Big Brother Naija Trojan horse

4 03 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

They came in 2006 selling the story of a talent hunt but sold Nigerians a Trojan horse.

BBNnaija 2019 audition venue was like a scene from world war Z. Crowds of indigent youths thronged the venue pleading and wailing, crushed against iron railings, some broke their legs, and all were desperate to get in. They clawed their way coveting the $100k prize money, a ticket out of poverty worth dying for. Yet the big brother show is a rip off.

BBNaija 2019 audition
Crowds of Nigerian youths at BBNaija 2019 audition

The show is about 12 contestants living in an isolated house for 90 days, competing for a winner takes-it-all star prize by avoiding eviction. To please viewer to vote “stay” they must shed all dignity, self-respect and modesty, even engaging in explicit sex while the camera rolls.

Sex sells

With big colored eye on profit, the producers encourage sexual experimentation among the housemates on every episode, often plying them alcohol to loosen things up, and supplying cartons of condoms. BBNaija portrays sex as casual and consequence-free to minors who watch these episodes.

“Just as we read specific books and show educational movies to our children in hopes that they learn lessons from the characters, teens are more likely to have sex after being exposed to sexual content in the media,” says Dr. Carolyn Ross on Psychology Today

Parents who allow their teens to watch BBNaija shouldn’t be surprised if they begin having sex, and perhaps even high-risk sex and catching sexually transmitted diseases and becoming pregnant. They may even become sex addicts.

Early exposure to pornography (or explicit sexual content on television), says Dr. Ross, is a risk factor for sex addictions and other intimacy disorders. In one study of 932 sex addicts, 90 percent of men and 77 percent of women reported that pornography was a factor in their addiction.

In 2018, having interviewed Christians and Muslims, the Nigerian Vanguard wrote a good piece of the harmful effect of the show, denouncing it’s deviation to open immorality. Yet, the show goes on, and so many poor young people across the nation besieged the audition venues seeking last month, while families’ lap up episode after episode.

Follow the money.

The money comes from the evictions.  Every week when different housemate are placed on eviction, and the public use their money to vote them back in.  The votes come in millions. During one of recent BBNaija finale, it was reported that 170 Million votes were cast via text messages that cost N30. If you do the math, that is approximately $14M earned by the organizers.  

Gifty Brian Ajumobi ex-house mate

Since it is winner take all, all but the one winner gets paid while others walk away, broken, sold and scared and some never manage to pick up the broken pieces. (There are many unwed mothers’ among the ex-housemates.) Many of the used young ladies can’t find husbands, some like ex-house mate, Gift Brian Ajumobi, has multiple sex partners and children out of wedlock and is presently embroiled in paternity suites.

All in the name of entertainment

Whatever happened to the Nigerian family sense of modesty so admired by the world a few years ago? Now we pay to watch our youths feed, play and copulate. How diabolically naive we have become. Are we waiting for same-sex fornications and bestiality to add to the fun?

Parents and families should wake up and throw out this Trojan horse in their midst. A society willing to compromise its value and honor is a society without value and honor.

 It’s unfortunate that Atiku Abubaker who recently lost the presidential election, in a bid to garner popularity among the young, tweeted a congratulatory message to last year’s BBNaija winner.

Educators, writers, politicians and legislators must keep in mind that a great part of social and even personal problems has its roots in the failure or the collapse of family life. To fight against juvenile delinquency or against the prostitution of women and at the same time to favor the discrediting or deterioration of the institution of the family is both senseless and contradictory.

In spite of the obvious and genuine harm done by this show, we see no protests, families carrying placard and politicians debating on how to proscribe the show or prosecute their promoters, rather viewing statistics are spiking and more and more young people turn up each year for auditions.

It must be understood that the role of parents and families in social and political life cannot be merely passive. They themselves must be ‘the first to take steps to see that the laws and institutions of the State, films and reality TV’s do not offend, but support and positively enhance family life and welfare of minors

Nigerians should reject this show, looking for disruptive ways to ensure that those who insist on promoting this heist stop making money. They should also besiege the news media with the reports of the negative influences on children, calling out the promoters and exposing their true agenda.

On the other hand, families should support and promote family friendly TV shows that teach skills, virtues and discipline to children.





Changing Society’s View on “Hooking Up”

27 02 2019

Since the 1960s, we have witnessed an incredible liberalization of sexual mores. The ubiquitous use of sex in advertising, movies, television, and fashion—sex as entertainment, sex as economic incentive, sex as substitute for thought, for communication, for edification—has given a green light and public blessing to the unashamed use of sex as a crass commodity of self-gratification. Sexual gratification is often valued more than physical and emotional well-being, and the pursuit of the former has generally led to the neglect of the latter. Glamorized by the media and by celebrities, premarital and extra-marital affairs, together with the emergence of the “hookup culture,” no longer carry the stigma of social or moral opprobrium. Such practices tend to insinuate themselves into our public consciousness with little or no effective opposition.

During this time, we in America have seen myriad examples of plays, films, and TV shows evincing (overtly or covertly) envy and admiration for men and women engaging in adultery or promiscuity. Bernard Slade’s famous play (later adapted into a movie), Same Time Next Year, a story about extra-marital love, ran for years on Broadway. The award-winning movie The Bridges of Madison County (1995), a story about the happiness a lonely farmer’s housewife enjoys with a photographer, won the ASCAP Award for the “Top Box-Office Film” of 1996. The ever-rerunning TV serial (adapted from Candace Bushnell’s novel), Sex and the City, spotlights four professional women in their thirties and their big city sexual escapades as they search for the “perfect orgasm” and “Mr. Right”—in that order.

What lessons are learned from such shows? What do they teach us about self-respect, honoring commitments, and personal boundaries? The four sirens of Sex and the City may be sympathetic and amusing, but their affairs—however kooky or disillusioning—are romanticized and prized. Sex is portrayed as a desirable but short-lived commodity typically spoiled by attempts to transform it into a meaningful relationship. It seems that sex uncoupled from relationships has become the norm for many, and several studies bear this out.

Of course, it is true that many plays, movies, and TV shows often express a nostalgic regret for lost innocence and tarnished integrity. Nevertheless, the focus on casual sex in the entertainment industry and in society in general (also sometimes referred to as “hooking up,” “non-relationship sex,” “recreational sex,” “friends with benefits,” “no-strings-attached relationships,” “one-night stands,” and “sex without dating”) has become obsessive. The existence of this phenomenon alone is likely sufficient to promote the acceptance of adultery and sexual promiscuity—not because it is right, but because it is viewed as “natural,” “normal,” and something everybody does.

But what is the effect of this culture? As hookups increase, traditional dates decrease; “post-hookup, a follow-up date is rarely expected.” And as dating has waned, so too has marriage. Many young adults do not seem to have developed the ability to psychologically and socially settle down. Although young adults are becoming sexually mature at earlier ages, people are marrying later. In many cases, they do not marry at all. Family compositions have changed, and children are frequently born to parents at older ages than in previous generations. Divorce rates have skyrocketed, particularly for those who engage in premarital sex. Studies show “the odds of divorce are lowest with zero or one premarital partner” and “marriages preceded by non-marital fertility have disproportionately high divorce rates.”

These facts provide evidence that the well-known sexual prohibitions of the Bible are not as irrelevant as many seem to think. In fact, a growing number of young people—led by thoughtful college professors and mentors—have come to see the value of both sexual abstention prior to marriage and sexual fidelity during marriage.

Changing the Dating Definition

Boston College professor Dr. Kerry Cronin has helped bring about this reawakening. About twelve years ago, in an effort to counter the common practice of “hooking up,” Professor Cronin created an unconventional assignment in her classroom: she required her students to go on a first date and write a report about the experience.

This assignment was intended to counteract the hookup culture in which the connection of the parties involved is “intended to be purely physical in nature” and where the two individuals shut down “any communication or attachment that might lead to emotional attachment.”

Cronin found that many of her students were clueless about the actual process of dating. Because the hookup culture had become so dominant, “going on a date became a weirdly countercultural thing to do.” Professor Cronin thus concluded that “the social script of dating was really long gone.” So, she created a series of guidelines to teach the students how to ask someone out on a date and what to do during that date. These include asking for a date in person (“texting is the devil. Stop it.”), avoiding physical contact (except possibly an A-frame hug at the date’s conclusion), and forbidding the use of alcohol or drugs on the date. According to Cronin’s rules, the person who asked the other out must pay for the date, and the asker should have a plan for the date rather than asking the other person what to do. The first date should be relatively short and inexpensive. The key assignment was to establish real communication between the two individuals and allow them time to get to know each other.

Her program became so noteworthy that this past April a documentary film featuring Professor Cronin, The Dating Project, was released. The ninety-minute film follows five single people, ages eighteen to forty, as they attempt to navigate their way through the “dating deficit” that has been created by hanging out, hooking up, texting, and using social media. The film presents a sobering picture of what the culture of sexual liberation and free love has done to today’s youth. The film’s message is that hookups objectify the participants and leave both parties empty and unfulfilled. Today’s hookup culture makes it much more difficult to build lasting, emotionally connected relationships. True relationships take time and work, but they can be incredibly fulfilling. They enable us to grow our humanity in genuine self-giving love.

The film’s writer and producer, Megan Harrington, observed that “people are so connected and not connected at the same time. So many young adults are lonely. We all want relationships, but the superficial masks we wear on our social media platforms do not present our true selves.”

Even though Dr. Cronin is a practicing Catholic, her college course and the subsequent movie on dating have resonated with secularists who have come to realize that the “sexual liberation” they bought into has created confusion about stable intimate relationships. This intimacy crisis has effectively disconnected intimate sexual behavior from emotional connection.

Is Sex Spiritual?

Although social trends may change, values—such as disciplining and channeling sexual impulses—are timeless and universal. Today’s social practices do not reinforce the development of these unchanging values. To encourage healthy, committed relationships, we must strive to create social conditions designed to strengthen and encourage robust families. This is an essential and basic principle of the Seven Laws of Noah, a common worldview underlying Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Through her assignments, Professor Cronin is encouraging her students to follow the standards of sexual morality that form the basis of these three Abrahamic faiths.

As John Paul II put it, “Self-control is not needed because the body is evil—the truth is just the opposite. The body should be controlled with honor because it is worthy of honor.” Because our bodies are sacred property created by G-d within which resides His Holy Spirit, we effectively defile the Divine within us when we participate in the hookup culture (or in other sexual proclivities such as pornography or prostitution). A person’s body and soul are not possessions to either abuse, harm, or destroy. Lev. 19:1 commands us to “be holy,” a directive that carries strong ethical and moral implications for humanity as we strive to imitate Him.

Unmoored from a committed and loving marital relationship, the unchecked sex drive harms both the individual and the society in which he or she lives. The Noahide Code teaches us that both our bodies and our souls are entrusted to us by G-d and are Divine property. This perspective reinforces the Biblical concept that we are made in the “image of G-d,” thereby giving moral context to the psychological matrix of the human personality that involves a complex interrelationship of body, mind, and soul.

ARTHUR GOLDBERG

Arthur Goldberg is Co-Director of the American based Jewish Institute for Global Awareness (JIFGA), former Co-Director of JONAH, Inc. JIFGA sponsors http://www.fundingmorality.com, a crowd-funding site for those committed to Biblical values. He has authored Light in the Closet: Tora… READ MORE





Davido’s Mom

18 02 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

Davido gets it right with his mom, but wrong with women.

Davido at 02 Arena London

When Davido’s January 27, London concert sold out at the 02 Arena, with a crowd of more than 20000 people, the music maestro was so overjoyed that he credited the triumph to the help of his late mother.

Celebrating with guests, the next day, the 26 yrs old broke down in tears, and continued thanking his late mom comparing her to an angel, posting on instagram:

“Only angels can make such Dreams come true … Thank you mom for watching over your baby.”

His mom, Veronica Adeleke, died when he was 10. A woman of rare beauty and a music lover, she had owned a record label in the 90’s which she named after Davido, who must have inherited her love for music, and a sign of strong bond between mother and son that even death is unable to break.

Veronica Adeleke, Davido’s Mom

Much like Catholics understanding of devotion to Mother Mary, he believes that she is very much alive in heaven, helping him each step of the way.

In his mind, love for his mom pushes him to give his best.

Interestingly, this devotion to his mom, rather than offend anyone is in fact making him appear more humane, warm and attractive to his fans especially women, yet his relationship with other women leave much to be desired having fathered two daughters from two different women while in a public relationship with a third.

Considering that he has over 2 million followers on face-book and many more on Instagram, many of them young people, one can see that his loose lifestyle is having bad influence on public morals.

As a role model, he is teaching his young fans to behave like cows, next he will teach them to be content to go the way of goats. He is sending the wrong message to young people to act like miserably beasts who dont know how to control their passions.

Davido whose music career took off with his 2011 hit single “Dami Duro” and gained him a huge student fan base should remember that his mom, apart from her love for music, was a teacher, a university lecturer, who loved academics and taught her students well, and desired that her students do well in their studies.

Davido’s Fans

Without a doubt, she would desired that his music and songs helped his young fans achieve academic excellence, by being a little less salacious, and more focused on themes that encourages learning, extolling the virtues of hard work and family.

Thus it is meet and proper for him to recognize his moms help, but it’s even better for him emulate her love for family, marriage and try to emulate it.

Davido’s Father (Middle) with daughters by his side and his son Davido standing behind with his elder brother.

Moreover, he enjoyed and continues to enjoy the dignity and prestige of being born in a family. His mom met his father Adedeji Adeleke in the 80’s; they fell in love, got married and had four children. Where his parents not properly married, perhaps he would not be who he is today.

Why then would he deny his own children that same dignity? It is unfortunate, unfair and rather irresponsible.

Davido with one of his daughters fathered out of wedlock

One could argue that wealth and popularity has gotten into his head, but his father was a very rich man, and popular, yet there aren’t evidence that his money or fame influenced him to lead a reprobate life, having, and children with other women apart from his mother.

Without a doubt, his parents good example of lifelong love, marriage and great family atmosphere has contributed in no small measures to his own success; his children has a right to expect same from him and would be a dereliction of duty if he fails to do so. In fact one could even say that he is setting his daughters up for failure since studies show that children from stable homes do way better than one from broken homes.

His mother, like all mothers know a great deal about love. Through marriage, God opened a fruitful channel for her love to share in the power God on free and responsible transmitting of life, rather than the wickedly undermining God’s plan because selfish human pleasures.

I am sure, Davido’s mom watching over him so motherly, wanting the best for him, would wish him to stop sowing his wild oats around, settle down, get married and treat his wife and children with more respect. She would wish to tell him that running around and fathering children shamelessly with different women isn’t a very good way to pay her back for all the toil and hard work in bringing him and his 3 siblings up and that he must stop taking advantage of women if he truly loves her.





Genevieve’s Lion Heart

11 02 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Genevieve Nnaji

Genevieve Nnaji’s rise to the top in the Nigerian movie industry is a tribute to her parent’s unwavering faith in God when all seemed lost.

When 8yrs old Genevieve Nnaji debuted in “Ripples,” a prominent soap opera that gripped the nation in the 80’s, everyone was sure that she was destined for fame. The fourth of eight children, she was the rising star in the family and her parents, Theophilus and Benedatte Nnaji, spared no expenses in her education, to fulfill her dreams. 

But tragedy struck, unexpectedly. At 17, she came home from school pregnant.

 Shattered, a future so bright and beautiful, and at a time when her career was about to take off like a rocket, all in seemed lost.

To save her career, it would have been so easy to succumb to pressures and abort the unborn child. Few parents can ignore the danger of being ridiculed and yet, despite their dismay and sadness, despite their fear of the unknown, of possible failure, they paid no court to public opinion, and insisted that she must give birth to the child.

“My dad was like; it’s a child for Christ’s sake.” Genevieve who is now 40, said, “God knows why he wants to bring that child into life”.

Genevieve and her Daddy

“We are Catholics” Genevieve continued, “and it’s just, that in conscience, if you do wrong once, doing another would not make the first right. So, you either correct your mistake by doing the right thing. If I was pregnant, and then have an abortion, it would have been like murder after fornication! So, that was basically wrong.”

Thanks to their unwavering obedience to the teaching of the Catholic faith, and a well formed conscience, her parents rallied and protected her and the child. And as soon as she had the child, her mother cared for the child, allowing her to return to her studies and work.

Today, that child, Theodora Chimebuka Nnaji, is 23, a startling beauty, married with her own family, spitting image of Genevieve, a companion, confidant and constant source of joy to her and more so as the years go by.

Genevieve and her daughter

 “I am so happy I did not abort my daughter,” she said, eyes shining with gratitude.

By not succumbing to shame and going against their faith and conscience, Mr. & Mrs. Nnaji, have instilled in their daughter, values, solid as a rock on which she has stepped on to greater heights

In 2005, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (the first actress to win the award).

In November 2015 her first movie called Road to Yesterday won Best Movie Overall-West Africa at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. But the best was yet to come

 On September 7, 2018 her directorial debut, “Lion heart” was acquired by online streaming service, Netflix marking it the first Netflix original film from Nigeria. The Movie had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and has since been making waves the world over.

Lion Heart has been dubbed Nollywood “reinvented” because it differs from other Nollywood movies, replacing poor screen play and scripting with positively enjoyable high quality cinematography, and gripping story line.

Genevieve directs her first movie and it’s a huge success

Lion Heart tells the story of Adaeze (played by Genevieve,) an executive in her father’s bus company was forced to a second position when her sick father chose an uncle over her to run the company.  But discovery of bankruptcy, a hostile takeover forced her to abandon her recrimination and work with her Uncle to save the company.

Particularly delightful was the stable traditional family values on offer throughout the movie as opposed to rampant divorce, rancor and infidelity in other movies.

Abigail, Adeaze’s mom was like a brilliant moon on a dark night, and her presence filled the house with light and warmth.

The effortless transition from high quality Ibo to flawless English without fake phonetics was as mesmerizing as the titillating aerial shots that brought out Enugu’s beauty in ways not seen before even by long residents of the coal city.

Netflix acquiring the movie sends a powerful message of hope to other Nollywood directors, that with the right efforts and doing things properly, there is nothing stopping them from competing with the best in the world .

Just like a good driver knows that obeying road signs on a winding hilly roads guides him to safety, and protects him from falling off the edge, Genevieve has learnt from her parents that obeying God laws and keeping an unwanted pregnancy and carrying it to term and giving birth to the child constitutes no obstacle to a woman’s future, education or professional success, but a sign of a lion heart.





The Unhappy Millionaire

10 01 2019
Richard Mason the unhappy millionaire

Those who don’t believe that money doesn’t make you happy often hiss, “Let me have it and find out for myself,” when told about it. Perhaps this story of a man who had millions but lost health and family will convince the most virulent skeptic that there are things much more important than money. According to the dailymail.co.uk, Richard Mason, a multimillionaire and the founder of money market, a multi-million dollar company went for a medical check to discover the cause of his recurring ill health. He didn’t bargain for what he got. The doctor told him he had cystic fibrosis, a disease inherited from birth, and incurable. But worse, he told him that people who suffer from this ailment do not have children.

The millionaire shot back: ‘You must have got the diagnosis wrong because I’ve got three sons.’

The doctor looked at the nurse, as if to say, “How do we deal with this?” and turning to him said, “In this hospital, we manage 2000 men with your condition and none has children -well except for one who later discovered that his wife cheated on him.”

The doctors then advised Richard to speak with his wife.

Anxious and heart thumping, Richard texted Kate, his ex-wife and mother of his 3 sons, aged 23, 19 and 18. They had divorced 10 yrs earlier and though he had remarried, at 54, he hadn’t bothered to have any more children.

“Hi Kate, I have just  been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and can you believe, the doctor says that I am infertile from birth, please put me out of my misery and tell me they are wrong and our boys are my children.”

The reply wasn’t long in coming

“Hi Richard, I’m deeply sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but no matter what they say, the boys are your children.”

Still, suspicious Richard confided in his first son who called his Mom and she confessed to having affairs throughout her marriage, in hotels whenever she was on overnight business trips for the bank where she worked. She however flat out refused to name the father of the child.

Kate, Richard’s ex-wife admitted to adulterous affairs thought out her marriage to Richard but refuses to name the man

Left with a tons of money in his bank, bereft of everything worthwhile in life, family, his children and worst, the knowledge of having lived 21 yrs in a marriage that was a fraud. Richard recently admitted he had frequent thoughts of suicide. Life had lost all meaning.

The adulterous wife must have been desperate for children and sensing her husband’s shortcomings decided to try elsewhere. Richard may have been a negligent husband, hard as flint, an old miser who loves money above all. Furthermore, Richard divorced his adulterous wife even before he knew her to be one, love for his children notwithstanding.

Whatever be the case, we may be sure that in all the articles written about this disappointing union, no one talked about the couple’s relationship with God. I strongly suspect that, like in most western marriages, God didn’t play a very big role in this family. And I believe that vertical relationships helps horizontal relationship as many spiritual writers often contend. Vertical relationship with God helps our horizontal relationship with one another. And without the fear of God, man becomes squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old savage, secret and self contained, incapable of giving himself to another in sacrificial love. Hence the appalling divorce statics of western marriages, (about 50% percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher, Luxembourg: 87%, Spain: 65%). I think this due to their hurling God out of their marriages, feet first.

The story is long, complicated, and heart breaking and gets quite out of breath by the time it gets to the murky fights over alimony and Richard’s desperate efforts to discover the identity of the man who slept with his wife for in this unfortunate marriage betrayal runs deep ( you can read the full article here). I will cut all that and by a short route bring us to my take: common necessaries and common comforts of life satisfied, money does not necessarily make us happier.

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Illusory freedom of Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie

12 08 2018

The divorce between Brad and his wife, Angelina Angelina, started since 2016, is building up to a dramatic and sleazy end.

Both, divorcee, lived together unmarried for 10-years. The glamorous couple had 6 children; 3 biological and 3 adopted. When they finally decided to get married in 2014, cracks began to appear.

In a beautiful letter he wrote his wife that went viral on the internet, Brad claimed that his wife was depressed, stressed out, and uncommunicative. The letter was all about his gallant effort to win her back and save his marriage.

It’s unclear whether the double mastectomy Angelina had the previous year contributed to her illness. In May 2013, she had both breasts surgically removed after discovering she carries a genetic mutation that dramatically increases the chance of being diagnosed with potentially fatal breast cancer.

It is not uncommon that such drastic actions could result in regrets and self-loathing as time goes by. After all, a woman’s breast is a significant part of her beauty and attractiveness. Fears that her husband no longer finds her attractive could have triggered a feeling of insecurity that lead to her depression.

Many people were disappointed when in 2016, the couple announced that they were divorcing, citing irreconcilable differences.

Thing went dark quickly. Last year, Brad was investigated and cleared of petty child abuse accusation brought by his wife.

Then again, recently, the media was abuzz when Angelina, again, accused her husband of not paying her child support for their 6 children. A ridiculous accusation given that she is super rich.

In the entire hullabaloo, the real losers are their children.

Already Maddox, their first child, is not on speaking terms with his Dad and is showing signs of anti-social behavior; and Shiloh, their first biological daughter, is in a deep confusion, behaving like a boy and preferring to wear boys’ clothes. Studies show that divorce harms children.

Add to this; different men and women may soon be entering their lives, demanding the entitlement of a new mother or a new father (most Hollywood stars remarry shortly after divorce)

Angelina and Brad should consider their children’s right to be brought up in a stable, intact home and work harder to reconcile their differences.

When married folk talk about “irreconcilable difference” to get a divorce, it’s often about themselves, but they end up injuring their children as well.

Look, when parents sacrifice their own selfishness for love of their children, they have made a choice, and the more they love the greater will be their freedom. If their love is great, their freedom will bear much fruit in their children’s good

Couples who decide to stick it out, for better or worse, make a choice which derives from their blessed freedom. This presupposes self-surrender, for God’s sake, and for the children’s sake.

But unfortunately, Brad and Angelina are greatly ignorant about what freedom really is. They are aspiring to an illusory freedom without limits as though it were the ultimate goal of happiness. Yet, both have been down this road before. Angelina was previously married to an actor called Bob Thornton and walked away. Brad left a fellow actress, Jennifer Aniston for Angelina. Now they are at it again. Where will it go from here?

Marriage is about reconciling irreconcilably differences. When a man and woman marry, they reconcile themselves into one. The two shall become one, as the Holy writ says. We reconcile our differences by deliberately choosing to do so, out of love because love is not true if it’s not forever.

In a way, it all goes to support C. S Lewis arguments that if marriage is not for keeps, it’s better not to get married in the first place, and the Catholic Church insists that marriage is for keeps, and for the sake of children.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

The Editor





Should I keep this secret from my spouse?

1 08 2018

Marriage experts and real women debate the gray areas of keeping secrets from your husband or wife.

What you don’t say in a marriage can be even more telling than what you do say. Stacey Greene, author of Stronger Than Broken: One Couple’s Decision to Move Through An Affair, knows this fact better than most. After learning about her husband’s secret affair, she wrote her book to document her harrowing journey of recovering from that infidelity as a Christian woman. While writing and working through her unfortunate situation, Greene realized a simple truth about marriage: no secret is worth keeping from your spouse.

“In fact, while we were resurrecting the marriage, we began being brutally honest with each other, even if we knew it would hurt the other one’s feelings,” says Greene. “Marriage is rough, but honesty is paramount. It’s okay if I say, ‘Does this dress make my butt look fat?’ and he says, ‘Yes.’ I simply change dresses.”

That may sound extreme to some of us who like a little confidence-boosting white lie every now and again. But as far as Greene is concerned, one small secret as mild as an unflattering piece of clothing has the potential domino into more secrets and jeopardize the foundation of trust between husband and wife.

“Trust is at the pinnacle of any lasting and meaningful relationship,” she says. “We need to ask ourselves why would we even want to keep a secret from our wife or husband. What is the purpose? What are we afraid of the other person finding out about us?” Greene’s argument suggests that the underlying motives for telling the truth should outweigh the sometimes awkward or temporary wounded recreation your spouse might have. To her point, most of us don’t really want to leave the house in a dress that doesn’t look nice.

The truth will come out

Greene argues that no matter what kind of secret you may want to keep, your spouse will eventually learn the truth.

First and foremost she applies this to money. “If it is a financial secret, it will no doubt come out at some point,” she says. “Maybe it will come out at tax time, or when you must declare bankruptcy or lose a home. There goes trust and security in the marriage.” Financial talks are difficult — there’s no doubt about it. But between arguing about truths now rather than realizing your assets were actually a pack of lies later … which would you choose? And this goes both ways: if you feel you’re in the dark about your joint finances, don’t stay there; speak up. There’s no time like the present to find out the real scoop.

But the other big lie married couples often worry about is fidelity: “If it is a relationship secret (like cheating or being cheated on), there is a distinct probability that the affair will eventually be found out,” says Greene. “If it is a health secret (like he or she had been sleeping around), then diseases can be transmitted to the innocent partner. If there was a secret child from another relationship, that child may look up his biological parents and disrupt the lives of the biological family.” So the chances of being caught in your lie are many, and possibly all even more hurtful than hearing the truth directly from your partner. Though, of course, it’s always better simply not to do anything in a marriage that you feel you need to lie about to begin with.

She adds, “What we have to understand about secrets is that there is always a chance of being caught, which erodes trust.”

Anni Harry, who is a married Catholic woman, agrees that chances are good you will get caught no matter what, so you might as well be honest with your spouse in the first place.

“I am an open book,” she says. “I don’t have anything I keep from him simply because I am a firm believer that he will find out anyway. Also, I believe a lie by omission is still a lie, and most secrets are kept from someone to keep them out of the loop.”

But are there tiny exceptions?

Still, some married people argue that there are minor or short-term secrets that may be safe to keep, as long as your relationship is still largely based on trust and open communication.

For instance, gifts. “Small secrets — like, what you are gifting for birthdays, Christmas, etc. — are okay, but if it is pricey, I run the price by him first,” she says.

Alicia Schonhardt, the blogger behind the Catholic homeschooling blog Sweeping Up Joy, says that her secrets are her harmless guilty pleasures.

“My secrets involve the amount of chocolate I’ve consumed in one day and what fluffy TV shows I watch regularly,” she says. “If asked directly, I answer honestly. Yes, I watch Dancing With the Stars. No, I’m not proud of it. That’s pretty much it.”

Schonhardt adds, “There might be other things that I don’t tell him, but nothing is off the table for discussion if he brings it up.”

Chiara Pierpaolo Finaldi, a married Catholic woman in London, doesn’t believe you have to own up to all your tiny, embarrassing mistakes … though don’t expect to keep such matters a secret for long.

“You don’t need to tell [your husband] straight away that you ruined his favorite shirt when you washed it or shrunk his really special sweater that accidentally ended up in the dryer,” she says. “He will eventually find out.”

But slightly more substantial secrets may make sense to guard, too. If your friend has told you something in confidence that has absolutely nothing to do with your husband, many women feel you can keep mum on the matter.

“I keep to myself the things friends tell me if they don’t give me permission to share it with him, like marriages falling apart, for instance,” says Jennie Lawlis Goutet, who runs the blog, A Lady in France. “I always ask my friends first. But he’s respectful of my friends’ privacy and doesn’t ask further questions about things they’re not willing for him to know.”

Another type of secret that may make sense to guard is specific gossip about your husband.

“I keep negative things other people have said about him, from him,” says Leah Gray, who blogs about her experiences as the wife of an addict. “My husband battled an addiction and sometimes people say unkind things. The other thing I do is make it very clear I won’t listen to it either. It’s a personal integrity thing. He has no idea I do it, but I want to bless him in my secret life as well.”

Other than that? “I have no secrets from him,” says Grey. Because, while there are teeny exceptions, most secrets are hurtful, if not downright damaging.

by Aleteia, aleteia.org July 29, 2018 05:00 AM








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