COUNSELLOR: Hello, so what brings you here?

HUSBAND: My wife, she and I no longer connect

COUNSELLOR: What do you mean?

HUSBAND: I struggle to talk to her. I don’t know what happened. We’ve lost our fire

COUNSELLOR: Is that true?

WIFE: Yes

COUNSELLOR: You are a lady of few words

Silence.

HUSBAND: See? This is what I mean. I would text her then I just get a one word response like OK, Fine, Good. I mean, that is not being conversational

WIFE: But at least you get a response. Isn’t that enough?

HUSBAND: Where are the times we’d talk together for hours? We drive in a car and we don’t say nothing at all. We sleep in the same bed but can’t talk even for a while. I don’t know what to do. I find it easier to talk to other women than with you

WIFE: Then talk to them. Go talk to those other women. Leave me alone

HUSBAND: I leave you alone? You don’t want to talk to me?

WIFE: Aaah, this is stress, stress and more stress. Marriage shouldn’t be like this. I am tired. I want out (she starts to cry)

HUSBAND: You mean you want a divorce?

WIFE: I..

COUNSELLOR: Now hold up. Don’t answer that. Don’t mention the D word. First rule of marriage, never entertain the thought of divorce. Don’t say it as a threat. Don’t think it. Such thoughts weaken your resolve to build your marriage. Both of you relax. Keep quiet. Calm down

Silence.

COUNSELLOR: Look at each other. Look at each other for a few minutes. Don’t say anything

(Husband and wife look at each other. Wife fights tears. She begins to cry)

COUNSELLOR: Tell him. Tell your husband how you feel

WIFE: (Crying) I am so scared. So scared of losing my husband. I feel like our marriage is slipping away and I cannot do a thing. Where did we lose our spark? We just don’t connect. We are like strangers raising children. I love you my husband, but I don’t know why I struggle to talk with you. I chat up people so easily but with you, I have to prepare what I say

COUNSELLOR: Tell her your thoughts

HUSBAND: I… I…

COUNSELLOR: Don’t hold it back. This is your wife

(The husband gets up from his seat and rushes to where his wife is seating, kneels and hugs her tightly. He fights tears)

HUSBAND: I miss you. I miss my best friend. I miss laughing with you. I miss how you would record for me voice notes, dance for me, tickle me. I miss how you say “Baby woiye”. I miss spending time with you. Honey, I don’t want other women, I want you

(Husband looks into his wife’s eyes)

HUSBAND: How can I get you back. I miss us

COUNSELLOR: This is what your marriage has been missing. Vulnerability

(The couple looks at the counsellor)

COUNSELLOR: You’re going through what many married people go through. As adults grow older, they tend to be less vulnerable. Society puts this pressure on you that to show toughness and strength is a sign of progress. So that keeps you from saying how you feel, saying you are hurt, you miss each other, you love each other, you feel lost and scared. Sir, I am sure you have never knelt down for your wife the way you are right now. Perhaps the only other time you did was when you proposed to her for marriage

(Husband looks at his wife)

COUNSELLOR: And you madam, today you spoke your heart, you said more than just OK, Fine and Good. You were real. You were vulnerable enough to show your tears. You didn’t hide behind one word replies. You told your husband how you feel

(The two look at each other and naturally kiss. A special kiss, like they’ve never kissed before)

COUNSELLOR: It’s interesting how you both want the same thing yet you deny each other that very same thing. You two want this marriage to work. You know why? Because you two actually love each other. You got married for the right reasons but you have been doing marriage the wrong way

(The two look at the counsellor)

COUNSELLOR: Go back to the days your love was purest and deepest when you were dating; there were no responsibilities, chores, to do lists or roles. You were just two souls in love. Go back to those days. The truth is, marriage does come with responsibilities, chores, to do lists and roles but you have to deliberately choose to stay in love by making time to please each other and enjoy each other

(The wife puts her hands around her kneeling husband’s shoulders)

COUNSELLOR: You see how natural your arms fold around him? That wouldn’t happen if you two were not close to each other. You two have to make time for each other if intimate conversations and touching is to occur. When was the last time you went out on a date?

(The two look at each and shrug shoulders)

HUSBAND: Can’t even remember

WIFE: Six years ago. April 2nd

HUSBAND: (He looks at her) You remember the date?

WIFE: Yes love. It was special

COUNSELLOR: You see. A long time ago. She remembers because it reminds her of the glory years in your marriage. I bet she gives you one word answers because deep down she wants you to notice that she is not OK and she hopes you will see through her tough stance. But lady, as you put on your tough stance, you are discouraging him from actually doing what you hope he does. Your love simply needs you two to make time for it. Stop playing husband and wife and start being lovers. Fall in love again. Stop dwelling on tasks, talk about feelings. Don’t just love each other, like each other

(The two look at each other)

HUSBAND: I like you

WIFE: I like you too

(They both smiled)

WIFE: I love you

HUSBAND: I love you too

COUNSELLOR: (Walking out of the office) I will leave you two alone to catch up, this has been long overdue

DE EDIFIER