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William Ifeanyi Moore: Suffering & Smiling in Your Relationship



There are very few ironies in life as bitter as the situation surrounding social perception of relationship troubles in Nigeria. Perhaps the only rival to this irony would be the social perception regarding mental health in Nigeria. We all know that relationships are anything but perfect; yet for some odd reason, we manage to live in a society that negatively judges us for having relationship troubles. In other words, if our relationship is anything short of perfect, then somehow, we have failed at it.

Rather unfortunately, the health of relationship has become another thing we compete with among material success, and more disturbing or capabilities as parents. So like these other egotistical yardsticks, we end up being forced to hide the true condition of things in order to put up as ideal an appearance as we can manage.

Even amongst friends, sometimes we are unable to discuss our relationship problems, and some of us have become so competitive that we would give negative advice just to throw sand in the next person’s garri. As if the pressure to appear perfect wasn’t enough.

With the introduction of social networks, we now face a new dimension of keeping up with the Jones’ to contend with. Anyone that has ever gone public on social media with a relationship that didn’t work out will tell you about a unique kind of shame that goes with this. Arguably, we really shouldn’t care about what others think of us and our relationships, but that is a lot easier said than done.

Perhaps it is about time we reconsider how we judge other people’s relationships. We would all deny it to ourselves, but the evidence of our competition with relationship is evident in our social condition that encourages people to hide imperfections in their relationships.

This even goes as far as victims of emotional and physical abuse feeling isolated and suffering in silence. In fact, so ingrained in our psyche is this unhealthy competition that we find ourselves being a part of it without even knowing.

Words cannot explain how bad I felt reading negative comments about Toke Makinwa’s marital problem. Whether this mindset spurs from our own unresolved dissatisfactions because as they say, misery needs company. Or maybe it just comes from a human tendency to compete and dominate each other in every way possible. It is something definitely worth our attention as a society.

Friends and family should act as support systems providing safety and security to enable us get the most out of our relationships. The current state of our friends and families often playing judge is simply dangerous for our love lives.

P.S Have you ever felt unable to share your relationship issues with your friends or family? Or have you been guilty of happiness on the account of someone else’s pain? The floor is yours.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Mellet77

William Ifeanyi Moore is an MPharm graduate from the University of Portsmouth, UK. His true passion is in novels and poetry but he cheats on them with movies, plays, and music. He believes sacrifice and compromise is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. His debut novel Lonely Roads is out on 10/12/2015. Blog: Twitter: @willifmoore Instagram: willifmoore


  1. Concerned_Boyfriend

    October 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    There was this viral meme on Instagram that talked about what you don’t publicize on social media : Your relationship and your finances.
    It’s almost as if some of us need to learn social media ettiquettes. It’s ok to acknowledge you’re in a relationship but when you start inundating us with every aspect of your relationship then you place a target on your relationship. People will find the need to contribute, be it good or bad.

  2. Kk

    October 20, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    This article lacks content. Can’t even place the writer’s thought.

    • seun tyb

      October 21, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      i disagree, try reading it with no judgement. read with an open mind. its an open open for the readers personal interpretation.

  3. thirdeyes

    October 20, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Yay! I jes came 2 read interesting BN’ers comments. Hehehe

  4. for sure

    October 20, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    We all have problems in our relationships, know one can lie. But it seems we feel a little bit better when we can read that a celebrity or someone who puts themselves out there is having problems, cause we can feel better about ourselves. Personally I hate knowing my true friends are having problems but when I hear about it I try to just listen and not be so quick to advise. But its hard if said friend is accepting something so obviously unforgivable.
    And relationship on social media is a no no for me. The people who know us, don’t need to see us on social media to know we’re good. Everyone else is just being nosy, it works for me and my partner and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I tend to find we do sort out our problems alone but I think there id something nice about involving parents (not every family member) once in a while. In the end you know right from wrong.

    Lastly the Toke issue was a weird one, she brought so much attention to herself regarding that issue it was hard to not look, judge or comment. Personally I didn’t comment on it but I did read the harsh comments and was so sad at what some woman can say to another woman. In that case I felt the commenter was looking in the mirror at Toke’ problem and judging as theirs was no better. But that’s social media, it breeds hate.

  5. MiDe

    October 20, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    In my past relationship, I was an open book to my friends and it did not end up well for me. People will judge the mistakes of others quickly without spotting their own individual faults.

    In my new relationship, I have come to accept that no human being is perfect, when I have issues with my partner, I talk things out immediately, instead of confiding in others, I confide in him, he listens and I do the same when I am on the wrong side. We always work things out. In my new relationship, I have come to understand the importance of communication. When there is no communication between partners, it leads to resentment.

    He is my best friend, we are currently engaged and I’m glad I let our issues stay between us, not because I m in a competition with anyone or I want the world to think we are a perfect couple but because I feel peace. I don’t have to deal with friends or family nagging and questioning me when I forgive him.

    • Mama Jay

      October 20, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Why do I feel like I’m reading about my life? Absolute wisdom and the best possible way to run your relationship! Keep things between you and your partner, solve your issues between you both. I don’t believe any friend is wise enough to be giving me advice TBH besides they have their own relationship to run so it’s better everyone focuses on theirs while I do mine. My peace has doubled since I started doing things this way and I’m very thankful!

    • Joan85

      October 20, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      You typed every single thought that I have about this…the exact same situation 😀

  6. Tee

    October 20, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I get what the writer is trying to say,Thou I find d heading a tad confusing. I personally I keep my rltshp very private. I don’t even put up pics of my bf on my bb except it’s his bday I just put it up. However if we do get engaged I can start puttn up his picture. I don’t have anythn against ppl dat do dis. It just isn’t my style, it may change when we are engaged and I know I have a solid commitment. Till then family/friends that need to know abt d rltshp already know. Don’t need to advertise to the world.

  7. Rue

    October 20, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I have been happy on account of someone else’s pain. The babe just likes to pick on me for no reason and embarrass me in front of mutual friends. Probably because she is jealous and intimidated by me. But I swear by Jupiter’s kock, that i have never done anything to make her feel insecure. We are not exactly friends, we just know ourselves. I was quite happy when I thought her stupid social media relationship was over. My joy turned to ash after I realised they were still together. Oh well.

    • yep

      October 20, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Your honesty and openness is admirable.

    • Rue

      October 20, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you 🙂 My openness is mostly limited to social media.

  8. Angry chick

    October 20, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I’m currently so mad, had a chiker who started acting up and I told him to move in. He came back begging and asked me out after 2 weeks. After weeks of going out together, he travelled now he’s been acting up, he’s latest stunt was to tell me he’s sick and call me with his friends asking me to comfort him. The idiot is just getting on my nerves.

  9. chi-e-z

    October 20, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Can y’all stop talking about ppl’s life I mean wetin Toke,Linda… do una writers and commenters ah ah … anyways here’s the truth Everybody has problems. We are all just trying to get through it one day at a time.simple …so y add sm1’s problem on top ur own

  10. thirdeyed

    October 21, 2015 at 5:36 am

    What makes me thinks that guy in the picture resembles joseph yobo of super eagle.

  11. pious

    October 21, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Truth be told:puk nose is evil… Stay away..

  12. M&

    October 21, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Can’t get past this…. Title of article: Suffering and Smiling in Your Relationship; Picture: Looks like d Guy is the one Suffering while the Girl is Smiling!

  13. Great Lady

    October 21, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Dear William,
    This one that most columnists on BN are leaving unannounced, please don’t pull that stunt on us. When you want to leave,please give us enough notice.
    Sincerely your faithful reader.

  14. noni

    October 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Well done MiDe. I couldn’t say it any better. Well except to add that when you tell ppl abt your problems, you tend to make your self appear in the best possible light possible and your partner the spawn of the devil. When you make up with your partner, you begin assume they have a perception of you (real or imagined) based on what they know of your relationship and my see you in a different weaker light. For example, if a man tells his boys/ family member that his wife never cooks for him, is very bossy and doesn’t give him sex and vows never to near her again.Obviously this was all based on a scenario when they fought for like 3 hrs. When he gets back with the woman. There will always be residual beef he picks up from his friends because he cant be completely free to love him wife in their presence even if they are matured and don’t bring it up again (which is not always the case).

  15. ronke

    October 21, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    personally I believe in keeping things between yourself and partner but there are times its really bad and you need someone to talk to asides your partner as its not all issues you guys can actually resolve on your own

    • tinaberry

      November 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      you might be right my dear but the ability to tell whats in the mind of the other fellow is not given to humans and as such we cant avoid to risk our relationships to wolves in sheep clothing

  16. momo karbo.

    October 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Women, if the ability to choose a partner solely resides in you, why then won’t you have that same ability to get out immediately, when things don’t turn out the way you planned it be?

  17. tinaberry

    November 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    this article is nice and reaches the heart of those who have been faced with such challenge as stated in this article.
    Well, family member to me are not thee best option to tell your relationship problems even friends are the worse of them all.. the best way to go about relationship problems is for partners to seat and talk things over cause family will only increase the existing issue to another tough issues for the party and at the long run its still balls down to both partners ironing it out amicably

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