Another cousin was having a traditional wedding. He was much younger than John. The elders had to negotiate a little more because the said cousin had already impregnated his soon-to-be wife.
As John had predicted this was going to be yet another opportune moment for his aunties and uncles to remind him that he needed to get children.
“John, it’s been eight years now, we’re still waiting for a grandchild,” one auntie said.
“I know we don’t talk about such things openly but getting another wife would be justified. I’m sure Sally isn’t that selfish,” another auntie chimed in immediately.
He had had it with their pestering but his phone rang before he could respond. That conversation had to be shelved for another time.
“Hi hun, I’m done with work, maybe I could drive down for the event, ” Sally said.
“There’s no need to it’s almost over. I’ll be leaving shortly,” John said.
“Oh, I thought you were going to spend more time with your family,” said Sally.
“You are the family I want to spend time with, ” John said and hung up before she could say anything else.
John’s mom overheard the last part of the conversation.
“Are you leaving already?” She asked.
“Yes, I need to go home. Sally’s back after a week of travelling,” John responded.
“Oh, I hope you give some thought to what your aunties said.”
John gave her a look of disappointment and left.
“Hey hun, I’ve missed you!” Sally screamed as she embraced her husband.
“I’m so glad you’re back.”
Sally had already prepared dinner so they ate as they shared stories of the week that they had been apart. John looked distressed.
“Is there something that’s bothering you?” Sally asked.
“I don’t know how to say this but can you imagine my aunties suggesting that I should take on a second wife to give them their coveted grandchildren?” John said in anger.
“Oh, they finally told you,” Sally said in a whisper.
“You knew about it?”
“Your mum’s sister called me a week ago asking me to let you marry another wife for the sake of your lineage.”
“Why would you keep something like that to yourself?” John said angrily.
“Maybe you should listen to them. We have been to enough specialists and done many procedures and I still can’t give you a child,” Sally said in tears.
“Have I expressed any desire for another wife?” John asked, looking straight into her eyes.
Sally could see the anger in his eyes but could also understand John’s relatives. Like many African families, they thought that was what was best for their son.
“John, it pains me a lot but they mean well. It’s not that farfetched,” Sally said.
“So you would be okay with me having a second wife?”
“Of course not but if that’s the only way for you to have children, I would be selfish to object, ” said Sally.
“Who are you and why do you sound like my aunties? Listen, when I committed to you it was for better or worse until death separates us. I chose you to be my life partner first and foremost, children come second. You are enough for me,” John said, looking irritated that they were even having that conversation.
The following morning he called his mother expressing anger that they had called his wife and pushed the idea of a second wife.
“John, we’re just worried about you,” John’s mum said.
“Mum, respectfully, as Christians you should know that children are God’s blessing. Additionally, I don’t appreciate the meddling in my marriage,” John stated as a matter of fact.
“But son,” his mother started to say but he cut her short.
“Mum, Sally is my wife and only wife, if you’re going to keep making us feel uncomfortable at every family meeting then we’ll have to take a step back. We need to have boundaries.”
As expected, some members of the family were furious while others understood John’s decision. Meanwhile, John and Sally decided to focus on their family as the two of them. Their friendship blossomed further and they engaged in activities together including travelling around the world. Unfortunately, they had to put distance between them and the relatives who continued to bring up the matter.
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