I know my eldest brother isn’t the perfect husband any woman can ask for. He is irresponsibility personified. It didn’t start today. He has always been that way which is why he failed to attract a woman into his life until he met his wife at the age of 45 years old.
My parents and we, his siblings, had actually given up hope of any woman agreeing to marry him. So when she came along and accepted his proposal to be his wife, the family wasted no time at all in ensuring the wedding went through. Within the first year, she gave birth to a set of twins, the mirror images of our father. A girl, who also has an uncanny semblance to our late paternal grandmother followed almost immediately.
Being close to her, I knew she wasn’t finding the marriage easy. My brother continued in his former lifestyle. Sometimes he would leave the house for up to a week without telling his family where he was or what he was doing.
I’m also aware that even when around, he cannot be bothered. He would be on the phone talking to different women. His wife, being an orphan who grew up in an orphanage with very few friends, and I, became best friends. I kept assuring that he would change with prayers.
Just when I thought the worst was over, having endured my brother for over a decade, I discovered her having an affair with a friend of hers from the university.
The friend happens to be a cousin to my best friend from primary school days. It was from my best friend I got to know about the love-story of my brother’s wife and her cousin while they were in the university. They were not allowed to marry because she didn’t have a family. To my best friend’s family, their son cannot marry anybody without a family name, let alone an orphan who grew up in an orphanage.
I don’t know what made me bring up the subject of her past when I went to see her the following weekend. I had hardly finished my story when she knelt in front of me to beg for my forgiveness. She actually confessed that she had been seeing her old friend in the last three months that, my brother pushed her back to him when she walked into his office and met him making love with his secretary.
She said, the humiliation she has endured in the hands of my brother was getting too much for her. She said she is in the marriage because she didn’t want her children to grow like she did without a father. She said it was not funny to be an orphan. It was at that point she shared everything about her past with me. It was exactly as my friend had said.
Agatha, my sister-in-law is a good woman, wife and mother. I don’t want her to go because I know deep down my brother has come to love and appreciate her. He said so to me himself.
Without me saying anything, she told me she didn’t like herself after she slept with her ex and decided there and then to end the relationship but they still talk on the phone. That too, she said, will end to protect herself and children.
The issue now is, how to make my brother realize he is about to lose this rare woman and his children if he doesn’t change.
My sister-in-law is exceptional. We all love her in the family especially my parents, who regard her more of their child than their son.
Agatha, do you know how I can help this couple become happy together?
You are indeed a very rare in-law. A lot of women would elect to ignore the faults of their brothers and heap all the blame on the poor wife. God bless your fair mindedness.
From experience, it isn’t always easy to change a person who is unwilling to change. Your brother has refused to change because all his life, he has always been like that. He has gotten used to having his way hence unwilling to change for anybody.
For someone like him to change, he has to be made to swallow certain doses of his own treatment. It is the only way he can sit down to reflect on his life. Until this point, he hasn’t been able to take an X-ray of his life since he was born. He has gotten used to trampling on the feelings of the people around him and making mockery of their love for him. He did to his parents without any consequences so he has come to think it is his right to hurt people without bother.
For someone like him to change, he has to go through the experience of being hurt. This isn’t a case for prayers alone. There are times when practicality achieves better results than prayers would ever do. You cannot be administering drugs meant for ulcer on a patient that has headache. It won’t work. That God blessed him with a good wife and children shows that your prayer and those of your parents are working in his life.
That he is alive and still has a home underscores his wife’s prayers are also effective but for him to appreciate all that God has done for him, needs practical solutions.
Fortunately, he has through his admission of his love for his wife and children given you a weapon to use in bringing about a positive change in his person and attitude to his family.
Let his wife threaten him with divorce, telling her she is fed up of his indifference, cruelty, humiliation towards her and the children; that she can no longer put up with his attitude.
This is called the shock treatment. The fear of losing his family will make him have a rethink and do the needful to ensure his family doesn’t leave him. At 55, he has reached that age where most men ponder on the important things in their lives. Confiding his love and appreciation of his wife in you, is a silent plea to help him find the break in his roller- coaster lifestyle bus.
If this threat doesn’t make him sit up to critically analyze his life with a view of changing for good in the interest of his family, then nothing would. Even God uses difficult situations to change us for the best.
Ensure, however in planning this strategy, your whole family is properly notified. Also ensure that your sister-in-law is entirely committed to the marriage once again. This is absolutely necessary to prevent your efforts being futile.