I recently had a conversation with the wife of a close friend of mine. I consider the guy a brother. He was my roommate in college. He is now married to a beautiful woman that has 6 kids of her own and one from him totaling 7. Fairly recently, she decided to leave her job and go back to school. Her being the main income of the house hold put things in a “living day to day” situation. They are now sacrificing on an hourly basis. My good friend, who I will refer to as “O” from here forward, has struggled to find a job and get on his feet for years. I’ve been around to hear the stories and the stress put on him by his wife and situation. He has told me the stories of how he wanted to leave and has actually been separated, close to divorce.
When I was in college we both never held less than 2 jobs. Where I managed, he worked and where he managed I worked. If there is one thing that I know about him, he has been on a grown man grind since 2001 when we met. Honestly, I don’t know her story and what she may have gone through to have become the person that she is now. I could sense her personality from her interjections while O and I were having conversation over the phone. All that I can really say is that my very close friend permeates stress and I can tell that it has even taken a toll on his health. But they both want it to work. Anyway, eventually and finally he was able to find a halfway decent job with some benefits and now this job is supporting the house hold while she is pursuing higher education. It’s not a lot, but he doesn’t complain about having to offer up what he has earned for the house hold.
Now… A lot of yall might be thinking “Hell, that’s what he shoulda been doing all along in the first place”. But before we allow that thought to take roots in our mind, let’s also plant the seed that marriage is a partnered journey. Secondly, being in a relationship or marriage does not discontinue an individual from being human and having human feelings and thoughts about situations. He could have very well treated her the same way that she had treated him for the past 4-5 years. Third, even though he has said “I do” to this woman, he is still giving up his portion towards take care of another man’s 6 seeds. BUT, not once has this been thrown in her face. I’m very happy that he has had the opportunity to show her what type of guy she has attached herself to. Too often, even in situations less strenuous as this one, relationships have ended because of a lack of appreciation and a person’s ability to see past another’s surface value. If you think about it, a lot of times, we give friends and associates more leeway than the person that we’ve accepted to journey through life with.
When O’s wife and I conversed, she expressed to me how she felt useless. I don’t know if it could be guilt from how she treated him in previous years, or not. But I can tell that with the shoe being on the other foot she has found a new appreciation and epiphany on how things can and should be. She doesn’t know that he has talk to me about everything that has happened through the years. I won’t be the one to tell her either. I’ve developed a strong discernment for a person’s character… Even via chat over Wi-Fi. I don’t always take heed to it in my own endeavors, but I can tell that she is really a changed woman behind this whole situation and his attitude about it.
I can understand why she feels the way that she does as well because she has been independent for YEARS! Having to rely on another person, let alone a man, has become a foreign idea. She will be graduating in December now and the hard road is almost done. I say “almost” because even though she will be graduating, she will still have to find gainful employment. She is really feeling it right now, not being able to contribute. Part 2 will include our conversation from this past Sunday.
Stay Tuned for Part 2: