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Opinions Mon, 15 Jun 2020

Your favorite aunt may be your new mother

Years of seeing so many American movies may have rob of on me in funny ways. I am soon to get hitched and whilst I have been figuring out what kind of father I would be and how good a husband I will turn out, I have been consumed with what type of an ex husband I may turn out to be. You may call it cold feet, but as a victim of a broken home, I have grown to accept divorce as a major part of marriage.

Girls have always accused me of over thinking. As a person who grew with one parent at every particular time, I guess it was normal that I had an over imaginative type of attitude. As any parent I had been with has had the inordinate need to compete with themselves to bring out the best in me, I have been forced to spend more time on my own than with people my age. As early as I could remember, my late father had always tried to separate me from other children with the hope that I may not be corrupted. This meant a lot of role play in my mind and the imagination of several possible outcomes of everything and nothing at all.

It is therefore, not surprising that a few months to my wedding I am wondering what kind of ex husband I will be. My late father was a sour loser, you can say he never got over my mum. I was made to believe my mother had died whilst I was young, and at a time also told she had abandoned me to run away when I was a mere baby. In my deepest of thoughts, sometimes I wonder what could make a couple so bitter to pull the death card in the event of a divorce. Certainly, I will not want to be a bitter ex husband, but how do I prevent the unfortunate from happening at all?

As a social worker, in my short career I have come to notice that conditions or events leading to the divorce may affect how couples treat each other and by extension, their children in the event of a divorce. Spouses who woke up one day to see their subordinates whom their children called aunties/uncles emerge as new mummies/daddies mostly have the tendencies to be more acrimonious towards each other, as compared to those who had seen it ahead of time. I guess the latter group always developed or had some closure before the day and so are more prepared to deal with the situation. No amount of preparation however can prepare a child for the reality that their parents are no longer together. For the parents, they might pretend to be okay, but just like the child, we all get lost in the divorce.

I do not want to be a prophet of doom for my own marriage. It is my greatest desire to celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary with the wife of my youth. But should I find myself enduring a midlife crisis and drawn to one younger/older than my wife whose path seem to be aligned with mine at a particular time, should I wake up and realize my wife was with one better than myself and whom I cannot complete with, I guess it's only fair that I wonder how I will talk to my children about the impending divorce and how we will deal with it. Alimony and child support will that tear us apart and will we hate each other to the point that we will be blind to our children's struggling needs or we will be civil towards each other and even end up friends? Perhaps the best of fuckbuddies? Before I walk down the aisle, I'd like to be prepared for everything and nothing at all and I guess wondering what kind of ex husband I will be, is one of the most important things I have yet considered.

"Adwoa, aunty Akua is going to be your new mum!"
Columnist: Ebenezer Okine-Okine