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Kunmi Omisore: Marriage Benefit Imbalance

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Like many others, I’ve always had my reservations about marriage. Initially, my fears were mostly based on the forever-and-ever part of it; but as you may have noticed, that seems to matter less and less these days. Then as I grew older, it evolved into a what if after five years I don’t even recognise the person I married anymore type of fear. But my fears didn’t stop there; they blossomed into is giving up your life alone for someone really a smart thing to do?. I wasn’t convinced it was for a long time but after quietly pondering for a while and a few Feel-Good films about love breaking barriers, I thought… Maybe the right person can make all this stress worth it. However, being the over-thinker that I am, naturally that wasn’t the end of the story. Just as I was getting comfortable with the idea of total devotion to one human being for – with a bit of luck – the rest of my life, I stumbled upon something which threw me a huge curveball and brought me all the way back to square one: Marriage is not an institution designed to benefit women. Marriage, a socially recognised union between two people, was not designed to benefit me. Who woulda’ thunk it?

The Marriage Benefit Imbalance theory argues that  marriage as an institution greatly benefits men physically and psychologically over women. I look around me and I can see how one would come to that conclusion. Let’s look at this carefully, starting from the most basic level:

a) In certain cases, I give up my last name and adopt my partner’s. Minor, yes. Inconvenient? Probably.

b) My body may very well become an incubator – to my own detriment. It may even cost me my own life. Just something to think about.

c) Realistically speaking, I am more susceptible to physical and/or sexual abuse than my male partner.

d) Chances are, especially in certain societies and cultures like this one (Nigeria), that being a wife and potentially a mother may require me to place my aspirations and ambitions on the back burner, while my partner’s may not necessarily suffer as greatly. e) Bring in the religious angle, and we could be here for hours. To submit or not to submit to His Majesty? Am I a slave or at the end of the day, really the master? Is inequality between spouses more of a 200 BC concept than a 2014 one?

It’s an endless stream of concerns. This isn’t a case of being on the lookout for only you, yourself and her; it’s more. Because realistically, there are times when you have to ask but really, what’s in it for me? Because as much as ‘two become one’, I don’t magically stop existing as an individual, and my interests still need to be protected, or at the very least taken into consideration, to a certain extent.

My friend, J thinks this Men-Benefit-More theory is absolute nonsense. After all, he argues, if we’re talking majorities, women are far more fascinated with settling down (actually, the precise word he used was ‘nesting’). They actively pressurise men into getting married, and when they finally get what they want, the bulk of the responsibility – protecting, providing, being the head, etc. – falls on the man. He also believes that in most developed societies, men are the ones at an actual disadvantage, particularly in cases of divorce settlements where the women usually have the upper hand. That’s one opinion. But I was not convinced. Because in the same conversation with J, I raise the issue of rape within marriage and as I proceeded to rant about how this is an issue that fails to be addressed properly, he interrupts me, saying, “Seriously? Rape? In marriage?” – as though it was something completely implausible. He just couldn’t understand how this was an actual ‘thing’. How could sex with your husband be considered non-consensual? He couldn’t wrap his head around it. Now, that in itself was really scary. For me. Because, if anything, it supported my argument; my argument that…

Marriage was not designed to benefit me. The worst part is that it was not even constructed in a deceptive, you-have-no-idea-what-you’re-getting-into kind of way. No one even tried to hide the fact that it was a life contract created without me in mind. It wasn’t a secret left to be discovered after I offered my loyalty and faithfulness and love on a platter. No, it was made clear; I’m just the one who has failed to catch on. It wasn’t a façade anyone bothered to create; it wasn’t even important to create one in the first place.

So my fears turned into anger. It became less a question of how do WE do with marriage thing, and more of how do I ensure that I don’t lose out completely in this marriage thing. My guard went up. I began to see it as a game of survival in the wilderness. Until I realised something; that, for me, it would completely defeat the purpose of marriage. My intention was never to go into it with my swords sharpened and ever ready to attack. I didn’t want it to be a game of Whose Benefit Is It Anyway?. I didn’t want to put my interests before that of my partner’s. I didn’t want to automatically see my potential partner as the enemy, without him actively proving that he was.

But what options do I have? Marriage was not designed to benefit ME. Now that I know this and believe it to be true, I find it quite difficult to move on as though I never found out. So at this point, I’m desperately scraping and scratching for hope in marriage; that although I believe, by design, I’m at a disadvantage by simply choosing to ‘nest’, maybe that is not the actual reality. That I lie at the mercy of my prospective partner – who may or may not be gracious enough to create a life with me where I can cut my losses and come out okay on the other side. That just maybe I’ll find someone who will actively seek my benefit – and me, his – even though the institution itself was not designed that way.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bryan Creely

Kunmi Omisore is a non-award-winning opinionist, currently living the life of a nomad. She believes in the power of words and the importance of people being able to express themselves. She is presently trying to make sure she doesn't end up penniless. Follow her on Twitter @Kunmi_O for more stimulating conversation and high levels of weistfulness.

54 Comments

  1. Prime Babe

    July 11, 2014 at 8:28 am

    In my own opinion, maybe looking at it from your angle might make one angry too….I do not however think that marriage should be contracted with any form”benefiting” in mind. It should be a mutual giving and taking….you look out for what is best for the other person, what benefits him/her spiritually and materially….you are their backbone and strength when they are down and they are yours too.I guess the key thing here is love……when love happens to you, then marriage and what you SEEM to lose by it would not seem to tragic

    • Tosin

      July 12, 2014 at 11:51 am

      oh dear.

  2. Barney

    July 11, 2014 at 8:53 am

    In as much as this article is a very good article .. You make us men look like we won’t be doing anything. Like we wud just sit and watch you go through all these alone. Trust me we’re in it as you are .. Apart from carrying the baby the modern husband is affected and is involved in your day to day activities. Well..I can’t say much.. It is a very good article tho

  3. Grown Woman

    July 11, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Lol interesting article, like they say, marriage is the only exam you get a cerficate before writing the exam.Take your time before settling down.Nothing is really guaranteed in this life.

  4. Ayaff tire for this matter

    July 11, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Kunmi Omisore, this is a childish analogy!

    On the other hand, marriage isn’t compulsory for you. Is it?

    If you have fears, stay single and enjoy your life. Don’t you people have other things to think about than marriage, marriage, marriage?

    Nothing is compulsory in life abeg. If you don’t like it, leave it and don’t complain. If you do, take it up and don’t complain.

    Why can’t people just save us the stress of these things? They put gun for your head to marry?

    I don’t just gerrit. If you get to the market to buy a product and it turns out that you dont like it, leave it and go for another alternative. Why will you stay there and keep ranting?

    God save me from time wasters. You just wasted my time for reading all these!

    ewwww

    • miss jean

      July 12, 2014 at 1:34 am

      I wish I could give you a kiss right right now!

      Dear writer,
      If you feel that going into marriage puts you at a disadvantage, and you feel that you may be short changed, then simply don’t get married. Thereby, saving your self the stress of writing this plenty story abeg. The last time I checked it wasn’t compulsory to get married.

    • Mjay

      July 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

      No one forced you to read the article you douche!

  5. Na'ava Shalom

    July 11, 2014 at 9:36 am

    It saddens me to read this article. Marriage is about love, about giving to the other person and deriving satisfaction from loving that person(that’s why it’s important to marry someone you are willing to love…even if they never love you back) . The love of God is very important., Read 1 Corinthians 13 -that’s the God kind of love. You may also want to pay attention to people who have good marriages and are happy instead of focusing on the ones getting it wrong. You may also want to listen to some teachings from David Christian Centre. That being said, Love is the foundation and like a house you add structure and beautify it-it’s real work- beautiful work

  6. lala

    July 11, 2014 at 9:36 am

    This article describes what i’m currently battling, its a vicious cycle . looking around me i’m tempted to just give up and settle for the sham of marriage that is what most Nigerians are currently in regardless of the amount of years they’ve been married. They are nothing more than roommates who hate each other. Then i take another look and see those that actually love themselves truly and even though an outsider might see one party as disadvantaged, the parties are a clear picture of what love is. The truth is there are horrible men in Nigeria and the world but i believe that there are just as many great, well mannered, sure-of-themselves-don’t-need-to-oppress-you-or subscribe-to-traditional-demeaning-roles-to-establish-their-manhood men in Nigeria and around the world. They just don’t look like the kind of men we like. We go for the former men, and then try to impose the characteristics of the latter men on them. since this realization, I’m somewhat convinced that I will meet someone that is worthy of me and who will make me want to enter this clearly disadvantaged institution to both parties actually but more to women because it will be on our terms (or so I think). Right now i’m just working on being worthy myself, you cant demand what you don’t have abi??

    Then I hear of a messed up marriage where the woman is basically living in hell on earth, then then my bubble is burst and the cycle begins. again.

  7. E-comment

    July 11, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Ayyaf tire why so abrasive?, you should be open to diversity of ideas. Your comment hasn’t added any value either. Instead of being do sassy why not share points as to what makes marriage worth it….like not doing life alone…..all these fears are valid but become insignificant when you and your companion are selflessly seeking each other’s interests and have the right values. Don’t jinx a good thing with pessimism.

    • Ayaff tire for this matter

      July 11, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Hey don’t step on the wrong toes my friend!
      Drop your comments and waka pass

      Open to diversity of ideas- Is this an idea or a rant? I should share points as to what makes marriage work? If you want that why don’t you come out straight than blabbing?

      You want the thing, the guy never show and you come here to get a pity party.

      Take several seats jo

    • tee

      July 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Why so aggressive? Calm down for Jesus jare. Your first comment was just so childish. Kunmi isn’t forcing her thoughts on anyone. It’s just her opinion. And if you aff tire for this marriage talk why didn’t you simply scroll past when you saw the title of the post?
      Take a cold drink pal, your body go settle. Cheers!

    • mama mia

      July 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      “Don’t step on the wrong toes” really? Meaning you will use ur rude avatar commenting self to beat her abi??? Mtcheeew, go and sleep jare ranting like a clueless dog…

  8. jenni

    July 11, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I thought I was d only one who reasoned this way,when I c other ladies so engrossed in d whole getting married thing like their life depends on it,I’ve always thought am not normal sometimes I try to push this thinking out of my mind but it doesn’t seem to go.God will help me sha cos I really don’t c d fuss abt d whole thing,when its obvious I av nothing to gain.

  9. pretty

    July 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Kunmi, you never jamm man wey love you thats why you dey write this epistle.

  10. Temi

    July 11, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Kunmi, lets journey on this together. Come with me!

    Marriage is a good and honourable institution. If it were to be a bad one, the God who created you and I wouldn’t have established it. You agree with me God loves you right? If He does, why will He institute something bad/evil for you? (Assuming marriage is what you see it to be)

    Generally, life is full on uncertainties, You leave your house in the morning, you don’t know what the day has for you; you start the day with bright sunlight, you never knew it would rain in the evening; you were strong all through last week, but today you fell ill.- Life is full of uncertainties.

    Having said that, it is only your faith in God that guarantees you a secured life and an expected end. Established above that life is full of uncertainties, your faith/believe in God (who is the supreme being, the beginning and the end, The One who was, is and will forever be) gives you an assurance that although I don’t know tomorrow, but since I know who owns tomorrow, I am secured. I know what He says about me, I know what His plans are, I know He cant create me and leave me stranded….all those fears are conquered.

    Let me now be practical with you. You may have to go through the book and not judge it by its cover. You may have to roll with the married and not judge from outside. Le me take it one after the other from your points

    1.. You give up your name (pun intended your surname cos you still bear your own name) to adopt your partners. There are phases in a man’s life. As we grow, we are expected to grow out of who we were tutored to be and be ourselves. Wouldn’t you like to be yourself rather than live on Dad’s glory and fame? Wouldn’t you like to form a new life for yourself and come out of the box you have been kept from when you were a toddler? The name thing is a beginning of a new you, coming out of what you have been formed as and now coming out to form yourself.

    2.Your body as an incubator to your own detriment. This is dicey. You meant your body being an incubator to the advantage of the man. The question is would you want a child/offspring? Whether a man is in your life or not, would you want to have kids? Having kids is not to the benefit of the man, it is to your own fulfillment. Marriage isn’t all about baby making, there are married ones who feel there is no need for babies and they stay like that. Whether married or not, a man in your life or not, would you want to have siblings carrying your gene, features, wards to surround your table, to nurture, train and pour your love, emotion and resources on? If yes, you are not doing the man a favor, it is yourself.

    3. Physical/sexual abuse. Your kind of person determines the kind of person you attract into your life. Your person determines the guys that meet you, the guys you date and the one you will marry. Physical abuse is non-existent in many families. The man is a child of God who understands that his wife is himself, who loves God and wouldn’t hit any one on the street talk less of his wife. The wife is a disciplined, cultured woman who doesn’t push her husband to the wall or provocate her husband.. The two are compatible and have been drawn to each other by their attitudes, characters, similarities and view about life. Physical abuse, naaa.

    So also sexual abuse, couples are to satisfy each other, not to deny each other and if there comes a need for withdrawal, it is with consent (with ref to the bible). If there is healthy sex, why will he rape you? The truth is that both of you may not feel sexual urge at the same time. Today may be your turn and tomorrow might be his. Maturity and wisdom comes to play. Sex is not monotonous, mechanical, boring or hard work, it is love making. An avenue for sex is an avenue for expression of love between you both. If there comes a time you need to abstain, he has been informed beforehand (and vice versa according to the scriptures-with consent) so that the other partner knows how to curtail it without even disturbing you because it has been discussed earlier, it is with consent and you have a healthy sexual life. Not having it for that night wont be the end of the world

    4. Aspirations and ambitions! Time will fail me to start listing people women who have given birth to 4,5,6 kids (not even 2) and have reached the peak of their carriers, with the wards they gave birth too also making them proud in their different fields. Life is not a race, whatever you don’t achieve now can be achieved later. At 70years or so, Obasanjo still enrolled in Open University. If you plan your life well and have your kids (say 4) within a space of 8years, what programme do you want to do that you cant do? Masters? PhD?

    You can be at your office, get preganant, they give you maternity leave of 3-4months, you come back and take your place. You don’t get demoted or excommunicated.

    Nothing can hinder a man/woman with a will/vision.

    5. Submission! Submission is a relative word depending on the user of the word. Submission could mean being in agreement with, humility, understanding, feeling of being patient, contentment, e.t.c.

    Submission from the scriptures doesn’t mean slavery as many women have termed it to be. Listen, if the same Bible says you have been set free, redeemed and at liberty, why would it still say you are a slave to someone? You need to compare scriptures to make sense out of it.

    Do you know that two drivers cannot drive a car/manipulate the steering at the same time? Even if there are two professional drivers in that car, one has to control the steering while the other gives advice. Have you ever seen an instance where two drivers try to control the steering at the same time? The result is an accident!

    Two matured adults now when to give in and when to give out. A knows when B is talking, I need to listen to hear him/her out. B knows when A is talking, I need to chill to hear him/her out. What happened when A and B are talking at the same time? no understanding? time is wasted, no comprehension, energy is wasted, no result or futility of efforts….

    Kunmi, overcome your fears.
    #Marriage is sweet.
    #Two are better than one
    #Woe unto him that has no one to life him up when he falls.
    #Good times and bad times are better shared with people than carry all the burden alone

    @BNoires, sorry for the epistle.

    Love

    • Martha

      July 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Wow I must admit I’m impressed, what a lovely response Temi !!! u must be a God fearing man,I love that . I like u. @Kunmi I used to think like u but I have come to know marriage that marriage is all about LOVE and do u know what love does??? it seeks giving the best to a partner, love endures…1corinthians 13, explains love better. play your part as a wife in marriage be submissive and you see the fruits of it. trust me u will be so much loved by ur husband because the “word” emphases husbands love your wives and wives be submissive…I’m single not married but have testimonies of friends who have done it and it has done wonders in their marriages. My prayer is that u get to know the truth about this whole thing.

    • ngluv

      July 11, 2014 at 11:17 am

      omg wow… you just slayed!!!!! very very well written… i have learnt alot from you… maybe you should be a counsellor?…lol Godbless you!!!!

    • Vics

      July 11, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Thank you so much Temi for your comment. Kunmi, truth be told you are not alone in your line of thought. But Temi hit d nail on d head with those points. (Take d child bearing part for instance). Let me conclude his/her comment by saying, when you finally decide to get married, be determined to enjoy your marriage not to endure it. You don’t know how long you will be alive to spend in it anyway.

    • XENA

      July 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      @Temi God bless u for this comment in fact 1,000,000 likes for dat.it’s because of this negative articles that I choose not to read some articles on marriage especially @ this age where many marriages are crashing we need to focus on how to make marriages work because good families(marriages) begot good society as a whole.

    • Ivie

      July 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      YOU NAILED IT!!! need not add more…thank you. I am married for 6 years now and its a beautiful thing! Have got a Daughter and a son too. You are what you think you are.
      With God all things are possible!!!

    • Doyinsola

      July 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Let’s get married. Seriously

    • CraftyHeart

      July 12, 2014 at 5:42 am

      I know I’m a little late to the party, but I just wanted to say a couple of things. I actually get where Kunmi is coming from – when examined objectively, the institution of marriage benefits women far less than it does men (to start with, married men live longer than single men, but single women live longer than married women). But Temi’s response shows that in the end, a marriage is between 2 people and God and it is what you make of it. Regardless of outside expectations, the marriage is built on the decisions that the husband and wife make.

      That said, I take issue with two of Temi’s points. First, the issue of name change. If one is truly start a new life and “no longer live on Dad’s fame and glory”, then the man too needs to change his surname abi? Or is it only one person that is starting a new life? Let us be careful to separate cultural expectations (which a marriage cannot be built on) from life-giving truth.

      Also, your comment that “Your kind of person determines the kind of person you attract into your life.” is problematic. Let us be careful not to start blaming the victim here. There are some psychopaths in the world who can hide their true selves, only to reveal their abusive nature after marriage. People are responsible for their own actions. Let’s not go down a path that quite often ends with people asking “what did you do to annoy him?” (victim blaming) instead of holding the man accountable for his wrong actions.

      Apart from that, this was an interesting article and I’m excited to see the generally insightful discussion that formed in the comments.

  11. Daisy

    July 11, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I do not think that her analogy is childish, I think it is realistic. No matter how much you try to coat it, the truth is that women are the most disadvantaged when it comes to marriage, it doesn’t have to be but it is. The suppression hardly stops because you are married, it’s pattern just changes. For women that are not ambitious or goal driven, it’s probably not a problem but otherwise, you will constantly be confronted with the battle of choosing marriage over your goals.

    • Dizzy

      July 11, 2014 at 11:16 am

      But no be by force now? Nobody will force you to marry, or have kids or put your career on the back burner.
      There may be some pressure, but you are a grown woman and have the freedom to make your own choices.
      These are things that majority of us on our own free will choose to do and even pursue and pray aggressively for.
      So, I have to agree that it is childish and even silly, to now turn around and complain that we are being disadvantaged.

  12. Eniola

    July 11, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I started enjoying this article and then the writer lost the sense in it at some point. The institution of marriage continues to be degraded and contrary to the writers opinion, it was created because it is very essential to the makeup of humans. I hope the writer can re read and evaluate because this article get kay leg.

  13. sum1special

    July 11, 2014 at 10:43 am

    i think the discussion about marriage has been overflogged. If anyone wants to get married then they should, knowing the issues that comes with it,and if they dont want to be married, then they shouldn’t . Its as simple as that. I dont sit down analyzing marriage when i dont know the experiences that comes with it rather i have heard and seen a bit from people who are married. It is a personal decision from both parties (man and woman) which requires work from both sides not just the woman. The woman might have a lot to loose and gain, likewise the man.

  14. Nana Okafor

    July 11, 2014 at 10:46 am

    hmnnn…its like saying i wont drive a car because i may have an accident, i wont fly because the plane could crash, i wont invest because i may loose my investment, i wont go out of my house for the fear of Boko haram e.t.c…i could go on and on…i am not at expert to discuss marriage, afterall i have been married only for 3 years with amazing twin boys, my life is a constant roller coaster, i have to make alot of sacrifices ( alot of times i must say) and remind myself to breath ( most of my quiet time is spent in the Loo), i have added an annoying 8kg that refuse to leave me alone, i could make a long boring list, BUT! is it worth it? YES, will i do this again in another life OH YES! Marriage is beautiful, it has its up and down. but when you find the right person it makes it worth the while. BE POSITIVE DEAR,

    • Maxime

      July 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Well said. At some point you have to just decide what you want and get on with your choice. Dwelling on negativity and all the risks that just might come to pass doesn’t help.

  15. Fashionista

    July 11, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I completely agree with the writer! If you look at the institution (especially the way it works in Nigeria), it certainly wasn’t designed to benefit the woman. Yes, marriage can be fun and you will have good times and challenging times and ugly times all wrapped in one but in the grand scheme of things, its so not a level playing ground.

    Look at my hubby for instance; he comes from a big family where they love to have events – be it birthday dinners, parties, graduation dinners, a cousins this, a cousins that, an uncles book launch…. and the list goes on and on. By virtue of being his “wife” I cannot dare say I cant make it or don’t want to (even when im genuinely tired or have other things planned), because I would hear it from my in-laws. But my husband gets away with all sorts; when my family is doing stuff (very rarely might I add), most times he’s suddenly busy or tired or hung over and frankly gets away with it. Even my mum does not spark for him. frankly, it is unfair, the way I go out of my way for your family, you should be able to do same for mine. But of course as the “woman” I have more to lose because I would be labeled the uncooperative wife and his mother and sister and sisters in law would start beefing me and planning my exit..

    • onyii

      July 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      hun, i know what you mean, im married too, but remember that women generally are not expected to be selfish, even when i was single, there are things my brothers got away with that i couldn’t. For instance if my parents aren`t well, na the girls go do the care-giving oh. My brothers could always go to watch football and come back to ask how mum or dad is doing. But na me go cook, run bath water, give medicine etc. Hun, women are created to make sacrifices, whether married or not and that`s the ugly truth.

    • miss jean

      July 12, 2014 at 1:46 am

      I think your husband gets away with all the things you have listed here because you let him, and not because he is a man and you are a woman. If you are too tired to attend his familly’s function then simply make your excuses and don’t go.

      You’ll go and still complain later on. While the man is doing what is convenient for him. You’re an adult which family member will beat you up for not attending a function?

    • PurpleiciousBabe

      July 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      But babes, in all fairness, I think u would have noticed this nature of his in courtship?

      Tbh , I strongly believe a marriage where both couples are friends makes it so much easier.
      As a friend, you will look to support, enrich, encourage etc so even in marriage it should be double of all of that well maybe not but sha a friendship is important.

      Re.the article, I suppose I could understand the writer’s points in the context of the average Nigerian marriage. But then again, the same country has seen many couples achieve greater things together. My take is, it depends on individuality, every county has it own kini. It is all about both individuals and their mindsets.
      I agree with Temi’s response.
      .As for me I look forward to marriage with all the fears and excitements including the journey with the right guy ordained by G.O.D for moi.

      xxx

  16. jay

    July 11, 2014 at 11:13 am

    @ayafftire, i dont get your attitude. so what if the concerns are childish? while they may seem that way to you, they are valid concerns that someone else has. if you have mature ideas, share. if not then aren’t you just as childish?

  17. Mz Danielle

    July 11, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Honestly, I feel pity for ds writer. Itz obvious u hvnt been genuinely loved before. Once u met sm1 who loves u n who u feel d same way for, all u think abt is being ur best- for ursef n for dem. Child bearing ll be a wonderful xperience bcos u ll desire a part of dem wt u. Dey push to be bigger n better, u both share d same dreams. Cheating happens. Argument happens. Sometimes u dislike him. Smtimes u dislike u. But deep down, wen it comes down to it- u know u come first in ds life. Nt 2nd, nt 3rd- but FIRST. Datz True love

    • Sisi

      July 12, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Learn to write legibly and in full. There’s no word limit here. Show respect to people by writing what normal people can read. Anyway your comment isn’t anything to ponder on sef.

  18. LIKE SERIOUSLY

    July 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    All of a sudden not feeling like getting married or having kids is now trending. I hope these phase quickly fades soon. All i can say to the writer is that you only need to find your soul mate, love and be loved then you will know its a beautiful experience. I personally will never trade being a wife and mum for the single life or any other thing at all.

  19. TheresaO

    July 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    This article reeks of fear and selfishness, the ingredients needed for a disastrous marriage. The thing with fear is that it magnifies false evidence, and so often, what we fear ends up happening. I know your opinions are probably based on your experience or close relatives, but you must be willing to confront those fears and the ghosts of your past. You can have a better marriage.

    I had similar views years ago due to my upbringing. But when I chose to confront my fears with the Truth of God’s Word-the Bible, He set me free. Today my family is much happier, I am very satisfied to submit to my husband and there is joy and peace, like never before.

    Marriage is beautiful if you are ready to do it God’s way. I can testify that in seven years of marriage, it was only when I started doing things according to God’s way (two years ago) that I began to enjoy it. Put God first, honour Him and He will give you the peace and strength to love your family. Peace

    • naws

      July 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      how did you come to the conclusion that she is selfish? are her concerns not valid? did you read the last line of the post? howthen did you conclude that she is selfish? dare Isay that it married women like you who cause a divide between married and single ladies. i have seen your comment on here so I now what im talking about. other married ladies told her how it will all be worth it but you came here to put her down. youclaim you were once like her, why not give her a detailed way to see marriage differently? you chose to

    • naws

      July 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      how did you come to the conclusion that she is selfish? are her concerns not valid? did you read the last line of the post? how then did you conclude that she is selfish? dare Isay that it married women like you who cause a divide between married and single ladies. i have seen your comment on here so I now what im talking about. other married ladies told her how it will all be worth it but you came here to put her down. you claim you were once like her, why not give her a detailed way to see marriage differently? you chose to shove your new found self down her throat as if that is what will make her see marriage differently. nawa!!

    • TheresaO

      July 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      All human beings including me, are selfish. Selfishness is not a swear word, so please get over yourself. However for a marriage to work, every party must be willing to make sacrifices. The writer does not want to do so. She calls it an imbalance because it will not suit her (that is self). From change of name, to sex, to motherhood…it is all about how it will affect HER. She is not thinking of the joy that her love or sacrifice will bring to her husband or children, but rather how much it will cost her.

      I recognise those are valid concerns, but again we must realise marriage is not essentially about us. It is about taking care of the other person, and loving them. Funny enough, love is not an emotion, but a decision to give or even sacrifice for the benefit of another. In John 3:16, we read For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE….. Love always gives. The beautiful thing about love is that when you give, it returns back to you.

      So yes I stand by what I said earlier and hope you understand that I mean the writer no ill feeling, I understand where she is coming from, I was no different myself. But the truth, though bitter, has to be said, for her good and the good of anyone else who feels the same way.

    • jcsgrl

      July 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      I said I wasn’t going to comment because I would have gone the @ihafftirefordis matter route. My beloved you always make sense as always.
      And yes the writer has valid concerns but they are selfish concerns. I said it, sue me! When you decide to bag a degree from a college who benefits from it? You pay exorbitant amount of money for school fees, teachers give you tons of work, they only spend about 2hrs a week with you, you do assignment upon assignment, and there is no guarantee you will even get job after school. And yet we all apply to school. My dear what you look for is what you will find. Keep looking for imbalance in marriage and you will experience it…kpom kwem!

  20. Jane Public

    July 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Words I live by because I believe strongly in the analogy that you want something, while you are waiting don’t complain about the lack of that thing, or look for problems in that which you do not have. Example, you are looking for a job and you are complaining about the lack of a job, complain, complain, complain. On the other hand, those who don’t complain, reason within their head as a coping strategy to find faults in that thing they don’t have yet i.e. this job i am wanting sef, when it comes, i have to wake up in the morning and face the commute, I can’t lie in anymore, i have to dress a certain way for work, i have to close late, do the bidding of my boss, i won’t have a life again, and on, and on, and on, and on. COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, ANALYSE, RE-ANALYSE, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN!!! Guess what, it won’t happen. The Universe doesn’t work that way. You can’t want something and yet complain about it or reason why that thing will not or may not work for you. Nah girl, those who are at where they want to be in their lives, whether that great marriage, or great career, or tons of money in the bank, or just plain happy never had that approach to life. If you are already looking at the pitfalls of a goal you are aiming at, you will never get it. Open yourself up and tell yourself you want the best, you deserve the best and that is what you will get. Complaining and re-analysing, as if na you sabi english pass is not going to get you anywhere. It is that which you fear the most that comes to pass, because those are the vibes you are sending out, and you will attract more of that, till it becomes your reality.

    • Femi

      July 13, 2014 at 1:04 am

      Jane can I give you a hug ? 1000000000000 likes

  21. Created Woman

    July 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    i really relate to this writer I remember my cousin sister who went through a lot just to get married from visiting tb Joshua to different prayer houses at the end of the day she died while giving birth to her second child ,poor me all we could think of as a family was she went through to be called Mrs. and the man who she fought all his ex girl friends to be with
    only for the man three month later is hitching with one of his baby mama who bore him two children
    but if there is anything I now know about life is most times our worries never or rarely come to pass

  22. Gbubemi

    July 11, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Was education designed to benefit you ? Did you or someone not spend exorbitantly to get the so called degree ? Did you not suffer sleepless nights studying ? Does everybody land their dream job after a first degree ? Most ppl have to go back for an advanced degree and keep advancing and training over the years to stay relevant. After all that education are you guaranteed anything ? Is the Nigerian govt not sitting on educated pensioners benefits leaving them to live in fear and uncertainty about their future ? Now does that deter anyone from getting an education ? Marriage definitely isn’t for all and sundry and everyone isn’t going to be married, but the benefits far outweigh the so called disadvantages in any society. I am female and I live in the U.S, I have lived here for over 16 years and in my environment you live an admirable life being married with your education and career than not being married. The joy of marriage are bountiful, but like everything in life you carve a convenient path for yourself by the grace of God, everybody definitely isn’t able to do so successfully, and hence I think is the reason for the more negative than positive sentiment over marriage being shown in your article. Good luck with whatever you decide to do for yourself, it’s your decision and frankly speaking you live it out on your own while the world watches and lessons are learnt.

  23. ravenmortal

    July 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Very nicely written, Kunmi, As a former kindred spirit, I cannot invalidate your views, but simply urge you to adopt a different approach.

    Marriage is much like every other relationship – parent/child, sibling, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friends, pals. At the core of these relationships is a desire, perhaps a passion, for helping the other be the best they can be, without EXPECTATION of reward! See, marriage ought to be totally non-transactional: not an exchange of services for value! Only then can you get it right.

    Marriage is not for everyone, I concede. However, with the right person and the right motivations, the relationship can be richly rewarding!

  24. bb

    July 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    @fashionista, please try not to please others too often , it was how you started with your in laws from the beginning (what you fear most will come to pass) your husband is himself and not trying to please everybody. it will get to a time you would explode and then you will still be labelled.
    @ created woman so sorry for your cousin; similar thing happened to mum’s friend always worrying about her children when she died her children were doing amazingly well( we should not hold anything too dear be it marriage, children, career, achievement because all is vanity, life is not a race but we should be positive

    • Fashionista

      July 11, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      I am not “pleasing” others! I am happy to inconvenience myself a bit to accommodate my husbands family’s nuisances, which there is absolutely nothing wrong with. My simple qualm is that I would like the same courtesy from the husband. I’m not trying to please a stranger am I?

  25. emm

    July 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Firstly, I have been killing myself over the same thoughts as Kunmi, not because I haven’t found love, but due to my quest for ambition. I’m young, (very early 20’s; though I’m done with Undergrad and on the verge of completing my Postgrad degree) I don’t think I should be getting married now because I believe I want to establish myself (work for sometime – but I’ve got a year’s working experience – which has made me save up a little). But then I still find it very unconvincing that marriage is to my benefit.
    I’m so glad I stumbled on this post and read all the comments (Yes, I did). Thanks to Temi’s comment and a few others, I think my liberation has just started (Even though my boyfriend has tried to tell me a lot of times that its not as hard as I think it is).
    Working with your advices, I hope I will continue to see marriage in a better light, while chasing my dreams. Thanks to all of you (nice commenter’s and mean ones – I totally understand all your views).

  26. bumbum

    July 12, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I should think I know what I am talking about after 25years of marriage.
    Yes, marriage can be honourable, satisfying, desirable or……humiliating, oppressive, disrespectful. It all depends on the “terms of operation” AFTER the vows are taken.
    I will say its a game of chance most times because both parties tend to be on their best behaviour until….
    I will conclude with ” C’est depend”,it depends on who you tango with. There are still respectable and dependable partners out there, believe me.

  27. QueenOfAwks

    July 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    i havent finished reading this post but i just had to comment. i had this conversation the other day with my sister about how marriage doesnt benefit women one bit..

  28. Sherri

    July 14, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Kunmi,
    you raised valid points,
    I had those same fears and angst! until I realized that i was totally wrong!
    marriage has evolved beyond your and my perception and conditioning, we cannot accept as valid the reasons our parents and their parents give for getting and staying married,those reasons may be valid for their generations but not for ours.
    we are both wrong to conclude that marriage is beneficial for males because, it’s not!
    you think it’s beneficial for a male to be limited to one female for the duration? or to have the responsibility of being the ” provider”and the “leader”?
    the marriage you wrote about is more of a financial transaction than a union of equals.

    this generation of enlightened and empowered females have a choice, we can choose not to marry, not to have children, to have children without marrying, marry and choose to keep our father’s name or anything we want for that matter.

    an empowered female has the peace of mind to choose mates who honor, validate and has similar views about marriage as them, so they can thrive in their chosen field and society,
    we can in essence re define marriage for ourselves rather than continue to maintain the status quo.
    before anyone questions my sanity or ask what cheap drugs i am on, i know it may sound impossible and overly ambitious or too westernized for Nigeria, we owe it to ourselves and the next generation to attempt to correct, for lack of a better word the ills of the marriage institution.
    a good marriage is a symbiotic relationship, that is beneficial to both mates who freely and consciously choose to marry
    it can be done, my mate and i are doing it, i know other couples making the efforts as well. .
    this huge responsibility falls on the females…..

  29. QueenOfAwks

    July 14, 2014 at 1:09 am

    i understand the writers fears.though i feel they are fears a woman has if and when she knows shes not marrying the man she loves. i have those same fears when i feel like settling

    @maxime and @ravenmortal made valid points. on reading the beginning of this post i thought this post was similar to my fears but the points kunmi made are far from what my fears are. personally i cant wait to have kids… i dont mind forfeiting my surname and i feel i would be able to balance career and family life. my fear is that i would never find my true love. looking at alot of peoples marriages these days even when the women are madly in love with their husbands their husbands still do them wrong over and over again. and even though i do not mind forgiving u. i have a feeling i wont be able to play the fool forever.

    most of my fears are from my mum. u need to hear the way she talks about marriage and what baffles me is that she married a good man. sometimes i feel she talks that way cause she married a good man but not the man she loved. they are still together and i know my dad loves my mum but i dont know if she loves him half as much as he does her and i dont know if i can have that kind of marriage. when my mum talks about marriage she makes it seem like there is no way u as a woman wont be at a disadvantage. just take it like that. that is the role you have to play. just make sure u choose a man who really loves you so even when he misbehaves he will still come back to u…

    i want to marry a man who i love and who really loves me so i wont mind making a ton of sacrifices and he too wont mind making tons of sacrifices for me..
    i have decided to see things the way @ravenmortal said. marriage is like a relationship between parents and siblings “At the core of these relationships is a desire, perhaps a passion, for helping the other be the best they can be, without EXPECTATION of reward! See, marriage ought to be totally non-transactional: not an exchange of services for value! Only then can you get it right”

    i will try and find true love and i will be more than willing to make sacrifices. infact by the grace of God i would be happy to make sacrifices

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