Most people are familiar with King Solomon’s observation that it is
Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
–Proverbs 25:24 (KJV)
Well, my personal observation is the flip side of that coin: it’s better for a woman to live alone that to live with a man who is indifferent to her feelings. And the two–love and respect–feed from each other; the same is true for contentiousness (anger) and indifference.
And both truths point to God’s recommendation that a husband should love his wife and that a wife should respect her husband.
Last week, it was report in the National Enquirer that the Obama marriage is deeply on the rocks. The usual issues are reported to be factors—and I’m not saying that they aren’t—but exploring those things isn’t my purpose.
I’ve always had a certain amount of empathy for Michelle Obama. The similarities in age and background are part of it. Many of my decisions have been radically different from hers, however, and there are several she made which I wish I had made: finished my formal education, got married early, had children.
But there’s at least one decision I made that gives me peace: many years ago I divorced an uncaring man. Conversely and for many obvious reasons, Mrs. Obama chose to stay with her patently uncaring husband and, since she has been in the national spotlight, she has always behaved like a woman who has an unhappy home life.
Many people don’t like her and that’s understandable. Unhappy people tend to be unlikable and say obnoxious things.
I’ve talked before about being grateful for the good things in one’s life and, aside from our diverging decisions, that’s where Mrs. Obama and I part company. Being content with decisions made in life—no matter how they turn out–is the key. Ingratitude and resentment nearly jump out of every photo of the woman. And in nearly every photo of her looking at her husband, her anger–hatred?–is etched on her face. (Yes, yes. I’d be mad, too, if I were married to him.)
If it’s true that the marriage has long been in trouble—and I think it is—then Mrs. Obama has to live with her decision to remain married to Barack Obama, make the best of it and count her blessings—and I can think of two of her blessings right off the top of my head.
Money, status, fame, clothing, vacations, high-end personal care—Mrs. Obama has all of those things. But none of them compensate for the absence of love in her home.
And, though it was her own decision to stay, I pity her.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel,Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in January 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!