Divorce: A Trend In Nigeria Now?

“Everybody seems to be getting married and the unmarried ones seem to be getting more worried.” That’s a tweet from one of the numerous people I follow on the social media, Twitter.

My friend, Mikael gave me the shock of the year so far on my birthday. He told me he wants to settle down with his girlfriend after just three weeks of dating.

Mikael and Valerie met at a birthday party in February and they hit it off. Mikael is one of those guys girls describe as tall, dark, handsome and rich while Valerie is a nymphet with a sexy British accent to say the least.

When he broke the news to me, I was non-plussed and speechless for a while. As a matter of fact, it took me two minutes to recover from the shock.

“Are you serious” I asked him. He told me, the lady is a British citizen, sexy, educated and from a well-to-do family. What else does he need? Although he didn’t say the words, it was obvious he’s settling down with the babe because of her physical attributes and rich background.

I’m really worried for my dear friend because a wise man once told me “Do not marry while too young, for you have not experience enough to train your son; nor be too old, that you have not the patience. There is a mean in marriage, as in all things”

“No man is the same after marriage. Either his joys are doubled and his sorrows halved, or his joys are halved and his sorrows doubled.”

Honestly, the rate at which young people say “I do” is becoming worrisome not because marrying at a young age is a bad thing, NO but because the rate at which they marry is directly proportional to the rate at which they separate and just like the wise man said, there’s a mean in all facets of life.

Call me old fashioned but I believe marriage should be for better, for worse till death parts the couple. Nowadays, people are in a hurry to walk down the aisle, same way they are in haste to separate when one squabble comes along.

In 1969, United States Governor, Ronald Reagan of California signed the nation’s first no-fault divorce bill to eliminate deceit associated with the legal regime of fault-based divorce. A decision he later described as one of the biggest mistakes of political career. The new law eliminated the need for couples to fabricate spousal wrongdoing in pursuit of a divorce;

Thirty years later, the myth of the good divorce has not stood up well in the face of sustained social scientific inquiry — especially when one considers the welfare of children exposed to their parents’ divorces.

The children are often the victims when parents separate/re-marry. They are forced to watch their parents fight themselves in court for their custody. Children from divorced are often if not always troubled. The role of a father and mother as a team in the life of a growing child can never be over-emphasized so they need to stick together even if they don’t get along anymore, just for the sake of the kids.

Due to civilisation and imitation of western culture, divorce is on the rise in our dear nation. Most young men seem to believe the only aim of marriage is for pro-creation while others succumb to the pressure from their girlfriends,via pregnancy or otherwise to put a ring on her finger and legalise their coitus.

Then, there are the desperate ones especially the females, who plunge into the pool of marriage with their make-up on, polluting the pool as a result.

Most people crumble under pressure,the pressure from some families has made a lot of people miserable because they ended up with people they weren’t supposed to end up with it.

There is also a group that believe in fantasy/fairytale of marrying early and growing up with their kids so they rush into what they aren’t ready for, all in a bid to have that “happily ever after” life.

We need to understand that marriage isn’t a “boyfriend/girlfriend” issue. Marriage is sacred, a union blessed by God, who detests the word, divorce. (Malachi 2:13-16; also read Matthew 19:9 & Ephesians 13:4)

There’s no rush when it comes to marriage, take your time to know your partner inside and out, know what he/she likes and dislikes, make sure you can cope and live the rest of your life with his flaws as well as he’s ready to live with yours.

Marriage needs maturity, understanding, wisdom, endurance and tolerance to cope with the hitches that come with it.

Always remember, marriage is not about what happens at the wedding but what happens after the wedding.

Marriage…scary

I was opportune to grace my friend’s parents’ Silver Jubilee (25th Wedding Anniversary) in Abuja last month. The parents met during their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, they both served in Jigawa State in the 80s and also got married in the 80s at Holy Ghost Cathedral Church Enugu.

During the mass, the presiding priest asked the couple to exchange/renew their vows; the man expressed his undying love for his wife, thanking her for accepting his marriage proposal, carrying and bringing their children to the world, assisting and standing by him through the ups and downs of life.

At the end of his speech, the woman was short of words and whimpered like a baby. It was evident that something like LOVE still exists; it’s always cute to see old couples holding hands and looking at each other like teenagers who just fell in love.

Sitting with some friends during the reception, we started arguing if such still exist in this our generation. They all concurred that marriage is something they all dread and aren’t ready to ply that road anytime soon.

I comprehend their fears completely; the urge for material things has changed the story of love thus most ladies can’t function if there’s no cash involved. Money shouldn’t be the priority when choosing a partner. There’s more to marriage than money alone.

Marriage is a broad course, nobody has ever got an A in it but that doesn’t mean you should have an F. Marriage isn’t about the wedding either but it’s about everything that happens after the wedding. It is a 3-ring affair: Engagement ring, Wedding ring and Suffering. Yes, you read that right. Paul said in 1st Corinthians Chapter 7 v 28: “But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face troubles in this life…”

People say marriage is an achievement but I disagree; raising a family is the achievement and not marriage itself. There are so many factors put into consideration before a man/woman decides to spend the rest of his/her life with the partner. These vital factors include: love, compatibility, understanding, tolerance and sustainable means of livelihood for the family.

Most women say they want security in life so they won’t date the poor but what they fail to understand is that a poor man with a good heart is better than a rich man with the heart of a beast. If that dude isn’t rich today doesn’t mean he will be poor forever. My Igbo people say “UWA NA EME NTUGHARI” meaning the world revolves and nothing is permanent. Getting married to the rich doesn’t guarantee happiness in life. Happiness is priceless perhaps those who say they will rather cry inside a Mercedes Maybach than laugh on a bicycle have never experienced pain in their lives. Don’t misconstrue my point; I’m not in support of a man dragging someone’s daughter to suffer with him…NO. The man must have a sustainable means of livelihood for the family and also the woman should work and aid the husband because she was created by GOD to be a help mate to the man, helping him to be the best in all ramifications. The purpose of working and earning is for the woman to appreciate what the husband gives her.

A couple has to be compatible and understand each other for the marriage to work; they must share the same ambitions and aspirations. Due to the fact that we all have flaws, tolerance is vital. In my opinion, the union between an uneducated man and educated lady will ‘NEVER’ work because men are naturally egotistical and he will feel insecure in the long run.

In the end, work hard and pray hard for GOD to make you successful and take you to the apex of your aspirations and also to provide a good partner in life for you. What qualifies you as a great partner isn’t in your looks/appearance but it’s in your good heart, good character and real personality. When a real man finds a real woman, he will never let her go. It’s funny how material women blame men for breaking their hearts. Real men/women don’t settle down with fake women/men. The only place you can find a fake woman is temporarily in the heart of a foolish man but when the fool becomes wise, the wise person is in serious problems. Looking for a real man/woman when you are a sham is like looking for a live fish in the forest.

Passive Smoking

Smokers always find it offensive when you tell them not to smoke around you. Choosing to smoke and destroying your own health is one thing but passive smoking, also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) or Second-hand Smoke (SHS), damages the health of those around you. The first global study into the effects of passive smoking has estimated it causes 600,000 deaths every year.

A non-smoker is subjected to both the “side stream” smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette and the “mainstream” smoke that has been inhaled and then is exhaled into their environment by the smoker. Most of the smoke that builds up in a room containing a smoker is of the more harmful “side stream” type. It is not too much of a conceptual leap to understand that the smoke from cigarettes, which is so bad for the smoker, is also damaging to everyone else.

Tobacco smoke contains cancer-causing carcinogenic agents. Tobacco smoke also contains carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, which inhibits the transportation of oxygen to the body’s vital organs via the blood. The smoke emitted from the tip of a cigarette has about double the concentration of nicotine and tar as the smoke being directly inhaled by the smoker. It also contains about three times the amount of the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene, five times the level of carbon monoxide and about 50 times the amount of ammonia. Add to these the other chemicals in the smoke like arsenic, formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, and hydrogen cyanide and you have a very unappetizing toxic gas cocktail. Remember that the passive smoker receives all of this and gets none of the enjoyment that you get out of smoking in return. Many of the potentially toxic gasses in the smoke are present in higher concentrations in the “side stream” smoke than in the “mainstream” smoke.

In tests, tobacco specific carcinogens have been found in samples of blood or urine provided by non-smokers who have been exposed to passive smoking. The great Gani Fawehinmi SAN died in 2009 after a prolonged battle with lung cancer. Prior to his death, he maintained he doesn’t smoke and was astonished when the doctors in UK told him he had lung cancer.

Any person exposed to passive smoking may experience short-term symptoms such as a headache, a cough, wheezing, an eye irritation, a sore throat, nausea or dizziness. Adults with asthma may also experience a significant decline in lung function when exposed to second-hand smoke. Under these conditions it can take as little as half an hour for an individual’s coronary blood flow to become reduced.

It was estimated that prolonged exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, such as in the home, increases the risk of lung cancer by approximately 20 to 25%. Even if you do not accept the accuracy of these percentages, it is well established that you have an increased chance of developing lung cancer through passive smoking if you are a non-smoker but live with someone who smokes. The chances of suffering from ischaemic heart disease are greater for those exposed to passive smoking compared to those who are not. Studies have shown that the risk of experiencing a heart attack is believed to be almost doubled by regular exposure to second-hand smoke.

Some of the most serious damage inflicted by passive smoking is done to children during their formative years. As you would expect, a child’s bronchial tubes are smaller and their immune systems are less developed making them more susceptible to the harmful effects of passive smoking. Due to the fact that their airways are smaller, children breathe faster than adults and, consequently, they actually breathe in comparatively more of the harmful chemicals in the smoke, based on their body weight, than adults do.Young children, by necessity, spend a lot of time at home and maternal smoking is one of the major sources of passive smoking because of the child’s close proximity to their parents during early childhood.

Exposure to tobacco smoke can double the chances of your child requiring hospitalisation for illnesses like bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia that affect the lower respiratory tract, especially during the first year of life. They are also more likely to suffer from ear infections (glue ear), tonsillitis, and asthma. Passive smoking is known to be one of the main contributing factors in the development of childhood asthma. It can exacerbate existing asthma, increasing both the frequency of the attack and its severity. Second-hand tobacco smoke may damage a child’s olfactory function so that they have difficulty differentiating certain smells. There is also the chance that passive smoking may have a negative effect on a child’s cognitive abilities, impairing their ability to read or use reasoning skills.

Just as a woman should not smoke during pregnancy, she should not be exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke. There are links between parental smoking and the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or “cot death”. It has been estimated that the infants of mothers who smoke are put at almost five times the risk of dying from “cot death” when compared to the infants of mothers who do not smoke. Passive smoking is also a recognised factor in lowering the birth weight of babies.

Not only can passive smoking harm your foetus but it can also reduce the chances of you getting pregnant in the first place. Female fertility can suffer because of passive smoking, making it harder to conceive a child.

To continue to smoke and put the health of your family and loved-ones at risk would seem, on the face of it, to be a rather selfish act. When you take into account the damage that smoking is doing to your own body, then it seems more like insanity.
Think of how traumatic it would be if a member of your family became ill or died because of your smoking habit. Now consider the fact that they would feel exactly the same way if smoking ended your life prematurely or made you seriously ill. You may find yourself asking “Why do I still smoke?”

Peer Pressure: Good or Bad?

 

It is a natural phenomenon for us to copy and want to be like the people we admire in life. The struggle to fit in at all cost has made a lot of us to do what we wouldn’t do on a normal day. Peer pressure is tantamount with the youths; after all we spend most of our day in the company of friends more than our parents and siblings.

As kids, our parents choose the kids we hang out with; preferably kids of their friends. As we grow, we fight to remove the shackles our parents have on us and choose our clique of friends. Most times, we choose people who have similar interests, beliefs and experiences to ours. Together, you and your friends make decisions and influence each other every day.

Making decisions on your own and standing your ground is worrisome; but when other people are drawn in and try to pressure; it gets more worrisome. Friends affect and influence our lives even without us realizing it, just by spending time with us.

Psychologist Wendy Treynor described peer pressure as “Identity Shift Effect”. One’s state of harmony is disrupted when faced with the threat of external conflict or failing to conform to a group’s standard. Thus, we conform to the group’s standard but as soon as one does, eliminating this external conflict, internal conflict is introduced. To rid oneself of this internal conflict, an identity shift is undertaken where one adopts the group standards as one’s own, thereby eliminating internal conflict; returning one to a state of harmony.

To me, Peer Pressure is the hassle by friends for us to do something we don’t want to do. It doesn’t have to be  negative; it could also be positive .

For instance, on the negative side, most of my mates started lighting a cigarette as far back as JS2/3. Even though some didn’t want to be part of it but because they were scared to be labelled a Jew man, they gave in to peer pressure and they are hooked. Others started snubbing some people because their clique frowned at the sight of them talking with the unpopular ones alias nerds/jew men.

Positively, friends’ pressure can help us learn a lot of things like a new skill. In my primary school days, after watching soccer stars like Diego Maradona, Roberto Carlos, Raul Gonzalez and Savio; I believed left-legged players had more shot power than those who play with the right leg so I pressured my friend Chife for us to learn how to play football comfortably with both legs and we did it!

Some years ago, I had a near death experience that left me incarcerated in a hospital for some months. Then, I was an under graduate in my 400L. With exams lurking, I lost hope of writing the exams and made up my mind I was going to spend an extra year in school but my friend didn’t want to hear any of it and sent me an SMS I will never forget. She said “if there’s anybody I know that can pull this off, it’s you”. Those eleven words urged me to read and instantly, energy from nowhere sprang up in me and I started flying like those men you see in Red Bull commercials. I wrote that exam from the hospital and came out with flying colours.

As we grow older, peers naturally play a greater role in our lives. Due to the amount of time we spend together, we develop close bond with our peers and may feel so connected to them that they are like an extended family.

So do you think peer pressure is good or bad?