Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Do truly happy marriages exist in Nigeria?

I am starting to believe that a lot of women in Nigeria ( I am focusing there cos that's where I am from) are not happy in their marriages. Marriage is something to be endured not enjoyed. Friendship and partnership with spouses are non existent. The stories I hear of married men cheating are too numerous to be mentioned. They have no regard for the fact that they are married. Like, absolutely none. I should tell you guys about my encounter with my former best guy friend who was newly married. SMH. I lost all hope in men that day.

You see this picture perfect relationship....all na wash. God forbid. At this point I want to know what is the incentive for me to get married. People don't take their vows seriously, no one wants to work on their marriages anymore, the divorce rate is too damn high. Seriously, what is the point of marriage? Is it just a rite of passage that I am expected to go through as an African woman?

I hear stories of people who regret getting married and are truly unhappy but stuck because of societal expectations. If you are married, are you happy? Is it what you expected? Do you think finding the right person is luck or you did something special ( besides pray). What would you do differently?

I will allow anonymous comments for this posts just so people can speak candidly but please let us respect ourselves. I really would love answers cos at this point I have a good mind not to ever get married. It has never been my thing, I don't have anyone pressuring me to get married and the stories I am hearing are not encouraging.


I have just diagnosed myself with ADD cos I only came online to google something and ended up with a blog post.

42 comments:

  1. I'm sure they do, probably not as many as people pretend there are but i know of some marry couples that seem genuinely happy (but you never know, right?). And then i think there are people who "accept" that their husbands/marriages/whatever are gonna be a particular kind of way (cheating, beating, "submission" etc) because of how they are raised/socialized and since they expect xyz, they aren't necessarily unhappy about it.

    But again, what do i know. A whole single, american me lol.

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    1. Lol @ a whole, single, American me. Girl, u r way too Nigerian for your own good. Lol.

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  2. You are so right, marriage these days holds no value and its a very scary situation. I have a friend who jusy got married in Dec. And has since left her husband. I struggle every day to try to maintain the love and respect I had for my husband before we were married, And I tell u its not easy, life happens and you have so many things that also demand your attention and one ends up trying to juggle been a wife, mother, worker, student and whatever it is we women have to deal with, that makes it some what difficult to maintain that passion in a marriage. But that doesn't mean I condole a man cheating on his wife. All am trying to say is that marriage takes a lot of hard work, and if one doesn't understand that the vows that were said on their wedding day should be held secrad, then by all means we should remain single until we can fully handle been married.

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    1. I agree, but it seems like based on societal pressure/demand a lot of people don't have the choice of waiting until they are ready or find the right person for them.

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  3. I think happy marriages exist. BUT happy does not necessarily mean perfect. And I mean perfect in the sense that it's all good,all the time.

    Since you've focused on the cheating aspect, I think it's fair to say that more than a few married Nigerian women become desensitized to it. As long as they're more happy than not, they are willing to put up with it. In the same vein, some men actually "take pains" to keep their affair(s) well hidden - and their wives are left blissfully unaware. If you asked those women, they'd say they're happy.

    Not all men cheat though. And not all men are abusive to their wives. It's just that those men are few and far between. I bet their marriages are happy.

    http://berrydakara.blogspot.com

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    1. Yeah, like u said they are few and far between and the odds are not in the favor of the average person.

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    2. Agree with Berry's comment.
      Many African woman living in Nigeria have come de-sensitized to this cheating thing, it is only few that cry out.And when they complain,they would hear...nah today? e don teyyyy! Our forefathers cheated on our foremothers....but they stayed...and what is the idea behind polygamy?...is it not cheating?

      Let me tell you the blunt truth my dear Sistah, the average Nigerian man you see cheats on their wives! Be it physical or emotional, and like Berry said, some hide it well, so their wives are ignorantly blissful! Even pators are not spared!

      Is just that every woman has a different level of endurance and shock absorber.

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  4. Wow, I am the first to comment? Okay here goes….I think our expectations of marriage differ so what you define as a happy marriage I can not say, I think the question is what do you want in marriage:

    To be provided for, one sex partner for life, the father of your children, best friend and confidant, someone who will fight for you, someone who gets you, someone to grow old with etc.. . I think depending on your personality/ upbringing/exposure whatever what each person wants differ and I think that we all want a little of the things listed and then some…. I married at the ripe old age of 29 because I was not tripped by the marriages I saw around me, it seemed the men were just cruising along but the women got the short end of the stick. I had dated two guys before my hubby and even got engaged to one (big mistake) I know now I would probably have divorced that guy even though I am a Christian because being a child of divorced parents I know the hell a bad marriage can be and I am not about to go out like that.

    I think the society puts too much emphasis on marriage being the woman’s responsibility and the church is not helping matters with our touting ‘ wise woman builds her home’ yes a wise woman builds her home but the question is on what foundation, if the foundation of your marriage is bad, I.e. you married a bad man/ a person who is not nice, marriage is not gonna make him good, then what are you building? is my question, you will be unable to build with that kind of foundation. I know this is not the conventional Christian mind set but that is how I see it and I know i must be on to something as i am surrounded by troubled marriages, you can’t imagine how many people I am counseling now.

    Imo the church has failed in defining roles, we teach women to submit/ take care of the home etc, and we don’t teach the men how to be leaders/ providers / mentors etc headship is harder than followership and yet we hold seminars for women and send them back into homes where the men have no idea what it means to ‘lay down his life for his wife’ the two roles have to be fulfilled in order to have a happy marriage.

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  5. So question, am I happy in my marriage, yes I am, are there things I would do differently Of course, I would have done my masters before getting married, for one thing and insisted on my hubby getting a different accommodation, instead of spending two miserable years with a psychotic landlord, there are other things too…. But nothing super serious if you get my drift.

    I did pray a lot before getting married not because I was desperate, I was not o , I was living it up! I really enjoyed my single days. I prayed that whenever the man comes that God should open my eyes, because I was so scared of making a mistake cos my parents marriage failed and I seemed to attract the wrong kind of guys perpetually.

    I know God brought my husband along my path o cos he is not the kind of person I would ordinarily have married, he is not my type, but we became just friends I observed his kindness, his focus, his genuine faith, I saw he was not the typical Nigerian man and he could do anything for me as he is not hung on the typical African mentality. We are 8 years in marriage and he still cooks for me, he is the one that takes out my weave/ braid because he does not want my hair to break, he does my eyebrow faithfully, he writes me poems/he sings to me , he takes care of our son, he has always done that sha even as a baby he bath for him/ change nappies/ feed him, he cuts our son’s hair himself and does it faithfully etc..we laugh and talk and fight like best friends Our marriage is not perfect o, there are some things we have NEVER agreed on in eight years but we still make it work. How did I know he was the one ?it was easy for me, one of the major things I saw, was his dad the way he treats his mom , my father in law is the kindest/ most noble/most humble man I have ever met, I wish he was my father, my hubby has no choice but to treat me well it’s all he has ever known… and I had a mentor who taught me these things:

    She told me to observe the family a man comes from, that it’s a good way to know how he would most likely be as a husband (all things being equal of course) - check
    To marry a man whose faults I can stand not a man who I only like his good points ( I can stand most of his faults but some days I just wanna kill him)!
    To marry a man who I would be absolutely thrilled if my son turned out like him faults and all - check

    So I offer these as my counsel to you, I think you should get married, because marriage is sweet, having someone to call your own, to come home to is the greatest feeling in the world .But only to someone who will add value and make you happy whether he is a Nigerian or not otherwise I don’t see the point of marriage ( A bad marriage is hell). Sorry for the epistle but it breaks my heart with the quality of marriage I see all around when I know that marriage can work .

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    1. Awww....ur husband sounds like such a sweetheart. Thanks for taking the time to write such insightful comments.

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    2. #Gbam!3 LIKE Jemima comment.

      Always check out a future-husband family...a fruit never falls far from it's tree.

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    3. Oh wow! I'm taking notes!!! 6 Likes for Jemima's comment!

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    4. Oh wow! I'm taking notes!!! 6 Likes for Jemima's comment!

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    5. Oh wow! I'm taking notes!!! 6 Likes for Jemima's comment!

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    6. i really enjoyed this comment. it was quite insightful. very different from what a typical nigerian woman will tell you. this is probably one of the few comments i've come across that i actually really enjoyed and will remember.

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  6. Honestly? You're too much of a free and independent spirit to get married IMHO. Free spirited independent minded women do not do well in an African marriage. It takes too much out of you and you don't recognize who you are after a coupla of years. Scary. Adopt if you love kids. Too many of us in the world already anyway. Going by your blog you've got a lot to give young girls out there. Why not set up your own foundation like Oprah? Good luck to you.

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  7. Happiness is relative.

    And yes there are some women happy in their marriages.
    And like you said, some na wash!

    Every woman knows what she wants in her man.
    But every woman wants money to meet her needs and good sex. Every other thing join! #waffiaccent#

    My dear sistah, do as your heart desires, because marriage takes work and plenty of patience, and some people don't have the time and strength for both.

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  8. You come put approcal after you agree for anonymous comments?
    ...ahahhhaaaa....love my EDO babe o jare! Smart gal! Hi5!

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  9. I can't say much more than Jemima has. Happy is relative, happy is not perfect. I got married at 31, always thought I would never get married after leaving an engagement offer to do my masters. And no, it wasn't me, it was him, and so many other Nigerian men both married and unmarried that I had interacted with. My parents were an example of a good marriage, and I wanted even better than my dad. It didn't become a special prayer point but God and I knew ourselves so I felt free to keep living my life till He said so. He did say so, and I keep counting my blessing everyday, day by day.

    One thing I can tell strong willed independent women, be who you are, never hide it or you'll attract the wrong sort for you. When the right sort does come around, don't be afraid to give love a chance.

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    1. Well said Myne, when the right sort comes, take a chance, afterall, isn't life always a risk???

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  10. As Jemima has already well elaborated, happiness is relative. There is nothing bad about having an image of this perfect marriage in our minds before we go into it but some people don't know where to draw the line on the fairy tale. Even when they have what lots of people will regard as a happy marriage, they are still not happy/satisfied because they are simply expecting too much from their spouses. As my hubby will sometimes say about such people: "They are reading too much Mills & Boons novels!" lol

    So my dear, happy marriages abound even though we mostly get to hear about the unhappy ones. No one person has all the characteristics we have in our dream list of things we want in a spouse but as long as you can live with the few things that irk you about the person, you are well on your way to having a happy marriage. On the other hand, if the marriage is built on a foundation of lies and deceit, with each party hoping that the other will change some bad habits after the wedding, that's a recipe for disaster right there.

    Please be open to marriage o because it is a sweet thing! And I want to wear asoebi soon! :)

    PS. You see, I finally made it here!

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  11. hmmmmm. like a lot of people have said happy marriages exist, perfect marriages maybe not.

    And happiness if very subjective and personal...

    For me its been over a year of marriage. I have been shocked both pleasantly and unpleasantly, i have had the issues that come with intertribal marriages and not knowing what is expected of you at all times. i have 5 sister inlaws and i came into the marriage with plain mind, however i have since learnt that you can't take people at face value. there has been no single family event that at least one of my inlaws have not had anything to complain to my husband about; i have heard al sort, she no dey greet, because someone came in while the message (in church) was going on and sat in front me and i dint say hi immediately, to she's too proud, na she first sabi book. ALL SORTS. but to be fair to them, there has been no family gathering that the don't quarrel with themselves.
    The hubs defends me but not enough in my opinion



    Now that's my no 1 issue back to my husband, hmm, i am not very domesticated, i don't like to cook but i try to, maybe not as regularly as a wife should, i don't clean so i have a cleaning lady, he knew all these things before we got married and used to say he isnt marrying me for my domestic skills, however, anytime we quarrel he insults me that i'm not domesticated.

    He has a temper, and shouts when he's angry, so i have learnt to leave him alone when he is to avoid saying things we will both regret.

    I am too opinionated, too independent, unsummissive and very headstrong are regular comments i hear from him when we quarel.

    On the flip side, hes cool, kind, supportive of my work, does light cleaning of the house during the weekends cuz d cleaning lady comes once a month, serves me breakfast in bed, provides for himself, the house and me to the extent i need it, romantic,writes poem, plans regular date nights and get aways, entrust me with all his password and his and our joint finances, induldges me occassionally.

    I'm i happy, yes.

    Can i be happier, yes!

    Should you get married? totally.


    P.s sorry for the epistle

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    1. You made me wake everybody with loud laughter.

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    2. Hi Doll,

      I was just smiling when i read this, cos kinda reminded me of hubs and i in some ways in our first year of marriage....thanks for keeping it real, the first year is usually full of surprises both good and bad, but it gets better, as the hubs and you mature somethings naturally will stop, and as for being unsubmisive and head strong, i think it is a song all (or most) husbands sing, i always ask my hubby, 'why did you not get a wife from your village now and save yourself all this grammer' ....lol.... point is we don't agree on some things till now, and on some issues, he has seen that i was right and on other issues, i have seen that he was right, we are growing together, that's what counts and that's what it should be like... positive growth into the oneness, that was God's ideal when he designed marriage..

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    3. Eya, i have the same advantage, only its my father in law that is different like that, he is just a simple and noble soul, but he (God bless that man), brought up his sons well, my brother in law too is the perfect gentleman, more than my husband sef...like you i no like to put mouth for Nigerian marriage matter because i really can't relate

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  12. Jemimah and others have said it all. I don't really like to talk when people talk about Nigerian men/Nigerian marriages cos I feel my comparison may not be fair. My husband grew up and schooled in and around the world. He only returned to Nigeria as an adult.

    His ways are so different, his life style is not that of the average Nigerian Man, his thinking is so much affected by oyibo life.
    I know there are happy marriages in Nigeria because I see happy couples around me. I am a happy wife in Nigeria. Please don't be discouraged, happy marriages still exist.

    Not many Nigerian marriages are sweet sha.

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  13. Should you get married?
    Not if you doubt whether it is the right thing to do.

    Marriage is all about compromise, compromise, compromise...
    If siblings can fight and argue, what do you expect two people (from totally different backgrounds and homes) to do?

    Marriage requires effort and dedication. Once one of you loses interest, it falters.

    Should you get married.......???? My pro-marriage stance:
    - Life is too hard to go it alone;
    - Each one of us deserves a 'personal cheerleader'. If you find one, put a ring on it;
    - A child deserves input from both parents....possibly under the same roof;
    - The turmoil of a young marriage often paves the way for a more tranquil older marriage;

    My anti-marriage stance:
    - His care-free attitude as a boyfriend is unlikely to continue as a husband;
    - Except he's an orphan, watch out for the accompanying in-laws;
    - In most cases (and unless you are very strong)....'There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall' (Cyril Connolly)
    - One of the saddest things to hear from an old person is 'I wish I had never let him/her go'

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    1. Well said mam!!!
      But i am not clear on "One of the saddest things to hear from an old person is 'I wish I had never let him/her go" .... it looks like it should be under the pro marriage stance or did i misunderstand the meaning?

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    2. Sorry my sistah...I agree
      Old age and hunger affected my organisational skill
      That last one is def a pro marriage stance.....Thanks my sister
      xxx

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    3. she probably meant i wish i had never let the other him/her that you did not marry go? Am i right?

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  14. I'm with you and your thoughts on marriage and i know everyone has said great things and that with hardwork and prayers, marriage would probably be easier but i don't know what i would do with myself if who ever i marry, if i marry, cheats on me. And sometimes, marriage changes people so where i wan put face if after marriage his expectation of my responsibilities are those of a stepford housewife? What to do with a man that vehemently refuses to change diapers or get the crying baby at 2am?

    At first, i said i won't bother with Nigerian men cos white men are more committed and help more around the house BUT they have a way higher divorce rate. Make person no come divorce me because say i dey play Na God by Obianuju evey sunday morning, ehn! And the hispanics, let's just leave it at i don't like crowds. African Americans can take several seats with their plenty children, i can't even shout. Asians? Hia!

    I know i sound like a stereotypical bull dozer but my point is, if you meet someone you love and he loves you too ofcourse then you guys can discuss the nitty gritty and take it from there. People don't always live up to stereotypes and the guy who proposes to you someday could be one of the exception.

    On the flip side, there's somewhere in the new testament that says marriage is not by force and that if you can "hold body" it's even better for your relationship with God. So dear Sting, can you "hold body"?

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  15. Great comments so far! I'm of the opinion that there can be a happy marriage. But sadly, its not a common thing these days.
    People go into a marriage for the very wrong reasons and when they find out in marriage that things change, the hapiness dissapears.
    Why are we in this? Is one question that needs to be answered.
    Intending couples need to establish what makes them happy and be sure their partner is willing to make commitment to such things.
    People get into marriages hoping their spouse(mostly men) will change especiallt to what they want. Its often not the case. Marriage will not change him, you as his wife can't change him so don't be dissapointed when this happens.
    God's design for marriage is for it to be enjoyed not endured. He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.

    Most importantly, ask God for help in making a right choice. He won't lead you in the wrong path

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  16. I dont comment often, But I must say, I love this post, Happy Marriages exists really but not just so often

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  17. I agree with a couple of comments like Myne's and LadyNgo's.

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