Ostrich is a very popular African bird that runs very fast but cannot fly. They are known for hiding their face in the sand when they sense danger coming, believing if they cannot see the danger then they are safe.
Many couples run their marriage like the Ostrich or as I have termed it – OSTRICH SYNDROME.
This reminds me of hubby and me at the beginning of our marriage. When we have a situation hubby will refuse to address it. Believing that if not addressed it will go away, and no matter how I cajoled or spoke to him about our marital issue, he always assured me it will go away.
Unfortunately, it never went away and led to a near divorce which became a wakeup call for us; confirming that the Ostrich syndrome never works in relationships especially marriage.
In times past, when we have a challenge, I would procrastinate saying I will discuss when tempers are calm. This usually takes another 1 or 2 days at times, stretching to even one week. Then when I am finally ready, I would say she has forgotten the matter let me not bring up painful memories.
One excuse after the other till I leave the situation unattended to.Thank God for the near divorce episode that challenged and changed my attitude.We only stand a chance at victory only when we confront situations.
How to eradicate the Ostrich syndrome or pattern from your marriage:
1. Feedbacks: Great marriages develop and allow good communication between one another. But most importantly, we must welcome feedback both good and bad, if our marriage will stand the test of time.
2. Address: Address the situation by identifying the problems you both are dealing with without feeling threatened or sensitive about it.
My wife has a temper.
My husband does not relate with me.
When we identify/address our problems it becomes easier to work and improve on those flaws.
3. Together: After addressing the problem by identifying them one after another. The next step is seeing the problem as ‘our problem’. This attitude will go a long way in winning together.
a) Your husband is dealing with masturbation and pornography – let him know how his action hurts you, address it together by calling the problem as it is, and finally work out a pattern that enables your husband to let go of the problem. It could be changing the kind of movies you both watch. Be his accountability partner by asking him how it is and encouraging him.
b) Your wife exaggerates – let her know how exaggeration is damaging your marriage, then check if it’s in all areas or in specific areas. Be her accountability partner by finding ways of tapping her when she is sharing her part of the story or telling her to retell the story because that’s not what you remember.
As couples if we endeavour to address our situations when they are minor, we deliver ourselves from the Ostrich syndrome and give our marriage the opportunity to be a character building institution that it was created to be.
Ngee and Rich
(Dr Richard and Ngozi Okonkwo)
Relationship Coach/Habit Instructors
Founders – Keeping Marriage Alive Initiative
“Will two people walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3 (CEB).