The Incompatible

By Ikenga Chronicles March 12, 2020

The Incompatible

— By Iloh Friday Okechukwu

For close to a decade now, I have seen quite some marriages around me wound up. Not that I station myself to carry out a research on these marriages, no; it’s just that by human nature I cannot but noticed.

More often than not, these romantic unions collapsed sooner than even the Devil could have imagined. But amidst all the debris of these “happily ever after” I noticed something with almost all of them: absence of character compatibility.

One major factor that controls the human animals that we are, is character; our character is pivotal to our success and survival. As there are different persons, so there are different characters. Simply put, character is the element of habits that constitutes an individual; it’s the imprint of stamp of behaviour that is at the core of a person, man or woman. Character drives destiny. You sure have heard the saying, sow a habit and you reap a character, sow a character and you reap a destiny.

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As we zigzag through life, it’s inevitable to be by oneself all through life–the nature of humans is to seek company, whether at work, school, religious places, in romantic affinities, etc. In all of these situations, character is key, because to be unequivocally yoked characteristically is likely going to occasion unpleasantness, if not tragedies.

Why is it that more often than not, characteristically, couples are wrongly paired up in marriage. Though a lot of people believe in fatalism, that’s what gonna be gonna be–predestination. I would not dwell on this here, as I’m concerned with the physical.

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Most people, are poor judge of human character. And some factors account for this. One of them is religion. There’s the belief that religion models character. Premised upon this somewhat fallacy, prospective marriage mates ascribe impeccable character to personalities found within the precincts of religious places; churches, crusade grounds, revivals, mosques, for instance. Well, religion may reform, but may be just a negligible few; most negative characters are so caked that they are unassailable to religion. Beyond that, bearers of negative attitudes wear masks, for deception. Many people of profound good character easily, regrettably though, judge others based on environment (churches, mosques) and the fronts (masks) that they wear. I admit that it’s no easy feat to bypass the deceptive masks–smiles, religious slogans (it’s the Lord’s doing,etc), make-believe-gratitude, hugs, etc that people wear, and get to their real and actual character. But failure to do this, and this is the needful, brings about heartaches and heart burns in the marriage narrative.

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All humans wear masks, at one point or other, some mildly; others, almost absolute impenetrable masks. To know people’s character, you must discover it, to discover it, you must discern it.

How do you discern someone’s character? Don’t make presumption of good character in favour of people based on their charm, intelligence, wisdom, noble background, wealth, fame, religious piety (have you forgotten that the Chief Liar, the Devil was an angel of light, yet he rebelled), etc. All these qualities (and sometimes these qualities are not real!) are not synonyms of good character. Haven’t you seen pastor who are brutes in their marriages, though excellent preachers on the pulpits.

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Watch people keenly without seemingly appearing to do so. To do this effectively, remove obsession, passion, bias; watch out for red flags. Red flags are tell tales conduct, often negatives, sipping out through inevitable cracks in the masks on people’s faces. Try as much as you may want to, you have red flags that announce your real character to discerning minds. You cannot conceal them all the time. If you noticed these cues, diligently interpret them correctly. This will save you from avoidable agonies and marital disasters.

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