I've come with my made up words again, abi? No vex. I was going to go with Marriaging. Marriaging and Marriationship, whatever. This post is about a worrying trend that began to spread in Nigeria within the last ten years. I'm quite surprised that this trend is now so widely accepted in this country of all places.I was gisting with a friend and I asked after a mutual acquaintance that I knew got married like 2 years ago. And she's like "didn't you hear? They've separated o! Ah, they separated since, like 6 months ago" Chai! A marriage that lasted for a year and six months. How totally depressing. Separation and divorce is now so commonplace in Nigeria. What is more terrifying is that it is most popular with newly weds in the 20-35 age bracket (this survey was conducted by ME.lol) Seriously tho, what is up with us? My mother is always saying how she feels sorry for this generation. Our must to-must to of everything western is too much (Cherrictionary: must to-must to: the act of doing things by force. Eg. She does not have front hair, but she must to-must to do Ghana weaving. Courtesy: Onayimi! Lol)
The bible is against separation/divorce but I think it is something that you do out of necessity. It is sad but necessary when (for instance)you are in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship and you don't see any other way out. But it is not for every whim or every obstacle in marriage.
I'm not married so I am terrified of what is going on out there in marriage land. My friend, T.O told me something that shocked me to the core. She said she asked a boy who was getting married if he loved his wife, and he said he liked her enough and if it didn't work out, they will get divorced. This was a profound for me because of two things. One, he viewed the forthcoming marriage as a continuation of their dating period. This is a problem because he just felt well, if it doesn't work out, we will end the relationship, the same way you do when you are dating someone and it doesn't work out. Two, divorce is ALREADY on the table whether the girl likes it or not. A guy contemplating a divorce before he has walked down the aisle is a big worry. Most people are extremely happy and to them, marriage is for life. If something goes wrong along the line, those people are devastated. This guy, is PREPARED! And i feel since he has already thought of divorce, there is no way he won't always consider ending the marriage when things are not going the way he wants them to.
Anyways, I've come up with a list of happenstance that I think contributes to the rising rates of divorce in Nigeria.
1. The aso-ebi debacle:
I've been privy to the inner workings of a few weddings and aso-ebi is not a laughing matter. I jokingly told my mum that I don't want the aso-ebi drama when I get married and she said "Olorun maje!!(God forbid) I've bought for other People's children so they must buy for my own child) I'm the first child, so no real say in that regard. I'm resigned to that. This is not about me, so moving on swiftly. I've noticed that a lot of marriages are entered into for the love of aso-ebi. Aso-ebi in this context, embodies all the pomp and pageantry associated with a Nigerian wedding; the big white dress, the decorations, the drama filled engagement/traditional wedding, the different societies your parents belong to wearing their different collies etc. Girls have dreamt and dreamt of their big day since they were about 10. So the minute one guy produces one ring, you or your mother(who is tired of waiting on the Lord for you, after all, you are not the only child, your siblings need her prayers too) will just pounce on the ring and begin to choose colors and call caterers. It is not really about the guy at this stage. So when the music stops and the 'spraying' has stopped; the wedding is officially over and the marriage has begun. It is you, him and the four walls you dwell in. Marriage is a life long commitment. Taking the time to know each other before committing to anything is not just advised, it is highly necessary. If you rush in, you will rush out. So when there is no more fanfare or any great expectation, you begin to nit pick and the sun doesn't really shine out of his ass, as you once thought. Straight to divorce court. The end. This brings me to the next point of why young marriages collapse.
2. Lack of patience:
There is a reason why patience is a virtue, it is because patience demands that you are excellent at holding your peace for the greater good. This my nowadays girls???? No freaking way. Before you finish talking one, they have talked 25 with neck movements and finger gestures eg: " naaaaaaah-ah, you N-E-V-E-R speak to me like that. Nobody talks to me like that. Even my father never spoke to me like that. What do you mean where are your cufflinks?" neck and eyes rolling like the girl in The Exorcist. Boys sef are not exempt from this tomfoolery.In our mothers' generation, the women were more subservient. I'm not a big fan of the marital kowtowing but a little bit of it in modern marriages is not an entirely bad idea. We are a generation of empowered women; great education, well travelled, fantastic jobs and/or businesses where some of us are the shot callers. It doesn't make for a subservient or submissive woman really. But we must try to at least let the man THINK he is the king of his castle.
Yoruba people say, two mad men cannot be in a fight. One has to calm down for the other. Sadly, it always falls to women to exhibit maturity in the marriage. Don't know why this is, but it is. Most women no longer see the point of this maturity; I'm not saying I blame them but some men are impossible to live with. But both parties have to have the desire to be patient with one another. Where patience is lacking, there is no marriage, trust me. When you're not patient, a simple thing like snoring or burning food will be grounds for a divorce.
Once you've married someone, you marry them forsaking all others! It is in your vows (for those of you that sleep through your vows or go through them in a daze. You're committing to some serious stuff) But what I've noticed is that nowadays couple don't think that portion of the vow really applies to them particularly when their spouses cannot come up with the goods. For women, it is material. If your husband hustles and buys you a 2010 Camry and you live in a 3 bedroom flat and you're generally comfortable, you will still find some women who compare their husband's pocket with his friends' or with their own friends' husband's pockets "well, why can't we live on the island" "why can't you buy me a range?" "when will we travel 5 times a year?" "I'm tired of this 3 bedroom flat, I want a house" ah ah. Relax now. Fingers are not equal.
For men, it is how their wives look. They want to "stunt" with their girls. No shame in that. I strongly believe that as Kelly Rowland said, a women should keep it tight, keep her figure right, get her hair did and be rocking the hottest outfits. It makes all the difference. HOWEVER, making unfair comparisms between you wife and other People's wives is just not on. She doesn't have the same body type or the same "freak in the bed tendencies" as your friends' wives or your ex girlfriends but you saw her like that before you married her. Be content with your lot and help her improve on whatever you feel she is lacking in WITHOUT criticisng her. More importantly, stop letting Sports Illustrated, Victoria Secret catalogues (oh yes, we know you steal them from us) and porn come between you and your wives. Those women are paid to look like that and do those things plus those pictures are AIRBRUSHED! If you were paying your wife $50,000 a day, She will roll out of bed looking like Giselle Bundchen from the start to the finish of the day. Cos she can afford to hire personal trainers and nannies to give her time to pretty herself up for you. Some of you are just dummmies. Na wa for you!
4. Marriationship itself
This is treating your marriage as if you are still dating or having "something". This is a two pronged sword. On the one hand, this is great! The ability to still treat your spouse like she's your girlfriend or he's your boyfriend is fabulous. You still have the innocence and everything is new, you dote on yourselves as you did when you were dating. You still want to impress each other with how you look. You still want to go to Fredricks and get a fabulous balconette bra with a thong and suspenders and meet your husband at the door looking all kinds of scrumptious. You want to spend the bulk of your money just giving her a fabulous treat; an amazing pair of shoes or a stunning set of earrings. Just amazing. It keeps the relationship fresh and exciting.
The flip side is when you treat your marriage like you're still dating so you're allowed to keep doing all the shady and nonsense stuff you used to. You still want to run the streets, run to the clubs, spend nights out, chat up girls, get chatted up by men, keep secrets etc. Newsflash: these things were not ok when you were dating so they sure as hell are not ok now.The worse is when you break up over issues. But guess what? It is not called a break up when you are married, it is called a divorce. It comes with all sorts of legal ramifications: division of assets, child custody issues(where there are kids), relocation etc. More importantly, you earn yourself a new title: divorcee. No one has heard of a breakupee because there's no such label. You're that person that has had a failed marriage. No parent wants their kids to be involved with a divorcee; obviously, this is before they hear the circumstances surrounding the divorce. But the initial reaction is: HELL NO! So be certain you're with the one you love, want to be with, want to grow old with and have babies and grandbabies with. Otherwise, you know where it will end up? Yup. Divorce courts.
It baffles the mind when people that vowed to commit to each other all the days of their lives, let things come between them. Marriage was not designed to be easy. It is your attitude to marriage that makes it easy. A lot of things become easier to bear when you are sharing the burden. If you have been so blessed to find someone willing to share his/her life with you, hold on to that person forever. Your crusty ass ain't all cute and easy to live with! I think this is the bulk of the problem. People believe too much in their own PR, they think they are THE shit, everything is right with them, it is others who are wrong. Well.....No! You know what is worse than being married? Being unmarried. You have to go to the same places you went to as a married person and start running the places you went to as a single person. All I'm saying is, it is depressing.