I didn’t want to involve my partner in my conversation with Fr Aloysius. But I obliged when he asked me to bring her along. We met him on his farm, two days later.
“I am taking advantage of the rains. This season is good for planting maize and beans,” he said. I introduced my partner and we lent him a hand.
“You know, there’s an old adage that says, you reap what you sow,” he said. “When you sow love, you reap love. If you sow coldness in your marriage, you will reap coldness.”
Without washing his hands, he reached out to my partner and hugged her fondly – the hug lasted forever.
“Everyone wants a warm relationship. My daughter, how are the babies?” he asked, pecking her on both cheeks.
Now I was getting uncomfortable, I wondered what the old man’s intention was.
“You are still young and warm,” he continued. Madam blushed, with unease from the old man’s embrace.
“Let’s go home. There should be something to eat,” he led the way, and asked how many babies we had.
“Two daughters,” my partner responded. My lady, like many women, loves talking about children. Before long, the old man and my better half, were talking and laughing like old friends.
We headed toward the main mission house, washed our hands and feet before entering the dining area.
He looked at each of us simultaneously and stated that when he met me on the hilltop, he thought happiness and unhappiness start from the home.
My partner looked at me. I wanted to explain, but the old man interrupted, in his usual firm, but fatherly style : “How many years do you want your relationship to last?”
“As long as we live,” she answered.
“Well, are you happy with how everything is going?”
“I am. But, it can be better,” she responded. I always thought we were okay until that “can be better” comment. Was I being oversensitive?
The priest went on: “It is good when spouses don’t fall into complacency.” That calmed my nerves somewhat.
“It takes two to tango. You both went into this wanting it. So, you both must always make it work”.
“Surely, we do,” I said.
“So, first things first: Have the foundation right, the rest is easy.”
I probed what “first things first” meant.
“Marriages are made by people, and only blessed by God. Though you need God all the time, to remain strong,” he preached.
“Secondly,” he said, “Let me ask, how many times a week do you have sex?”
My partner was baffled. I personally didn’t see that one coming. The old man was, however, serious. I declined to say a thing.
“When we feel like,” she said. The old priest nodded disapprovingly and said, “You should stop having sex.”
I thought I had not heard clearly.
“Oh yes, stop having sex,” he repeated. We laughed loudly. Someone younger would have said, LOL.
“Does he think we are all celibates like him?” I mumbled to madam.
After two minutes or so, he went on: “Couples need to stop having sex and start making love.” He paused, for the message to sink in.
He said there is a difference between love-making and having sex. He explained that sex is easy to have. Even animals do it. However, married people need to add value to it. The aura, connection, communication, touch, words, et al, is what makes love. We listened intently.
“Remember that it is not about you. It is about the other person. And like the way you serve your most important guest, so should you serve your spouse during the moments.
“Make the best out of that moment,” he said, showing us the door.