I know a lot of people who found maths to be one of the toughest challenges in life during high school. It wasn’t so much that it was terrible, or all the teachers were horrible; it just presented challenges that the mind genuinely did not want to handle. Even numbers are beautiful! I gradually appreciated the usefulness of odd numbers until I met prime numbers. Does anyone remember being asked to find the square root of 13, or 19, or 97? “Against the Odds” might sound like the title of a lovely romantic comedy, but when you have to love against the odds, and truly live through the process… Hmmm.
Like my odd numbers in maths class, some odds are bearable in marriage. Some you actually anticipate, such as the toothpaste cap odd, or toilet seat odd or even the television hugging odd. However, there are some quadratic equation type challenges that marriage throws at us to really challenge the love we profess to have for each other.
One of such odds is a personality change or evolving. I fell in love with a version of my spouse hoping that whatever the future held, this version of him would always be there or at best improve. This version was caring, considerate of my feelings, shared his thoughts, visions and desires with me, and let me know that I was important to the rest of his life. A few years on and the change I see in this man is scary. I no longer know details of his dealings and when I ask, I am treated like a nuisance. In most cases this would probably indicate a chic on the side but that is not my case. My husband is so driven by providing for the future that the present seems almost irrelevant. My needs are nothing in comparison to our future needs, so I should learn to live without them. No need to think about wants because I’ve stopped having them. I look at our wedding pictures and remember what I signed up for. I recently asked God “do my vows still count if the man I made them to no longer exist in the body I live with?” He reminded me that He was also a part of the vows and I have to trust him. So, I am loving my husband and keeping the peace in my home, waiting on God to remember me as he always does, and praying that my husband will focus on the important and not just the urgent.
There are other major odds people live through such as the delay in childbearing. God had mercy on me because I was already coming under fire for not getting pregnant within 3 months of trying! And there are some who love through this odd for years. How about the odd of an accident which paralyzes a part or the whole body? This is a whole different ball game from squeezing the toothpaste in the middle. Yes, we do not pray for such things and the probability of this is pretty slim, but there are some who are living the reality of this odd.
A friend recently joked that women are built to handle a certain level of stress from the children that the men can not deal with. It truly was a joke but there are many who sincerely believe that raising a child is 95% the job of the mother. I never planned to be a single mom at any stage of my life, but I have found this to be an odd in my relationship. Now there are the obvious single moms who have a late spouse or baby daddy did a runner. In the UK, there are benefits and schemes to make life slightly easier for such people and thank God for such a provision. There are some however like myself, who are happily married but living like single moms, either because our spouses work outside the country and cannot physically be present, or (if it’s a really bad odd) he is physically present but chooses to be absent until its time to eat and have sex. I assure you that such women are sincerely hurting. We are not easy to recognise as we look great and collected in public, but once in a while there may be a slip of the mask and reality is revealed.
I guess you could ask if this is indeed loving against the odds or are we just surviving because we are too cowardly to quit? I am not talking about wicked and abusive men here. I am not talking about the weaklings who take pleasure in hitting their spouses to prove a point. I am talking about life throwing you some equations which you would rather not deal with; problems which you wish you could pass on to someone else to solve. I bet if my husband could write on this, he would talk about the fear of not being able to put food on the table for his family, or the scare of solely depending on one 9-5 job for the rest of your life – and then a recession happens. These things are way more important to him than spending 30mins to sit down with wife and children to build a relationship. This time could be used to make a decent forex trade! It makes sense, but it’s still a little hard to live through the seasons of ‘the Odds’.
I remember my A’level maths teacher saying there is a feeling you get from solving any equation in maths that you can’t get from any other subject. He wasn’t lying. There were some questions that required two or three a4 pages to solve, and even if the answer was negative 4.37, as long as you knew it was the right answer, it gave such a pleasure!!! To love through the tough times may be hard but as long as God is a part of your relationship and you focus and being the best version of you, everything will work out for good. Please seek help from trusted sources when you need to and make sure you stay encouraged. We will indeed live to testify of the Lord’s goodness and favour in our relationships in Jesus name.
Surrounded by His love,,
Angela for DISHUSBANDMATA
-Passionate about relationships
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