Today it is important to wear masks to prevent us from community transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Stay safe. Keep them on. There are other masks that we wear throughout our married life, and they have nothing to do with the current virus.
Masks serve various purposes and should be worn for a while for our good. A caterer who wears a mask and gloves while dishing food at a party does so to ensure cleanliness and prevent saliva droppings in the guests’ food. It would be strange, however for him to keep them on beyond what is necessary.
A dentist would need to keep on his mask while drilling a patient’s teeth, for his safety, while he plucks out dirt, grime and food particles. He protects his eyes and his nostrils and mouth, but he doesn’t wear the mask home.
The Culture Mask.
The culture mask says we want a marriage dictated every day by culture. The man is the head, he does no household chores and expects his wife to ensure his bath water is ready, clothes ironed, food set at the table and she is a willing sex partner when the mood takes him. When she wants it, he expects her to ask nicely, not to demand as he does. His family and sometimes hers support him in the cultural attitude.
The culture mask is worn by the woman who agrees her husband is in control and hides under that to avoid responsibility for the decisions she has to take.
Masks suffocate one if not taken off periodically. Their purpose is for short periods of time. It is said that behind every mask is a true story. One that may never be told, the wearer may have to die with it.
The problem with the Culture Mask is that it suffocates the ability to chart the course of a marriage that is your unique fit.
What is your true story? What are you masking?
Take off that mask and start to build a strong marriage. Culture that is not dynamic dies. It used to be cultural to kneel down or courtesy to greet husbands, not anymore. It was unheard of for a woman to ask for sex, not anymore.
The Carefree Mask
There is another mask we wear in our marriages that will probably asphyxiate the life out of it. The carefree mask is the one a lot of people have towards their spouse. It comes from familiarity and taking for granted. It says, I won’t see fault because I don’t want to confront anyone and besides it doesn’t affect the way I live my life. It says ‘what is to be fixed when it has only cracked’?
When you are carefree about your marriage, the marriage becomes carefree and you are setting yourselves up for the hurt you are trying to avoid.
The Clown Mask
The clown mask does not see anything wrong with what their spouse finds bothersome. Anna says they need to talk about his drinking habit, and Charles tells her to lighten up. He does not see why their needs are met. The beer has not dug a hole into his bank account yet; but how soon later? Afterall they are not yet
It minimizes their concerns and encourages them to lighten up. It does not want to or maybe is not able to dig deep into the spouse’s worries and pains. It uses that no anxiety attitude to cover up what is festering.
The Can-Do Mask
This mask wants to appear to be in control so that he does not really have to deal with issues that come up in the marriage. He differs from the clown mask because he does not make light of things. He wants to control and be in power. He tends to be an abuser. His attitude is that his word is the law. The woman who wears a Can-do mask is irritated by her husband. She tells the world how useless and uncooperative, he is and so she continues stoically in the marriage with an I-see-you-when-I-see-you attitude. Who is deceiving whom? Is that marriage?
The Children Mask
The marriage is broken. The two of them have become co-tenants. They really do not care about each other anymore. There is usually adultery, many times on both sides. They share the same house and show up at functions where they must show up together. Many times, official events. They think the children do not see. They tell their friends that they are still in the marriage because of the children. There is tension in the house. The children understand the tension and capitalize on it many times. Daddy pays for what mummy has paid for. The children who are more sensitive cry themselves to sleep or feel uncomfortable in the company of either parent because many times they get the rough edge of their parents’ fight. They grow up malformed. To them, this is how marriage is because their parents stayed together till death parted them. They take up the various masks and continue in lifeless relationships.
The Church Mask
The church mask is most unfortunate. Many sins hide under this mask. In fact, this mask has many layers and so it is likely to suffocate the wearer faster. Vows! God hates divorce! I do not want to change my name! What will pastor say? Many of the so-called, I can separate but not divorce, are breaking their understanding of the Church mask. In a survey conducted by a friend once, he asked 20 separated women how they manage their sexual urges and 18 said they have silent underground partners. So, who is deceiving God?
If you are wearing masks for fear of missing out on being called married, then you are missing out on life. In my podcast titled The Prison Called Separation, I counsel that people should not remain separated but married or divorced. Listen to it here and give me feedback on it.
Do not let anyone tell you that there are standard rules in marriage. It is a giving and a receiving, we all receive love differently. Find your rhythm, otherwise, someone else’s rhythm will find you both.
It is time to take off the mask and breathe easy in your marriage. Get divorced or work getting back into a solid marriage. If your marriage is suffering and you want to restore it get my kit. It gives you strategies for building your marriage, naked and unashamed.