BN Hot Topic: When Do You Take the Matrimonial Red Flag Seriously?

One of the reasons why people advocate for the performance of the marriage rites under traditional law and customs is to ensure that all crucial family members are aware of the union and their consent is sought. According to the proponents of this practice, it is to ensure that the marriage lasts longer. So if one of the parties to the marriage loses interest in the union, the family members are called upon to impress upon them the ‘importance of vows’. Other times, the family members are there to remind the couple of the customary requirements for going their separate ways. This is usually to deter any thoughts of fragmenting the union and to keep it.

It is against this backdrop that it has become really worrisome that a lot of young marriages in Nigeria are broken. Prima facie, we tick all the boxes. We’re religious. We are cultural. We are respectful. We have values. We have set gender roles. We believe in procreation. Is there a sudden proliferation of young divorced couples or has this been happening for a long time and we’re only just seeing it clearly because we now have social media?

In trying to understand why we have so seemingly nice guys going their separate ways after 18 months of marriage, I asked some friends who separated after being married for less than 5 years.

Well, there were some things I thought he was going to stop when we were married. With marriage, one becomes more responsible, or so I thought.

She was spending so much money on frivolous things and maintaining the notion that as the man of the house I was supposed to pay her driver’s salary, our rent, service charge and all that. It’s a marriage and not bondage

I actually knew the marriage wouldn’t last because I saw the signs but my parents told me to try to make it work. No marriage is perfect. So I went ahead.

Well, in all honesty I won’t say he changed suddenly. But we’d been dating for 6 years and broken up off and on. If I left him at that point, what would come out of it? I’d be single and back on the market. I had a plan to be tough. It backfired.

I wanted to call it off about 5 months to the wedding because I found out something about him but I didn’t know how. How would I have told my parents? I felt I’d just go through with it and take life as it comes. Life came! Sadly.

These responses scared me. I know there are usually jokes about people getting married because of lovely pictures online but I didn’t know that people actually make life changing decision based on what other people think of them.  On the other hand, if one is doubtful, where’s the room for giving someone a second chance? After all, we’re all human and have frailties.

So just when do you take the matrimonial red flag seriously? Is it dependent on how many people know you’re getting married? Is it a function of societal acceptance? What is that red flag of warning that is worthy of you throwing in the towel and saying “I know this wouldn’t work”? What are your thoughts on the saying “A broken engagement is better than a failed marriage”?

Let’s discuss!

Photo Credit: hellobeautiful.com

94 Comments on BN Hot Topic: When Do You Take the Matrimonial Red Flag Seriously?
  • Grown Woman November 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    wow scary stuff,one has to be really mentally prepared when it comes to this marriage stuff, i don’t understand why someone would go ahead and get married because of the society/ family pressure *bbm side eye* God help us in ths intitution called marriage

    • Mz Bambie November 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      People are all the time.
      naijababybump.blogspot.com

  • oyiza November 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Tell dem

  • FunkyW November 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Its sad but very true that many ladies get married because they believe they can’t wait any longer. I know a lady that was a few months from getting married to a guy that she really didn’t love, even when she was gisting about their relationship there were no sparks or signs that she was in love. Fortunately for her she met an old friend, dated him for about 4 months and fell truly in love, returned the ring to the old dude and still got married on date proposed for her ex fiance. She was 31 when she got married and got pregnant the month of her wedding. :)

    I believe there’s need to pray for the strength to wait for the right person and choose him/her when they finally come around. A broken engagement is definitely better than a failed marriage.

    • Idak November 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Reminds me of K.C. Price who told his daughter (I did not read it, I heard him say it himself) that up until the minute when he handed her over to the officiating priest at the altar, she had every right to change her mind and whatever her reason, he will right off every expense incurred by everyone involved in the wedding plans.
      On the other hand, we all know persons who were 100% certain of the step they were taking in getting married and the marriage crashed months after. Some even claimed ‘God’ confirmed it to them in sundry manners,yet it crashed.

      The bottom line is that there is no right way. Uncertainty is no proof that the union will fail, at the same time you can’t wait for complete certainty as it guarantees nothing (that is if you even get such degree of certainty).

  • Babe November 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Seriously, you didn’t know that people make life changing decisions based on what other people think of them? Are really talking about Nigerians here??? C’mon, let’s be real here…

    Is Nigeria sadly not the society that will look down on a woman and make her feel inadequate because she isn’t a Mrs Somebody?? Is that not the society that will criticize a man or woman for being too picky if they decide to break off a relationship based on any of the reasons you mentioned above?? I could go on and on. It is sad, but it HAPPENS A LOT in Nigeria. My friend’s father told her and her sisters that he was ashamed of them ’cause they weren’t married. The poor girls breaks into tears each time she talks about it. That is not easy!

    Be it Marriage, pregnancy, career etc, Nigerians need to butt out other people’s business. And Likewise we should all keep in mind that WE are the ones who will live with the decisions we make!

    • Impeccable November 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm
      • Jo! November 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        ‘HEAR HEAR”

    • Esther November 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Nigerians need to butt out of other people’s lives. I met a total stranger the other day and he asked why I’m not married, insisted I give him a reason and even went on to suggest that I was probably waiting for a made man or just being picky. ( The nerve of that man… SMH). The only thing that stopped him from giving him the a I’d dripping off my tongue was the grey hairs on his head.

      • Esther November 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        *acid pls.

      • Ekwitosi November 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

        @ Esther funny enough those are the ones you would think should know better! But unfortunately a lot of them don’t!

    • double b November 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      please tell them. they dont know. ododo oro

  • slice November 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Only pple who believe in a marriage shd be married to each other. If only ur parents believe in that marriage, then they shd marry the guy or girl themselves. If ur only reason for marrying someone is what someone else sd, then u ve ur answer

  • culturebedamned November 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    “Is there a sudden proliferation of young divorced couples or has this been happening for a long time and we’re only just seeing it clearly because we now have social media?” In answer to your question I would say no because social media is just announcing it. The issue here is our generation do not bind themselves strictly to tradition anymore so if they feel things are no longer working out, they walk rather than endure like our parents’ generation did. That being said, I bet if you polled our parents generation today most of them would have left their marriages if they had the freedom and opportunities (especially the women) we have today. What most of them had was marriage in name only which to me is not different from divorce as they were just going through the motions to save face, respect and please parents. Divorce is just signing a paper to say you are no longer married. In the other scenario you are as good as divorced but without the signed paper bit. If it was back then your friend who wanted to call it off 5 months to the wedding and the one who saw the signs would have stayed put in the marriage.

    • jinkelele November 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      But thats the thing our generation that have the options e.g financial standing that our parents didnt have STILL are not seeing these RED flags and making these choices PRE-RING. If we mock their generation then they sure would be mocking us – what have we learnt then?

      • culturebedamned November 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm

        Not mocking their generation. What we have learnt is though we have options they necessarily may not have had, we still face the same pressure they faced and many are castigated for choosing options that don’t fit with tradition.

    • *Real* Nice Anon November 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Precisely!.

    • Nne Somebody November 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      I’m not convinced there’s been a sudden surge in divorce rates rather, there’s a surge in formalised unions which require formal dissolution. Also, social media makes information; good or bad, more accessible. I don’t agree that we’ve abandoned tradition and that is why marriages are breaking up, tradition itself can be a major factor in the breakdown of marriages. How many young couples are put under unnecessary pressure because of conflicting traditional beliefs or pressure to birth male children? And do we want to start discussing people from our parents’ generation who had multiple wives or the women who moved from ‘husband’ to ‘husband’ because all they did was a non-binding introduction?

      My point is (and I do have one :)], we tend to be too hard on our own generation. Our expectations of the institution are understandably higher given our exposure, no thanks to new media. We shouldn’t be blamed for wanting better than the often less-than-happy relationships most of the older generation had and were willing to endure. This does not make me an advocate for divorce o, just an advocate of living the best life you can because you’ve only got one.

  • Tee November 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Well its so sad that at this point in time,a lot of people still don’t have a mind of their own.Before you engage someone,your sure of the person and ready to spend the rest of your life with the person.You don’t marry out of pity,you don’t get married because someone asked you too and you can NEVER change anybody,NEVER.
    People should learn to follow their instincts,do what makes you happy,if you don’t feel comfortable doing anything,then don’t,because it will definitely cos u pain@d end.
    Life is too short to be miserable.
    Ciao.

    • Annie November 22, 2013 at 11:30 am

      word……i have turned down several guys because i wasn’t convinced we were right for each other, i tried, but i couldn’t even share a smile with them, when my phone rings and it’s them, u should see the huge frown on my face, i am 33 :) , i plan to marry and stay married, shikena, by the grace of Almighty Jehovah God, i would get married, be happy, contented and stay married till death do us part. Amen :)

  • Simangi November 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    To your question Atoke, taking the matrimonial red flag seriously should happen at the very beginning. And the very beginning should be when you are realistic and are telling yourself, you and only you the truth about your feelings towards spending the rest of your life with that other person you claim you love. If you are 30, for example, do you see yourself stuck with that same person for another 60 years taking the good with the bad? Your decisions whether good or bad is very personal. Whether or not what you decided for yourself will work out sits on your very own personal principles.

    Wishing you happiness, strength, understanding, peace, joy, patience, love, selflessness…

    • Miriam November 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      OMG!!!! Your comment just made me shiver and I mean goose bumps everywhere. Imagining 60 years with that person. Jesu has gba wheel loro mi. I made the right decision. Turning down a marriage proposal at 30 everyone thought and i know still think that I am crazy. Stop looking for the perfect man I was told. Despite answering back a million times that it is not what I was looking for no one wants to listen. One phrase I heard somewhere once is “define your own kind of perfect”. There is not one definition for that word.

      • Annie November 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

        hehehhehehehee, i turned down several before i turned this yr at 32 before i turned 33, truth is in our heart we know what we are look for, we know what our “perfect”is, i want a guy i can learn from, someone that can “cultivate me”and not someone that will make a mess of me, keep me miserable for “Our”forever….a man i can learn good from, an intelligent man, a man i don’t ve to explain my jokes to lols all those guys that wanna act like they are my dad

  • whocares November 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    A lot of marriages are broken full stop, not just young Nigerian marriages. Setting aside the terrible situations that clearly call for divorce/ separation, I think marriage has been glamorized so much so that people mostly look forward to the wedding day itself, and don’t really look beyond that ( this applies in my opinion to really desperate people; that’s not to say looking forward to your wedding day makes you desperate). A well rounded person knows his/ her mind and know if marriage is what they want/ what is good for them or even if the person they are with is who they want to spend the rest of their lives with. Personally, I don’t know how I feel about marriage. The practical part of me knows the legal consequences of getting married, but I am happy to live with my partner and take it from there. I have met too many people hung up on marriage. I finished my first degree last year and the next question one of my mother’s friends asked me was “when are you getting married, and when will we eat rice” (my mom dare not ask) as if I don’t have to first find a person I thoroughly approve of . I tell my friends I will live with whoever it is I intend to marry first for about 4 years or so (in that time span we’ll see how much they change on me) but that’s not to say that’s a fool proof plan. you just never know.

    • Mz Socially Awkward… November 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      In my own opinion, living with your man before getting married really isn’t a fool-proof plan at all. I think that once you say “I do”, you’re on the same footing as the couple who’re spending their first night together on their wedding night.

      Men are strange creatures (no doubt they claim the same about us) & there must be something of a mental shift they experience once a Mrs is permanently attached to them. Used to know this oyibo chick who dated her boyfriend for 6 years and they lived together for 5 of those years. They got married in 2011 & less than a year later, they were divorced. Apparently he wanted out, so she’s now back to being single with a 2yr old son to raise (although, we hear he came back to beg but e dey like say the babe don see her own red flag with clear eye and told him “no”)

      So, that living-togeda-sumtin. It can be just as precarious as marrying the wrong person for you…

      • whocares November 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm

        i agree with you. that’s why I said it wasn’t a fool proof plan.. nothing is, but I would feel more confident about someone I was to marry if I got to have such long term arrangement before hand. cohabitation lets face it just about sums up marriage. the sharing of your life (and bills) and so its not something I would do lightly.

      • Nne Somebody November 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        Bless you for this. Honestly, I’ve had conversations with people who insist that living together before marriage is the cure to divorce. I always tell them I’ve seen people who dated and lived together for years but broke up after barely one year of signing the dotted lines. This is my theory, humans have a strong sense of self and marriage attempts to replace the ‘I’ with the “We”, unconsciously, we fight this and living together doesn’t quite create the same feeling as there are no legal obligations to remain with that person, the door is always open.

        Marriage requires commitment and Grace…yes, Grace because it’s the person you think ticks all your boxes that has the most capacity to hurt you. Red flags can be big things like he’s likely to be abusive or small things like he leaves his clothes all over of the floor. When the initial fizz of newly weddedness ends, hogging the covers can lead to divorce.

      • Ekwitosi November 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        @Mz Socially Awkward Iyke is looking for you over at the other post ‘Embracing Life’s Uncertainties’. Biko go and find out what he wants

      • Tiki November 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

        lol @ Ekwitosi…

  • funke November 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I think the problem with our generation is we can’t endure the way our parents and fore parents did.

    • Julie November 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      @ Funke,it depends on what you mean by our generation not enduring as our parents. There are some men, no matter what you do to satisfy them,they still do those things they are not supposed to do. You love him,respect him,cook his meals,make love and also bear children,keep the home clean and be nice to your in laws!!! Yet the marriage still breaks! You begin to wonder what went wrong with such couple. Mean while parents are not interfering!!! May God help us all!!!

    • oyeprof November 22, 2013 at 2:27 am

      Mehn i think this endurance of a thing is not as easy o. We have to be careful when asking people to simply endure. There are limits to everything. There are women that have endured and are currently tossing and turning in their graves, no thanks to domestic violence, wishing they had got out when the red flag was being waved. Likewise there are men who are are now a shadow of themselves and are living in fear of their crazy wives. One has to careful for what one is enduring.

  • Fashionista November 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Reasons two, three and five are very common. Society and parents have a huge hand in the short marriages that are rampant today and while I totally agree that one should speak up/ ensure it is exactly what they want, sometimes the pressure can be insurmountable!

  • NUR November 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    All these are very valid points but I can guarantee that some that made these valid points are also the one that will be criticizing women that are over 30 and unmarried. Unfortunately, us Nigerians, Africans are very judgemental people. My aunt got married at 37. She waited and yes she had so many suitors in the past. She called an engagement off in her 20s because he simply was a user! She was very lucky to have come from a family that don’t think like average Nigerian, so there was no pressure.
    I do however think that this generation have a “no nonsense” approach in their marriage. They walk out of their commitment quite easily. But as we are not in other people’s relationships we can not judge them for their choices.
    May God help us single folks to choose wisely.

    • Cancel Reply November 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      I agree with you, our generation really do not have patient to deal with marital issues. More so, there are options these days. Women in this generation are financially stable and do not really have to stay in a union that is causing them stress

      • Cancel Reply November 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        “women in our generation really do not have the patience to deal with marital issue”

  • ObeyYourParents November 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I am really close to my father, and when I told him I wanted to leave my then boyfriend, he advised against it, saying that no one is perfect, he’s a good guy, he loves you…I then met an old friend of mine and fell utterly in love, my father hated the guy, as he didn’t trust him ?he wants your passport!!!Lol, long story, I had doubts, we went to my father as I was thinking of leaving for my old friend…he said, you’d hate that guy too. Long story got married…..now on good days I bless my father, on bad/annoying days I wonder whether he knew what he was talking about, and maybe I should have taken the third option of becoming a nun/Opus Dei….and sometimes wonder what if with the other guy = that’s life!!!!!Ha ha ha, no one knows tomorrow…for sure

  • happychick November 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    @simangi I totally agree wiv u on taking the marriage flag seriously at the very beginning of the relationship, this days most ladies and men are carried away by the whole lovey dovey of a new relationship, for some guuls esp its the material things and luxury and for guys its the s**#coughs#, sadly most people are actually pressured into marriage which is so sad, that being said I think single people should be more in tune with reality and forget sentiments when choosing a partner cos marriage is not groundnut dat u can taste, spit out and decide not to buy again from the seller as is the scenario this days wiv our young married couples,
    disclaimer tho; the day people begin to realize that marriage isn’t for everybody but a matter of choice I think this world would be a better place.

  • Bobosteke & Lara Bian November 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    When you read this phrase, “with all due respect”, its because I am about to inform on your bullshit.

    We are a generation of irresponsible and self centered individuals; very fickle minded petty attention seekers, so incredibly shallow and basic. Where do we get the right to yell foul when
    we changed the rules of the game? Where do we get off thinking we can yap anytime we like?

    You got the chance to dress up in Wang and Choo. Your friends back slapped you and pumped your hand telling you were the man. For one freaking day you were both the center of attention, and all the people in your world stopped to recognize and acknowledge your presence. It was so good, it felt sooo good! Few months down the line, the novelty wears off and you are just another friggin couple on your way to old age and the highly probable boredom. Discontent sets in. Intolerance follows suit and the litany of mind boggling inane excuses that are the hallmarks of a rude and lofty heart. Slowly, selfishly, the mind longs for something and the initial cool breeze offered from that thought turns into a huge blast of cold air when you walk right through the door. And then you catch a cold deep inside your soul and after the “D” is done and you dare come out to cry foul?

    Who do we really think we are?
    In resolving conflicts, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy.

    • Neo November 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

      With all due respect, i think your content was deeply buried somewhere deep deep inside all that misplaced grammar. I struggle to find meaning and how it relates to this discussion. Perhaps you can help me out?

      • lily November 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm

        God bless this reply. Me I no see how e follow at all. I come taya join sef.

  • Mrs Dangote (nee Anonymous) November 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    People marry for different reasons, for love, to procreate, for economic reasons, for the sake of it, and so on.
    I think the important thing is to marry your friend and marry for the right reasons. Rough patches will always appear in a marriage but it’s important to be patient and wise so as to surmount them. Marriage is a lot of work and the reason we continue to see higher divorce
    rates is because couples aren’t ready to pay the price.

    I was once seeing someone and discovered he had “issues” down below and we were already discussing marriage. When I told my friend she urged me to go ahead like “so you’ll leave him because of that, what if you remain single?”. I told her I didn’t care because if I went ahead and got married to him, I would definitely cheat as he would be unable to fulfill his conjugal obligations towards me. That for me was a red flag. Now if I had discovered after getting married…..hmmmn!

    • hi November 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      this is the reason why i cant marry a man i havent been with. when i didnt come to earth to suffer.lol..

  • Babym November 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Hmm interesting topic, however I’m going to play devils advocate based on my own experiences. Before I start I am not saying that there r no red flags to note before u marry o, but this our generation we r very very one kind and can be very superficial. We r a bit too lazy sef to work at a marriage, a lot of us believe once we marry it’s all rosy and jolly forever, but the reality is as beautiful and wonderful as marriage is, it requires constant work. A friend of mine got divorced because the guy became broke and could no longer afford her lifestyle. Another one got divorced because the boy used party too much and yet another one because they were not connecting again.

    Me thinks there r clear red flags and then there r things that u can definitely work on if u truly love the person. But our generation we don’t have time for that, the first unusual thing we notice about our partner and we r out the door.

    B4 I got married I read a book which I strongly recommend it’s called “saving your marriage before it starts” booy did it open my eyes and manage my expectations. Hubby and I make a conscious effort to work at our relationship. Sometimes I woke up beside him and think who d hell is this by my side, sometimes I have zero emotions or love for him, sometimes I just want to run away lool yet I cannot see myself without him lool. Now for me I don’t believe those r grounds for divorce I believe those r natural feelings that come when u r with a person for a prolonged period of time, but u will be surprised a lot of ppl class these r reasons for divorce.

    My point is certain so called red flags can be worked on if u want it to work and if ur committed enough. Shikena

  • mia November 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I usually say that aside going to hell, the next thing i’m scared of in this my life is marrying the wrong person. as in, u’re stuck, no buyer’s remorse. it’s deep mehn. so, i totally agree that the red flag should start before you start wearing the rock on your fourth finger or choosing asoebi.

    my ex was so sweet, can take care of a woman and full of pleasant surprises, but i realised that he’s a serial philanderer and he is very crafty with his own ehn, you would argue that he’s not into such. i also realised that he’s not so family oriented, his spiritual background is wacked and his job promotes these weaknesses. oh boy, i told him plainly, i don’t want to be stuck with you and be unhappy for the rest of my life, let’s call it off. he begged but i refused. this guy got married some months after to a lady he dated for about 4 months. now, that lady might start complaining later that the man did this and that, but how would you marry a man you barely knew?

    bottomline: we need to keep our eyes open, ask yourself some very critical questions and answer yourself honestly before taking the step into marriage. marriage is deep mehn, your life is grafted into another person’s. look before you leap!

  • Meet9jasinglesHERE November 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Marriage is a honourable thing.

  • Bobosteke & Lara Bian November 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I watched a movie this morning where a mother was telling her 35 years old daughter that when she (the daughter) was a child she was so angry at the fairy tales she used to read to her at bedtime because felt she was doing a huge disservice to her daughters psyche knowing what marriage is truly like, what it entails.

    Things were not really good in the so called “good old days”. Memories tend to be selective when we are trying to win a point. Most of our parents were comfortable strangers who lived together and it was nice to belong to a family structure that was accepted by society, ergo a lot of things got ignored and swept under the carpet. Each generation thinks it invented sex, we also think our generation popularized divorce. But the truth is that a lot of couples had long gone their separate ways more than any piece of paper would so declare.

    • whocares November 21, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      like, like and like for all 3 comments. That said, “either you are committed or you are not”? seems to be an over simplification. There are clearly some cases where commitment takes a back seat, to say self preservation for example. my mother left my step father not only because he was abusive, but he did not care about anyone else but himself. my brothers are too young and so don’t know this, but every time I heard a police siren go past me you should have seen the fear written all over my face. it wasn’t that he hit her often, but the emotional abuse. once was enough and we (my mother and I could not live with that fear forever). she was committed, she tried to stay for the kids. but what do you do when a man calls your mother in Nigeria and tell her to warn her daughter or she would receive a corpse? you leave. it all comes back to your second comment about people being selfish, irresponsible etc..

  • Bobosteke & Lara Bian November 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Things will happen in marriage that we feel is more than we can swallow, we just have to learn to open our mouths a bit wider. Its either you are committed or you are not everything else is just conversation.

    • Idak November 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Gbam!!!

    • Changing Faces November 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      It’s always easy to play on words… When you really see more than you can swallow, then you know life isn’t that simplistic! So people leave their marriages because they aren’t committed enough? Very shallow, very very shallow

  • *Real* Nice Anon November 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Life is filled with uncertainties even you marry someone whom you feel you’ve “looked well” before you leapt STILL doesn’t guarantee longevity. Yes by all means do the best you can to choose wisely and marry when you’re ready. This is life and it is unpredictable. People change with time, some for the better and others for much worse. All we can do truly is to do your bit and then pray that whomever one ends up with does theirs as well. That’s the truth to all of this. If they don’t then it’s up to you to leave or stay. Men! Life is just a burnt pot of beans . LOL! :(

  • Boondocks November 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    my dad was the worst husband on earth but the best father any kid will ask for….i was spoilt (in a good way). but the way the dude treated my mom wasn’t something i wanna hear of, cus my mom died at the age of 28 when i was 4. my dads cousin who took care of us always tell us the story how my dad will bring women inside the house and have sex with them in their bed, how he hit on my mom and many more……if all these happened now that me and my sisters are grown we would have taken care of the situation, my mom wouldnt have anything to stress her self with……we were told that everybody advised her to leave him but she wouldn’t because of us her kids. i wont say i blame my mom because she was brought up not believing in divorce. this lady died of the emotional stress my dad put her through. i am 23 now and i pray to God everyday not to give me somebody who will treat me the way my father treated my mother. i am sooo ready to stay single for the rest of my life instead of going through what my mom went through and go to an early grave…..God forbid!!!

    • Meme November 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Bondooks…My sisterrrr you sure our fathers aren’t related in some way ? I will never wish an enemy to be associated with the man that brought me into this earth. My mum has taking enough bs from him for the past 23 years. She’s now thinking of filing for divorce which we’ve begged her to do. I mean that man is a serial cheat among other things. At age 16 I confronted him about condoms in his room (mum wasn’t in d country for a while then) but he lied about it and I told him he was not truthful. Ever since, he has hated my guts. He rarely provided for us till now.thank God we moved away. My mum is my rock and I’ve witnessed things she went through with that man. And because of the experience I’m not rushing into anything. At 23 I just want to focus on me and do things to make mum and my siblings proud and happy! That’s what I’m living for. Marriage on the other side is scary to me because I don’t want to end up with a man with my fathers traits because I will have to kill him lol but i put it in prayer to avoid experiencing the things my mum endured. To me divorce is ALWAYS an option because people do change and I do not want stress (if that situation refuses to change for the better after so much pleading, meetings with family members, counseling) So it’s either I find the one who I think is perfect for ME by God or I adopt pretty kids and live a stress free marital life before dying from stress and high Bp.

      • Boondocks November 22, 2013 at 1:09 am

        @Meme…..at least u were old enough to confront him, my
        oldest sister was barely 9 yrs old when my mum passed away, none of
        us can do anything back then. though my oldest sister got mad at
        him one day when she was old enough and yelled at him that he
        killed our mum, he said he will never forget the look on my sisters
        face and that accusation. First off, my dad was a very handsome
        guy…..athletic and light skinned, they used to call him “Oyibo”
        and that got into his head and he started messing around. he got my
        mum pregnant when she was only 18, so she had to marry him. before
        then he already had a kid from another woman, not his wife oooo.
        But i think he later started having guilty conscience for the way
        he treated my mum when she was alive, so he treated us his
        daughters like princesses, though he was kinda strict with us when
        it comes to dating. But i loved my dad as a father and hated him as
        the husband he was to my mum. if my mum was alive today he would
        not DARE try that around us (especially me) because from the little
        i know about my mum, she was a very quiet person and everybody
        loved her, a lawyer wanted to marry her if she divorced my dad but
        she wouldn’t….gosh!!!! i miss that lady. I think me and you have
        the same views about adopting lol…….my friends are all like “if
        i met “the one” today am getting married” when they ask my opinion
        on getting married, i just say “if its the Will of God”. my 21 yr
        old cousin was about to get married in May, the fiance started
        hitting on me when they came for the introduction, she tried
        rubbing it in my face that she is getting married before me, i just
        smiled and shook my head while walking out….i am not jumping into
        anything…..cus if i end up with somebody and he pisses me off, i
        don’t think i can ask God for strength cus if i do, i might just
        kill him.

    • i said November 23, 2013 at 3:49 am

      This hits home. My ex will make an amazing father. I can see that clearly. As for husband….hmmm

    • slice November 24, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      i thot about this for a while and just wanted to say your dad’s cousin is not a very good person or at the least not very wise. no good thing can come from telling kids who have lost their mother that their father treated her poorly…especially when that’s not what killed her. you have to question the motive behind sharing the information

  • Blessmyheart November 21, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    In my opinion, many people do not really plan for marriage. We spend most of the time planning for the wedding and not the marriage. What people don’t realise is any habit that irritates you before marriage would only be magnified because you are two people are ‘stuck’ together in the same house.
    On the other hand, I think some people may be too hasty. Except for instances of abuse and cheating, I don’t believe there’s any problem in marriage that can’t be worked out if both parties are willing. I think there’s this unconcious expectation on only the woman to work things out in marriage. My philosophy is if you believe divorce is not an option, you would work it out however long it takes. Marriage isn’t meant to be endured so take your time and if you’ve rushed already, you can still work it out. There’s no perfect marriage, it only gets better when you work at it.

  • Cancel Reply November 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Society has a major role to play. We pressure women into getting married, hence they throw caution to the wind and enter marriage by fire by force! Even here on Bella Naija, we have some not so enlightened ladies commenting on single celebs “she should go and marry, “her mates are in their husbands house, “Instead of her to marry na parry she dey go”. We need to get rid of that mentality and stop putting pressure on people! Aslo ladies, please stop letting all the wedding pictures you see online get to you…marriage is lovely but only with the right person!

  • Tincan November 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Very interesting Atoke, of the 5 reasons your friends gave for breaking up it’s kinda clear that couples 1,3,4 and 5 had no business getting married in the first place. How do you see things you clearly don’t want in an individual and still go ahead and get married? Is that not tomfoolery? I think more parents need to raise children to be individuals. Individuals that know what they want and stand for what they want. You know that saying ‘stand for nothing, fall for anything’, I think it applies here. Too many of us in this generation seem to be weak-minded, parent/peer-influenced people with no strength of character whatsoever. I see it in myself sometimes and it’s really sad but I didn’t dare play with my future like that… Ehn, ehn, we have to draw the line somewhere now. Sadly, it reminds me of a friend of mine who despite repeated warnings from people of influence in her life, myself included, went ahead and married her serial cheat boyfriend whom she once caught with another girl in his house. We warned and warned and I remember her telling me ‘better the devil you know than the angel you don’t’. I was flabbergasted. Fast forward 7/8 months into their marriage, another girl had had twins for him. Now she’s working hard (in terms of being strong, prayerful etc) on saving the marriage. Now whilst I am not one for ‘I told you sos’, the signs were there. I think a lot of this goes back to the way children are raised, really. And I am not ignoring the fact that sometimes things just happen or that even the most sensible people fall into bad situations but I do feel like a lot of divorces in our time could be avoided if only young people were more grounded and principled.

    As for couple 2, I honestly cannot see why that marriage couldn’t have be salvaged…

    • *Real* Nice Anon November 21, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Brilliant point.

    • Yabadabadoo November 22, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re saying parents should raise thier children to be strong minded individuals yet you’re condemning your friend for not being influenced by “people of influence” inluding yourself. You are condemning your friend for being a strong minded individual.
      Its good to have a mind of your own but one cant just go on about life being an “individual”. There is wisdom is seeking advice from loved ones as well.

      At the end of the day, its really all about balance, which in itself is tricky.

  • Bobosteke & Lara Bian November 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    @whocares. I realize your point and I grieve that you had to go through that and believe me, I know what I am saying. However, my comment was a response to the scenarios given by the topic not one involving marital abuse.

  • Light Angel November 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Marriage is about tolerance, forgiveness and love. We live in a generation where people have this unrealistic veiw of marraige. You must be able to look at your partner’s worst habits and accept them, do not ever try to think you can change them e.g, if your man/woman likes partying, can you live with him/her like that forever? or he/she is untidy, can you deal with that till death do you part?? Signing a certificate/throuwing a colourful wedding party doesnt change a person, Most people think, after marriage, everything will change.. It doesnt happen. Its hard enough to change one’s self, talk less of another person. You must be willing to accept his/her best and worst habit otherwise, dont get married. Having been married for 10years, 32 now, I found that I just have to hold my tougue more/ Turn a blind eye to many things (apart from adultery/physical abuse )- Forgive galore and Pray for peace and happiness constantly.

  • khoryin November 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    In nigeria, if u r not married by 27, pple begin to ask ques so we wudnt blame those who rush into it to prevent/ stop all the talking. Bt it shouldn’t be so. Marriage isn’t something ladies shud rush into. Although, if u hear the reasons some give for leaving their husbands, u will really wonder if she didn’t think about that before marriage or eveb conclude that dey r stupid. The thing is marry some bcoz u’ve found the right one. The right person 4 u has flaws but they should b flaws you can live it not flaws u want to change because that won’t work! Don’t marry anyone because of pressure. Just calm down & the wait will b worth it. I know of a 50yr old woman that got married two wknds ago & she has never been married. Not sayin we all have to wait to dat age bt let’s not rush into it.
    Check dis new blog talkwedding.wordpress.com

  • D Weight-Watchers November 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I agree with the lady who says our generation are selfish and self absorbed, every relationship has a crack, there is no marriage made in heaven and a good and happy marriage requires work else no matter how perfect the relationship is, it will crash. Not that i am telling anyone to stay in an unhappy relationship but I know we can make ourselves happy in any circumstance, red flag divorce who is that perfect person out there? For the singles out there please always choose your spouse wisely, don’t fix your gaze on vain things cause they will never love you besides we can always make that money ourselves, its just money. For the religious ones don’t forget your prayers, I strongly believe in marriage.

    dweightwatchers.com

  • Esco www.woahnigeria.wordpress.com November 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Like Atoke said, traditional weddings are supposed to have the advantage of involving crucial family members, kith and kin so that they can act as “referees” and “advocates” if the marriage should ever descend into a boxing/slanging match. But this has not always worked.

    I was at a traditional wedding whether the wedding chairman made the bride and groom perform a strange marriage rite. He instructed the groom to unshell a boiled egg, and place it in his (the groom) mouth without chewing it. The chairman now ordered the bride to dance her way to the groom and use her mouth to collect it from the groom’s jaws, saliva on the egg white and all. Ewwww….

    As the crowd present registered their shock at the grossness of it all, the chairman waved away their anxieties. He explained the logic behind what he had instructed the couple to do “Chima and Nwaolodo are now one flesh and one blood. I am making them do this so that tomorrow when they come to see and say they want to do divorce, I would remind them of today when they shared akwa (egg in Igbo) and abuse them.”

    Well the couple seperated 5 years later because he kept on cheating on Nwaolodo with side-chicks. The chicken or the egg, which came first?

    For me, the most important value for people to have before going into marriage is “friendship” If you and your spouse cannot be friendly and free, and share banter with each other, there is a huge problem. Before jumping into anything permanent like getting married, I would advise the following:

    1. Get to know your spouse well. Courtship (i hate that word) is a time for interview not intercourse. Lust (financial or physical) can dead your powers of perception. Put away your trouser snake (if you are a guy) and check your spouse very well. See how he/she interacts with friends, family and even enemies.

    2. As said before, if your intended one is not your closest friend, DONT do it playa. If you have any iota of doubt before the marriage, then postpone it. DEM NO DEY OWE MARRIAGE O. Dont ever feel you owe someone marriage because you and the person have mileage.

    3. Study your fiancee/fiance’s emotional intelligence and maturity. People with a short fuse make short-term partners. I was once at a couple’s house who were having serious problems. The wife emerged from the kitchen, and meekly asked the husband if she should go ahead and serve his food on the dinning table as she had just finished cooking eba and vegetable soup. Before she could finish her question, he barked “Yes of course! After all I didnt tell you that I was on a diet!!” See beef o.

    4. Nigerian couples should learn the difference between separation and divorce. If you are having huge marriage problems, a temporary separation may be in order. Maybe the small absence will enable both parties reevaluate what’s what and make the heart fonder. It may also preserve the woman’s life and the man’s sanity. Not every separation has to end in divorce. I know some people advocate that the couple must sleep on the same bed after every quarrel as it fosters reconciliation. It depends o. I would never advocate sleeping on the same bed with a Clifford Orji character after a quarrel. Sometimes the matrimonal bed can be a bed of nails. Plus you can chill on the couch and watch reruns of “Scandal” instead.

    Just my 2 kobo..

    • whocares November 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      lol @ chill and watch scandal.. maybe I should start watching that show, everyone says its awesome. Solid advice btw. LOVE your blog (I have been blog stalking you the past 2 or is it 3 days?)

    • Ekwitosi November 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      @Esco I can’t agree with you more! That separation piece is something that people that are on a crossroad should think of doing first. At that quiet moment one can easily have an answer to a question they have been asking themselves. You know we ask a lot of questions that we already have the answer to in our heads. Maya Angelou says everyone should have a place in their hearts that is for them this is a place where no one should be able to reach and this will be the place where you make your honest decisions. You can sit and say to yourself yea or nay. This time allows one to rediscover why they were together in the first place and if its something that is worth giving a second trial. Sometimes good-bye can be a second chance or letting go can also be love.
      Meanwhile Esco like @whocares I can’t tear my eyes off your blog. I must say you a great and engaging writer I love your conversational tone, for someone I just discovered three days ago I have read almost all your posts and yes I am looking forward to your book because I will buy it!

  • Meet9jasinglesHERE November 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Most singles are going into marriage with the mentality that if it doesn’t work divorce wil be d next thing. It’s like carrying a failure mentality and xpecting to succeed. Marriage is all abt patience, tolerance, submission, forgiveness etc. Every1 has bad sides and gud sides. But ur ability to quench the bad with the good, thats maturity. For instance, If there is a law that says u can’t divorce after ur wedding, then people wil luk well b4 they get hookd.
    We shld knw that there is a fool and a king in every1, the 1 u talk to grows.

  • Bobosteke & Lara Bian November 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    @Nne Somebody, leave that talk o! i know someone whe broke off an engagement because she did not like the way he buttered his toast.

    • whocares November 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      lmaoooo. I heard about a lady whose main reason for divorce was because her husband was a nose picker. LOL.

      • Cancel Reply November 21, 2013 at 10:29 pm

        Nah men, that nose picking is a deal breaker for me o…LOL! I cannot stand to see people pick their nostrils.It’s the worst thing ever!!Very horrid and dirty habit. If I marry a habitual nose picker, people will just be wondering why I suddenly stabbed my husband!

    • Ekwitosi November 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      @Bobosteke & Lara Bian the toast was the last straw that broke the camel’s back! lol!

  • toke November 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    @mia i second that- apart from going to hell d other thing i fear is marrying wrong! sigh! marriage is quite deep. loads and loads of prayers is required. no one is perfect but i believe the positive sides of the person should outweigh the bad sides.

  • Endo November 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    @Light Angel, you have hit the nail on the head! 8 years of marriage has taught me all you’ve said and more!

    Pls share your endometriosis stories@ endochallenges.wordpress.com. Let’s beat endo together !

  • NNENNE November 22, 2013 at 2:44 am

    It’s all about commitment. There is no perfect human being. Marry someone you can tolerate, communicate and be patient with. Sometimes, you just have to turn your eyes the other way for peace to reign and it goes for both the man and the woman.
    The first five years are the most trying, I think. After that the couple are more matured and pretty much know what to expect of each other.

  • busola November 22, 2013 at 9:26 am

    no marriage is perfect.before u decide to marry someone(pressures aside) be sure u want to spend ur life with this man or woman despite his or her SHORTCOMINGS.have a discussion on ur finance, family religion and necessary things before u venture into marriage and don’t assume it will work out after the wedding.if u see ur views don’t work together,or u can’t deal.make a decision.the first few years might be trying but its marriage a school you never graduate from.enjoy.marry the ying to your yang

  • Amrita November 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Our problem today is that we hold on to grudges instead of letting go and looking at the bigger picture. Our parents hav stayed together for decades, not because they loved eachother the whole time, but because they learnt to tolerate and forgive. They faced their problems head-on, while accepting that the other is not perfect. We young people today jump into marriage for all the good stuff only, forgetting that we will get the bad stuff too. That’s why the reality check hurts enough to result in divorce. We all need to accept that there’s no such thing as a perfect marriage, and learn that patience and tolerance aren’t just words in the dictionary.

  • Bobosteke & Lara Bian November 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I am many things. One of them is definitely not shallow. Do not call me shallow. Do not refer to my comment as shallow. You do not know me to judge me from three lines of comments posted anonymously. I do not know what your experiences are, personal or arbitrary but I guess that is the stand point from which you are relating. As I said elsewhere on this post, I restricted my comments to the scenarios considered in the topic. It is my moniker, my comment. Perhaps you might want to consider that if a comment does not suit your view(s) it is simply because it does not refer to you. Move on and find your peace with other comments or, better yet, post yours, let it be considered and make BN a happier place.

    I wish you well.

  • Bobosteke & Lara Bian November 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    No, I can’t.

  • oversabi November 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    My ex used to pick his nose unconsciously. Luckily for me, I always have tissue paper in my bag. Once he starts digging, I say in my sweetest tone do u want me to offer u tissue and of course he always said yes and thk u. I think he reduced it b4 we broke up. This is to say some of these red flags are rather noticeable but we always choose to ignore them or convince *blindly in love*ourselves that we can live through them forgetting that you can’t change anyone and ur elastic self has a limit. I always tell myself and whoever cares to listen that whatever I cannot deal with in marriage , I will not accept during courtship. May God help us all

    • Jane November 22, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      My ex used to pick his nose too and it used to drive me crazy. And i would always call him out on that nasty habit (wondering aloud between belching aloud and nose picking,which is worse). It got to a point that when he begins picking,i just look @ him and he stops or looks daggers @ me and is like,’don’t say a word’

  • Nat November 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    “DEM NO DEY OWE MARRIAGE O. Dont ever feel you owe someone marriage because you and the person have mileage”. very true very true.

  • myidea November 23, 2013 at 12:02 am

    The problem is. These days women are brought up to be strong for themselves and independent. While men are brought up to be weak. That is not to say some people just have stupid ideas of marriage. Women are materialistic. While the men cannot lead. So u see alot of women find it hard to find a man they can follow. The strong men do not want women who would look up to them nd challenge them instead they go for those who they can control with material things.

  • Tosin November 23, 2013 at 1:09 am

    See, just don’t force things. Women especially, if you have ears, try and hear, do not force things. Don’t carry all kin wahala on your head. Don’t force things. That’s all for now :)

  • Ohmine November 23, 2013 at 4:59 am

    “the day people begin to realize that marriage isn’t for everybody but a matter of choice I think this world would be a better place”(happychick). This is TheTruth.com

  • Dr. N November 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Before I got married, I researched on why marriages were
    failing and what those who were thriving were doing differently.
    After studying many books, and interviewing a no of people, I
    reached this conclusion. I would be the best possible wife a man
    could ask for, then I asked God to present me as a gift to a
    deserving son of his, someone He knows has made Him a similar
    promise, someone he can vouch for. My part of the bargain is that
    the blame will not rest on me, so I apologise first, swallow
    hurtful comments, adjust to a rather perplexing personality. I am
    married to the best husband in the world but if he acts up, I don’t
    threaten him with divorce. Just as u don’t thrash a bentley cos it
    acted up, u take it to the mechanic. That is how I report to
    Jehovah,’See your son o! I thought you recommended him? Warn him
    o!’ It has never failed to work as I always see remorse when I
    pray. For those in abusive relationships, seek counselling. Your
    life is more precious than marriage. Please stop hiding it.
    Cheers

  • C.E.O’s Chick November 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Nice one @dr N the truth is there is no shortcut to marriage be cos for every character he displays in marriage u would have seen it while u were dating him,it’s either u can tolerate it or u can’t. Life is hard so is marriage no one is perfect if can atleast trow a blind eye to certain things the world will be a better place. Always remember the person u re getting married to wasn’t raised by your parents.if u expect him to possess your character u re expecting too much. men have horrible character so does women. No where gud all natural manage.

  • happychick November 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    wow dr N I like your approach might even borrow a leaf from ur book oo,

  • dbaby November 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    My sister just got married some months back nd naw she’s preg,d so called husband askd her to flush it off,its like he bcam a diff person,but me I saw it all along bcos I can neva be fooled by insincerity,tank God 4 a gud support system my sister would hv died 4rm all d pain.pple shld learn 2 be truthful 2 demselves during courtship,open all ur senses.wen u see wat u won’t b able to stand in marriage,run fast.iv told my mum 2 cool down on my own rship,cos she dsnt like my bf but she liked my sisters fiance den,naw my sis is suffering,barely 4 months afta,if God confirms it 2 my mum,he shld confirm it to me 2.my hapiness is priority in evrytin in life

  • The Mane captain (healthy hair & skin tips) December 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    from the quotations, its obvious the marriage was off to a rocky start. you don’t enter into a partnership with someone with red flags all over them. You don’t marry to change someone, expect them to change or even change yourself. divorce only seems to be on the rise because people, particularly women are no longer taking men’s nonsense and many have a source of income. so theres no need to be enduring a painful marriage.
    themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

  • Rhecks December 26, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I would keep telling everyone not to rush into
    marriage….it’s just not worth the sadness and sorrow you face
    when you realize a few years after that you married the wrong
    person or for the wrong reasons. I broke up a guy I was going to
    marry this year…I do not regret it! It baffles a lot of people
    that I am happy being single at 31. Make I kill myself? Lailai o. I
    shall joyfully wait till the right man finds me….Life is too
    short to rush into marriage and spend the rest of your life being
    miserable.

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