In Summary
  • Nil by mouth is a childish form of passive aggressive behaviour that a couple who has serious communication breakdown result to.
  • Do you have feedback on this article? Please email: lifeandstyle@ke.nationmedia.com

I would love to be a fly on the wall of married couples’ houses.

Oh, the stories I would tell about each of them! It would help clear my suspicions about the kind of fronts we put up for the sake of outsiders.

I know I would get that sadistic satisfaction from the realisation that it is not just us who look like a postcard perfect picture of love and joy on the outside yet in reality we really are not.

It would be great to observe and write about the Mwauras, Otienos, Njogus, Nzolas and Rutos who, like us, are forced to put on (painfully) elastic smiles for a neighbour when the doorbell rings. Even if they had been in the middle of a heated argument five seconds before.

Maybe I would realise that I was not the only wife who had to hastily asked for forgiveness from the God when in church and considering partaking of the Holy Communion after subjecting the hubby to nil by mouth for something he did (or didn't do).

Nil by mouth is a childish form of passive aggressive behaviour that a couple who has serious communication breakdown result to. It simply means not talking to each other, for hours or days, unless strictly for mundane reminders like;

“Remember Junior’s play school starts at 5pm” and walking away as if speaking to nobody in particular. It’s healthier for your marriage relationship to have heated arguments than to result to nil by mouth.

SQUABBLES

I used to think that after the teething problems in the early years of marriage, couples no longer have squabbles. But I have since learned that couples who’ve been married for more than 60 years no longer care about public appearances.

There are no grey areas with an elderly couple. What you see in public is what you get in private.

A friend shared his surprise and subsequent merriment at his walking straight into a squabble between his grandparents. His grandmother was then in her late eighties and her husband was in his early nineties.

“When my parents fight, it distresses me, but walking into my grandparents in the middle of a heated argument, I was amused!” he said.

His grandmother saw him but she ignored him and with her voice more animated than usual, continued bickering with her husband, saying:

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