Unlike my wife, I don’t believe in marrieds' conferences because some of my friends have lost partners there. Layo Clyf
Dear Layo Clyf, It is unfortunate that your friends have lost wives to marrieds’ conferences which should have positive objectives such as strengthening marriages, building strong relationships and family bonds. Have you tried to find out from your friends who lost wives what really happened during those conferences?
Maybe it would be better that you investigate for yourself what issues led to the separation. Could it have been at the conference or had these people had issues before and the conference only made them realise that it would be better to stop the relationship?
In many cases spouses have conflict or disagreements for long before they blow into something bad. So, it would help you to face your fears and be able to discuss the issue with your wife so that she understands and deals with your fears about the conferences. However, marrieds’ conferences are meant to help keep partners together rather than separate them.
You also need to check out what type of marrieds’ conference you attend and who organises them and the objectives of the conferences. Unfortunately, often times these conferences whose target audience is couples is many times shunned by men.
This does not mean that because the women have attended them without their husbands so they end up with other men…no that is not the case. But as mentioned above couples as it were could have had earlier problems and when such an opportunity comes where both could attend and perhaps be helped with their challenges, the man will tell the woman to go alone which is not helpful at all.
The bottom line is for a couple to consolidate their marital bond so that your marriage still stand. Clyf, imagine if for instance, during the conference the topic on infidelity and forgiveness is handled. Here, we as men are also supposed to say “sorry” to our spouses when we hurt them but instead you happen to be the kind of person who is “Mr Always Right”. Worse still, you are a wife abuser who knows perhaps your wife was contemplating to leave you and there comes that conference where she is more empowered and helped to understand her rights better, so when she leaves you would you attribute this to the marrieds’ conference?
Joseph Musaalo is a Counselling Psychologist