Book review: ‘I am married but single’, the other side of spousal migration

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Nothing excites a couple more than to move beyond the fine ‘I love you’ rhetoric to saying “I do” to each other in the full glare of witnesses.

It is a never to be forgotten memory when you walk down the aisle hand-in-hand, hearts knitted together and saying I do to the man or woman you love and cherish. It comes with it a new sense of fulfilment, a deeper joy of new beginnings, notwithstanding the higher call for commitment and responsibility.

Such was the feeling of the authors- Emmanuel and Gina Idan who nurtured a relationship right from High School into marriage. They took their vows with passion, swapped smiles, hugs and kisses with verve.

The excitement was at a crescendo, not entirely oblivious of the challenges that come with the institution whose certificate they had received even before they will attempt to dot the I’s and cross the t’s. Yeah that is marriage.

When his wife Gina swore to submit (Ephesians 5: 22-24) in response to his promise to love (Ephesians 5: 25), all in the full glare of the witnesses, they both were convinced and ready to carry out their vows as husband and wife, dwelling together (1 Peter 3:7).

But seven months later everything changed. The vows were at risk of being abandoned; their lives had become a little boringly stale, a stark contrast to scenes at the wedding.

Unlike biblical Joseph who presided over seven years of plenty and seven years of lean season, the authors shared seven months of bliss immediately after the wedding, and awful lot of years of misery staying married but living single.

It is these years of misery put together in a revealing riveting story of “I am married but I am single.”

A great storytelling with simple, easy to relate narration, the authors from Chapter One, get the reader spellbound, treating a delicate issue of spousal-migration in a way none other has.

“The Story behind my new three-piece suit I encountered Vid when I was 16 years old. She was my mum’s closest neighbour. We lived in the same compound house together.

I ran errands for Vid and assisted her with domestic chores. Because she lived alone, I was the caretaker of her single- room apartment whenever she travelled. Vid was beautiful, peaceful, and kind, and I benefited immensely from her kindness as an errand boy.

One day, she invited me to her room. ‘I have a special gift for you’, she said, but this time not in her usual bubbly self. She pulled a suit bag from her wardrobe and handed it to me. I opened it in her presence.I am married but single

It was a beautiful new grey three-piece suit. I was excited. I smiled awkwardly and thanked her profusely. When my mother returned from work that night, I told her the good news. As usual, I showed her my new suit and asked her to thank Vid on my behalf.

At this point, my mum recounted the story behind that beautiful suit, my newly acquired property.

When Vid’s husband first left for the UK, their communication was frequent and filled with love. Alex would write Vid heartfelt letters, send her thoughtful gifts, and provide financial support. However, two years later, the once vibrant communication became sporadic.

The silence was deafening, and Vid couldn’t ignore the growing distance. Alex often blamed his demanding work schedule for the lack of communication, but little did Vid know Alex had started a new life with another woman.

After 5 years of Alex’s domicile abroad, Vid received a perplexing letter from him. The content of the letter was shocking and heartbreaking.

The content of the ‘divorce letter’ is paraphrased below:
I apologise for disappointing you, but I cannot continue the marriage. To secure my stay in the UK and avoid deportation, I am married to a new lady. If you will not mind, should any man come your way, you can marry him. I will compensate you for the time wasted and the inconvenience caused. I am sorry!

Several months after the devastating revelation, Vid decided to part with Alex’s wardrobe. The three-piece suit she had given me was Alex’s meant for their wedding, a dream now shattered. I became an unintended beneficiary of Vid’s broken marriage. Vid’s,” that was an excerpt in Chapter One.

Was the gift of the three piece suit a premonition of what would happen in the author’s life? What forced one of the newly wedded couple out of the country? What were challenges, the experiences and the coping mechanisms living apart as married couple? How did they manage the natural urge for sex when they did not share a bed for many years? What happened to the marriage? What lessons are there to learn from this?

All the answers to these and more you will find in; “I AM MARRIED BUT I AM SINGLE, THE OTHER SIDE OF SPOUSAL MIGRATION. “A must read story for couples who want to stay married but still desire to travel abroad one at a time.


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