The golden rule of marriage has always been “Man, love your wife. Woman, submit to your husband.” Once this rule is broken, the marriage becomes unstable, and news like this begins to spring up. At Ojo Customary Court in Lagos on Tuesday 19th January, 2016, A 70-year old, sex-starved pastor, Caleb Oluwafisibe, pleaded with the court to dissolve his marriage to his wife, Titilayo, because she has starved him long enough.
The pastor, who has been married to his wife for 41 years now, appeared in court wearing a polo T-shirt which had the inscription ‘peace’ at the back. He came with an open mind to create peace in his life as he urged the court to free him from his wife, since he had already started practicing a celibate life, even as a married man. He went ahead to lay complains of how the marriage started and how his sex life with his wife came to an abrupt end.
“Since I married my wife in June 1975, it’s been marriage and separation in two phases because any situation was determined by what I could offer. We were living well until 1998 when things became tough with me. We separated from 1998 to 2006, when my church transferred me out to the East,” he said.
After the re-union, the marriage had not remained the same. Sex became a thing of fantasy as he constantly was turned down whenever he asked for it. Aware of the medical implications of not having sex for a long time, the unsatisfied husband kept persuading his wife until he could push no further, so he decided to bring the case to court.
Aside being sex-starved by his spouse, the pastor said his wife also had a negative influence on his children. He and his wife had different views about life, and it affected the welfare and training of their children. This had led to series of clashes between the two about the well-being of their family. Pastor Caleb went ahead to say that, irrespective of his wife constantly denying him the opportunity to carry out his duty as her husband since 2006, he had prayed to God to give him the grace not to defy his marriage vows, thus, resorting to celibacy.
“I even had a special prayer for my wife for three years to see if God would intervene in the difficult situation and change her personality,” he said.
However, the wife of the pastor, Titilayo, pleaded not guilty to the accusation, she said the husband treated her without any tender consideration as a wife. She also said he neglected his family while concentrating on his ministerial works.
“He calls himself a pastor yet he does not have regard for his family. He has really caused so much division among our children,” she said.
The Court president, Ms Veronica Willoughby, in her remark, urged the pastor to reconsider his prayer of dissolution, as a man of God, and to let go of every hurt his wife had caused him and his children.
“As a pastor, you should seek peace and not separation. I will give you a second chance to go back and reconsider your intention. You have both failed in the training of your children by using them as a point of disagreement. Your children are your collective responsibilities,” she said.
The case has been adjourned till February 16, to give the couple some time to reconsider their intentions. Hopefully, during the weeks that follow, the couple would adjust to each others request and make up for the time lost to disagreeing. Marriage is all about compromise and sacrifice; if one party can give up anything for the benefit of the other, the marriage stands a higher chance of surviving.