Bones and black magic
‘My wife found a bone in my pocket; she thinks I’m using black magic on her. I have tried to explain how it got there but she doesn’t understand. What should I do?’
I really do sympathise with you. Because it’s incredibly hard to convince someone that you’re NOT doing something. And it’s even harder to convince someone of something that goes against their deeply held beliefs.
Especially their superstitious beliefs.
Our brains seem to be wired to create ideas like that – think how footballers and other sports people often insist on preparing for every match in exactly the same way, or carry something ‘lucky’ with them, because they believe that will help them to perform well.
Of course, these rituals and lucky charms have no actual effect on the outcome of a match. But believing that they do can make a player much more confident. In that sense, they do work and shouldn’t be dismissed as meaningless.
So what can you do? Well, you can’t fight something like this with logic. But it will help to remind your wife that you’ve never done anything with black magic before; I hope that’s true! And to ask her why she’s thinking you are now. Maybe there’s something she’s worried about? Perhaps she feels that something is going wrong in your relationship – or is about to? Or she’s looking for an explanation for some disappointment she has experienced. Encourage her to talk about anything that’s worrying her.
Take your time, and don’t rush into ‘problem solving mode’ over anything she mentions. Logical solutions to her worries will not help. Instead, you need to concentrate on understanding how she’s feeling, and how her worries are affecting her emotionally.
Just being listened to by someone who cares, and who doesn’t judge her, or dismisses her worries with quick fixes, will make a big difference.
You could ask her what she would like to do about the bone she has found. Perhaps she would like to see it destroyed or removed from your house in some specific way that’s appropriate to her culture? Do you practice one of the mainstream religions? Would it help to talk about the problem with a priest that you both know well? A trusted pastor should also be able to reassure her.
But don’t be tempted to dismiss her fears. Or to get angry with her. No matter how frustrated you are by her behaviour. Instead, remind her of how much you love her and how important she is to you. And gradually her fears will fade away.
What would you do if you were in his situation? Tell us in the comment section below or on Facebook. For support, contact our forum moderators.