By Maria Famakinwa
Once a marriage is consummated, couples are expected to live together and nurture the union to succeed. Doing so help to create an environment that would enable them to know each other while learning how they function as a unit that shares both a living space and live together. Living together in a relationship is important as it helps strengthen the union and bond both parties more in love.
As important as living together among married couples is, there are some couples who don’t see themselves except on weekends due to either of the spouse working in another state or for other reasons. They are called weekend couples because they only get intimate at weekends.
The Hope spoke with some affected couples how they have been navigating the challenging times.
A civil servant, Mrs Emiola Akinlere, whose husband, a federal civil servant, was posted six years ago to Lokoja, Kogi State but only check on them in Okitipupa, Ondo State during weekends or every two weeks revealed that it has not been easy coping with three children but she has no option.
She said: “Weekend marriage is not the best but I have to cope. Initially, when my husband was posted from Okitipupa to Lokoja, the situation was very challenging for me and himself because I have two children and was pregnant with my last child. I wept profusely because no one to assist. My husband was not happy as well yet, he must go because transferring workers within the country is one of the rules of federal government. I fell into labour at midnight three days after my husband left for Lokoja, I called to inform him and he immediately called his friend who lives around to take me to the hospital. Since I had my last child without my husband around, it makes me strong to stand the situation.”
Her husband, Bayo Akinlere, also shared his experienced: “It was mixed feelings when I was posted to Lokoja, I was sad because my wife’s delivery date was near and happy that I would have my freedom from a nagging wife. The reality however dawned on me when I could not prepare different delicacies my wife gave at home. My health was affected because I only cook noddles and eat bread and tea. It was then I value the woman God gave to me. Weekends now become a time to look forward to undermining the distance. If I travel on weekends to see her, I didn’t go back to my base until Monday sometimes. Weekend marriage is an experience that has taught me how best to appreciate my beautiful, caring wife. I am working seriously on my transfer back to Okitipupa to stay with my loving wife.”
On the advantage of weekend marriage, Mrs Akinlere said: “It is like postponing your honeymoon to the weekend. I make sure that I do everything needed to guard against disturbance when my husband is around. I also observed that seeing your spouse only weekends reduces quarrels between couples. Since we understand that we have limited time to spend together, we use it judiciously so that the memory of our intimacy while together will keep the flame of our love alive till we see again the next weekend,” she said.
Another weekend couple, Mr Timmy Rogers, whose wife works in Osun State as a law enforcement agent explained that when spouses are offered career opportunities in different locations, living apart is inevitable. The man who revealed that he decided not to join his wife in Osun State because of his business and his children education, added that seeing one’s spouse during the weekends also have its own benefits.
His words: “My wife can be posted to any part of the country due to the nature of her job. When she was posted to Osun State, I was considering joining her but later changed my mind when my business was doing fine and she reasoned with me. Within four years, she has been posted to two different states which also affected our children’s education before we agreed to be seeing each other at the weekends. At times, I travel with the children during weekends to see her in Osun though, was not easy but worth It. I want you to know that either you live with your spouse everyday or you only see during weekends, the most important thing between couples is communication.
“Technology has made this easier because most times I do video calls with my wife. In fact, living apart has also helped us to cherish ourselves better than when we were living together. We value ourselves the more and always have interesting gists to discuss when we meet. If it is about sexual intimacy, I want to tell you that most couples living together don’t have time for sex during the week except weekends. This is because they have to wake up very early and go to work, returning home later in the day, they are exhausted and just want to eat and sleep in preparation for the next day’s work. To some of us who only see our spouses during weekends, we do have a tremendous desire to welcome them as each weekend offer us another opportunity to renew our vows.”
Sharing a similar view, Mr Sunday Sobayo, whose wife is a federal civil servant, was transferred to Kwara state to head the State office for the past four years, described the move as the solution that saved his marriage from collapse. “It was a prayer answered when my wife told me that she had been transferred to head the branch of her office in Kwara state four years ago. That was what saved my marriage from breaking up because I was already fed up with the union.
“Due to our constant rifts, I changed our three children’s school to boarding because they were also tired of seeing their parents fighting always. But since my wife was transferred, we now realized how much more we needed each other, I mean that our love has been renewed. There are times in a relationship when couples must give each other space. Though, this may sound strange to some, the truth is that giving your spouse some space can help strengthen your marriage. I realized with my experience that the less you spend together, the more you begin to appreciate each other better.”
Mrs Folukemi Arise, a seamstress, whose husband works in Lagos State while she lives in Ekiti State, disclosed that coping was initially very difficult but she summoned courage since she had no choice.
She said: “Waiting till weekends to see my husband when he was initially transferred to Lagos State was tough for me to cope with but after a year, I accepted and adjusted to the reality. Today, living apart makes me understand how important my husband is. Though, it is not easy for couples who once enjoyed intimate relationship to live in different States especially when the marriage is still young and needed to be nurtured, but thank God, I have been coping. It takes a lot to make weekend marriage work, but the key word is trust. Once you close your ears to gossips and both parties commit to make it work, it will work.”
Asked how she has been coping, she said that one needs to lose something to gain something. “Work and money are very crucial to marital sustainability. So I have to support my husband when he was transferred. Though, he didn’t like being transferred but he knew that working with a private company is risky and failure to comply with the laid down rules is immediate termination of appointment. I must confess, Living apart has been helpful to my marriage, we are always anxious to get reunited at weekends. I love attending social functions but I have stopped since my husband only comes home during the weekends.
“As a seamstress, my work demands that I go to work on Saturdays but in order to have enough time for my man, I prepare ahead for his coming to avoid going to the shop on Saturdays. Even my children are taken to my mother-in-law after spending some hours with their father and come back at night so that we don’t get disturbed when we are together. We have fixed our love to weekends and it has always been romantic. My weekends is always loaded with fun and excitement,” she revealed.
A federal civil servant, Mrs Florence Taiwo, hinted that her marriage became the weekend type due to her husband’s unfaithfulness. The mother of two who disclosed that she worked her transfer to Ogun State when her 42-year-old marriage was at the brink of collapse. She advised that distancing one from one’s spouse for a period of time could help mend a shaky marriage.
Her words: “I worked my transfer to Ogun State three years ago when my husband was having illicit affair with his secretary to save my health. After a year of my transfer to Ogun State, my husband’s Secretary got married and relocated to Lagos. It was then my husband realized his mistakes and started begging me for forgiveness. Our pastor intervened and I promised to be visiting him any weekend that I feel like. I tried visiting him one weekend in a month because he is now retired and stays alone at home in Akure except when any of our children in higher institutions are back from school. Though, I have forgiven him but the trust is no longer there. My husband”s unfaithfulness turned our marriage to the weekend love,” she lamented.
Speaking on the benefit of weekend marriage, she said that she could have died of high blood pressure if she had not worked her transfer to Ogun State.
“Seeing my husband one weekend in a month made it easier to forgive him but I could not forget how he scorned the genuine love I had for him.”
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