are not always what they seem to be.
Marriages are complex, and no matter how much we think we know about what is happening in other people’s marriages, the truth is unless it is ours’ we may be 100% wrong about what ”what” is, who does ”what”, how ”what” is done, why ”what” is done and how their ”what” is different from other couple’s ”whats”.
In the miniseries titled Political Animal, Susan Berg (Carla Gugino) devoted her entire career to covering, analyzing and criticizing Elaine Barrish’s (Sigourney Weaver) marriage; she even won a Pulitzer on her piece about Elaine’s husband’s adultery! As a former first lady and now secretary of state, Elaine Barrish was expected to have a certain kind of marriage and when it didn’t look like it on the outside; she received serious bashing from journalists such as Susan Berg.
When she eventually got really close to Elaine and her family, she discovered how ignorant she has been, spending years writing and critiquing something she didn’t have a full grasp of.
When she finally got the opportunity to interview Elaine Barrish face to face, she asked her many questions about her marriage and one of Elaine’s answers was; “there is no article, no book that can explain the complexities of a single marriage”
It is one of the greatest thing I have heard about marriage.