It wasn’t long before third party interference began to cause a hullabaloo in our home. Third party interference is another determinant of conflict in any marriage but it poses more danger in polygamy. Giving room for a third party to interfere in marital discord has it’s shortcomings. The influences of negative friends cannot be over emphasized. Since you now have a mate, they want to know how you relate with her, what is happening in your home and how you handle conflict as an inevitable occurrence especially in polygamy.
Whatever happens in our homes should be exclusively kept within the home but I guess we all need succor and someone to talk to once in a while to lighten the burdens on our heart but little did we know that a problem revealed most of the times would be out for public consumption. Moreover not all advisers wish you or your marriage well. When both wives have ‘teachers’ who incite them against each other, that would be the beginning of accumulated resentment.
During one of Mother-In-Law’s visit to our house, I took her to go see a doctor because she was complaining of severe body pain. The doctor gave her injection which will probably induce her to sleep. He advised that I take her home immediately to rest and we left the hospital for home immediately. I wanted to go do some grocery shopping so I dropped Mama and left immediately. I came back to meet a violent noise which I was hearing from the gate. I pulled the car to a stop and ran in to see what was happening. “ This children will not kill me, they’ve started their trouble again” I murmured to myself as I hurried in but getting in I met another scenario entirely.
It was Mama scolding Raheemah for something I couldn’t really place at first. Raheemah had a visitor and Mama was telling the visitor to leave and never show her face in the house again, while Raheemah was telling Mama that her friend wasn’t going anywhere if Mama didn’t say what she has done to warrant being chased out. I was trying to come in, but Mama insisted the lady must leave first.
“Intruder! Home breaker!! Tell this daleru daleru ore iyawo to leave first before I pour pepper on her head.” Mama said shouting at the top of her voice.
“Mummy please calm down and tell us what the problem is, you are supposed to be resting now instead of working yourself up like this.” I said facing Mama.
“You people are not been fair to me in this house o, how can Mama tell my guest to leave, don’t I have the right to host a visitor in my husband’s house?. I said I wasn’t coming here in the first place but you people practically dragged me here and here I am being treated like a second class citizen …….” Raheemah complained with misty eyes while Mama cut her short.
“Will you be mute and let me talk. Anike! You said I’m supposed to be sleeping but Raheemah and her friend wouldn’t just allow me. They were in the living room when I came in through the kitchen, they were so engrossed to notice anybody come in. I was coming to greet them when I heard this intruder” she said pointing at Raheemah’s friend. “saying things that can destroy a home and turn it into disarray. She said Raheemah is being denied her full right and that she should protest by demanding to go back to her house. She said she shouldn’t fold her arms and do nothing while the man that belongs to both of you is being enjoyed by you alone. She told her to stop being a slave in a house that belongs to both of you and stop doing Yes ma, yes ma for you as if you’re some kind of lord, she said you have equal right as co-wives and she shouldn’t allow herself to be bossed around by you. Did I lie on you? Mama asked Raheemah’s friend gesticulating by pushing her mouth forward and the former was dumbfounded.
Mama didn’t stop at nothing until Raheemah’s friend left. “I will not fold my arms and allow intruders destroy my son’s home” She said after Raheemah’s friend had left and I urged her to go sleep since she has achieved her aim. She obliged and went to her room. I took the grocery to the kitchen to start preparing for dinner but I couldn’t concentrate. My mind was greatly disturbed. Mama shouldn’t have told me anything, whatever I don’t know cannot hurt me, she should have just called Raheemah and advise her but Mama has zero chill. She doesn’t close her eyes to evil and her role in ensuring our home is peaceful cannot be overemphasized.
I was still occupied with my thoughts when Raheemah entered the kitchen. She stood beside me and was silent. Guilt and remorse was written all over her face. I ignored her and continued with my business. I could feel her uneasiness and discomfort. I didn’t ask her anything before her conscience started pushing her to confess.
“I didn’t tell my friend anything before she started ill-advising me” Raheemah said breaking her silence.
“I see, it’s good you know that she was ill-advising you. Wait a minute! Have I ever been bad to you? Have I ever treated you with disdain? Have I ever lord over you or boss you around? Talking about bossing around, the reverse is the case. I took you as nothing but my sister and you know it. Saying you didn’t tell your friend anything is a big lie, if the wall is not open, it will be impossible for a lizard to go through. A stranger cannot know what is going on in our house except she’s told.” I said firmly.
“I’m sorry she’s just a nosy person who wants to know everything. She only misunderstood the little I told her and started spewing rubbish. You’ve been nothing short of good to me, you’ve been my pillar of support and I really do appreciate you. I’m so sorry and I promise that such will never repeat itself” Raheemah said with remorse.
“No problem, to err is human, we are all fallible. I’m not a saint myself . Your apology is accepted. Where are the kids? I’ve not seen them since I came back”
“Oh, Abu came home and said he was taking them out”
“Oh yeah! Daddy and children time out, they didn’t take us with them too bad”
“Abi o. Talking about Abu Aisha, please don’t tell him what happened today, he will be so mad at me if he’s aware. I don’t want to get into trouble” Raheemah pleaded.
“Why should I tell him? On my own I won’t tell him but I don’t know about Mama o. It’s better you go and beg her before he’s back” I advised and she quickly ran to Mama’s room to beg her. Mama promised she wouldn’t report her on the condition that her friend does not come around ever again which she promised and that was it. The issue was buried and life continued.
Life continued but not without petty issues here and there. Soon it was my turn to get into trouble due to a third party interference. I was a little bit indisposed since a day before, My aunt, my daddy’s kid sister who was just 3 years older than I was and who resides in Abuja was in town and decided to pay me a visit. She met me lying weak on my bed. It was a weekend and so the kids were away in Madrasah. I couldn’t leave the room to go meet her so I invited her to my bedroom where she met me groaning in pain. She asked if I had eaten which I answered in the negative, since I was indisposed, there was no one to cook, even the kids took cornflakes to Madrasah, and my husband who should have cooked had been away since four days ago on an official assignment due to get back today.
“This is arrant nonsense, because you’re sick and can’t cook you won’t eat in this condition. By the way can’t your mate cook for you? I met her in the living room laughing and giggling in front of the TV. Didn’t she know that you’re sick” My aunt asked impatiently.
“She knows” I replied faintly
“This your simplicity has turned to stupidity, you cannot instruct her to cook whatever you want to eat for you or is she carrying her pregnancy on her hands? Anyways what would you like to eat let me make it for you before I leave” My aunt offered.
“My mouth is sour, I’ll like to eat some bitter leaf soup maybe with a little semo. We have bitter leaf in the compound, you can just fetch from there, there’s pepper in the freezer and you’ll see seasoning in the kitchen cabinet. Please ma, make the soup very spicy so that I’ll be able to eat” I explained to save her the troubles of looking for anything. She took my orders and went away and under an hour, the aroma of a well garnished bitter leaf soup was already in front of me begging to be consumed.
I took the first morsel and the food tasted so delicious, my appetite suddenly came flooding back and I devoured the whole portion. My aunt was very happy and urged me to take more, I nodded my head and she happily rushed to the kitchen to fetch the remaining portion of food. I was expecting her to come back but instead I heard noise coming from the kitchen, since I’ve took some food I was a bit strong so I hurried to the kitchen to see what the noise was about. I met Raheemah holding her hands and groaning in pain while my aunt was holding the serving spoon feeling unperturbed.
“What’s going on here?” I demanded with eyes burning with curiousity
“Can you imagine this your plastic hand mate, what an insolence, I got to the kitchen now and met her eating the remaining portion I made, a whole me made food for my sick niece and you have the gut, the effrontery and the audacity to take and eat. You must have been expecting your slave to come cook for you before, something you’re supposed to do but failed to do, another person did and all you’re hungry all of a sudden. You’re very rude to tell you the truth and inconsiderate to add to it. If I didn’t come here, would your sick co-wife have died of hunger while you sit doing nothing?” my aunt lashed Raheemah but I still wanted to know why she was holding her hand in pain.
“So, what did you do to her? I asked again.
“I hit this serving spoon very hard on her hand so that next time, she would not reap where she did not sow” My aunt said again unperturbed.
“Ooooooooooooh aunty! You shouldn’t have hit a spoon on her hand joooor” I said scolding my aunt
“Are you alright at all, did she cook the food she ate or she thinks everyone will be as stupid as her mate who she’s turned into her maid. Look here my friend next time I come here and you behave in this insolent manner, I’ll beat you so much that your husband will not be able recognize you when he returns” My aunt warned Raheemah sternly with a threat.
“Who’s threatening to beat my wife in my house?” That was my husband’s voice, we all looked back with shock. We didn’t even notice him walk in. I was scared, how much of the dispute did he hear, I thought to myself. My fear only increased when Raheemah who wasn’t crying before burst into tears upon hearing our husband’s voice.