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.

Twitter ruined my marriage (culled from Nairaland)

Efe and I got married two years ago. Before we got married he really wasn’t all into social networks but now he’s on all of them: Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other silly social networks. I wouldn’t have minded if it was just Facebook, I can deal with that. Everybody is on Facebook. Normal people are on Facebook. But Twitter…

That’s a different thing entirely. All sorts of home breakers and husband snatchers are on there.

I started to notice something was wrong when Efe started spending more time than usual on his Blackberry. He’d come home from work, kiss me briefly before settling on the couch with his Blackberry in his hand.

I would tell him something like “Honey, I went shopping today and just guess who I saw.” And he would grunt. Or I would tell him to come to the dining for his diner and he would say something like “I’ll be there in a minute” and he would take forever to get up. He’d take forever to eat and still wouldn’t finish his meals because he was tweeting.

He’d go out with friends till late and fall asleep as quickly as he hit the bed.

The day that my suspicions were confirmed was the day he left his Blackberry on my reading table while he was in the shower. I did not intend to snoop. I was reading a book quietly with my mug of coffee in one hand and my highlighter in the other when his phone beeped.

I ignored it the first time.

It beeped again.

Then again.

Again.

My will to ignore it weakened with each beep and I reached for the phone. He had Socialscope notifications, direct messages actually, from @Ivy_L_Chick. Her avatar was quite small but the little I could see was cleavage. I was just about to read the rest of the direct message when I heard the door of the bathroom creak shut.

I jumped and dropped the phone like it had scalded me. Efe cocked an eyebrow my way.

“What were you doing with my phone?” he asked, coming towards me. I felt like a criminal.

“Nothing. I wanted to check the time.”

He nodded and continued dressing. I believed he believed me until he was on his way to work; a functioning clock was directly in front of me. It has always been there. I put it there myself.

By the next time I could lay my hands on his phone, there was a password on it. It was on my ninth try that I heard Efe’s footsteps in the hallway. I quickly pulled out his battery and restarted his phone so he wouldn’t know that I had been trying to enter his password.

Instead of the usual brief hug and kiss, Efe lingered awhile with me in the kitchen he even helped me do the dishes and he did not reach for his phone once. Not once.

He started noticing my new hair dos again, he started complimenting me again but I was not content with having Efe back.

A need to go through his Twitter consumed me so much that all I could see at night was @Ivy_L_Chick’s avatar. I could see it in the mirror in the morning, in the television in the afternoon and yes, in my dreams at night.

Finally, one morning, I decided to get a Twitter account. I was familiar with all the lingo because my husband used it so much. Oftentimes, he would refer to one of his friends as @thatblackboy instead of Tunde or he would say Ejiro’s avatar makes brain or something like that.

I opened a Twitter account on a Tuesday morning with the handle @barbiexxx and an almost completely Unclad avatar i found through Google. I started tweeting Efe and retweeting all his tweets. Soon after he followed me back and sent me a direct message.

@ThatEfeGoi: Hey. Wassup?

@Barbiexxx: I’m good. You?

@ThatEfeGoi: I’m chilling. Nice avatar.

@Barbieexxx: Thank you! Yours isn’t bad either

@ThatEfeGoi; lol i appreciate.

@Barbiexxx: you’re welcome

I wished he would say something flat out incriminating like “Want to hook up?” but he didn’t.

Not that day. Not the day after or even the following week. But my mind was still not at rest. Why did he put a passcode on his phone if there wasn’t anything he was trying to hide from me? There was and I was hellbent on finding out. I just never stopped to think about what I was going to do with the incriminating information but I wanted it as bad I wanted my next breath.

I got the evidence I wanted right in my lap two weeks after the first direct messages we shared. He sent me a message asking if I wanted to “hook up sometime on Saturday” He had told me that he was going to watch a match with a couple of friends at a bar on that same Saturday at the same time he wanted to “hook up” I told him that I would be available.

The next few days after that were the longest days of my life and when Saturday came, I was more than ready to face my two timing husband. We agreed to meet at Spicery hotel’s lobby. I got there at 2:15pm fifteen minutes after we agreed to meet. I can’t begin to describe the look on his face when he saw me walking towards him, swinging my handbag menacingly in my hand.

“So this is what you do behind my back ehn, Efe?”

He was speechless. I was so mad I caused a scene right there in the lobby in front of the receptionist and some of the cleaners even some people came out of their rooms to see the woman who was bashing her husband with her handbag.

We haven’t said two words to each other since that day. Efe now sleeps on the couch while I cry myself to sleep. Nothing Efe says to me will change my mind about what is happening between us. Things are no longer the same and I doubt they ever will be. The minute he walks out the door in the morning, the dirtiest images of him with another woman fill my mind.

Efe still denies that he has ever cheated on me but I don’t believe him because I can’t find the direct messages he exchanged with @Ivy_L_Chick anymore. I don’t believe.

I don’t believe!

I cannot say for sure that I am not losing my sanity. But I can say for sure that my marriage isn’t the same anymore. Efe and I aren’t the same anymore either…

Decisions by Judie

As we both laughed uncontrollably at a joke Zee had just told, I looked up at him with my head rested on his thigh and felt a tug in my heart, one month ago if you had asked me who I would wanna marry I would have said Zee without hesitating.

I loved Zee, that was without doubt, after years of searching, I thought I had finally met the one but fast forward three years later while having dinner I asked Zee if he could marry me.

“Marry you? Babes, are you proposing to me?”

“No I’m not, I’m asking you if you can marry me, if you make up your mind to get married tomorrow, will?!”

“Look , this is rather sudden, can you give me a week to think about it?”

“A week? You wanna decide in a week what you haven’t decided in three years? That’s fucked up Zee!!!! That’s truly fucked up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I tried to steady my shaking hand as I grabbed my fork, I didn’t want to lose my cool in front of him or come across as desperate but surely after three bloody years I had every right to ask didn’t i? my thoughts were in a turmoil.

We ignored each other for the rest of the dinner and on the way home, we silently did our nightly rituals and got in bed and thus it began. I travelled back home and faced work squarely, I rarely called and texted like I used to, I missed Zee terribly but something in me had died that night and I knew he wasn’t what or who I had thought he was. Our relationship took a nose dive and I wasn’t perturbed, I slowly stopped giving a damn and didn’t care anymore. Most nights I cried myself to sleep remembering the beautiful memories we had made together and what we would have had, three weeks had gone by without a word to either of us from either of us.

This sunny afternoon I was having lunch with my girls when I saw him, my heart didn’t skip and I didn’t have butterflies, I just glanced at him with a passing interest especially at his pink lips. He walked up to our table and asked if he could join us which got my friends into a tizzy, fluttering and clucking like newly beheaded chickens and I could swear they were wondering who he fancied.

Chima is a renaissance man, he knows something about everything and everything about something, we all talked and laughed like old friends and he collected everyone’s card. I got back to work and couldn’t stop thinking about him, I realized I was going crazy when I found myself kneeling in the office kitchen praying I was the one he would call. My phone buzzed repeatedly and it was my girls texting to say Chima had sent them messages, I quickly checked my phone and there was no message, disappointment pierced me like a knife and I was surprised at how much I had wanted him to pick me, I had never cheated on Zee and I felt a little but guilty but it felt like he was no longer in the picture.

Three days later someone called and invited me to dinner and it was Chima, the connection we felt was soo sudden but yet soo strong, I felt like I had fallen in love with him but it was just too soon to be in love, no? We talked, we laughed, argued like old lover. We started seeing each other every night after that but we never got intimate, just the regular hand holding, little kisses here and there and it felt like all was right with the world but no my bubble wasn’t to last long.

Zee mysteriously landed at my apartment just 3 minutes after I had kissed Chima goodnight at the door, he barged in and carried me in his arms, we kissed passionately and ended up on the couch, we talked about everything except the reason we hadn’t talked to each other in over a month.

As we both laughed uncontrollably at a joke Zee had just told, I looked up at him with my head rested on his thigh and felt a tug in my heart, one month ago if you had asked me who I would wanna marry I would have said Zee without hesitating and looking up at him from my vantage position I knew he was going to propose and I didn’t know what my answer would be.

Zee got up and walked into the bedroom, a few minutes later he hollered for me to come join him, I walked with trepidation towards the bedroom, I could already see flower petals scattered all over and Zee on one knee, just as I was about to step over the threshold into the bedroom, my cell –phone started bleating from the living room, it was the beginnings of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and it was Chima’s ringtone.

I stood trans-fixed, knowing that though neither knew about the other, it was a life defining moment for me. Who would it be Chima or Zee?

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.

Experience

Experience, they say, is the best teacher. The things we go through everyday influence the way we think and behave.

Sometimes, what you read or hear about people’s experiences isn’t enough; you need to have a first hand experience to grasp what the thing is all about.

That is why I don’t believe in success books, relationship books, motivational books and others. I see them as a bunch of hokum. I know some of you are already nodding or shaking your head in agreement or disagreement as the case may be.

Let me use the relationship (marriage) books for instance, these writers paint a picture based on the experiences they have had; a wise man once told me, you can’t write a book on marriage because our experiences differ and I couldn’t agree more.

Some people who write about the success of their relationships, are actually unhappy but paint a Cinderella picture to his or her readers who end up believing every relationship is like that. The fact remains that no relationship is guaranteed a smooth road and people must fight in a relationship. These fights are actually “the rate-limiting steps” that either strengthen the bond between friends/lovers or make them enemies for the rest of their lives.

However, our experiences can leave an indelible imprint in our head/mind, thus changing our perception about things and life in general. That’s why we do forgive but rarely forget. Our day-to-day experiences shape us and we try to re-adjust to ensure such scenario does or doesn’t repeat itself depending on how it tasted.

Let me use this illustration: certain anti-malarial drugs have been used in treatment and prevention of malaria but the plasmodium (causative organism of malaria) has been found to have developed a resistance to several anti-malarial drugs such as chloroquine, once the parasite gets used to the administered drug, it blocks and neutralizes the effect of the drug. The same applies to our day-to-day activities, a bad experience makes us hard-bitten and aids us create a resistance to hard things life throw at us.

That player or runs girl out there wasn’t always that way, he or she she has been a victim of betrayal of trust and heartbreak. Alas! They make up their minds never to fall in love again, breaking other innocent people’s hearts in the process and the cycle continues.

A friend of mine once told me how his friend took advantage of his nice nature and betrayed him. He had given the friend some money to help him purchase a car; only for the friend to abscond with the money.

Another man told me how he helped his family members and the only way they could repay him was to accuse him falsely to the point that he was ostracized by his village community. The man made a statement I’d never forget. He said “HELP IS A SIN”.

To these two aforementioned people, experience taught them a bitter lesson they would never forget, their perceptions about trust and help have also changed and nothing can be done or said to make them feel otherwise.

In the end, experiences are very important but can make us the finest or the worst of men.