Marriage can be a toxic thing. No sooner does a man marry than he discovers marriage is all about managing his wife’s moods. Too bad if he finds a woman who can’t let him be a boy from time to time. Which is every woman, as far as you know.
Two months into marriage, it is nothing like when you were dating or during your honeymoon. After a cold war, your wife thawed a bit, but you have also decided to play her card. You want to play hard to get. You want to hurt her. You want to make her understand that she has no monopoly over nonsense.
So, you booked a flight, claimed it was job-related assignment, but you are in fact flying out to catch a break from the marriage. All you want is Carol to miss you, apologize maybe, and go back to the lovely and warm woman she can be when she wants. Tough luck.
As you pack, Carol looks at you from under the blanket, still drunk, probably with a hangover from Cape Town to Cairo.
“Where you going babes?”
“Mmmh, I am going to Malindi, for some job,” you say, coolly, almost dryly.
“But you have not mentioned that before?” she asks and you can hear the hurt in her voice.
“We have not been talking, so I could not have told you.”
“So what are you going to do?” she asks, probably allowing that she has been wrong.
“It is a two-week assignment. We’ve been contracted by some local NGO, some book-keeping job,” you try to explain.
“OK...So when do you come back?”
“In two weeks.”
“Are you for real?”
“Yes,” you intone curtly.
Actually, you will be out for a week. You want her to call you and make you come back. You hope she will. But Carol, being Carol, being proud, she just might not.
So off you go. You are taking a break from your marriage. More like a leave. You find it quite philosophical. Your wife will have her space, and you will have a chance to be the boy that she doesn’t want you to be.
The plan now is simple. You will drink all you want, read all you want, play all you want. And go back to the hotel room whenever you want.
When back, she can again imprison you all she wants. But you hope this will teach her a lesson to behave next time. She will never overreact. You intend to be moderate, or carry her along to the club, but she hardly gets along with your boys. Her problem mostly. Not theirs.
You have a feeling you are doing something wrong. But the thrill makes it right. Maybe you should call boys and go chill out. But not everyone can get the week-long leave that you just made up.
Maybe this is the beauty of life. And adulthood. You get to make these stupid decisions. But it is a nice idea that people should try. It can save so many marriages, you think.
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