Responding to the public criticism made by Aisha Buhari the wife of the Nigerian president, General Mohammed Buhari alluded to the fact that the place of his wife was in the kitchen, living room and the Other Room. This statement may not be politically correct but the outcry and incitement of rebellion in the media in the name of feminism and gender equality it equally out of order. We cannot deny the fact that views on the role of women is society differs based on culture, religion, education and exposure. However, a woman of substance can have a successful career, be well read and knowledgeable and still be in her husband’s kitchen, living room and the other room.
Rather than dwell on the political, cultural or religious ramifications of that statement, we would focus on the significance of the Other Room in marriage. By the Other Room, we mean the matrimonial bedroom. Marriage is consummated on the wedding night and we are admonished to keep the marriage bed honourable and undefiled with adultery being the exception to the rule by which a couple may choose to divorce.
When that Other Room is in trouble, it plays out in public for everyone to see. Regardless of how you try to hide it, the signals are released by utterances, body language, actions and in-actions. The Other Room ought to be where issues of love and hate are addressed away from the eyes of the children and prying public, the place where disagreements are resolved, intimate conversations had and family decisions discussed and made. It should be the powerhouse of the marriage and nucleus of the home. The question therefore is, what is the state of your Other Room?
Is It Tidy?
As the saying goes, cleanliness is next to godliness, is your Other Room kept tidy at all times? The tidiness of the Other Room is a direct reflection of the state of the marriage. Is it clean or fifty, is care taken to keep it in a presentable state. Is it organised or in disarray, over-crowded and congested? Are there unwanted baggage present in the marriage and is the marriage bed kept holy and undefiled? Has the Other Room become a dumping ground or a sanctuary to dwell in peace and harmony?
The physical state of the bedroom reveals if due diligence is made to ensure that the marriage is in a good place. Priorities need to be set right and third parties, ex’s and unwelcome individuals that crowd the marriage removed lest they sow seeds of guilt, bitterness and distrust.
Is It Private?
Like any power house, it should be kept private, secured and protected. It isn’t a public place where every Tom, Dick and Harry has access to at will, and this includes your children, it isn’t a place where guests can spend the night either. In some culture, it is forbidden to allow any couple sleep on your matrimonial bed.How private is your other room?
Your spouse should be able to say confidently, without an iota of doubt, that what is discussed in the Other Room stays in the other room. Even the legal system recognises spousal privileges in the court of law, and so should you. The events in your home shouldn’t be front page news, be on BBC or be topics of interest in your chit-chats and gossips.
Is It Pleasant?
The bedroom is where couples resolve issues of love and hate. In resolving disagreements and conflicts do you fight fair? Does either or both parties go in ready for battle, adamant and unwilling to compromise for the betterment of the home. Is it a place of emotional blackmail where conjugal responsibilities are battered?
The thought of going into the Other Room should be a happy thought that makes you fly to cloud 9. Both parties should actively and consciously make each other sexually fulfilled. It should not be relegated to a passive mundane chore while it lasts neither should it be used as blackmail or a weapon of mass destruction of the male sex drive.
Are You Vulnerable?
Being vulnerable in the Other Room shouldn’t be seen a bad thing. How vulnerable you are is a measure of your love, trust and intimacy with each other. The Other Room should be a place where you can speak your heart and be confident that it is safe to do so and that it is confidential. Do you listen in order to tell tales to friends and family or use the words against your spouse? Your are most vulnerable when your are both "Naked and Unashamed".
Who Lays the Bed?
It is necessary for every child to be taught how to lay his or her bed because the way you lay your bed is how you will lie in it. Do you leave laying of your marriage bed to the house help, maid or relative? Well, who lays the bed will eventually lie in it, roost and probably lay eggs before your very eyes.
Proverbs 14:1 – The wise woman builds her home but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
When you walk through the the door of your Other Room how to you feel? Do you feel happy to be back after a hectic day, or do you feel depressed without a conducive resting place. Do you feel trapped and left with no choice but to bear the situation for lack of another Other Room to go to? Do you prefer to seek solace in the pubs or drown yourself with work and overtime or do you look forward to coming home, spending time with your spouse and sharing intimate moments with each other?
The marriage bed in the Other Room cannot be honourable and undefiled if it is untidy, open to the public, disrespected or unpleasant. It should be the couples private space, the power house of the marriage and family and a happy place to meet each others needs.
Give your Other Room a make over, clean it up, take out unwanted baggage, make it secure and private and breathe fresh air into your marriage and home together.