Some young men also pose as big businessmen and manage to get foreigners to put large sums into their accounts. It is also a fact that most relationships are based on deception.
Ghanaians, in our sense of humour and creativity, call deception azaa. It comes in many forms – lies, hiding a dark secret, distortion of facts and inappropriate acts behind the backs of our lovers.
Imagine a young lady in relationship with her peer. A rich elderly man comes into her life and she tells friends that even though she does not love him, she would marry him for his money.
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In fact, the night before the wedding when this elderly man was ‘chilling’ with friends as part of his bachelor’s night activities, this young lady was in bed with her young lover. It did not take long for this husband to smell rat. The marriage broke down within six months.
There is also the case of a wedded husband with four children who always found an excuse to be away at every weekend. When his mother passed away, he found many reasons for his wife to stay but she refused because of traditional demands and expectations. It was at the funeral she found out that her husband had another wife with two children in his hometown.
Many people get into relationship for their personal needs. Many men want sex and many women want financial support. They go in to take instead of giving. It does not matter to them if they use azaa to maintain their wish.
Some get into relationship to boost their self-esteem and cover up their deficiencies. They tell their lovers who and what they are not just to make their lovers see them better and better than they are.
Recently, a man who boasted to his girls that he was a big businessman and ‘paid’ heavily was later known to be an armed robber.
The truth hurts. Some lovers fear telling the truth may bring shame to themselves or their relationship. For them, azaa is a normal protective mechanism. They use azaa to avoid unnecessary conflicts and to maintain a relationship.
Some use azaa to maintain their privacy. They think keeping secrets and avoiding telling the truth are essential ways to nurture their identity. They, therefore, lie about themselves, parental background and all important areas of their lives.
Azaa, the killer germ
Azaa is damaging to all relationships. It erodes trust as you lie, cheat and manipulate your lover. Azaa breaks down effective communication because lovers never get the full picture of their relationships.
You do not live in reality but in a fiction. It is difficult to commit to a liar and a cheat. It makes you vulnerable because you are scared to open up to another.
Azaa is only a cover-up and hard to maintain. You lie and have to keep lying to cover up lies. The more you lie to your lover the lesser you trust him or her because you project your deceptive tendencies on him or her.
You erode the moral fabric of your relationship. Azaa is, therefore, the real villain and killer in your relationship.
Conan Doyle says there is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. Azaa is like a time bomb which explodes in your face when you least expect it. You must therefore come clean on any issue that is critical to the health of your relationship.
These include sterility, pregnancy by another, communicable diseases, medical records and financial obligations. The longer you wait the more complex the web gets and more fragile your relationship gets.
If you do not want your lover to be azaa, first be honest and make it safe for your lover to tell you the truth at all times. It is only when you know each other through and through and accept each other for who you are that you can ever hope for a fulfilling relationship.
A relationship based on azaa fails. On the other hand a relationship built on honesty will stand the test of time. Say no to azaa.
The writer is the Director of Eudoo counseling Centre. He is also the author of ‘Your guide to marriage’ and ‘love unlimited’.