Sunday, 24 September 2017

Resilient Marriages: Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon.

Muslims have a way out of marriage. Like the usual formal proposal to get into one, they can pronounce "talak" to get out of it. 

So, unlike the divorce route for everyone else, where they have to apply, serve and in some cases, engage in a legal entanglement for months to get that divorce recognised by the Family Court, the pronouncement of "talak" is part of the entrenched cultural practice of Muslims since 1968 and enshrined under Syriah law. 

Here's how it works as reported in the papers today in two real life scenarios. 

Ms Eiliyah (not her real name), who was estranged from her husband, received a call from her husband on the pretext of returning a camera. 
She then came down from her parent's flat and coming out from hiding from behind the void deck's pillars were her husband's father and best friend. 

As her husband pronounced "talak" on her, he needed two witnesses and that accounted for why his father and best friend were present. Some call it divorce by ambush. 

Eiliyah said: "He said my name and announced that he was divorcing me with one talak in front of the two men." You can call it a proposal in reverse. 

In another case, the couple of more than 20 years were locked in a heated argument last September when his wife chided him for not helping with their children. 

Out of anger, the husband pronounced talak on her and she agreed to it - equally provoked by his pronouncement. 

But the good news is that they went for counselling and the husband expressed remorse for the slip of the tongue. Their marriage was eventually saved through a remarriage. 

But why remarriage?

You see, more than three months have passed since the pronouncement, and that was effective to end the marriage. This was before the couple managed to sort out their differences and reconcile. 

So, they have to remarry at the Registry of Muslim Marriages to reaffirm their love. 

I guess the lesson here is that it is always wiser to control the tongue because it may just cost you your marriage. 

Lesson? Just one. 

In the strange world of marriages, the melding of two lives is itself an adventure of sorts. 

It is in fact a multiplying adventure whereby the two often become three or four or even nine. One of my clients recently came into my office and she was pregnant. She told me that she is carrying her ninth child. 
Alas, some marriages last a lifetime. Others for less than a day. In fact, I did a divorce many years back and the couple, who were years apart in age, separated just after the Chinese tea ceremony. Go figure. 

But my point in all this is captured in the Life's article of an unusual couple. It's the Ozzy Osbourne marriage.

Recently, they posted a picture of them together celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. But their union is anything but smooth. 

In fact, the couple separated last year because the rocker Ozzy had numerous extramarital flings. 

"There were six of them," Sharon said, which included "a Russian teenager, two masseuses and the family's cook." 

However, it reports that Ozzy, 68, had undergone therapy for sex addiction and assured his wife, Sharon, that he is unlikely to break her heart again. He said: "I'm lucky she didn't walk out (on me)." 

This brings me to what Sharon said that I think we couples have to bear in mind. 

She said to Ozzy: "Always remember: You carry my heart in yours, and it's getting older and needs protecting." 

Indeed, if we should choose this road, this journey, where the two become one, our heart no longer belongs to ourselves. 

At the altar, in our public profession of love, we offer not only our lives to each other, but also our heart. It is the same heart that has been living with us before we say "I do". The one we protect with our life. 

The couple therefore holds the heart of their lover in his/her own and sworn before the witnessing crowd to protect it above his/her own. 

Wherever we go, like Sharon said, we carry the heart of our partner - in health and in sickness, in riches and in poverty, in good times and bad, that is, in times of loneliness and in times of temptation. 

At all times, we are never alone. The beating of another's heart is always within us. 

Our role as husbands (or wives) is not just to provide and care for the family, the children, but by that sacred vow, to protect, treasure and nurture the heart of our lover. 

Her heart is nurtured by trust, affection and faithfulness, and his heart is strengthened by understanding, encouragement and faith. Both of which are sustained by love, commitment and resilience. 

And when the two hearts beat as one, the couple will then know that together, they can confront any trial and temptation and walk away from them with understanding and love that indeed surpass everything that life can throw at them. 

In the end, love's greatest gift is not in an oath, a toast or a kiss. It is in the protection of our lover's heart, putting it above our own, and giving of ourself to the object of our affection. Cheerz.

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