We’ve all kept malice at some point or another.
Where two or more are gathered… malice will creep in; so long as you have a relationship with another person, be it sexual or not – as humans, we will get miffed at each other, we will misunderstand each other’s intentions, we will bicker and we will have need to give each other space.
Some relationship experts have even said a little bit of malice is healthy for relationships because the makeup sex can be toe curling ( na so I hear o). Hmmn! The downside to this, unfortunately, is that if not resolved quickly can develop a life of its own and threaten the relationship or consume it altogether.
I hate keeping malice. Okay, I only enjoy it for a while but then I immediately grow tired if it drags beyond the first day and that’s because half the time I’m unable to sustain my anger against the “offender” for long.
I have an enormous capacity to forget particularly if the ‘offending’ person has hitherto been good to me. I rationalise, “Shebi it was this ‘goat head’ that got me this and that the other day; shebi it was this ‘cow dung’ that helped me up when I was down; shebi it was this ‘idiot’ that loaned me the much-needed cash when I needed a bailout…
When I remember these, I try to make peace with this other person and would foolishly be waiting for an apology, a simple “I’m sorry,” would do especially when I feel I am the injured party. For me, sorry solves all problems. Get me upset and say, “I’m sorry,” and it’s like a wave of magic wand…puff!
Keeping malice is like a small-time crook that steals joy in relationships. It usually appears harmless, particularly when it still permits a few civil words between ‘warring factions’, where ‘combatants’ still eat from the same plates but are not giving each other ‘face’ for other essentials, most especially in the bedroom. Once they get into bed they create a no-go-area in the middle of the bed. You know yourselves!
Many times, both parties keep up appearances for the sake of the general public. Now the general public can range from children to family members and friends. It can extend to often include neighbours and colleagues then add the haters for good measure.
Experts have identified four types of keeping malice: In the one-sided type, only one partner is championing the cause because he or she is the one giving the other partner the silent treatment. We all know how annoying this can get and I dare say many of us women are guilty of this. She won’t let him touch her, nor would she respond to any of her partners’ advances…until he either gets tired or begs.
Partial malice, the partners usually continue to meet their responsibilities; the man, for instance, would still continue to pay the bills, give money for housekeeping etc but all forms of communication is restricted to monosyllables – Yes or No. This is a killer treatment most men have perfected to the utter disgust of many women, I know and I hate it like hell!
I no get liver for fight, talk to me, please.
Quasi- Malice is when the couple resort to communicating through text messages, WhatsApp, abusive music or notes placed where the partner can find them; some would even engage their children or a third party to convey messages to each other. I know a couple who play music to insult each other, the man, in particular, would slot in one of those old Wasiu Ayinde Barrister’s abusive songs, (the ones people claim he composed to insult Kollington back in the days of fuji war).
Total Malice is when the battle line is clearly drawn. The man is ‘carrying face’ and the woman is ‘carrying face’ too. Nothing more to say on this because this is war and no amount of war room viewing can stop the genocide!
But truly, can couples, people in relationships do without keeping malice?
“We don’t keep malice and we don’t quarrel or fight!” I once heard a sister say at a fellowship I was invited to some years back.
Liar! I said inwardly. How can you not quarrel in a relationship? Kolewerk na.
“You never, ever quarrel?” Another woman asked our very Christian friend and she nodded.
She must be an angel and her husband a saint I said to myself.
If it’s true, then I’m quite happy for her. Quarrels are vital to relationships, because it is good to vent, to express your strong feelings. A no-quarrel policy in relationships breeds repressed feelings and when these feelings eventually come to the surface, it’s like a volcano that consumes everything in its path. You will be shocked at what people keep down for the sake of not wanting to quarrel.
I grew up seeing my parents quarrel and then makeup. Oh, they’ve been married for close to 50 years now and they still quarrel and make up.
I believe in quarrelling and making up, I tell you. It isn’t always palatable, particularly when the quarrel degenerates into something you least expect, when it digs up pasts, forgotten wounds and rips them open afresh, no. Those types aren’t healthy types.
I have discovered that when you focus on the issues that led to the quarrel, it opens you up to new discoveries about yourself and about your partner.
We always assume we know the other person, like they say, “in toto”. But you see, because we are humans we surprise ourselves when faced with certain situations so its never safe to assume you know the other person totally.
Agreeing to resolve issues helps you find new ways to deal with each other and celebrate each other when the storm is over. That’s the beauty of keeping malice and those small fights in relationships. And remember the make-up tumble in the hay, Ehen.
As for those who’ve been able to keep quarrels, malice, and any sort of fight from their relationships, I ask you, “Have you truly lived?”