Marriage by definition is a relationship between two persons for certain purposes. It is the business of two persons to conduct the affairs of their lives together, as one entity. So, if marriage is succeeding or will succeed the two persons involved must have armed themselves with the necessary weapons and tools to keep the crowd at bay in their relationship. This is due to the fact that there will always be a crowd in the marital company, who will be a blessing or a curse; a liability or an asset to the marriage. This outcome of the crowd, whether negative or positive, will be determined by the sagacity of the persons involved in the marriage. That is, each couple must fashion out a plan to handle the crowd around their marriage.
The good intentioned crowd
The relatives who have good intentions but wrong approaches to actualize the good intentions about the couple, they have the interest of the couple at heart, but can be over caring to the detriment of the marriage.
The live in crowd
These are the relatives, acquaintances, and friends who come to live in the same house with the couple.
The mischievous crowd
This is not a group of well wishers but detractors seeking for ways to devour the persons in the marriage. They can be subtle and deadly. They set traps for the couple so as to derail the marital train. This crowd is not nice at all, either in intentions, conduct or strategies. They are spoilers of joy.
All of these have one thing in common: monitoring. They monitor the movement, progress, conduct etc of the marriage. With the reports that are gathered, the crowd can be a source of conflicts in the marriage by engendering strife between the couple. Especially the live in crowd, who practically knows the secrets or are exposed to the secrets of the couple: their quarrels, weaknesses, financial situation, etc. For example, when a husband do dishes and cooks in the house, or when a wife practically foots the bills of the union, the live in crowd, makes a topic out of it to parents of the couple or other relatives or outsiders, in a derogatory manner. This is especially relevant in societies where husband and wife have rigid, traditionally defined roles, that make certain things “no go” areas for a husband or a wife. The crowd makes comments that may bring a couple into conflicts on the basis of such assigned roles. This is where the couple must deplore their skills to deal with such issues.
Handling the crowd
This requires the following, which must be intentional acts in the marriage
The couple must be wise in dealing with each other. You may deliberately avoid flaunting the good deeds of your spouse publicly in the neighbourhood, to avoid heightened jealousy and/or envy. This is important where you have couples in abusive and stressful marriages around you. Be wise to ignore certain happenings around you, or constant negative comments about your spouse.
A couple must be sensitive to situations and comments of people around them, who may be out to bring them into conflicts. For example, when a neighbour constantly condemns your spouse’s attitude or conduct, or finds fault about his or her attitude, such a couple must be careful to note such, and fashion out a way to deal with the situation.
It’s often said that one cannot be too careful about situations. So, be careful in your dealings with each other, when others are around you or live in the same apartment or compound with you. Avoid conduct that will bring about a crack in the wall of your marriage. Know when to apply the break in communication in cases of quarrels and arguments. You cannot be carefree in expressing your feelings or hurts before the crowd. Otherwise, you will endanger the marriage.
These include taking very decisive decisions such as sending away a live in person or persons; cut off from a relationship in the area, that is of negative impact on your marriage. Standing for your spouse in the face of criticisms by your relatives or neighbours is highly desirable. Don’t expose your spouse to ridicule by joining forces with his or her critics. Rather, you should protect your spouse in such instances.
In all of the above, realising that the crowd act mostly in their own selfish interests, rather than in the interest of the couple, that’s why the couple must not swallow all crowd’s advice hook, line and sinker. Rather, it should be taken in with a pinch of salt.
Why the crowd must be properly handled
It is a common saying that “two is a company, three is a crowd.” Also, it’s often said that “you don’t focus on the crowd at the market, but on what you go to the market for.” The crowd is a distraction in the marriage. It’s a necessary evil at times, so it must be handled with care, to stop the marital train from derailment.
Don’t allow a third party to rule your marriage, no matter who he or she is. Rather, own your marriage. I learnt of a lady, who permitted her parents to be the deciding factor in her marriage, and by the time the marriage entered into crisis, the interest of the parents was the paramount thing, and it was the albatross to the union. The marriage moved from top to bottom, before it crashed.
The crowd is majorly a distraction. They gossip about the couple in so many ways. Many homes have been ruined by the crowd in many ways: illicit sex, gossips, snatching the husband, and in some cases, killing a spouse.
This is why a couple must be intentional and diligent too, in handling the crowd in their marriage. The evil they do outweighs the good. That’s not however to say nothing good comes out of the crowd. But caution is the watchword in dealing with the crowd.
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