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Compatibility Issues: Matters Arising

SCIENCE can be quite exciting, lucid and straightforward, for those who are enamoured of it. But, not for me! This brings to mind my days in the secondary school, when I was certain to be left out if those eggheads, the stars of the science class, were to be counted. Without a modicum of guilt, shame or ill-feeling, I confess to being a dyed-in-the-wool arts student. And, I guess, I am content with that. Science, as far as I know, is too convoluted and mind-bending.

  Though, owing to my love for only biology, which allowed me to, maximally express my drawing skills, the school authorities had been gracious enough to  select me, back in the day, to take a motley crowd of people (including dignitaries from government) through  a presentation titled: The Mammalian Ear, during my school’s Science Fair. So well did my ‘performance’ impress my ‘audience’ that I began to delude myself into thinking all it would take, to become a medical doctor, was the ability to draw Spirogyra, Amoeba, the human reproductive organs, digestive system and so on. Indeed, I had proceeded, in this tenuous self-assurance, to write my name in bold letters, on all my biology textbooks, prefixing it with the unearned title of ‘Dr.’ So much for self-delusion. 

   But, one bit of knowledge, which I have since acquired from my dalliance with the sciences – fleeting as it was – is the expression: ‘Opposites attract and likes repel.’ I think most of us often act in grave error, by transferring this cold, scientific postulation into our understanding of relationships between men and women and by extension, marriage. How ill-advised!

  In my estimation, taking that singular, most involving decision of spending the rest of one’s life with a man or woman, should take more than flightiness or impetuosity. Marriage can be as complex as it is delicate.

   Even if we assume that, for instance, a reserved and reticent man will do well to get married to an outspoken wife, who can readily be strong for him where he is weak, does that mean all the compatibility issues that are likely to arise out of this curious wedlock have been dealt with? I doubt very much. Other considerations, if not limited to, must include sexual compatibility, level of intelligence, on both sides, dress sense, human relations and so on.

  For me, assuming or being presumptuous has never been a strong point. To do so will be comparable to the ‘assurance’ once offered millions of football – loving Nigerians, by an erstwhile Coach of the Super Eagles that our team will ‘fumble and wobble’ to the finals. Of course, the result of that match was anything, but favourable. Besides, anyone who took the bunglie are wont to say: ‘Garbage in, Garbage out.’ It is impossible to plant cassava and reap something else.

   Overlooking certain compatibility indices, in the affairs of men and women can have disastrous results. What is worse? When either the men or women console themselves, by thinking that they can change their spouses or merely paper over the obvious cracks, deeper and deeper do they fall into the morass of always apologising for a rotten sore. And as experience has shown, over and over again, people only change of their own volition.

  Truth is, most materialistic women, who are, particularly guilty of this look in only one direction: M-O-N-E-Y. Once the man has enough of what Americans call: ‘Benjamins’ to throw around, what you are likely to hear from the women is: ‘Who cares? He may not be good looking, but his pocket is!’ Really? On the other hand, the man may be good looking, rich and every woman’s dream, but at every opportunity, the female gender means nothing else to him other than a punching bag! Yet, the woman in the eye of the storm — for all the material benefits she is enjoying — remains in the relationship or union, in the hope that he will change. Wishful thinking!

  There are also some men who daily live through abusive relationships or marriages. Yes, anyone who thinks only men abuse women must be from another planet. I am aware that a lot of men – for the sake of avoiding washing their matrimonial dirty linens in the public – shield their predicament from everyone, enduring their wives’ tantrums, ill-temper and violent behaviour.  Ah … when you see such women ‘at work,’ you will pray that God should spare you that life of misery. Indeed, most men, who are unlucky to be in this bind, react to their sad situations in different ways. While some embrace God, looking unto Him for deliverance, others seek ‘salvation’ in liquor! Such men, who get ‘called to the bar,’ spend such a long time running away from the ‘terror’ at home that when the bar owner says it is time to shut down for the night, they are crestfallen. Going home becomes a nightmare. 

   Yet, for all that it is worth, being almost absolutely sure that you are compatible with your spouse, even in the most negligible of ways, from the point of dating until wedding vows are exchanged, cannot be wished away. While I lay no claim to seeing this as a foolproof solution, I know that it doesn’t hurt to check and check again. Whatever happened to knowing his/her friends, where he /she hangs out, his or her passion, world views and (ah… his or her attitude to money) among other things?

  Acting in desperation or hiding behind one finger, in crass denial of the glaring incompatibility issues in your relationship or marriage, can only lead nowhere, but perdition.

Olawaleobadeyi@gmail.com



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