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Liz Awoliyi: The Stigma of Coming From a Broken Home



I decided to tackle this subject because all too often I’ve seen and heard too many people looking down of individuals who come from a broken home. Coming from a what society calls a “broken home’ or ‘dysfunctional’ family has a very negative stigma.

For me, the term “broken home” is ugly. If something is broken, we have roughly three options in dealing with it: we can leave it as is and manage it; we can fix it; or we can get rid of it.

This approach works for things we own, zippers on your dress, mugs e.t.c But how does one term an individual as coming from a ‘broken’ home? Why does society allow that stigma to lie over the heads of someone when the fact that their mother and father choose no longer to be together is completely our of their control? I feel sorry for children who have to deal with this.

This follows on to later life when its time to choose a spouse and you’re judged on that, seemingly people of this school of thought and mindset put out there that children of broken homes, lack the values, morals needed to sustain a marriage.

People not only look down on you because you come from a broken home, many have the belief that it has an impact on future romance – that something must be wrong with you.

The end of marriage is always traumatising, and a sensitive time for everyone involved. However, I read in shock, OAP Freeze’s statement on his marriage and I quote: ‘Ope was raised by a single mother who had seven children from three different fathers. Everyone discouraged the relationship pointing out her mother’s situation and warning me that this might lead to a character flaw in Ope but what did I know?’

First of all, it wasn’t fair of him to put this information out there like that. Secondly, is he and everyone who warned him correct to suggest that Ope may have character flaws because of her mother’s situation?

You hear of women blaming the quarrel with their husbands, on the fact of the parents being divorced – believing that his family history is the main impact on their failing relationship.

Marriage is hard work. There is a physiological implication when you didn’t grow up with both parents. But we are each the architect of our own lives. Many people who didn’t grow up with a Mum and Dad together, choose and fight for a different story for themselves. People don’t want the repetition of his/her parents’ situation.

Personally, I look at it like this, some individuals make better wives/husbands when their parents haven’t been together in the same way individuals from poorer homes hustle harder to make a better life for themselves. Some of my friends, who didn’t have as much as me growing up, ended up being better financial managers than me. It’s the same theory here.

Betty Irabor, in her Morning Dew talks of her father leaving the family home when she was a young girl. Look at her today, she’s been married for 33 years, and celebrated yesterday! Congrats! In her case, the theory of your parents’ separation having a direct effect on the longevity of own future relationship with your spouse is disproved.

Peoples’ misconceptions on this topic are alarming. Broken homes are the product of wrong choices and mistakes of parents and shouldn’t be blamed or used to judge the children involved.

My thoughts on this are that it is not a one glove fits all situation. There are no rules to this. It is not a case of nature versus nurture. We as humans are complex, and we all have different dispositions regardless.

I’d be interested to read other views on this topic.

Photo Credit:  Shola Ajisegbede – @sniper_ajix


  1. dami

    July 30, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    I’m a typical example of looking at men from a broken home in some type of way. I mean from personal experience I sort of think that a man from a broken home won’t know the exact way to act or keep a marriage. They may have some sort of commitment issue. I think this way because the way my brothers act and behave especially with their own immediate families is a typical example of how my dad was wiith us – caring, loving and every other great words I can think of. Also, I once had a bf who came from a really broken home and kind of exemplified this in our relationship. When ever we had arguments, he may not talk to me for weeks and then come back later. I thought about it and felt, is this what he will be doing when we are married? fight and then he will leave me and the kids at home for God knows how long.

    • Seriously

      July 31, 2015 at 2:25 am

      @ dami

      Life can be interesting. Dysfunctional comes in different forms. It’s just a stigma, it doesn’t dictate or define you as an individual. Two parent household can be just as dysfunctional as a “broken” home. Let me use, president Obama as an example. He comes from what you can say “broken home”. He didn’t grow up with his father, his mother was a single mom. He was raised by step father, grandparent and family. But look at him, he exemplifies what people will say “good husband” and “good father”. He’s not perfect but hes a decent/good man. Most Nigerians are raised in a “non broken” home based on how the culture is against divorce or single parenting even if it’s an unhealthy relationship. But I will say many Nigerians are dysfunctional character and behavior wise. The dysfunctionality has been merged into culture, norm and now it’s difficult to detect and address it. All respect to my dad, he’s smart and successful. Other than that he’s messed up as a husband to my mom, and father to us. He takes so much pride in coming from two parent, parent married for decades till they passed away, he was showered with love, care and enjoyment. I guess, that didn’t translate to his own personal life bcos my siblings and I can’t say the same. And definitely my mom can’t speak highly of him as her husband. At the end of the day, your own moral, values, love you learn along the way from different people not necessarily parent or family is what will make you or break you as an individual.

    • Oyin

      July 31, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      @ seriously

      Kai, you hit the hammer on the nail hard. I agree with everything you said especially the last statement. In addition, individual’s personality, character and what they learn through life experiences, situations and people they encounter is what will make or break them.

    • Abby

      July 31, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Very well said…

    • Idomagirl

      August 1, 2015 at 9:43 am

      @seriously Well said!!!!!! Nigerians are so quick to label children from ‘broken homes’ as dysfunctional as if there aren’t tons of dysfunctional people whose parents are still together.

      For instance a man who grew up watching his father beat his mother, his parents are still together but now as an adult himself he took after his father’s violence. If that isn’t dysfunction I wonder what that is.

  2. Josh

    July 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I agree that the decisions parents make should not be used to judge the child, But this is Africa, Nigeria, where a woman is supposed to stick to a relationship ’till death’. So it is not really that we choose to see it that way it is rather that the society has conditioned us to view things in a certain way.

    We might not be entirely wrong in our assumptions cos children from broken home tend to carry around severe psychological complications. Trust issues and all. There might be exceptions like our dear Betty Irabor but I can it took a ton of work for her to have come this far. It is easier for the cycle of broken homes to continue if you are from a broken home just like the odds of you getting rich is slimmer if you are from a poor home…

  3. Josh

    July 30, 2015 at 10:13 pm


  4. Miss Pee

    July 30, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    @Liz, where you in the spirit when I was discussing this topic just this evening with a client? I just hope people wake up and face it, that my parents where 1,000years married doesn’t guarantee mine will be same, like I told my boyfriend today, what sustains a relationship is not just Love, cos everyday we learn and get to understand our partners from a different perspective. God help us all.

    • Hulk

      July 31, 2015 at 9:08 am

      I have to agree. My X’s parents have been married for over 35 years, and I thought that was a reason to be with him. I was so wrong, He turned out to be a wife beater and a very terrible husband, who almost killed me. Today I am raising my daughter with love, and making sure she doesn’t have bitterness in her heart. I believe she will grow up to be a woman of integrity, strength and love.

    • Lola

      July 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      My thoughts exactly!!!

  5. Fasholaslover

    July 30, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Rather it be broken than live in misery. I have seen what misery, hate does to children just becos, the Parents are too timid, too afraid to put a lid on a bad union. The difference in kids raised in a home filled with love and laughter and those raised in a place of dark, dark sadness,secrets and silence where everyone tip toe around is as clear as seven up. Broken, does not necessarily mean dysfunctional rather, it is when it is forced, when all cracks are papered over that is dysfunctional. My two cents

  6. Saint tracy

    July 30, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you for writing about this topic. Am from a divorced home and I must tell you, the stigma follows you. ALOT of things remind you of this fact. When I was in sec sch, you know how you tell stories of ur family to your friends especially when u are a boarding student, I didnt realise that I always talked about my father cos we lived with him. One day a classmate asked me, why are you always talking about your father what about your mother? She knew my mum was alive, it hit me the wrong way.
    Even in a relationship you are always been careful because you don’t want the “curse” to continue, men have a way of using it as a weapon on the woman.
    You even have to explain it to your children. You have 2 mum. You visit your mum and you visit your step mum . The children call them grandma.
    Marriage is not a walk in the park, and it’s no different if you are from a divorced home or not. I might say that a child from a divorced home when she’s married puts in more effort and is more patient because she has tasted the consequence and does not want her children to go through it.
    I actually advise my friends to be patient because been from a divorced home as a child is not easy, and some of them say you didn’t turn out badly so my children will he fine, but I tell them don’t look at it like that. It a daily walk of faith and patience to stay married broken home or not.

  7. Jagbajantis

    July 30, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I think the term “broken home” is a bit unfair and does attach a stigma to it. Maybe it is a function of nomenclature, same as calling someone with a disability “deformed”.
    It is a generalization, as each individual deals with the breakdown of their family and divorce of their parents differently. However it is not uncommon to find that children raised in homes where their parents had a protracted and messy divorce, are likely lose trust in the sanctity of marriage, or have trust issues. Sometimes it is not because they are from a “broken home” per se. It is a function of the abuse they have watched, either from their father abusing their mum, or from alcoholism, infidelity or lack of chemistry. Some kids are forced at an early age to be referees or intervene in domestic disputes.

    The way the human psyche is constructed, every child should have a benefit of a loving father and mother. There is a phrase that only men can raise men. A son would learn how to respect women and treat them as a queen from his mother. A girl’s security and sense of worth is anchored in the love and protection of her father. However as nothing is perfect, it is up to society to make sure no child goes unfathered or unmothered. There has to be a support system for kids whose parents are no longer together for any reason whether death, divorce, relocation etc.

    Men I fancy this Liz small. Ok na

  8. Toms

    July 30, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Please, people from dysfunctional homes do have issues, let’s be real. My mum is from one and I see her struggle everyday. Especially struggling with not coming from a home where her mum and dad were there for her. She is 70 now and she still questions herself. The confidence, self esteem and security she would have had in a 2 parent home was never there. This is why anything she does I find a place in my heart to forgive her. I know she did her best in keeping her marriage and protect us from what she faces everyday. I wonder how the future will look like with 2 daddy homes and 2 mummy homes, what a mess. The male and female definitely have their roles to play in a child’s life. Nature commands it and nurture cannot correct it

    • Moi

      July 31, 2015 at 12:30 am

      I am sorry, your mom had a difficult time dealing with her family situation but your generalizations are inaccurate. Individuals deal with issues differently, there are variables with every situation and people choose how they are defined by their experiences.
      It is better to raise a child in an environment where there is love and stability rather than strife just to keep up appearances, kids pick up more than we often give them credit for.
      My two cents

    • Lisa

      July 31, 2015 at 3:46 am

      So true.. People like to act like the emotional scars are not there. I did not even have a home let alone a broken one. I lived with different relatives all through my life yet I had 2 parents alive. The pain the rejection the emotional abuse is still with me even though I have been living on my own for 10 years now. I just take my cross to the altar and pray God helps me get by

    • Lois

      August 3, 2015 at 10:47 am


    • BlueEyed

      July 31, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      @Toms please can these statistics apply in different cultures Asides the one the research was aiming to apply to? This generalization is inaccurate and terribly misleading. The most upright individuals I have met in society are from this supposed dysfunctional homes and single mothers. There is a stigma attached to coming from a dysfunctional (that word on its own in this context is another topic for another day) home , but kudos to the majority of these kids living out their lives responsibly and setting examples for their own kids…..these folks have risen to the top of the society and proved society wrong. Lastly a mighty shout out to single mothers and fathers who regardless of the societal norm still produce incredible individuals in society.

    • BlueEyed

      July 31, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Sorry this reply is for @Kemi but I do not agree with you comment too @Toms because it is grossly misleading and entire false for all we know your mother issues might not even stem from her upbringing

    • Toms

      July 31, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      You will know it comes not from get upbringing because you are her child? It definitely comes from her upbringing. She was not brought up in a secure environment so she lacks the feeling of confidence and security. We are all a sum of our experiences. Growing up she was more attached to my dad than her kids. This is because she never knew parental attachment as a child. All the decisions made by us affect our kids tremendously. We all have to be very careful before opening our legs and bringing children into the world with certain people. My mum is a great, intelligent and well accomplished woman outside of making family decisions, so she does not have issues any where else.

  9. Kemi

    July 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Dear Liz,
    You are right to say that coming from a broken home doesn’t automatically mean you will grow up to have a broken home but statistics have shown over and over again that children who grow in single parent families tend to be dysfunctional. They are more likely to drop out of school, be victims of teenage pregnancy, drugs, crime, end up with dysfunctional relationships etc.
    That is the reason why one would be very weary of the baggage someone who has never had a male role model. (I say male because most single parent families are made up of the mother) Liz You know what it’s like to grow up without ever having a father and mother living under the same roof. You never experienced a family unit. There’s bound to be baggage !
    We often tell ourselves we will never repeat the same mistakes our parents made but inevitably we are shaped by the circumstances we grew up in and we catch ourselves doing those same things our parents did. A lot of people are walking around dysfunctional and they don’t even realise this.

    • Nahum

      July 30, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      Kemi, pls can you tell me how a violent and abusive man can be such a wonderful role model to his kids? I honestly would like a clear and concise explanation, so I can understand where you are coming from. Also explain how a man who commits adultery can pass wonderful morals to his kids. Please explain

    • Kemi

      July 31, 2015 at 7:39 am

      You are overshadowing my point. I never said all. I said most. No need to be so defensive. Take a deep breath and read my comment again. You do sound like you have a lot of baggage. A therapist might help.
      Read comments from people who grew up in broken homes and you will see that no matter how you swing it, you will be affected. And that is my point. If your Father was violent and abusive you are a victim of a broken home. A home can be broken even though both parents are under the same roof. The father could be adulterous. The mother could be abusive. Etc That is no role model.

    • Nahum

      July 31, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Kemi, don’t try and be cute. You are back tracking, you said children from broken homes tend to be dysfunctional. If you understood English properly, you would understand that you were making a blanket statement about children from divorced parents, which is inaccurate. The “tend” in your statement softens the blow, but it is still a blow. Your statistics are weak because the research is still inconclusive, there are many stats that counter your argument. Rather than strengthen your shade-throwing skills, strengthen your research skills hun.

    • Ann

      July 31, 2015 at 12:29 am

      Can we get a link to these statistics you’re referring to? Cos everyone loves to say “statistics show that” without any actually proof.

    • iCrossMyHeart

      July 31, 2015 at 3:36 am

      You sure? Because same statistics show that MOST serial killers grew up in a two parent dysfunctional home. So your point?

      I think it all boils down to the individual. If you look at your environment and want to change it for yourself, YOU WILL CHANGE IT.

      You can go to Harvard but you are not guaranteed to be a millionaire. Hell, most billionaires did not go to school. So this comment that a child from a broken home is more likely to drop out of school is not an indication that his or her life has ended. Look at Steve Jobs. Any home more broken than his? But he has created something that most children from two parent household are using delightfully.

      I think emphasis should be placed on if the individual is growing up in a loving environment. If he or she is nurtured and cared for, he or she is not likely to exhibit the character traits that are demonstrated in statistics of his or her ilk.

    • Hmmm

      July 31, 2015 at 11:10 am

      I thinks I’m most annoyed that the fact that the statistics she refers to are primarily foreign and do not take into account the cultural nuances here in Nigeria. I can beat my chest and say that the most faithful, honest, decent men I know grew up in single mother homes and they turned out as they did because their mothers were determined to great men better than the ones they married. They then took it a notch further and made themselves into men to be emulated. It’s generalizations like yours that lead to the stigma. Which study have you conducted on the Nigerian family unit? Have you factored in the level of education which is typically higher here? Have you factored in the abuse present in so many Nigerian homes that women are encouraged to endure for the children? The infidelity? Gerrarahia with that mess.

    • prettyme

      July 31, 2015 at 7:00 am

      Dear ‘namesake’
      I was going to comment when I read yours and it was almost all I was going to write. Well said. Yes, children become victims of homes that come apart, even though it’s not their fault and parents need to be aware of that. There is always a consequence to our actions. We should never forget there was a reason God instituted that structure for proper nurturing. Children that ‘turn out right’ after such are usually in situations when the single parent went the extra mile to ensure this. I have never heard a single parent that had well brought up children say it was easy. That does not also mean children from homes with both parents turn out right. It is more of how they were brought up. First time commenting…

  10. Becca

    July 30, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    There’s stigma for this? News to me.

  11. shopperoflife

    July 30, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    As for Freeze, he is a jackass. Bloody gigolo. Why will he not label his ex? Afterall, he has an ATM minting him money. At least, now we know where all the expensive wrist watches come from certainly not from that his day job. More like from his night job. We can only pray that our marriages are filled with love and laughter. Be willing to love freely and forgive. If at the end of the day, it comes to an end before the parties are grey and old, so be it. It takes the grace of God for any marriage to last 50 years+. No single human being can claim the credit for a happy and lasting marriage.

    Now, having said that, some people are just not meant to be husbands or wives. They do not know how to function in any formal setting. Whether such people should have children or not is debatable. In my opinion, If you have a lot of love to give, by all means have children. And l do not think children from such unions should be made to pay for the decisions their parents made.

    • Hadassah

      July 31, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Am sorry.. I just couldnt get past the Freeze Part…
      Ope should just move on with her life….
      This Freeze guy ehn…… No words… SMH… infact SM A-Z

  12. aadey

    July 30, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Very well said… I am a product of the so called “broken home” and quite a lot of times I have Bn looked down upon and treated like its my fault things got “broken” between my parents. An ex toaster once told my that my family is too complicated for him to fit in. Let’s face it pple, as long as marriage exist, divorce and separation will also exist. The focus should be on us the younger generation. Our parents have made their mistakes, it hurts when there is a tagline to our personality. Children raised by either parent have turned out to be more cautious, and vigilant with matters of the heart. We shouldn’t be treated like we are a disease. As a grow older I am more determined to keep my home…

  13. Nahum

    July 30, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I can state for a FACT that polygamy and violence in the home has even more of a negative impact on children than divorce. The best home for children is a loving, happy home with just mommy and daddy. If the parents are unhappy, they owe it to their kids to leave the union and remain friends for the sake of the kids. Society needs to stop bullying women into staying in loveless, violent and manipulative marriages. The children will grow up messed up living in such sorrow.

    • Owg

      July 31, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      Yup. Polygamy.

    • Idomagirl

      August 1, 2015 at 9:47 am

      @Nahum Yes to this!!!

    • xtophar

      August 3, 2015 at 10:56 am

      God bless you for this comment Nahum! People just seem to miss the point with this “broken home” thing. I intend leaving my husband of 5 years only because I got to the point I realised the environment was toxic and wrong for our children to grow up in. I know I have issues; issues I likely can’t get past because I grew u in a house with two parents that were always at each other’s necks. If my parents had gone their separate ways, my siblings and I would have been surely be the better for it.

  14. B

    July 30, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Well…the stats don’t lie. 7 out of 10 individuals from broken homes have issues. The problem is those that don’t acknowledge/recognize this flaw and continue living a lie, leaving a string of bad relationships etc in their wake. From my experience, some turn out stronger coming from a broken home whilst on the other side of the coin, some are just plain ol’ dysfunctional!

    • Blessedheart

      August 3, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Which stats please? My parents separated when I was 7. It became a normal thing for me. I wasn’t even aware there was really a stigma attached to it. I know most people express surprise when they learn about it, saying my siblings and I turned out really well. Until I overheard a toaster saying to his friend that he likes me but he’s concerned because I’m from a broken home. I found it funny because this same guy told me a story about his dad bringing in a child many years after marriage. All in all, whatever happened with my parent’s marriage doesn’t affect me. My life is ordered by God and not by my family.

    • Person

      March 22, 2016 at 5:39 am

      Exactly, My parents divorced when I was 3. I didn’t even notised it. It was normal.

  15. Ifeoma N

    July 30, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    As kids we mirror what we see. Overtime we become a reflection of our past realities. It’s the reason why when someone sees you, the person says, ‘oh you act like your mom’. It’s only few persons who actually rise above that and that example is Mrs Irabor.
    To get to that stage takes a lot of work, you have to overcome your trust issues.
    A good marriage is not genetic, it’s not put on anybody’s lap. So if someone doesn’t succeed in marriage it’s not necessarily because of their background, it maybe that they may have not put in enough to make it work.
    I hope I wasn’t all over the place?!

    • Jojononz

      July 31, 2015 at 7:13 am

      @ ifeoma N cyber hugssssssssss, A good marriage is not genetic. Das all

    • Cocolette

      July 31, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Loool…i made the mistake of thinking a good marriage is genetic. My ex kept going on n on about how both his parents lived in ‘love n harmony’ until his mom died. I thought…ok, he has solid family values. Imagine my shock when 3 weeks after a registry marriage i found out he was chasing every skirt on facebook and out of it. I took off mehn…before i get pregnant and someone will tell me to stay because of the kids

  16. nene

    July 30, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    a broken home is subjective. some homes seem “together” but they are really broken because there’s no love, but then none of the parents want divorce, so no one calls such homes “broken”. muslims marry more than one wife but there’s still love in these families and the kids seems normal. so what really matters is going into a family filled with love, broken or unbroken. many families are broken but still together because of “what people will say”.

  17. Simi

    July 31, 2015 at 12:13 am

    The stigma is real,Liz. Coming from a “broken home” as it is called is never the children’s fault. I come from that type of home,my parents were separated before i was born. For many years,i never knew what my father looked like until i was in pry 5 or there about. Growing up was tough! My mom was losing her sanity & i was taken care of by my Aunt for a while. It takes a lot for me to trust anyone. The truth is it takes God to help u get strong & not be affected by your parents failed marriage.

  18. Ann

    July 31, 2015 at 12:36 am

    The funny thing is that most nigerian marriages are extremely unhappy but they choose to stay together where daddy is hitting mummy, daddy’s gift girlfriends are always visiting the house and fighting with mummy. You think those kids are better off in that kind of environment just so you can say- at least they grew up in a two parent home.
    My uncle and aunty for example have bee married for more than 50 years. On their 50tj wedding anniversary they called party and I was just smirking cos I know he beat her, at the age of 80 he still has girlriends outside, so what exactly are we celebrating here? All na eye service. Anyway, all their sons apart from one is exactly like their dad – beating their wives, treating them like slaves, having multiple girlfriends outside. Why? Because the mother did not have the guts to leave so her son’s thought that was the correct way to be men.
    So please, I’d rather a good man who’s from a broken home anytime any day to one who’s there yelling two parent home whose parents’ marriage was crap.

  19. Belle

    July 31, 2015 at 1:50 am

    I am also a product of a “broken home”; i have never met my father and my mother was too busy building her career and failed terribly at parenting. I currently do not have much of a relationship with my mother. i did not know how much my childhood had adversely affected me until now, almost 32. I am taking the time to work on my emotional issues, heal, and become the best version of myself. Sadly, some people never realize that they have problems and continue on the path of brokenness. I am more cautious of the men that I choose to date these days. I know that I have to partner very well. I need to marry a man who comes from from a loving family so that with us in partnership, my future children can be raised in a loving home. I now feel like I can attract this type of man because I am taking the time to heal from my past. The fact of the matter is, “you cannot become what you haven’t seen”. Building a healthy, happy, and loving family has to be done consciously, and it’s only possible after one has taken the time to heal.

    • Akpeno

      July 31, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Sorry about your issues, But I think youshould cut your mother some slack

      Being involved with her “career:” is what put food in your belly, clothes on your back, roof over your head and money for education.

      Think of it as her doing all that to provide for you rather than involved in her career. Being a single mum is no Joke! Especially in a conceited environment like Naija.

      So while you start healing… think of ways to heal your relationship with your mother. Talk to her and you will be pleasantly surprised at the answers you will receive.

      I wish you well in your journey to recovery.

  20. Omotee

    July 31, 2015 at 2:24 am

    I remember getting into a big argument over this topic. Pls what makes a home “unbroken”? Fact that mum n dad still stay under the same roof do that people won’t call them broken? Even though they don’t talk. See, every child eventually decides how they want their life to turn out and work towards it. I believe children from broken homes strive towards dealing with those issues that plagued their families so that same won’t happen in their own homes. To then judge a child, an individual in his own right by the events and character of their parents is rather unfair and deceitful.

    If you like, marry someone because he or she is a pastor or Imam ‘s child whose parents are still “together”. It will never be full proof of a successful marriage.

    I’m from a broken home. And so is my husband. Even though our parents are doing a good job of pretending that all is well, we know the truth. It’s one of the reasons we know our story will be different.

    • treasure

      July 31, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Amen to that! your story will be different

  21. Linda

    July 31, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Parents action affects kids but its reasonable to leave in unresolved isssues..the task is training children with care and love..but it can be done….I know a lady who had 4 girls for a married foward today all her girls are baby mamas., its like they just followed their mum but its a pity cus they dint see any better..

  22. Unknown

    July 31, 2015 at 3:07 am

    I actually come from a broken home… Smtimes I wonder if it affected me…I wonder what type of wife I will be…I wonder if my husband will love me d way I want to be loved and give me the sense of a home I have always wanted not just a house…. I wonder how I will be as a wife…if I will be good at it….I wonder if am broken without even knwinng…but I know my God is faithful… And he will bless me with my heart desires….?

    • Manny

      July 31, 2015 at 6:18 am


    • Ada

      July 31, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Babe cool down. It is not like that. My parents loved each other to bits till Papa died! I still wonder what kind of wife and mother I would be too. In fact, it worries me sef! Easy on yourself.

  23. B. MacJay

    July 31, 2015 at 4:00 am

    gotta few friends from broken home and they often tell me , I have a good life cos either or both of my parents are always there to support me in even seemingly little issues. I cant imagine getting married and my parents coming from different homes to my wedding. I sincerely want my children to have the sort of upbringing and stability I had growing up so I will work hard to be a loving husband and caring father.
    Liz, i love this your pix. its lovely really.

  24. Babeoflife☺️☺️

    July 31, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Now, I’m not from a broken home per say, but my parents have issues. They still live together but barely say anything to each other. I love both my parents to death BUT I can’t deny the fact that there are issues. GREAT ISSUES.My parents have been married a little of 20 years. Now, the difference between my parents and other typical not so great homes is 1) my parents have not always been like this, I watched and was very much present when the marriage was good for about 15 years or, so I understand that this might be one of the trying times in their marriage, 2) The both of them still love each other deeply: My dad and mum do really care about each other, as much there’s the constant elephant in the room and they always make it seem like they can live without each other, they do care about each other, Deep down, they hope their situation would change 3) It’s nobody’s fault and its both their fault: I can categorically say that there’s an obvious particular issue causing the problem between my parents and it’s both their fault and nobody’s fault, If they genuinely work together without playing the nasty blame game, they’ll work it out.4) They know and everybody knows that divorce would not solve the issue, even a seperation won’t.5) There’s no violence or shouting match in the house. I think this might be the dysfunction in some homes. I doubt if my house is an exception.

    . That being said, I’m still deeply affected by the current state of things. Mind you, my parents marriage is not as terrible as the “bad marriages”, not even close but the state of the marriage has really affected. It takes the grace of God, for me to keep on reminding myself that their marriage wasn’t always like this. I’m 19, still super young but I have no desire to be in a relationship or even get married now or in the nearest future, I don’t envision weddings like my gfs, on contraire every time I see a wedding picture, I feel almost sad and really pity the parties involved, because I say to myself ” would they end up like my parents?” “Is it worth it?” And many more questions like that. Anytime I think of a relationship, instead of thinking of it in a loving way,I realize I think if it like a business, I say to myself ” never do this”, don’t take this, don’t give him this, don’t allow this and stuff like that, because I remember my parents marriage and I don’t want what caused the problems in theirs to happen if I have mine. I even envision myself getting divorced more than I envision myself getting married. I’m like ‘just have one kid if you get married that way it’ll be easy to leave the marriage when it ends up like your parents, and live your life.”

    I always thought it was my character or it was just me, only for me to be discussing with my siblings and they were saying the exact same thing. I was also discussing with a friend and telling him about my future plans and he asked me if my parents are still together. Anyway, cutting the long story short, Broken home, dysfunctional families does affect children!!!! A whole lot. Let’s not deceive ourselves. It really affects people. But the effects don’t always have a negative outcome. Some people might have a strong resolve to make theirs right in future, but the truth is that you CANNOT GIVE WHAT YOU DONT HAVE. It will take a lot of training and mind altering. Sometimes I want my parents to call it quit, but then again, deep down, I know I’ll feel worse if my parents divorced. It’s better they re managing themselves this way. At least no live is in danger and there’s no violence or adultery. Just two adults that refuse to understand themselvesShout out to all them strong kids out there with home issues. It’s well. Me I don’t know the solution, but let’s face facts, there’s psyche ish involved and the stigma is not unfounded. Common sense and logic dictates that you’re a product of your environment. My apologies for the epistle. It was sort of cathartic, I guess.

    • dee

      July 31, 2015 at 11:33 am

      do we live together?Are you me?cos you just wrote down my life……..

    • Babeoflife

      July 31, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Lol dee, I’m not ooo ???? but I knew that my experience was definitely not the exception. I think our own homes should be given another name, since the home is technically not in one piece and it isn’t broken either, maybe “cracked homes” would do, who knows.

  25. Alice

    July 31, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Interesting. I was raised by a single mum, dad died before I was 5 and my mum never remarried, she’s 65 now by the way and is doing really well for herself. Engaged to a man who looks like he comes from a happy home outside but his parents live together and don’t talk, and have been like that forever. The woman suffers from some sort of mental illness due to everything she has been through in the hands of her husband, she doesn’t work and relies on him for money and he doesn’t give her all the time. I’ve always wondered why these two cannot separate , and the kids seem to be OK with the fact that they are still together! My father Inlaw refused to come for my intro last month, simply because she doesn’t want to be seen in the same place with the wife, that’s how bad it is. My family are telling me to call off the wedding, because I font know what I’m getting myself into.

  26. Friday's Other Child

    July 31, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I love Gil Scott Heron’s take on the so-called ‘broken home’. I think the first paragraph is particularly poignant and pertinent to this discussion. There are many homes that society labels as broken, that are not broken at all.

    ‘I want to make this a special tribute
    to a family that contradicts the concepts
    heard the rules but wouldn’t accept
    and women-folk raised me
    and i was full grown before i knew
    I came from a broken home

    sent to live with my grandma down south
    when my uncles was leaving
    and my grandfather had just left for heaven
    they said and as every-ologist would certainly note
    i had no strong male figure right?
    But lily Scott was absolutely not your mail order room service type cast black grandmother
    i was moved in with her; temporarily, just until things were patched,
    til this was patched and til that was patched
    until i became at 3, 4, 5,6 ,7, 8, 9 and 10
    the patch that held lily Scott who held me and like them 4
    i become one more and I loved her from the absolute marrow of my bones
    and we was holdin on,
    i come from a broken home
    She had more then the 5 senses
    she knew more than books could teach
    and raised everyone she touched just a little bit higher
    and all around her there was a natural sense
    as though she sensed what the stars say what the birds say
    what the wind and the clouds say
    a sensual soul and self that African sense
    and she raised me like she raised 4 of her own
    and i was hurt and scared and shocked when lily Scott left suddenly one night
    and they sent a limousine from heaven to take her to god, if there is one.
    So i knew she had gone; and
    i came from a broken home’

  27. kemi

    July 31, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Hmmmm. Polygamy and Divoice both have maddening effects on children. I witnessed both as a child, not palatable. God knows if there one thing i value as the best blessing, it is a loving and peaceful. family relationship . People out there with their fathers , mothers and children living happily whether poor or wealthy have been MIGHTILY blessed by God .!!! They should roll on the floor and thank God heartily.

  28. Mrs oke

    July 31, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I must say that as much as the decisions of parents sometimes affect the kids positively or negatively, it’s left to the kids to then decide as they mature the kind of life they want to have… my husband’s father abandoned them as a child but I must say that he’s the most amazing man, he’s brothers also choose to be great husband’s and dads to their kids. So u see they decided not to allow their fathers action tailor their lives. People just look for excuses to be irresponsible or dysfunctional, I was raised by a single mom my dad died in my own case and my mom did an amazing job in bringing us three up. I am trying in my role as a wife, and my brother is an amazing man but I have cousins who were raised by both parents who are just simply horrible adults…

    • hmmmmm....................

      July 31, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Hey madam, because your husband and his brothers rose above their situation does not mean that those who are still stuck are giving excuses. Good for you, but life is not a one way street. Upbringing matters a lot and it determines people’s future in most cases. Maybe your husband had a model family or so. Some people have no inkling of what it is to love and be loved.Ask me , I know!

  29. single mom

    July 31, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I have seen more children damaged by marriage than I have see by divorce or separation. I have seen children who were introverted, suddenly blossom and become strong and independent when their mom summons up the courage to finally walk away from an abusive relationship. I have seen people from 2parent homes who have zero self esteem, trust issues and all sorts of other relationship issues because they watched their parents act out the script of their marriage all wrong. I have seen men who have no sense of responsibility because their fathers were exactly the same. as a mother who took my sons out of a dysfunctional marriage, I have no regrets whatsoever. because I will give my boys the very best life has to offer. People should note that life happens! I do not think that there is any sane person who goes into a marriage hoping to get divorced. but one has to make decisions as one goes along. Making the decision to leave a marriage is never an easy one. I’m sure most women put their children into consideration before leaving- they ask themselves the hard questions. am I better off outside this marriage? Are my children better off here or outside of the marriage? Was this marriage a mistake or is it worth working on? Children need love more than two biological parents. In fact, I have seen orphans and adopted kids that grow up in an environment of love better off than some children from two parent homes. As Nigerians we like to force people to endure stuff we cannot endure. They would say, think of the children in justifying reason why the woman should stay. I say the children would rather have a mother that is alive than a dead one because of a marriage. Your parents would come from separate houses on the wedding day, so what?!! Would you rather a miserable, looking older than her age mother at your wedding? I remember a lady I know who told her pastor that if he could say amen to her prayer she would stay with her husband, this is the prayer – ” I pray for you pastor that your first daughter will go through exactly what I have gone through in my marriage, not more, not less ‘. Of course the pastor could not say Amen. The children will be fine. Stigmatisation never stops anyone really determined to achieve greatness.
    I guess I have said enough.

    • Takeseveralseats

      July 31, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      I really wish I could hug you !! Bless your heart dear, you said all I wanted to say and even more.

    • styleee

      August 1, 2015 at 5:15 am

      you are right about that..when we were all living under the same roof with my father tormenting everyone..its either, i’m too fat (fat fool), i’m disgusting, spitting on my face, then I started stammering, self esteem was in the trash, all this before age 16.. I sometimes begged the reverend sisters to let me stay in school for the holidays because I did not want to go home (mom was out of the country as she needed to sort herself and work out our PR application wasn’t easy and God bless her). it was that bad! as soon as mom took my siblings and I away, life has changed tremendously! Imagine if we were all living in the same house with him because of show how would i have turned out ?

  30. Chi!

    July 31, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Go bless u darling for dis article! u’re so kind!.

  31. Chi!

    July 31, 2015 at 9:38 am

    God bless u darling for dis article! u’re far too kind!

  32. Notmyrealname

    July 31, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I have never really sat down to think about this broken home issue. Its something i hear all the time from friends and family that you should always check if the person you are having a relationship with comes from a broken home or not, as it does affect their future or behaviour most times.
    Anyway, i once dated a guy whose parents divorced while he was really young. That was one of the worse relationships of my life. This guy had no emotions, was not affectionate and very stiff that i often wondered why he was like that. I liked him alot but i could not always place my hands on how he felt about me. And then, when i complain about it, he was always like “i don’t know how to express my love to you but from my actions, you should know i care about you”. I discussed this with a friend who told me its possible he was raised in a home with no love and affection between his parents, but i didn’t mention it to this friend that his parents were indeed seperated.
    To cut the story short, we are no more together but are very good friends (not with benefits), and i recently got to hang out with him and we got talking about plans for marriage and stuff. And then, he’s like “i have never really looked forward to getting married with excitement. I feel marriage is just something you do to have children and then you can shower all your love and affection on your kids. You know my parents divorced when i was really young and it affected me greatly. If i ever get married, it will be just to have kids. Or what am i saying sef, i can even find a girl to have my kids without getting married….” And that was when i knew where all his problems originated from.

    • Hmmm

      July 31, 2015 at 11:24 am

      E no follow. My husband grew up in a traditional 2 parent household with a housewife mum and I have to say he is all of what you’ve mentioned and worse. Why? Because his dad was like that. Verbally abuaive to their mum, name calling, didn’t pay her complements and constantly criticized her. Continues to this day. Made sure she has no friends as in zero not even a sister close to her. Totally reliant on whatever funds he gives her. Their son grew up in that and believes that’s how to be married. He is barely capable of kindness and affection on a daily basis. Conversely, my ex raised by a single mum is the sweetest, most thoughtful human being. Borderline woman wrapper sef. Can kill for his woman. So it doesn’t matter. Choices and personalities make a difference.

  33. A young Father

    July 31, 2015 at 10:29 am

    I am a young father, my son is just about 7months and i have keenly observed the way my son acts and behaves. When he wants to eat/hungry, no other person can carry him except his mum. When he is done eating, he is out looking for me. His eyes follow me everywhere – his mum says this boy doesn’t look at me the way he looks at you.

    She told me yesterday evening, anytime i go out of the house, the boy is always crying. When i carry him, i play with him, throw him up and around…. He has a different bond with his mum and a different bond with me.

    What am i trying to say? A child needs the father and mother figure, role in his/her life.

    Growing up, we know when to meet mum and when to meet dad. We know the circumstances in which mum will side us and Dad would be on our side or even shield us from the wrath of the other parent.

    Kids who grow without these affection and upbringing tend to have insecurities. They are biased against the other gender mainly due to the way their father treated their mother or the way their mother treated their father. They tend to always be on the defensive side to ensure nothing like that happens and some tend to be hostile, mistaking the actions of a bf/gf to mean “i hope he/she doesn’t want to act like my father/mother again?”

    With the widespread belief in curses, many are extraordinarily careful to resist any trace of it in their relationships, which may jeopardize the relationship/affect the other partner. Many have suppressed everything emotional feelings, love, care, kindness, trust towards the other gender.

    Conclusively, children from a broken/dysfunctional family are certainly affected but they can go extra mile by rewriting the course of history.

    • Becca

      July 31, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Your wife mustn’t be very maternal if your son is seeing her as mainly the source of food and you for playful comfort, crying when you leave and stuff. Isn’t normal at that age. Nothing to do with two parent thing but more that the mother isn’t attaching properly. Look up the Harlow experiment

    • A young Father

      July 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Becca you are reading a different meaning to my comment.

      He bonds well with his mum, he also does with me. You expect me to write everything in detail just to make sense about a comment?

      All i meant in the introductory part is that both parents have a role to play in the life of a child. Digest the whole comment my dear. Read comments from people who came from that family here, and you will see it in their comments.

    • Tope

      July 31, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Wow… from reading that.. you got that his wife isn’t maternal.

  34. Oluwabusola Adedire

    July 31, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I am very happy we are having this discussion within the Nigerian Community. By discussing these issues, we can see what those before us did wrong, and perhaps correct these things.. Regarding this topic, we have to be careful with generalizations, and be empathetic to the plight of others. I am not saying be oblivious to the psychological baggage that individuals from broken homes may possess, but it also not enough reason to run from them. Everyday there are men who wake up and decide they no longer want to stay married, which may not necessarily be the woman’s fault. Such stories should give us a reason to be empathetic and kind to others. I would also like to point out that the people we decide to date/marry should be evaluated on an individual basis. There are so many people who may come from ‘good homes’ but have character flaws that you cannot live with. Everybody should be wise, and pray… because, marriage is handwork. My parents have been married for 27 years but I remind myself everyday that my parent’s grace does not necessarily cover me. It is a factor of choosing well and staying grounded in prayers and effort.

    • Oluwabusola Adedire

      July 31, 2015 at 10:49 am

      *marriage is hardwork*

  35. bee

    July 31, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Well I have a wholesome family background but used to be married to a man from a broken home. Without being judgmental, I know he was really dysfunctional because of his background, apparently their mother brought her kids up like she was trying to prove a point to their father and her other mates. That upbringing was so wrong for my Ex because everything he did was to win a competition, even with his wife; ran into avoidable debts because he needed to show everyone he turned out better than his steps. It was frustrating.

    Having said that though, his older brother was the opposite, he found great father figures and vowed his children will not go through his pains. Eventually I saw he turned out a wonderful father and husband to his family.
    This goes to say that broken homes may affect a child psychologically but you can identify where you need help and find help to make you a better person. Afterall, we all still have to do some self refining whether from a broken home or not. .

  36. kim kim

    July 31, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I grew up in a home where my mother knew my father was being unfaithful but could not leave because she had no money. She was a typical housewife who sat home and waited for my dad to bring home money…now, I am determined to be independent and never put my self in a position for a man to disrespect me…I want to be nothing like my mother

  37. Manb4real

    July 31, 2015 at 11:24 am

    An abusive relationship is bad. Divorce is equally bad. Both are ills in marriage.God is unhappy with both. Both are caused by our sin as humans. They both shouldn’t have negative effects on the children in those homes,but they do, its so sad. Children who are orphans suffer a similar fate, my baby (5yrs old) told me “I wish my daddy was here, so that he’ll be going to work,and mummy will remain at home so that she’ll be taking me to school and be coming to pick me from school” – when her father was alive, I was still an applicant, now that I have a job and have to go out every day, she’s not yet used to it, all in all, the marriage was 4 yrs 9months,I still wonder how this children will grow without their dad. While trusting God to help me raise them well as their father would,I still wonder how they’ll turn up.

    • Babe

      August 1, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      God is with you. Father to the fatherless!!! ((((((((hugs)))))))))

  38. Unique

    July 31, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I grew up in such home too, mine was too complex to even described sef. The bottomline is my parents divorced when i was barely 3months old, raised by maternal Aunt and many numerous aunties and uncles from my mother side even amidst these people i have always lived alone even though my dad is late (whom i spent a lilltle years living with, before he died) mum is still alive(never lived with her more than 6 months all my life and seriously i have no likeness or bondness with her no matter how hard i have tried to)and siblings dont care if i exists or not.
    Sometimes i question God why i am born into this family, when others are discussing excitedly about their mum, dad and siblings, i have nothing to discuss. A friend noticed that and i asked me if i had a family, i just simply replied him ” i have but its complicated”
    The dysfunctionality is real , i’m working it out and want to achieve a better version of me. I have had to change my surname too as part of the revamp process.

  39. Seun Tuyo

    July 31, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    You have done so well Liz, thank you!

    I was raised by a single mom, i did not come in contact with my dad until i was around 22 years old in my 400 level or smth. I was lucky, my mom did not sow negative seeds about my dad, so meeting him and striking a relationship with him was my own prerogative. So i have firsthand experience on this:

    1. People have a notion about products from broken homes….say raised by a single parent. Many times, if you look well, we may even have milder issues compared to products of “not so broken homes”. That parents live together does not mean they actually LIVE TOGETHER. Things happen and people front! We have enough to deal with as it were, do not add a baseless notion to it.
    There are so many successful marriages owed to hard work and commitment, not the couples parents role or lack off same.

    2. I have had cases when my attitude or behavior did not appease someone, they quickly blame it on the upbringing when it is pure and simple common sense applied

    3. Let who has not sinned cast the first stone. We all carry a baggage, everyone of us…regardless of who raised you. How you use that baggage is what is important. You get to an age where you should know what is right from wrong, and somethings become inexcusable.

    4. I have come to realize that people born into families that have issues, are more afraid to repeat these issues. They tend to be more withdrawn to letting loose. I personally will want to raise my kids with my husband, in peace, love and comfort.

    As for freeze, i do not have words for that man.

    • Rynyx

      July 31, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      Seun darling, God bless you. I was raised by two parents but my self esteem was in total shambles. sexually abused right under their noses and nobody knew. I know you personally and you have never come across as one who had any form of identity or self esteem issues. I only started to have a relationship with my mum after my dad passed about 12 years ago. and the self esteem, I struggled with that even after marriage up till recently. am I afraid the cycle will play out again? no, I am more than determined to make sure my kids don’t have to deal with any of that and it can happen even with two parents.
      how about those people who lost their parents early? why does the discrimination not apply? instead, its pity they get and not the “broken home look or comments”, but its one parent they had. we have really messed up ideologies in naija and its really sad.

  40. Belle

    July 31, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Wow, Unique, I empathize with your pain. I also used to ask God why why why, but now, I don’t! At this age, it is what it is. I hope you have Aunts who show you unconditional love. If they don’t I pray that love comes your way in all directions, from friends to mentors. It’s taught to give love when you haven’t really experienced love from family. I pray our dedication to ourselves to heal from our past is successful, so that we can attract the best kind of love into our lives.

  41. Abena

    July 31, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I love the way Liz writes,she is very articulate on paper. You would think she is like most of the ‘lagos red carpet socialites’: all glitz outside,dumb in the head!
    As for the topic,the comments have been very interesting,i love Bella Naija(except when they have refused blatantly to feature me in the asoebibella post),their commenters are soo perspective and insightful.

  42. papermoon

    July 31, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I ve never heard of people from broken homes being stigmatized……..what i know such people rather got was sympathy or something like that…. not stigma…well thats my experience.

  43. mia

    July 31, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    My ex came from these homes where there is no official divorce but the father and mother are doing their own thing. The mother got a transfer to another town 10hrs away from where the father is and it’s more than 12 years now, the man has NEVER visited her. They just call each other to check if they are still alive and the kids are by themselves. He never told me about it, i just figured out by piecing information together. Being the type that asks questions and not liking surprises, i asked this young man what he thinks about marriage. Dude thinks he should just be pouring himself into work, come home, eat and have sex and that’s all. My responsibility is to raise my kids and discipline them while he takes care of money matters, meanwhile, his work is all this work that takes you out of town for months.

    Your guess is as good as mine, i found my level, Halleluyah!

  44. Me

    July 31, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    my mum has vowed that none of her children will ever marry someone from a broken home, my sister married someone from a broken home, and people warned my parents but we tot he was different, today our family is unsettled bcos of that marriage and my mum counts it as one of her life regrets cos she and dad had the power to refuse dat marriage. The guy is wicked and pretentious. Once you say ure from a broken home, I don’t wait to hear anytin else you have to say. I didn’t even know my sisters unhappiness affected me dat much cos she deserved better,tank God our family has a lot of love to give, and we are showering her will all d love we have.Now am very conscious of evry guy I meet, its very painful

    • BlueEyed

      July 31, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Are you a child? U sure sound like one. Please wait for that man that is not from a broken home to still come and beat you and disrespect you and your family, at that point I hope ur mum who vowed will viw that u stay in that abusive marriage and be unhappy because ur mother is the one who holds ur happiness. My dear @Me you are not ready for life, please stay a while and sort out what u want out of life.

    • BlueEyed

      July 31, 2015 at 6:58 pm


  45. Tunmi

    July 31, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    That the parents have issues is one thing. The child’s temperament is another. Shit happens, that is life. Spouses leave, spouses die. With a strong support, whether with the remaining spouse, or with extended family, or with school, or a religious community, or even with neighbors or any combination of the above, the child can and will grow up fine

  46. Kev

    July 31, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    “Broken” home is caused by several traits and characters, Characters are learned or genetic!

    Now, there are situations where children grow up to recreate that same experiences when married and there are also situations where children work towards having a better home in future with their spouses.

    Some who grew up in the “not broken” homes too can later display traits and behaviours that lead to broken home.

    Broken home affects those who had the experience..

    The bottom line is never judge people based on that because several factors LATER CHANGES EVERYTHING AND SOME HAVE BETTER HOMES IN FUTURE.

  47. Single Shalewa, Bitter Bintu!

    July 31, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I’m so glad someone had the inspiration to write on this.

    I’m from a separated home – my dad left my mum when i was a 6months foetus so i barely know him. Met him once in my mid 20s but we’ve been speaking on the phone of late = we’re trying to build whatever is left.

    I got married some years back and truth is my husband is from a home you’d call ‘intact’ but it is not. Shortly after I got married, my MIL sat me down and ‘advised’ (shaded me more like) me on how to stay married, she then referenced my mum and two family members who are separated from their husbands – she said I shouldn’t strive to be like them. She’s a prayer warrior at CAC by the way.
    After the conversation/shade, i spoke with hubby and i actually cried. He responded with “you grew up with more love than I and my siblings ever did. Be thankful for that.” His dad has two kids outside and only me and my husband know about it. Well, plus the man. He tells me he has never seen his parents hold each other or hug. They’ve been sleeping in separate homes since he knew what a room was – Not like I’m mocking those in that situation, Yet, people like that squirm when they hear your parents are separated.

    From the few people I’ve encountered in my life, most people from broken homes in Nigeria actaully strive not to have a marriage like their parents’. A good number of them turn out to be great parents and spouses. I’m sorry, I’ve also met a lot of people from ‘great’ homes who turned out to be monsters and never-do-wells (I’m still looking at you Freeze) It’s about the individual for the most part though we can’t do away with parental influence.

    We (society )need to do better as a people, we need to stop turning our noses at kids from separated homes, the kids are not responsible for the breakup – refusing them love or whatever based on that is very unfair on those kids.

    PS: And to that person throwing research stats up and down, I’ll take you seriously if you post a link to a research that was conducted in Nigeria.

  48. Akpeno

    July 31, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    @Seriously I agree with you a hundred percent!

    I could not have written this better if I waited a hundred years! This is EXACTLY what it is all about! MOST of us Nigerians grew up in 2 parent homes yet we have the most selfish men who never grew up and extremely successful women who were never taught balance! Yes there are a few exceptions as always but generally we all fall into these categories.

    Stigma? PLEASE! All of us who grew up in 2 parent homes can put our noses up in air as high as we want…. that does not make us any better. In fact one of the most hard working caring intelligent generous women I know IS from a broken home.

    I’m not saying go and break your home o after una go say Akpeno talk what I’m saying is who are we to judge?

  49. wendy

    July 31, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    It is really Stigma in our society. A friend of mine mom is from Edo with two kids from different men. She is the most wonderful kindest person that you can think of but the stigma is following her. Before u talk, our will be like it will be hard for her to find husband because she have so much again her. Mum is Edo, Single parent, Different Daddy… I am like wow!!! People still think like this …. I just continue to pray that she will find someone.

  50. papermoon

    July 31, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    one loving and supportive parent is far better than two horrible, caustic and aggressive ones; still one loving and supportive parent is better two parents where one is caustic and aggressive and the other is a timid enabler.

  51. Gorgeous

    July 31, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    The worst relationships I have had is with men from a broken home. One had separation anxiety while the other was a mental case and probably my biggest mistake of a relationship. I will never make that mistake again. They are just psychologically affected and lacking self love or impulse. They don’t know what it means to love or understand live if it knocks them in the face. Same with people from turbulent homes. Now if a man does not come from a stable and loving home, I find my level. My boyfriend now is so loving that sometimes I want to hit him hard for taking so long to find me. Mtscheew

  52. Tosin

    July 31, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    stigma sha, wow, I completely do not care. means nothing. just be a good person, nobody better than you.

  53. Osato

    August 1, 2015 at 12:53 am


    Well, i must say that I do not agree with the idea that children from broken homes should be stigmatized as damaged because of their parents’ failed marriages. But, it is not to be ignored that this has somewhat of an impact on their orientation of what marriage should be or shouldn’t be.

    Like Liz did mention, there are cases where the children have this whole understanding of what marriage shouldn’t be or should be, and because of their past experiences have decided that their marriage would turn out nothing like their parents’. Same goes for others who do not even want to have any companion or partner in their lives just because of what they went through at one stage of their lives. But, undoubtedly, you cannot ignore that such upbringing hasn’t left an impact on their own lives and it is due to this effect that society bases its agrument and stigmatizes a child/adult from a broken home as “damaged”.

    I am not from a broken home, so you might say i am not being objective, but that doesn’t mean that the kind of upbringing I’ve, hasn’t influenced my idea of what marriage is and what it is not. You cannot take out the influence of my experience from my conception of what marriage is.

    It is due to this experience that the community we live in has based their own idea that children from broken homes are actually “broken”. But they fail to understand that it is not only the experience that matters, but also it is the individual’s (child/adult) way of taking that experience and using it to shape or determine what kind of marriage he or she wants.

    The individual and the experience are linked, which in turn results what their own conception of marriage is or isn’t.

  54. My opinion

    August 1, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Several common myths that I feel need to be addressed on this issue of marriage (broken or united) are as follows:
    Marriages that seem perfect to the outside are usually not so, don’t ever compare and wish for a façade of a marriage, work to create yours (it’s just like Instagram where people are carried away and getting in their feelings by posts from people about fake lifestyles that are not necessarily true)
    Broken marriages are not always caused by the husbands, the wives often times are guilty of the same type of problems that are the responsible for breaking up a family i.e. cheating, emotional abuse, physical abuse, outright selfishness etc. I just think because most men/husbands are not very vocal they usually suck it up because oftentimes it is seen as a sign of weakness to speak on it or acknowledge it
    Success in business or in life doesn’t always translate to success in marriage or relationships. There are however some individuals who make concerted efforts to have fulfilled relationships and marriages- kudos to them
    Marriages can succeed and there are people that do have successful marriages but I can imagine that they put in a lot of work at it
    Children from broken marriages are likely to not understand the fundamental principles of sustained relationships it is often times through the sacrifice of a guardian (single parent, aunt, uncle, grandparents) that most learn and see first-hand what it takes to be a wholesome man or woman
    Everyone wants to experience love be it man or woman, the more pertinent question is can one sustain that love by making conscious acts of sacrifice, empathy, patience, and perseverance
    Being a deacon, pastor, choir mistress or even anything that always puts you within a church doesn’t always mean that you will exhibit Christ like behavior you are either a good or bad person. The key thing is do you have the fear of God and not the holier than thou attitude I see in many church going people
    A successful marriage is a conscious choice, you are responsible for that action. Your parents have lived their lives you should live yours

  55. styleee

    August 1, 2015 at 4:51 am

    well I would say we dysfunctional or not, we all decide what behaviour to exhibit. take for example.. my dad was not the best dad or husband…emotionally, verbally and physical abusive till my mom left i am told his parents were terrible people thats why he doesn’t know better…isn’t that a reason to act right ? tell yourself you want to be the best for your wife and kids ?? His older brother is the complete opposite! nice and to loving to his kids..
    now, I struggle (worse at a younger age) because he destroyed my self esteem. but I am better now..(work in progress).. I do come from a broken home and this is affecting the relationship aspect in my life..I am really scared of commitment and get scared of having a relationship like my parents..sometimes, I convince myself its okay to be alone because the fear of ending up with a man like my sperm donor is frighening

  56. Kemi

    August 1, 2015 at 10:47 am

    In my opinion just like someone else noted. Broken homes are beyond single parent homes. Dead marriages( together for show) are just as good as broken. Still they are not sure bankers that kids from such homes turn out that way or worse than the way they were raised. A lot of people re truthful to themselves and so strive to turn things around. I know a guy who grew up in a polygamous home and his mom who was supposed to be the “prefared wife” was constantly abused. It shockes me to see him use his parents marriage as a yard stick to measure his own marriage . Meanwhile I know someone else who grew up with a single mon but was determined to marry right and keep her home. In d end it’s all about individual choice. Nothing is automatic.

  57. Babe

    August 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    This topic is extremely dear to my heart because my parents seperated when I was barely 10. I will never forget that day coming back from school on holiday to meet an empty house. Peaceful but empty. My parents marriage was characterized by physical, verbal and emptional abuse. The stigma is real!! Even from the comments you would know. I usually tell myself that I am not broken, my parents marriage is and that is in no wat my fault. I believe it has affected me in my choice of a partner. God help us and make us christ like and to everyone out there going through some form of hurt, I pray for Gods healing. Amen

  58. Spencer

    August 2, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Hmmmmmm May God help those from broken homes. I have been abused by ladies from broken homes, they age way too fast in thought patterns, they feel they can’t be loved and can never find love, they are always difficult to understand and their mothers are always suspicious ans sometimes just sharp enough to know the right guy for their daughters, because they look out for the flaws that made them leave their own husbands or caused their marriages to crash.

    As much as it it might be about the individual, it is important to note that we need to get it right so we don’t bring sadness upon others, by the mistakes we didn’t cause.

  59. Olawale

    August 3, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    People talk much bout broken homes without pinpointing its main cause and and how it has affected children.I am a product of one and my parents separated

    when i was 16yrs and never felt hatred or act in an unruly manner in all relationships.

    Cause of broken home
    Mum influenced dad’s success,and was a perfect family every neighbour envied. Dad had an affair with his secretary and mom got to know and she was adviced by her FRIENDS to leave. She did and we (3kids) chose to stay with mum cos it was dad’s mistake.

    I was able to understand that mentality that one woman at a time and in my relationships from age 23yrs,never dated 2 ladies at a time cos of being cautious of dad’s mistakes even though not married yet.(I was adventurous btw 17-23yrs which was a norm in both working family and broken homes)
    Mom was patient throughout cos dad married a good woman but she started having new friends who started influencing her that she isnt meant to take it that she should leave and that there were men who wouldnt do that.She adhered and moved out to her place and these same friends started coming to our house to sympathise with dad seeking more.

    The only Mistake Mom made was leaving even though dad was wrong and he had extra marital affair. And she took to advice of bad friends.

    The Main Causes of Broken Home
    1) Bad advice from friends :
    Friends based on what they see or the sweet side they hear give bad advice(Not intentional) to a struggling couple and if not careful one falls to advice. My

    Mom fell to wrong advice from friends who later tried being in dad’s good books.

    2) Extra-Marital affair
    According to the Bible,God hates divorce but The reason God allows divorce is sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) and (2) abandonment by an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:15)
    Mom was a victim of one. She was justified cos dad broke d rule but sometimes one need to go extra Miles to make it work.And she took to advice from friends who dont see d sweetness within d family

    Its Effect on Children
    No child who has gone thru that experience would want its occurence so NO CHILD FROM A BROKEN HOME WOULD WANT ONE. Yet different kids have experienced different level of abuse in BOTH broken homes and working homes. Thought about much families who do ALL to make sure the family stays but are engaged in physical abuses on a daily limit. How does some of such kids see marriage as? some would see it as a way of fighting and making up. Some people have actually seen it as being romantic i.e fight a lady physically then make love to her and they stick to each other. What do such kids see marriage as?

    Personally Just came out from 8months relationship based on the fact that my ex was still entagled with her ex. Tried so hard to make it work even though caught her twice still linking with her ex and so many lies associated.SHe told me how i was different from her ex that used to beat her up(who comes from a working family). Never laid my hands on any of my ex in any situation, apart from disucus on reasons why still linking up which she blames on me not having much time for her DURING THE WEEK, which wouldnt happen if we were living together. I felt she should be able to sort herself and thoughts out b4 living together and having kids cos she still had that potential to be vulnerable even whilst married.So i was justified making it right before it leads to marriage.I told her to go settle with the ex but she insisted it was me she wanted to settle with. She comes from a perfect Christian family but her mentality about relationships had been messed up based on her former relationships. And i had to let her go so as to avoid broken home which i was a victim of in the future.

    Personally, I wont leave my marriage and even whilst tryin to figure a good woman who knows what she wants if i mistakenly end up with a woman who pretends to be a loving woman and starts showing attitude whilst married to her, I would have to carry my cross till eternity CONSIDERING THE KIDS.And also seek ways diffuse situations and try to see her GOOD side ONLY and get her more involved with religion.

    Most of the dysfunctionality these days comes from experiences from friends relationships and not from parents because children will learn how to make it work if they being influenced by thier parent because of the love for both ,but for friends they see to a side of the relationship and act on thier relationship based on what they hear from thier friend about thier partner.

  60. black nubia

    August 4, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    coming from a broken home is not easy, but it is not the worst thing that can happen to anyone. my parents separated before i was born , and my mother has never remarried. And she is the best thing that could happen to me. i dont believe that a person from a broken home has a lower chance at marriage success compared to a person from an unbroken home. we all make our own choices in life.

  61. Mosun

    August 2, 2016 at 1:55 am

    My parents were never married.
    If you think coming from a broken home is tough, then consider being an illegitimate child.
    It plagued me throughout my growing up years.
    I always felt that it affected my rrelationships too; when you have to explain to your boyfriend why your parents don’t live together and why you have half siblings, or why you can’t go to your father’s house.
    Thankfully, with the help of God I eventually arrived at a place where I realised that there are no illegitimate children; my parents made a decision that led to my birth and we know there are no mistakes with God.
    I hope to get married in the near future and I worry about things such as where I will have my introduction and the likes, silly I know but I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there.
    Thanks for this article.

  62. Chris Saretto

    September 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    This is an outmoded phrase leading to ideas that someone is less than they are based on progeny. It goes with ideas like people who get liberal arts or BA degrees are listless and not focused. These ideas still exist and are applied to people. It’s unfortunately an issue that I have a hard time discussing because of what I have experienced by people with this point of view. It’s always interesting when I challenge people who use that phrase as to why it’s “broken”. They don’t know because there’s no meaning beyond the phrase and it’s prejudice. It’s worse when people from divorced or separated homes use it as it re-enforces the use of it.
    I would encourage everyone to challenge the person who uses this phrase to not only explain why they use it and to encourage them to use something else.

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