When you say “I do”, many people think that it is love, warm fuzzy feelings and enjoyment forever.

Not many think of the challenges and responsibilities entrenched in making a marriage a success.

For the next few weeks, I shall be discussing the story of a particular family.

” On a fine afternoon in my family home at Ibadan, three young beautiful ladies came visiting. I was thrilled to see them even though surprised because they didn’t call or inform me ahead of their coming.

As I was welcoming them, they apologized for their impromptu visit. These were young girls I knew many years back during the various travelings alongside my husband as the chief executive officer of an Organization.

After all apologies were given and accepted, we sat down to share pleasantries of the previous years.

“Auntie”, one of them (Sandra)called me, “I hope you still remember how lovely our home used to be.”

“Of course i do”, I replied, “I’m sorry i haven’t even asked about your mum, dad and siblings…”

“Auntie, do you mean the family we were staying with?”

“No, I mean your parents.”

She heaved a sigh and said, “Auntie, in fact, that is why we are here; to tell you the real story of our lives. You remember then, Lizzy was entering secondary School while I was awaiting admission to the University?”

“Yes, I remember”, I said.

“Many years has passed. I am now a practicing Medical Doctor and Lizzy is a practicing Lawyer. Only Jully who decided to be an advocate, is the daughter of Dr. Ogbgunwah. God has really helped us.”

“Thank God”, I said, ” I think we will need to eat something and be refreshed before your story continues.”

There and then, I called for the table to be set and within few minutes, the young boys and girls who had been busy cooking put the table in place and all was set at the table.

“Here we are, can Jully pray for the food set before us?” My husband, who had been just an active listener to the various gisting going on had joined us at the table.

We spent the next hour eating and drinking and talking about other things.

“Now auntie here goes the story…” Sandra picked up from where she stopped immediately we were done eating. “Our real parents, Mr and Mrs Elureda, got married about 30 years ago when they were both government workers.

Daddy was a civil servant at the State Secretariat while mum was a teacher in the public primary School very close to our home. Within the first five years of their marriage, God blessed them with two girls; myself and my sister Lizzy. There is a four years difference between us.

Our family was a very happy family for some years before things changed. There was a sudden withdrawal of commitment and disloyalty crept in between our father and mother. Mother suddenly became cold towards father and we children. She started to complain about father’s inability to make meaningful contribution to the family up-keep. We thought it was a joke but little did we know that mother already had her eyes on another man who was more wealthy and influential than our dad.

By the time Lizzy was five years old, we started to notice that mum’s clothings were becoming fewer in the house. Finally, when Lizzy marked her sixth birthday, mum left home and got married to the king of the town not minding what happens to us the children.

Our dad was devastated and troubled. “Where do I start now my children?” he asked rhetorically.

Earlier on, many of our extended family members have tried to wade in to avert the worst but there was no positive intervention.

Now that mum had left, my dad had to leave us with his younger sister who was then married to Dr Ogbogunwah- the family where you met us. Jully, our big sister, is their first daughter. It was this woman, supported by her husband, who raised us up till we finished our schooling and became professionals.

Meanwhile, our mother who left our father did not have any child for the king for the years she was with him. Unfortunately, the king died some years after and mum started living all alone. She could not marry again and would not come back to her former husband.

“Now what brought us here”, cut in Jully, ” is that,  since Sandra settled after her NYSC as a practicing Medical personnel, she has been at her station but Lizzy is still with us. Now, she is about getting married and she adamantly insists that her mother should not be invited for her wedding.”

There and then, Lizzy raised her voice and asked, “Would you have allowed her if you were in my shoes? I never knew her as my mother!”

Sandra picked up from there, “As for me, I have been sending her gifts but I cannot let her into my home.”

Again, Jully turned to me, “Auntie i just want you to enlighten Lizzy and beg her to allow her mother.”

I also invited my husband to give his counsel which he did, but blatantly, Lizzy refused.

Questions for Discussion:

1.What counsel would you give Lizzy?

2.  If you were the divorced woman what will you do?

3. What steps can the foster parents take to find solution to this problem?

4. Is divorce avoidable?

5. Is divorce evil?