Opposites do Attract
At Bianca’s second to last meeting at the Negril Resort, Shukla asked to have a private meeting with her.
“I did tell my husband Uriel about my encounter with that man. He was upset that I waited this long to tell him, but overall he took it well,” Shukla said.
“Great,” Bianca said. “Honesty goes a long way in a marriage. Nothing destroys a marriage, or any relationship for that matter, than lying, dishonesty, and deceit. It destroys the trust, and when the foundation of trust has been destroyed only God can keep that marriage together.”
“That’s true. Thankfully I don’t have that problem in my marriage, but I do have to deal with something else,” Shukla said.
“And what’s that?”
“I guess you could call it incompatibility,” Shukla said. “I was born and raised in India. I came to the United States with my parents when I was twenty-one years old. I got married a few years after we came here. My husband is an American. Our marriage is what I refer to as the ‘clashing of two nations.’”
“Why is that?” Bianca asked.
“We just don’t see eye-to-eye on many things. We embody two very different cultures and are trying to mesh them together. I came into the marriage thinking I could do my thing, you know, according to my culture, and I believe he came into the marriage thinking he could do his thing, according to his culture. I thought we would come together for intimacy and for anything having to do with the children, and after that go our own way. We are definitely two different cultures trying to mesh together. For example, in my country, the cow is sacred, so we don’t eat beef, roast, steak or whatever comes from the cow. My husband believes that any man who does not eat the meat that comes from the cow is committing a sin and not living his life to its fullest. Because I have refused to cook it, he now brings it home and cooks it himself. It gets me upset and an argument always takes place. Why do something you know is going to get your spouse angry? And that’s just one example.”
Shukla shared with Bianca more of the cultural clashes she and her husband had been having since the inception of their marriage.
“Any marriage can work and avoid such clashes even if it’s a man from the far backwoods of Africa without a formal education and without a steady source of income who is married to a high-class, aristocratic, highly-educated European woman with millions of dollars in inheritance,” Bianca said.
Shukla raised her eyebrows. “How so?” she asked.
“Are you a Christian?”
“No. I grew up a Hindu. I don’t visit the temple regularly now. I may go with my husband every now and then to his church, but it’s not on our list of priorities.”
“Okay,” Bianca said. “What I’m about to share with you about marriage is from the Christian belief, and I have seen it work every time when couples apply it to their lives individually and as one. It has worked in my marriage.” Bianca reached into her briefcase and took out her Bible. She turned to Ephesians five and read and expounded upon verses twenty-two through twenty-four.
“’Wives, submit [or be obedient] yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord [or as unto God]. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.’
“Notice the wife is to be obedient, or she is to carry out her husband’s wishes in everything except sin, and it is not based upon conditions such as you being from one country and your husband being from another country,” Bianca said. “If the wife was to do that, God would fix it so she would have peace in her marriage unless the man is crazy and has chosen to be a belligerent abuser who seeks to cause a problem about everything—even his wife’s submissive behavior. What normal husband would get angry with his wife if she is carrying out his wishes? What husband would provoke his wife if she is being obedient and has a good attitude along with her obedience? Wives have the promise that if they obey their husband, he’ll treat her right.”
Bianca flipped a few pages in her Bible. “It says here ‘Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.’ If you read further it says for the wife to obey with a meek and quiet spirit. In other words, without arguing or responding negatively; that is, with a good attitude.”
Shukla listened contemplatively as Bianca continued speaking.
“I don’t know if you have any children or not, but as long as your child does what you tell him or her to do there is no conflict. It is only when he or she does not do what you wish for him or her to do that there is conflict. It does not matter how the child feels about what you tell him or her to do. As the parent, you’re in-charge. It’s the same in a marriage. It does not matter how you feel about what your husband tells you to do; as the God-ordained head of the household, he is in-charge so you do what he wishes for you to do and without a negative response.”
Shukla nodded her head.
“And guess what? No husband who truly loves his wife would tell her to do something wrong or to do something that would harm her.”
“You’re right,” Shukla said with a smile. “So when he decides to kill the fatted cow so to speak, it’s best for me to keep quiet and let him enjoy himself and just clean up the mess he often leaves behind all with a good attitude and without sharing a word of disagreement.”
“Exactly,” Bianca said. “I’m curious. Does he force you to eat the fatted calf as you call it?”
“No. He’s lightly mentioned my eating it with him, and of course, I have declined every time, and he has never made an issue out of it.”
After talking a while longer, Shukla said, “I’ll do what you just shared with me. It’s going to be tough, but I’ll do it for the sake of peace in my life and in our marriage.”
“Give it time, and let me know how it all goes,” Bianca said. “If you and your husband want to come in and speak with me and my husband more, you are more than welcome to do so.”