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BN Hot Topic: Ain’t Nobody’s Business!



You know how it seems everybody around you is getting married or is working towards the Nirvana called Marriage? Well, these bring bridal showers and all the little things people do to prepare the bride-to-be for this institution. Bridal showers can be fun if they’re properly planned and there are no hook ups! Anyway, at bridal showers, they have this segment where a bunch of women gather around, yes, single women included, to give advice to the new bride. “Don’t go to sleep while angry” / “Give him a blow job”/ “Make sure his food is hot”/ “Try to keep the sheets clean” / “Don’t tell outsiders what’s going on in your relationship”

I usually sit quietly whenever I go to such places because half the time I’m in deep contemplation and well, that last advice got me thinking. That particular advice struck me as curious. How does one draw the line between sitting in silence in your relationship and the ‘problem-shared-problem-half-solved’ theory? I mean, I understand the logic behind the advice because you don’t want Nosey Parkers in your relationship. However, I thought about the idea that you could be suffering in silence in that relationship and have absolutely nobody to talk to.

Let’s look at some tricky situations where one needs to determine when to break out of the cocoon called your relationship.

Situation 1: Wife’s initiation to sex isn’t honky-dory as it’s depicted in the movies. She believes sex sucks but quietly bides her time. It may get better. If it doesn’t? Well, maybe there’s something wrong with her, she thinks. Then it doesn’t. She begins to believe that sex is this really scary thing, or worse, this obligation she needs to fulfil in order to complete her marital rites. She’s terrified of the times hubby comes close to her. Who does she talk to? – Don’t tell outsiders what’s going on in your relationship!

Situation 2: Husband and wife have money troubles. Husband promises it’ll get better. Wife is apprehensive. The bills keep coming and the income isn’t covering half of the expenses. Both of them feel like they’re drowning and they just need someone to throw them a raft, a life boat, something, anything! But how? Don’t tell outsiders what’s going on in your relationship!

Situation 3: Husband is receiving a steady stream of verbal and physical abuse from wife. Husband is man of the house but for some reason he’s being subjugated by wife. He’s constantly being bullied and reminded of the fact that he’s a failure and not any more like brother-in-law who has a handle on things. Don’t you dare tell outsiders what’s going on in your relationship!

Sometimes, people have sought advice using aliases because they don’t want people to think little of them. Some people have remained in abusive relationships because they’ve had absolutely nobody to talk to.

What do you guys think? Do you agree that one should remain safely within the “cocoon” of one’s relationship? Do you agree that outsiders have no business knowing what’s going on in your relationship? Is there room for wise counsel? I heard someone say once that your pastor’s wife is the WORST person to go telling your marital/relationship problems because she’s going to share it with the entire Women’s Ministry.

Let’s discuss!

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Funmi

    January 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm


  2. been there

    January 31, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    was just talking 2 a colleaguage about the blow job issue…lol. she hates it (and i’m like, don’t we all?… its no chocolate fountain. and her best pal is telling her she has to once married. things men and love make us do. *sighs and runs away

    • Keke

      January 31, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Speak for yourself o. “WE” all dont hate it

    • Sbaby

      January 31, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Y ou cant give Blow jobs but you will like to be eaten? Nne get down and blow him till him dey helpless and just moans

    • Madam the Madam

      January 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm


    • CHINWE

      February 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      I hate it too…..dunno wat I wld do when I get married because I no fit mehnnnnn

  3. Bee

    January 31, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I guess its okay to share some things just be careful who you share with cos the dirt i know about people’s marriages i heard from their closest friends!..You can share with your mum, siblings, or a friend you really trust. One just isn’t sure of people’s intentions…

    • brittany

      January 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      spot on!!!I couldn’t agree more..a friend u can trust…NOT FRIENDS… ‘cos it may end up just being all out there

    • Simya

      February 1, 2013 at 3:21 am

      Yup!!! For me, my family and closest friends (like family) aren’t considered outsiders. I tell my sister almost everything, no one knows my problems like she does and vice versa

  4. janet

    January 31, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Tell Jesus! 🙂

    • Partyrider

      January 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      and if you are catholic tell his Mother 😀

    • deeee

      January 31, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      spot on @partyrider

    • lolo

      February 3, 2013 at 3:19 am

      why not just tell the God that created them both. smh

  5. Kachi

    January 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Clap for yourself! That’s by the way, nice topic. The fact is no matter what, we must at one point in time or the other, confide in someone.

    • brittany

      January 31, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      of course…absolutely…but we all have to be careful who we confide in…need to discriminate and distinguish between who really means well for you and who doesn’t

  6. janet

    January 31, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    In all 3 situations and even more that you haven’t mentioned, its important to at least let in SOMEONE trustworthy, an older, wiser, married person, preferably a counselor.; that’s how people just go to sleep with so much pain from the pressure in their marriages and DIE ! Know when to get help, if it becomes unbearable. God is the best to tell though, he’ll listen and he’ll help. 🙂

  7. floxy

    January 31, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Even tho i blong to that sch of tot, buh sometimes, depending on the nature or gravity of wat the probs is, u can talk to a very close pal….. B it ur mum, dad, sibling or friend. Someone u truly trust. Ive come to realise that when u actcually confide in someone, u kinda feel beta. Like a very heavy load is off ur back. We just have to b very careful.

  8. Ladun

    January 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    You should only share problems in your marriage with someone who is interested in seeing the two of your remain together, and overcome whatever challenges you are facing currently (well except violence/abuse – anyone who wants you to stay in such a relationship, doesn’t love you). Someone who loves the both of you as a couple, and has always supported you right from when you were dating. The operative phrase is, who has a genuine interest/concern that your marriage stays intact. because the way some people will advise you ehn, if you sift to the koko of the gist, that advice may head your marriage down a cliff. Even if it was with the best of intentions. Mind you, I said marriage. When you are still dating, you can send your problems to CNN if you want, you haven’t taken vows. As a woman, someone like your mum – she definitely doesnt want her daughter’s home to be broken. If your mum never liked your bf/husband, abeg run, cos it will cloud her judgement. Go to your dad, but if he never really approved, but grudgingly let you marry the guy, babe run. Then go down the list to your elder siblings. If you still are not convinced they will help, look around you for a close family friend or family who is in a happy marriage. Not the pretending kind o, an older married person, who you have observed over the years, the strong bond they share with their spouse, despite all the struggles they have gone through. I will say avoid your Pastor, avoid your pastor’s wife too. You need someone that has known you for years and has been an active and supportive part of your life. Avoid your in-laws too for that same reason. They just met you, after you were dating their son. You only go to them after you have spoken to someone from your side (whether family/close family friend) and you are already clear on what you are going to do – informing your in-laws should be statement after the fact. After all that, look within yourself, sometimes the answer is there. Before you take a decision go down on your knees, and pray for Grace, Guidance, Strength and the Courage to recognise His Will and do the right thing for yourself and for your marriage

    • Kola S

      January 31, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Excellent! This I agree with. You certainly want to seek out a wise, neutral person who has the success of your marriage at heart. Another key thing is, as much as is possible, both people in the marriage should seek the advice together so that they are hearing the same thing. Of course, both people have to trust the person they are seeeking advice from.

      The advice about not telling outsiders what’s going on in you rmarriage is really to prevent each partner independently going around complaining about the other one. Such actions eventually lead to disastrous results.

    • Ade

      January 31, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      May God Bless your wisdom! Just like the yoruba will say “ilakaye re Olohun oni je kobaje!

    • x factor

      January 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      Spot on!

    • Naveah

      January 31, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      KPAM!KPAM!KPAM! Thumbs up for your great advice. Couples should first try to work through their issues within themselves before going outside of the marriage. And when forced to go outside, seek the counsel of your immediate family members who have been supportive of your marriage and if that doesn’t work, then seek a professional individually and as a couple. PLEASE draw your ears and keep your work colleagues out of your business o! Professional life and personal life shouldn’t cross over, joking about your husband/wife’s little quirks is one thing but talking about your husband/wife cheating or mismanaging funds etc is another matter. Be mindful which friends you share with as well because not all of them have your best interest at heart, some are waiting to snap up that wife or husband if you drop them sef.

    • Que

      February 1, 2013 at 4:43 am

      You were making sense till u got to the near end…..ur automatic assumption that people’s pastors just met them and therefore not worth sharing with is definitely wrong, and then after going thru all dat list u finally get to the place of prayer….

      Honey (if u believe in prayer at all), then prayer should be ur starting point, followed by talking to the person u have the problem with. If/when that fails, still pray while u decide who to share with, n ur spirit might lead u where to go. I’m not a pastor fanatic by any means, but I believe wholly in the God dat instituted marriage, and I know many pastors/priests/spiritual mentor (may not be a pastor/priest but a person who has invested in ur spiritual growth) will do their best to save marriages. I believe if u share a good relationship with ur pastor and they fit the criteria of knowing u n ur spouse and having an interest in ur success den please go ahead and get their advice and ask them or any other close person u decide to go to, for the help u need.

      That said, I believe strongly in the principle of ‘equal yoking’ and longevity/success in marriage- if u found ur partner by embracing strip clubs and ganja joints, as long as two of u decide dats d way forward, it shall werk for u, if u find urs by following n listening to God’s advice for u, n both of u decide dats d way forward den so be it…the point is dat it will usually determine ur starting point when u’re seeking help. Some will turn to God, family, friends, alcohol, drugs…its all a matter of what u identify as ur source of strength in time of weakness….Hopefully ur choice will be wise.

    • Ladun

      February 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

      I’m afraid you misinterpreted my comment. Do you think before any married person confides in someone else, he/she hasn’t worked out their issues internally, or hasn’t prayed and prayed, till they get overwhelmed or desperate. Even you as a person, let’s imagine your problem has nothing to do with marriage, or you are single, and you are faced with this issue. You would have thought about it over and over and over, prayed and prayed, and when the problem wants to swallow you, you go to someone else. I didn’t start with that, because it is safe to assume, that a married man or woman would have talked things through with their spouse. At least you didn’t marry a stranger. You dated, you had a system of ealing with issues, before you took the step unto marriage. So, apply the brakes, and look at the big picture. My comment was directed at married people who have decided to take the step to confide in someone. The issue of not confiding with the Pastor, if you read afterwards – i wrote, someone who has known you for years, and has been an active and supportive part of your life. If your pastor has been that, of course he qualifies as someone you can confide in. I wrote prayer last because, the result of talking to someone else, is that you make a decision on what to do. You would have prayed and prayed about it before, if you had gotten clarification from that, you won’t have seen the need to talk to someone. So, of course, prayer was the last thing I wrote, after you have confided in someone, because even if the person made sense, you still need wisdom from above to apply it to suit your own circumstances.

    • Que

      February 1, 2013 at 4:57 am

      May I also add, that not all mums yes not all WORK/ADVISE for the success of ur marriage- If ur mother was a BAD wife to ur dad, chances are that she still cannot tell the difference between bad and helpful behaviour in marriage. My aunt’s mum is a typical example, and once my aunt gave my mum an idea wat was going on, my mum insisted she go to her dad, n it was only him dat got his wife to get out of their home n off their case… I’m sure as a MUM she doesn’t want her daughter’s divorce, but she simply didn’t realize the full impact of her actions just cause her own husband had put up wit it all this time. Apparently being a mother isn’t a gateway to wisdom in some places.

    • Ladun

      February 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

      If your mum was a bad wife to your father, you would have observed it growing up, and you wouldn’t turn to her at all. Its like asking a poor man how to be rich. If you want to learn how to be rich or successful, what do you do? You go to people who have made a success out of their careers or businesses and they have made it. So of course, if your parents had a good enough marriage, you’ll go to your mum. She must have faced struggles in her marriage too, and she won’t want you to suffer, or go through the pain of a broken home, so she can be a good source of wisdom. Or if your mum suffered from the same problems as you are experiencing, and she found a solution, you can go to your mum. We tend to mirror the relationship of our parents in our own relationship. Especially women. For example, if your dad was a serial cheat, with loads of outside children, and your husband has started to display such tendencies, for your mum to have put up with that for years, unless you too want to put up with that too, you go to her for advice, on how she did it. If you don’t want to tolerate that nonsense, would you go to your mum? Seriously……………, BN doesn’t have that much space in the comment section to break every thing down, step by step. My bad, if I assumed the readers are intelligent, broad minded individuals. From the comments I’ve read on hundreds of articles, it was safe to make some assumptions. My bad.

    • Abiola

      February 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Great insight, but I have to disagree with telling parents o. I think the keyword here is NEUTRAL- you have to tell people that don’t have a stronger stake in one partner’s life. Especially in those cases where your partner is at fault, do you really want your parents to see them in a negative light? It’s easier for parents to forgive their own children, but to forgive someone else for hurting their chidren? That’s a lot harder to do. You see the whole person, you know why you love them and at the end of the day, you forgive them- your parents don’t see this. So in my own opinion o, telling your parents can have an unintended negative consequence.

    • Bibi

      February 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm


  9. Traditionalbay

    January 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Choose CAREFULLY people you tell your issues. Personally i do not do pastor’s runs. yes they are my spiritual father, i hate it when my case is used to buttress a Sunday message!. I do not tell my family members too bcos after the quarrel or fight is over, they tend to disrespect my husband based on what happened. I do not tell my friends either, they are no better, ur story becomes the ‘breaking news’ all over town. i seek counsel from older couple whom i respect. my mum inclusive. they have never been wrong!. i am scolded when necessary and i have been taught by them to stay strong FOR MY SELF. I don’t have a perfect marriage, i depend on God daily for wisdom plus am a better person as it gets better. my 2 pennies.

  10. Dragereen

    January 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Seeking advice from people whose opinions you trust is different from yapping on about your bf or hubby with your friends. You have to decide which one is which. In the past I talked about my bf quite often to my friends. Both good things and bad. I always wanted someone else’s opinion. Now looking back I realise that it was due to insecurities. I always wanted to know what my friend’s thought. I also realised that not all the advice given to me was with good intentions. I had friends analysing my man. One friend would say ‘A’ while the other would say ‘B’. I had to find out the hard way, that not every friend is happy for you, so learn to keep both good and bad things to yourself. My current relationship is still quite young and most of my friends have no idea I’m in a relationship. I haven’t gone out of my way to keep it from them, but then I also haven’t gone out of my way to tell them either.

    With time I’ve learned that no relationship is perfect so I have to decide for MYSELF what I can live with and what I cannot live with. I do not need friends to ‘help’ me decide on that. Before we became official, the only pple I spoke to about my man were my brothers, who I know only want the best for me.
    They say once bitten twice shy. It is called private life for a reason. I have been screwed one too many times by friends I thought I could confide in. I don’t have to gist a friend anything about what is going on in my life. If I have any issue in my relationship I really need to discuss, then depending on what it’s about I either speak to my brothers or my FEW close friends I trust. Who I speak to depends on the topic of discussion.

    My friends think I’m too secretive ‘cause I don’t give them gist. My days of blabbing are long gone. I don’t even enjoy hearing about other pple’s relationships anymore. Pple seem to be more interested in the negative gist than the positive. A couple of months ago seeing how hungry for gist my ‘friends’ were when they found out another mutual friend had been dumped by her bf put a VERY bitter taste in my mouth.

    No one should suffer in silence, if you desperately need to confide in someone regarding an issue in your relationship, then I think you should definitely do so. Just be smart about who that someone is

    • Joan

      January 31, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      BN can I get a ‘LOVE’ button for this comment???? Gosh!! Girl, I love love love your response. You spoke as if you were reading my mind.
      I’m not married yet and I too went through the insecurities of wanting my friends to ‘approve’ of my man, looking for opinions of ‘advisers’ who were merely gist-hungry individuals. Needless to say, I got burnt for it. Truth be told, most people just want to hear the negative part of what is going on and are not necessarily interested in seeing your relationship succeed.
      I have learnt my lesson the hard way. I don’t need the approval of any friend o. These days, all I hear from my friends is “you don’t want to give us gist bla bla bla”. I just laugh it off and keep it moving. NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW ANYTHING except God and the people who really matter. Gone are the days of blabbing to friends once I meet a guy, I don shine eye lol.

      Umm I think I have digressed sha lol. As far as a marriage situation goes, I would say the best person to talk to is God and then a member of your family who you know is genuinely interested in your happiness. Keyword here is genuinely… 🙂

    • deeva

      February 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Where’s the ‘GBAM’ button? This comment is the truth. Keep it to yourself between u, the man and God. Fin

    • teemah

      February 20, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      Babe u are on point, ma last relationsip before i met ma husband was a wacko; despite all the explanations i made to ma friends they still went behind me to say cruel things . Trust me i learnt the hard way. They met ma husband for the first time on ma wedding and they were freaking stunned.

  11. amaka

    January 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    My elder sister has been married for 5years and although she has loads of friends,the only people she tells her marital problems to are me and my mom. She has said it repeatedly that she would never tell anybody besides the two of us whatever shit she has going down though sometimes,it makes me think she is just being paranoid. on the other hand,my cousin who has been married for about 4 years tells most of her friends[some of them are single] her marital problems. She has not been able to conceive since she got married and then she went to one of these prophets who told her that the problem is from her husband’s sister. She told her friend who told her friend,who told her mother,who told my cousin’s mother-in-law and all hell was let loose. Today,my cousin’s mother-in-law cannot stand anybody mentioning my cousin’s name beside her.If you do,that means you are her sworn enemy and this has put a strain om my cousin’s relationship with her husband and other members of his family.

    Bottom line remains be mindful of who you tell your problems to. some friends are not just someone posted on twitter ‘a problem shared these days does not become half solved. it becomes a trending topic’.

  12. kin

    January 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Marriage is a life commitment and you cant do it alone…u will always need someone no matter wat

  13. MMJ

    January 31, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    This is a very sensitive issue,it has make and destroyed so many homes.I believe that before sharing ur problem to anybody be it ur family,friends or colleague,it should be a person that is tested and trusted and that can give u the best advice that you need.Prayer can do all things.Taking it to God in prayer can also do a lot in resolving any issue at hand and also asking for his direction.God help us all.

  14. mp

    January 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    well said Amaka.

  15. Abi

    January 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I got stuck at the blow job bit- where do these stupid ideas come from please?!!!!!

    • naijabae

      February 1, 2013 at 1:26 am too. Most Nigerians chics screaming that don’t get eaten in return, SAD. And the fact that some think blow jobs plays a role in strengthening their marriage is even SADDER. Communication and God is the key people.
      PS: For women who don’t like bj you can learn how to give a mean hand job, does the work too, ain’t no one way to achieving the end result. **runs away**

  16. la belle

    January 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    tell it to God and your mum because after God, your mum is the only other person that has your best interest at heart. she has been there so she has some degree of wisdom to give out and you know mothers (especially) the Godly ones, she’ll quickly get down on her knees for and with you on the issue. don’t tell friends because they may mean well but they may not give you the best advice, that is if you are blessed with good friends. don’t tell your pastor and least of all his wife, your knees are in good condition that is why Jesus died to give us a direct access to God. that thing your pastor can tell God, i’m sure that God will hear you too if you tell it to him yourself, read books, do alot of research, help other people with little problems of their own because trust me when you are in the business of being a blessing to people, you’ll feel a little relief from thinking about your own, you’ll have a fresh perspective on the issue and you just might be inspired with a solution to your problem

    • ikunkun

      January 31, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      So if your mum has passed on nko?? some people have no family….I believe as a stable adult, over the years you should have been able to build TRIED, TRUSTED and GODLY relationships…people that confide in you and vice versa…..cos even the Bible says “there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother in the time of need..” now if you have been really shitty to the people in your life…I tell you, you will reap the same and/or be left with no one to trust when the situation arises….I am still single but my friend and I talk about most things, not like she comes to run her mouth to me about her husband but if there’s an issue that burdens her and she feels the need to share….. and if the matter pass my power(and yes I own up!!), we pray about it, and we come up with the next best person. Personally, for adult/experienced opinions I have an Uncle I trust and can be open with…am not close to my mum and my dad passed away…I’d talk to him about anything apart from sex, I have my “bff” for that..hehehe

  17. Posh

    January 31, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Even if you want to talk to someone about what’s going on in your relationship…my question is,who are you talking to?..if you are talking to the right people,who have your best interest at heart,then fine,but if you are talking to the pocknosers and jealous bitches…..your own is finished.

  18. Lola

    January 31, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Choose CAREFULLY who you discuss your relationship with. I usually tell people speak to your mum if you think she and your dad have a good marriage.

  19. Dprodigaldaughter

    January 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I for one believe in having accountable relationships in my life. Aside from God, there are a few people that I know I owe an explanation in regards to everything going on with me; marriage or not.
    Moreover, I’ll never get involved in a relationship outside the knowledge of my mentor. So I owe it to him to keep him updated as to watz up. So, I say only share your deepest secrete and problems with God and the someone that you are accountable to.
    This person is usually your mentor, pastor, pastor’s wife e.t.c …

    www. dprodigaldaughter .com

  20. isoken

    January 31, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    The best person to tell your problems to is the person you trust the most, and has your best interest at heart, and that’s your mother. But also remember that your mother is only human, there are limits to what she can do or say to help. So you also need to get on your knees and talk to God. There is power in prayers. A prayerful woman is always an asset to her marriage.

    • Bleed blue

      January 31, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      **Trying to imagine discussing the blow job matter with Mummy**

      Maybe not

    • seki

      July 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Lol! yeah…AWKWARD!…not going to happen EVER!

  21. PepeRémpe

    January 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    In my own opinion the best thing is to talk to God because opolopo alangba lo danu de ile, amo eyi ti inu ro (its all lizards that crawls but you don’t know which has stomach ache) .

  22. chick

    January 31, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    this is an issue that has been a problem to mostly Nigerian women, bn thanks for chosing to discuss this topic. i believe discussing an issue of the heart should be discuss with your pastor that will encorage you in prayer even help to settle dispute between your spouse so ibelieve a problem shared with your pastor in prayer is a problem solved.

  23. startle

    January 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    It is important to always speak out when you are going through a problem…. sometimes you don’t get the solution you want or seek but just talking about it alone gives some form of relief. Always speak with your parents and/or your siblings.. cause they are the closest to you….and ask God for guidance.

  24. SAS

    January 31, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Ladun,u hv said it all!!

  25. brianna

    January 31, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    personally i feel like to be safe its good to keep your marital issues away from even friends or people you ”TRUST”,because human beings are evil , i can understand your MUM being one of the people to talk to easily,but i think its only good to ask your mum for advice on how to be a better wife as opposed to telling her you actual marital issues because then she will judge your spouse and this could sometimes lead to bigger problems, the best person to talk to is a third party that can judge without bias, a FAMILY THERAPIST, COUNSELOR and ask for GODS help.

    • Bruce

      January 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      Some people’s heads are so far up their assess, no wonder they cant think properly, its dark up there. No light for comprehension. Which family therapist do we have in Nigeria, or Counsellors? Yes BN is an itnernational blog, but you will find that the MAJORITY of its readers are Nigerians, who live in Nigeria. so before you render an opinion, think of the target audience. You would rather “trust” a stranger, who doesnt really care, or it doesnt really affect when you are having marital problems. He/she is paid per hour, and you are just a faceless name on a list of patients. Also with therapists, you usually go as a couple. There are times you need to talk to someone individually, or what if you can’t afford a therapist, you should wallow in your misery, when there are people who genuinely care about your welfare. Human beings are evil. Paranoid much? Brianna you must be an, lets me see……. or you are the only human being that is not evil. Stop watching Afmagic please/get that fire chanting Pastor out of your head, that’s where all this talk of human beings are evil usually comes from. I hope you are not a sister to someone, because you have just said your sibling(s) shouldn’t come to you. You are/will be a mum, so your child shouldn’t come to you right? Except to ask how to be a good spouse. You dont sound like you are a very good friend to someone, because people who cant trust someone else, dont deserve to be trusted too. You are who/what your criticise

    • Mr Universe

      January 31, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Bruce, she has a point. The benefits of a third neutral partly is that they have no benefits either way. It doesn’t have to be a therapist it could be a friend who is not connected to your social circle. For example someone who only knows you and doesn’t know your friends, partner, or family. See even as much as your mum has your best interest at heart, she can’t help but judge your partner. It’s just human nature. A good therapist allows you to make up your own mind and just ask you questions as to why you made one decision or the other and why you think one why or the other.

    • brianna

      January 31, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      bruce bruce bruce, please transfer your aggression elsewhere as that was my personal opinion and i don’t deserve personal attacks on my opinion, attack the fact that you feel nigerians may not be able to see therapists, but don’t attack me personally by saying how my head is so far up my ass and whatever nonsense you said. i don’t live in nigeria so i could be giving advice to people like me who read this blog in the diaspora and have access to therapy you dumb fuck. who made you king of who/whom and what location advice should be given to? All my friends that read bellanaija reside outside nigeria. The point of talking to an unbiased third party is because like you said you are just another name on his list,so he really will give you genuine unbiased opinions without taking sides.

    • Vaughn

      January 31, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      All Brianna did was state her case and her personal opinion. You should have done the same. Did someone steal your cookie? What’s with all the abusive and inane attack.

    • Naveah

      February 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      You finished ranting but offered no solution of your own except to call out all that is wrong #smdh

    • ikunkun

      January 31, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      hahahaha….abeg with all the therapy sessions in the US, why do over half of the marriages still end in divorce….there’s a reason our culture and system sustains marriages. Seek Godly advice my sister!!

    • Shane

      January 31, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      You forgot to add that about 40% of the marriages in Nigeria are abusive. There are a ton of people in Physical, emotional, and sexual abusive marriages in Nigeria. They would rather stay in the abusive marriage than get out. Marriages in Nigeria is not as perfect as people make it to be. Also, I hope you seek Godly advice when you are sick instead of going to see a Doctor.

    • ikunkun

      February 1, 2013 at 12:04 am

      oh yea….my own mother, family and/or friends will not tell me to stay in an abusive relationship!!….I remember my mum probing my sister (recently married) about a recent scar she saw on her arm….it was so funny cos the poor girl had only scrapped her arm…I would admit it was an oversight on my part when i said seek Godly advice cos it made me sound like all them “i’ll leave it to God people”…lol. But then why would someone who’s being abused need advice?? what they need are movers to help them pack their load not advice…

    • brianna

      February 1, 2013 at 1:40 am

      yea but ikunkun i did say ‘GOD’S” help in addition to seeing a counselor, i am sure you didn’t read that.

    • Magz

      February 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

      maybe i should point out to u that most nigerian marriages are not perfect bt women stay in it because of divorce stigma….blah blah blah. the most important factor in a marriage is God factor. mothers can’t avoid judging ur spouses, it’s normal. same thing wiv friends & siblings. best solution: communication; communicate with God, communicate with ur spouse, communicate with an older person (who has shown GENUINE interest in ur life) & lastly communicate with urself (sift through what the 3rd party told u)

  26. Nkan be

    January 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    It is hard not to talk to someone in marriage o,if not person go go mad or commit just have to find the right person; might be a mother or siblings,or even a stranger.u could just talk as if itz your friend you are seeking advise for.God help us!

  27. penelopeia

    January 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Situation 2 was our issue, we made some basic yet necessary purchases and I have to foot the bill cos my salary was 30% higher than his. I felt the financial weight on my shoulder very overwhelming. And I did not see him making effort to pay the utility, grocerries, meals, he only worried about his ACCA bills and sometimes hospital bills. I unfortunately vented to his brother’s wife who he used to live with before we even met. This woman hitherto showed genuine concern for our relationship, guess what, she ruined everything. In her quest to advice my husband to take up his responsiblities at home, she spoilt everything. My husband did not speak to me for weeks. But advice I would rather vent to my little sister, though sometimes she does not get what I talk about, at least I vent, I feel so much better afterwards.


    January 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Every marriage has it’s own challenge.Know it dat you need God’s wisdom to be able to deal with marrital issue.To the singles,marriage is totally different from coutship.Dont expect too much

  29. ifemi

    January 31, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Great answers. Also pay someone to help you when needed. See a lawyer. Lawyers sometimes also act as family counsellors and they are sworn to secrecy so perfect if you’re worried about gossips. If you don’t enjoy sex, see a GOOD doctor. Might be a hormonal imbalance making your body reject it. If that’s not the case, then first determine what you enjoy so you could tell your man what to do. It’s not his fault that he doesn’t know how to help you enjoy sex if you don’t know what you like yourself.

  30. ao

    January 31, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Every marriage is different and what works for one marriage may destroy another. But I will say that constantly taking one’s marital problems to third parties is the start of the end. I have yet to witness a marriage that survived this mode of solving marital problems. Even if the marriage does not end in a legal divorce, there is still a sort of spiritual divorce within the marriage and becomes a marriage in name and not substance.

    The most important thing that anyone can do in creating a more perfect union with their spouse is to address those things that have a tendency to cause marital problems privately within the marriage. Even better would be to do so before one says “I do”. It involves doing a personal assessment about whether one is truely ready for marriage and whether one’s intended is a suitable mate. Don’t get married because you want to appear on Bella Naija in your designer gown. Seriously. Additionally, one should be able to clearly articulate why one wants to get married and what one wants out of marriage. And saying “so and so is the love of my life” is just not enough because people change and marriage changes over time and circumstances. There has to be more than love to ground a marriage. Marriage gets tested and it will take more than love to see one through in a marriage. For me, it is friendship with my husband, deep caring and commitment to staying together, communication, physical closeness, physical attraction, compromise, compassion/mercy, maturity, shared values, shared vision, and having many things in common. We are a TEAM and team members don’t talk sh*t about each other to third parties. Identify your “deal breakers”, which are those things that you cannot tolerate. Note that deal breakers can even be trivial. Even trivial things that bother a person can add up to become one giant marital problem. So, don’t marry a person that exhibits any of your deal breakers. Remember that marriage is everyday and everyday in a human life will not always be rosey, let alone a marriage. So, choose someone that will not make your life any less rosey than it needs to be. Ask yourself, can I deal with this persons sh*t everyday for the rest of my life? Also note that there are phases to a marriage and the most difficult phase – where all the marital wahala seems to happen – is the “power strugglel phase”. Yes, you and your spouse will struggle for control and there can only be one chief in the compound and it may not be you. Can you deal with that? The power struggle phase is where most marriages fall apart either in divorce or a marriage that is only a marriage in name and not substance; a paper marriage. This is the phase where you want to share and share and share all your marital wahala with one and all. Remember, once you tell your business to someone you cannot un-tell it. My dear, pump the breaks and try to solve your marital problems internally. If you are single, then think things through before you say “I do” in the first place.

    • Tunbi

      February 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

      There are times it is necessary for you to confide in someone. It doesn’t make you weak, or your relationship less strong. There are phases in marriage, where you can’t connect to your spouse, as much as you used to. It happens. Life happens to you as a couple, it doesn’t mean you are heading for divorce, or your marriage has suddenly become less real, or it is now a paper marriage. Sister go take several seats please. Obviously you haven’t gotten to that phase yet, and until you do, all that talk of team this, team that will fly out of the window. There are times, you would have talked and talked to your spouse to iron things out, and nothing is working. What of couples that seek therapy, you make it sound as if they have failed in their marriage. They have failed each other, as a unit, and they need outside help. Their marriage is now less solid according to your opinion, as they have brought an outsider into their relationship. That is not so. That is just relationship arrogance talking. Just because you have it good, or you have your marriage on lockdown, doesn’t mean that others that don’t, have gotten it so wrong. Thats just arrogance my dear. You just reminded me of my ITK sister. Her point of view is always the right one because it has worked so well for her, her life is great, everyone else that is failing or struggling, are doing so, because they don’t think like her. In society, and in life, there is variety, as you have the people who have evolved or matured to their own Nirvana, you also have people that are on the struggle to achieving theirs. It doesn’t give you the right to look down on them or be condescending, and sharing your own story, as if see o, my husband and I are this this this, and do that that that, so that is gospel. Take several seats abeg. When you have been married for 20, 25 years, then you can talk. Until then, let those who want to confide in someone else, do so. You will find that, for those that are not “strong, or wise or mature like you” (hey we are all on different stages in life) when they choose the right person to open up to, it lessens the burden a bit, clears the dark cloud, and you can think straight, because you are talking to someone who is not part of or causing the problem, and there is no anger, resentment or pain. So madam strong, madam emotionally mature, I wrote the book on marriage, careful there on your high horse, you are perched there ever so slightly, as you said in your comment, people change, so don’t hand yourself any award yet.

    • Mercy

      February 2, 2013 at 12:51 am

      Well said. The reason a lot of Nigerians especially women don’t confide in people about their problems is the erroneous belief that 1. Marriage is a do or die thing, you have to be married or you have failed 2. If you have problems in your home somehow you caused it and are still a failure.
      Confiding in your mom or anyone you trust is okay but my mom “endured” a 50 year marriage and her worldview is based on that philosophy. If you tell her anything her philosophy is rooted in our culture of ” you must remain married or you have failed”. If you care to listen carefully in some religious settings run by Africans, its the same thread. Just stay there and work it out. A relationship built on the misery of one party cannot be what God wants. Unfortunately, many of us women pretend for fear of being seen as failures. I may offend some here but I think our culture encourages lack of accountability in the men and places more of the burden of a successful relationship on the women. In the society I live, a lot of the women work 12 hour days, even when the guy has a less busy schedule, she is still primarily responsible for all the cooking etc of ethnic food which are time consuming. A lot of nigerian women here are dying silently under the yoke of oppressive men brought up to think of only one word when it comes to their wives “submit, submit submit” . To the person diminishing the role of therapists or saying they don’t exist in Nigeria, I think they and other behavioral health professionals are urgently required. A lot of marriages are in trouble because of selfishness an anger/ aggression management issues.

    • bussie

      April 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      True Word! Thanks for this!

  31. always happy

    January 31, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    This post highlights some of the flaws in our cultural expectations of how communication about marital issues should occur. Marital issues have and will continue to occur from decades past till….far into the future. The sad truth is most people are still taking the advice of all the commentators – going to sister, brother ,auntie , uncle , mum or dad. Instead of taking a good mirror, look at it and ask yourself what am I doing or what am i not doing that causes these marital issues. To thine ownself be true and then get on your knees and seek God’s wisdom. Yes God does not work alone, yet he doesn’t need you seeking out human wisdom, applying it and then wondering why all your marital issues havent gone away or why they are re-occuring. Sometimes, unresolvable marital issues is symptomatic of one or both partner’s unwillingness to mature pscyhocologically, physiologically, and spiritually.. and we all know how that can stunt growth and create disunity in so many areas.. like hello if you are apathetic to living your life according to God’s terms, then you must be passionate to living it according to your Human terms. You suppose add to the scenario, men unable to satisfy their wives….. knowing our naija culture , shame go so catch the bobo e no go fit holla bode, sis, brother, mum tell no one let alone go and see a doctor.

    • Tunbi

      February 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Oh sure, our flaw in cultural expectations. They oyinbos that don’t have our cultural expectations, let me see. Oh yes, their marriages are soooooooo successful. We should learn from them. If you are wise and have been able to discover your own flaws, then good for you. You have gotten to that point, where you have matured, in all the ways you have written. Your comment, doesn’t make room for people that haven’t. People that are still struggling to get there. So because they haven’t gotten there, you doom them to a life of unhappiness. How is that fair, how is that right. You are talking as if there is a scale of maturity one must get to, then you can say you are getting married. the thing is, there is no scale. Yes you must be mature before you get married. Marriage is not for children/the immature, but maturity in what way, in what sense. What may come across as mature to you, is childish to someone one else. The person who is weak or immature on one area, may likely be brilliant in other areas. Maturity is a journey, not a destination. Besides, a marriage is two people. Are you expecting each party to have the same level of maturity? Come on. Or you are saying only when you and your bf/gf have reached the same level of maturity as you, then you get married. That’s an unfair expectation to place on someone else. they will always be forced to live according to your standards. You cant say you love someone, and put them through that. You can look in the mirror, and examine yourself and pray, if you haven’t achieved the level of maturity you need to find those answers within yourself, it won’t work, and you will be suffering in silence. I am not advocating rushing to someone else every time there is a problem, but a wise and trusted 3rd party can give you the objectivity you need to look at the situation closely, and find out where you went wrong. That is why we don’t get married and move to an island with just you and your spouse. There are lots of married people suffering within, because of this talk of not sharing your problems. Two heads are better than one, but it must be two good heads. One may be strong, the other may be weak, and at times, the other person doesn’t get it. What do you do then. You may be contributing to the problem, and not even know you are the cause, and your spouse has tried to show you how, and you can’t see it. His/her method or approach maybe wrong, and he/she can seek counsel, and try something else that works. Confiding in someone else, is something you must do with wisdom. Totally ruling that out, is simply foolish

  32. whumey

    January 31, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    @ ao God bless you for that…awesome

  33. faith

    January 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I always feel the need to share whatever is troubling me in my marriage.when I keep quite, I feel like am dying in silence….

  34. esther

    February 1, 2013 at 12:57 am

    The most important thing is who you share your problems with– not everybody has your interest at heart . Most importantly the couples could try to work things out themselves FIRST before seeking for help …. I-have a question : HOW BAD COULD THINGS GET FOR ONE TO DECIDE TO LEAVE A RELATIONSHIP OR FILE FOR A DIVORCE THAT’S IF MARRIED?

    • Mercy

      February 2, 2013 at 1:09 am

      At the point of marriage, most people are in love and believe they share a common purpose and hope to build a future together. Unfortunately, life happens and some people change for the better and some change into worse beings. For those who believe telling friends or family could help save a relationship, it’s all good. I believe that that is cathartic. It helps you not run crazy but if that could save relationships, there will be no break-ups especially in our society where marriage ceremonies are traditional and families are very involved. Like some posters have said not every friend or family has the long term interest of the couple at heart. I cannot for instance imagine women who say they run to tell their in-laws about their marriage!!! You just invited them to become third parties and trust me its not a good thing. A marriage built on the misery and unhappiness of one of the parties will end sooner or later. As an aside, misery and unhappiness is a bonafide diagnosis code with reimbursement in American health care system. So it’s very real. I have met a lot of nigerian women with stress related diseases traceable to their marriage situation and rooted in the belief that marriage is a do or die thing. God says marriage is honorable but it’s not a prerequisite for entrance to heaven. By the time you tell a couple of people and things are not improving, especially if its affecting your health, think through the consequences. If the other party will listen then by all means work it out.

  35. Biso

    February 1, 2013 at 2:32 am

    That is why me and my husband have a rule we TALK IT OUT or if sentiments are too high i tell my sister or he tells my sister because she is the only one that has our best interests at heart and also she tells me OFF more than him *sigh* my fam & his fam HELL NO!

    • Fallacy of Hasty Generalizations

      February 1, 2013 at 7:31 am

      so your sister isn’t Family?? **confusedface**

    • Biso

      February 7, 2013 at 8:21 am

      No she is not blood related, she is a good person with a good heart. I just call her my sister as she is much older than me and has my best interest at heart. I trust her with my life!

  36. ogochukwu

    February 1, 2013 at 5:49 am

    all this pple that said they don’t talk to their family about their martial issue and still mention their mum ,sister, brother, auntie etc as pple the talk to about their martial issue isn’t that part of family

  37. Kemi

    February 1, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Nice write up. I believe that it better you solve your differences with your husband before including your family or friends. I am talking from experience when I was dating my husband my sisters were my confidant, I simply told them everything about us and totally advise me never to compromise for my husband. Until one day I sat down and had a deep reality check their marriage wasn’t that perfect and all their advise I took in the past lead to the men breakup with me due to my attitude. I decided to cut them off and guess what I discovered they were actually telling their friends about my relationship. Even my mum was cut off to because when I realise she was discussing my business with them. I would rather discuss my issue with God . And should incase I feel I needed advise that bad well that why we have BN or lindaikeji were everyone give there advice freely it just left to me to decide what works for me. Prayer has always been a better solution for me. And I am grateful to God that he has been so good to me and my husband. You don’t need anyone whether good or bad to solve your marital issues it is only God that can give you that peace.

    • Kemi

      February 1, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Wow so much typo sorry.

  38. spicykenny

    February 1, 2013 at 10:34 am

    hmmm! inviting 3rd party into ur rltnship is d 1st out of d 3 warnings ma guyz dad gave us to have a succesful rltnsp dat wil lead us to a succesful marriage. even if where neccesry den it shld be sm1 u can confide in and not just ANYBODY in ur family. see mie for d oda 2 if interested! lols + CHIKENAH

  39. married lady

    February 3, 2013 at 7:45 am

    speaking from experience, it is quite difficult not talking to someone when things get really bad. I for one never share my marriage issues with family because after the issue has been resolved they often dont forgive the spouse, neither do they forget. It might also lead to disrespect from family for your spouse. Fisrt, you have to pick your battle. is this something you really need to tell someone about? if you can resolve it by communicating or other means then dont tell anyone.2 if the answer is yes, i tell my spouse i need to talk to someone about what is going on and we both go to our best friends ( we happen to have the same BF), who always tells us the truth and have been married for years too. This will probably work if you have a really good spouse lol, which mine is. Above all pray. When God is the center of a relationship and home and divorce is not an option, with both parties willing to work on issues, things often are easier to handle

  40. sweetlips

    February 4, 2013 at 12:32 am

    we all need wisdom when it comes to matters like this. i sometimes like sharing my problems with a very neutral person who will not advice me based on past knowledge of us. Also, I’m not totally in support of sharing private issues with family because (depending on the family) it might breed disrespect and all that. bottom line is, pray like your life depended on it, God is not wicked and i trust he’ll give you an answer if you just [email protected] Bruce, you really need to watch it, cos that attitude won’t take you very far…am just saying

  41. didi

    February 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I have read most of the comments, and I just wonder at how we are quick to jump to conclusions. Every SINGLE marriage is different. It is also good to know that what worked for you in your relationship, may not work when married, cos the dynamics of said relationship have changed. It is highly advised that whatever the issue is, you first talk it out with your spouse. BUT if you clearly need help, PLEASE and PLEASE look for it. Whomever you then seek help from should be the issue. Like many people have said, it is best to get help from someone whom you know and are convinced wants the success of your marriage; not necessarily whom you trust. Because for me, I trust my Mum, but I can NEVER let her know what’s going on in my marriage, lailai. So in all things, let’s remember that whatever advice we get, or decisions we take with our spouses the responsibility lies with us to weigh them and do what’s best for us and our marriages.

  42. jumy

    February 6, 2013 at 2:02 am

    read the book, I married you not your family by Dr Linda Mintle.

  43. SaytheTruth

    February 6, 2013 at 9:32 am

    you are right my dear. Recently i noticed some people just love to know what is going on in other people’s relationships. They just love to meddle and call it being friends. What i noticed is that these same people are not always happy when things are going on right with others and want to be on par or have more at all cost. I’m not down for that. That is not friendship, it is some kind of dependency among people that is quite annoying and leads to all the social pressure. Yes it is not good to suffer alone. but it is these same people that you will tell that will pressure you into it in the first place and make you suffer more because they do not want the scandal and all that drama.

  44. Troubled mind.

    February 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I’m saddened with the situation i’ve found myself. I’m a male and a 35 years of age, working and earning approximately #70,000 . But have problem in staying in a relationship. Many a lady of my choice wouldn’t say yes to me for marriage. I’m neither a bad person at least my friends can confirm that nor a stingy person. I was thinking might be because i’m not tall and very black in complexion. But i’ve seen may guys who are not anyway better than me either in finance,look/appearance or material acquisition. I’m so bothered, i wondered if i would ever get married. i need advice please!

    • Eve

      May 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      I have to say my first reaction was to laugh, and after I had done that, I was like why is this guy selling himself short? There is nothing wrong with you. We are all special and unique the way we are. The things you have said about yourself makes me wonder at your level of confidence no offense. You are dark, you are not too tall…guess what? That is something you don’t have control over. If you search within yourself, I’m sure that you will see the positive in you. What kind of friends do you keep? Surround yourself with people that will encourage and motivate you, and above all move closer to God bc He is the only one that can give you inner peace. I sincerely wish you the very best Sir1 xx

  45. nmbw

    February 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

    My opinion is the couple should talk about issues openly without pointing accusing fingers at eachother while taking ALL things to God in prayer. If there are still issues that need further clarity by either party, then professional help/counselling should be sought, prayerfully too.

  46. Pris

    February 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    who said the overbearing pressure to marry is only in naija. it might be global,actually. check the link below

  47. emerald

    February 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    well,. i’ve scouted thru the comments.i still feel one should see their spiritual leader.maybe a therapist ,who you know has some miracle way of keeping marriages and who also has good records of healing marital relationships.the only time i feel your pastor is not the best person is 1. when he is not married 2.when he has not been married for long.3.when he preaches and he name drops or gives an accurate description of the individual.your pastor is best becos he will not take sides like your relations or friends will do. i know of some one very close, who had marital problems and the pastor came to visit and the wife began reporting her husband bitterly.the pastsor, was able to tell her wisely, what she was doing that wasn’t right,even though she was the first to know the first to report a matter looks right.and they are still married till today.again you can never over emphasize the importance of prayers or underestimate is powerful.tremendous in its working and has dynamic ability to cause changes.especially when it is continous and fervent i.e it involves your body spirit and soul. i’m not a pastor o.

  48. evaG

    April 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    the best person to talk to always about anything is God!..when people are advised not to take issues of their marriage outside of the marriage, they are been asked not to go tongue wagging about it all over the place and letting everyone up in their private matters. if u most speak, talk to God, you’ll be surprised he speaks back through his word=the BIBLE!!.. else, try your sister or very close friend..though these days they are hard to can also speak to your partner, yes I said it..who best to talk to than the one your are having issues with?..

  49. jenny

    May 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Ain’t Nobody’s Business! thank u

  50. damepenelope

    July 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I´ve been married for 14 years now,thankfully to my friend and husband.Although our relationship has been great,there have been a few trying times.What I advise ( because it has worked for me) is to get to know your spouse,and not go ´a telling on him…´.Of course sometimes you need to confide in a TRUSTED friend,otherwise your heart would ache and ache.The people you must not confide in are your folks and his,because,long after you have both resolved your differences and moved on, trust me,you will,they will still begrudge you.The next time you come to ´report to them´, they base their analysis and judgement on your antecedents.As for church members, don´t even bother. Bottom line, Prayers and wisdom.

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