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Ene Abah: Friends Until He Gets Married & His Wife Doesn’t Want You Around

Ene Abah



Zarah and Hassan had been friends for the longest time. They could have been described as best friends but for Hassan’s girlfriend. Zarah was cautious because she knew that Hassan’s girlfriend was not her biggest fan.

Hassan was known in Zarah’s family. When Hassan would visit the family house, he would call Zarah ahead to make a meal for him or bake for him or satisfy any food cravings he might have at the time of his visit. They supported each other, encouraged one another and they had a friendship that was worth admiring.

Years had passed and they both lived in different cities so they did not see each other as frequently as they used to. Zarah was going to leave for her studies overseas and Hassan was set to marry his girlfriend. Zarah and Hassan were not pleased that she would miss Hassan’s wedding; she had been looking forward to it. So Hassan went to Zarah’s family home to spend the weekend with her and her family before her departure. About a month after she left, the wedding took place. She spoke to the couple giving them her best wishes and for once, Hassan’s wife sounded pleasant. Zarah took it that her insecurities had been laid to rest.

Fast forward to two years later, they had a child and by then, Zarah had returned home. She was travelling through the city where Hassan and his family lived so she was keen to see them all. Hassan was equally excited and they had set plans in place for Zarah to be picked up on her return to spend the night as she had an overnight lay over. On the day of her departure, she called Hassan as a reminder to say she would return in three weeks and was excited to meet his family, so she asked him to be there when she got back to pick her up. To her surprise, Hassan stammered, she asked what the problem was and wanted to hear what might be bothering him. Hassan apologised bacause their plans might not work as his wife said she did not want Zarah in their house. Zarah was shocked into silence. He went on to explain that the wife threw a tantrum and said she would be happy to make a contribution for Zarah to stay at a hotel but she would not have her stay over.

Zarah lost it. The first thing she said to Hassan was to tell his wife that she didn’t need her money. She could very well pay for a hotel if she so wished to stay in one. She also made it clear to Hassan that she had had enough of his wife’s horrible attitude and words.

She took him down memory lane, reminded him of when he and his girlfriend (now wife) broke up at some point in their eight year relationship. Of course it was Zarah’s shoulder he had to cry on. Then, he started to ask Zarah out as he said she was everything any man would want in a woman, but Zarah was wise enough to decline and said she would not be his rebound. Moreover, he had made his choice and was still in love with his girlfriend, so she pointed out to him that he needed to sort things out and get back with his girl. Zarah made it clear that if she wanted anything with him, she had so many chances in the past but she has some moral standards and enough respect for both parties. She told him that she never wanted to be around his family. If she ever would be in his city and would want to see him, she would let him know to meet her up. He begged, apologised but she said she would keep her distance, the wife was his to put up with, not hers. She had no reason to put up with such a foul attitude or to deal with any more disrespectful behavior.

Their friendship has not been the same since. Hassan has tried to reach out to Zarah but she is smart enough to know that she should stay away for his sake – to save him any trouble in his marriage on her account. And for her sake – to keep her respect by avoiding any drama. They meet up from time to time and when they do, the love is there but things are not just the same.

This is a based on someone’s experience and from this account, there are two questions that beg for answers:
1)  Can a male and a female not have a platonic relationship?
2)   When a male and a female are close friends, if one person chooses to get married, how is the other supposed to feel or act afterwards?

So let’s hear your thoughts on this please. Many thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Ene Abah is an adventure lover, naturalista, food lover, travel lover, writer and is particular about sending positive vibes to others. Some of her interests are in writing, travelling, reading and generally enjoying life. Ene’s writing has been published in Top Chic magazine, Imbue magazine and on Imbue's website. She blogs at Follow her on Twitter @tammyabah and on instagram @belle.tammy


  1. Noname

    January 25, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Na who i go ask? Make i ask the Ukeje’s and Kemi Lala…..runs off!

    • Kenechukwu

      January 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Ha! Yes, ask them. One of them was locked away in the friendzone

  2. Anonymous

    January 25, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I don’t blame Hassan’s wife. Some side chics will be using “platonic/family friend” as a mask to sleep with your husband under your nose. Some people may come for me but I don’t care. Ogas let your wife be your best female friend.

    • sade

      January 25, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Yes o. Family friend fire. This happened to me…one auntie besto sending naked pictures to uncle. Please ehn.

  3. Big Tee

    January 25, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Of course, one should know when to step aside (not away), when my best friend got married, her husband made me feel like his enemy, maybe because I wasn’t married or because I didn’t have a girlfriend, the result was that our birthday tradition that we started since when we were 15 years old had to stop, there I was feeling pained that I lost my sister, until I realized that she has her life to live and I have mine to live, so I just reconfigured my mind, but I am glad my fiance likes my former best friend now, my fiance is my best friend and my former best friend is our friend. We shouldn’t let new alliances break old alliances unless they are unhealthy and toxic.

  4. Ad

    January 25, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Most of good friends are guys (on a platonic level). Same with most of my memorable relationships but the moment they get married, the relationship slightly changes not because I don’t want to continue the friendship but because I respect the fact that they are now MARRIED and I cannot see them all the time or when I feel like hanging out).

    • mahki

      January 25, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      I concur…

  5. Ad

    January 25, 2016 at 1:35 pm


  6. Odididi

    January 25, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    In a country like nigeria, theres always an issue of insecurity in relationships.. Usually because of tales and stories ppl hear everyday or frm the past. Hassan and Zahra myt have been just normal besties ,bt believe me most “besties” dt are male and female nowadays r also sex partners.. Dt said.. I wont like my husbands best friend(female) to be hovering around like a monitoring spirit in my marriage. Call it wat u may.. I’m Nigerian and ive learnt to shine my eyes!

    • Mogbo moya

      January 26, 2016 at 5:22 am

      Has nothing to do with being Nigerian, when two people get married they are supposed to be each other’s best friends, I want my husband to talk to me whenever we have a misunderstanding not run off to discuss or start texting some other bestie. It’s no1 rule of every marriage. They are one now so the bestie girl should go and sleep inside hotel abeg.

  7. Zahradeen

    January 25, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    lol, but Zahra suppose get sense to ease up on their relationship after marriage. even girls give their married friends space talk more of guy and girl.
    One day One day, Hassan will fall down and accidentally enter Zahra’s Meow…..
    With the muslim pseudonyms the writer used sef, Hassan fit get second wife.

    • mahki

      January 25, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      Lol! What I understood was that she just wanted to see his new family after missing the wedding

  8. Damseldam1

    January 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Hmmm i have so many experience with my separated husband too. I believe men and women can be friends but not best friends. Your other half should be your best friend. How can a man who calls another woman a best/ closest friend and then he spends more time with the friend than his wife? How can a husband choose his “friend” over his wife to the point of almost beating the wife? How can the husband feels he can just go pick the friend for work and drop her home everyday without the wife knowing?how can the friend feels she can duty wine the husband when the wife turns her back and forming innocent when she there?I have sooooo many of ‘how can’ Jare. So I don’t blame hassan wife cos zarah should have known her boundary. She should put herself in the wife shoe joor. All this women and men closeness after marriage you will wonder why they didn’t marry each other and spare the other half some headaches smh!

    • Fashionista

      January 25, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Just felt like giving you an E-hug xx

    • Lamour

      January 25, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Exactly… Why didn’t they just get married? My man and his so-called bestie have almost given me high blood pressure from some of your illustrations above and when i complain, they make me feel like am being unreasonable. I keep asking myself, “if she were in my shoes, how would she feel?” Please ladies, let’s do unto others as we wish to be done to us. Enough said.

    • Yeah

      January 25, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      They are prolly f-ing?

  9. Unknown

    January 25, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Things like this shouldn’t be a big deal. Nigerians don’t really believe that platonic relationships exist without being sexual. *sigh* yes when your bestie gets married you have to adjust but you don’t have to severe the relationship. People need to just chill abeg and get over their insecurities

  10. peyton

    January 25, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Story of my life. When your close guy buddy gets married you need to give him space. Even if his wife dosent mind you being close to her husband stay away. Be friends from a distance pray for them if you are bothered about them. If you must visit make it brief, make it scarce. At the end of the day when 2 people get married they should become each others besties. Men and women can be friends on a purely platonic basis. You are not meant to date everyone and some people are just purely your friends nothing more. I advise both parties to be grown up about it. The lady who is the friend should have known that it would never be like old times. And its not because the besties are going to suddenly start an affair they never had or even considered far from it. It is simply the sensible thing to do give them space this also includes when the guy tries to complain to you about his marital problems, ask him to see his pastor/Iman religious leader counselor or friend. Don’t get in the middle of people’s love issues.

  11. tannie

    January 25, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    This a true story
    I know a guy (call him Jay). Jay has a girlfriend he loves (call her Mag) and a female bestie (call her Kay). Jay introduced Kay to Mag as a friend and Mag welcomed her without reservations. Jay and Kay visits Mag in her house and she cooks for them. Mag confides in Kay, tells her about her relationship issues with Jay and how much she loves him. Along the line, Jay and Kay started dating unknown to Mag who still sees them as besties. Last Saturday, we went swimming (my boyfriend who is Jay’s friend, Jay, Mag, Kay and I). Mag was casually going through Kay’s phone and discovered that they are dating, she called Kay aside and asked her and Kay confirmed it. Mag is devastated, it never occurred to her that Jay and Kay could do that to her.

    Personally, I don’t have issues with my boyfriend/husband having female friend because I have male friends too but I believe there should be boundaries.

  12. Zainab

    January 25, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    My husband had a few very close female friends who are all single… I have done my best to love up on them and keep them as part of our family.. They all existed before me and he could have been with them, so why would I push them away?

    • Rekiya

      January 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Sisteh! God bless you!

  13. Ada

    January 25, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    He works for a company and the company sent him abroad to live. They made a woman his flatmate while he was abroad. He became friends with his flatmate and introduced her to his girlfriend. His girlfriend welcomed his flatmate with open arms. In the end, he married his flatmate and dumped his girlfriend. Truth is, the lines between friendship and relationship are not distinct. In some places, they are interwoven and one can quickly metamorphose into the other. This is why “friends” suddenly marry and lovers suddenly become “just friends”

    Most times, I am a rational thinker, some other times, I don’t care or do rational! My bf MUST NOT and CANNOT have a female bestfriend. The End!

  14. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    January 25, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I used to have this guy friend in school who cared so much about me, we were so close that people thought we were going to end up together (get married). It was strictly a platonic relationship. After school we all parted, he didn’t really keep in touch and I tried to track him. He later got married and has since kept his distance. In fact sometimes when I call him he answers like he never really knew me. I then realized that some people come into your life for a season and afterwards they leave. She needs to let go of Hassan and move on.

  15. Just walking by....

    January 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Its quite easy to read this story and assume a lot of things but the first question to ask is: If the tables were turned, will Hassan let Zhara have a male friend over for the night? I’m not trying to play the gender card here, just being realistic. Equity not equality….

    It has nothing to do with being in Africa, its just human nature for you to be jealous when someone you love seems to be sharing the attention with another person, it doesn’t make Hassan’s wife a bad person or insecure, it just makes her human and naturally, we will want to protect what is ours (Obviously, she’s just being paranoid but she doesn’t realize it cos she can’t see the full picture and quite frankly, she never will)

    I have been in the same situation except that for me, we’re both married and I have gotten attitudes quite a number of times from his wife, but I’m not pissed off about it, as a matter of fact, I understand why she would feel that way (or he would feel insecure if the tables were turned). For me, I just had to keep my distance (which is the right thing to do), we talk if/when we have to, we are still friends but we both have to understand to respect our spouses and not over step boundaries…..

    That being send, Hassan’s friend does not need to shut him out or remind him of things his wife doesn’t even know about, just respect her wishes (its their house, remember?), go and visit the family for a few hrs and keep it moving…..

  16. Laila

    January 25, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Hmmmm. Zahra, if he tried to make you his rebound once, what makes you think he wont try it again when he fights with his wife? You think he hasn’t told her about tge rebound attempt? Put yourself in her shoes especially in the Northern society, where he can conveniently and legally marry you as a second wife without telling her. And what about you down the line? What if a few years from now you are still single and searching? What if you stop forming and you and your family start to see him as marriage material??? Pls dont blame her. It happens every day up North – in fact families encourage it cos the devil you know…..

  17. Chika**

    January 25, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Yes and No. Once you are in a relationship, you as the friend should learn to keep your distance. My boyfriend’s and his coworker (a girl) are friends. She confines in him about things that are going on in her relationship. Down the line, she told my boyfriend that she wants to feel what it is like to be with him. She would send texts messages to him about wanting to kiss him. Or, when they are working on projects she would say, should I come over to your office and stare at your lips and then we could make out? Who does that? The fact is I trained her before I left my former job. She knows me and still doesn’t care. My boyfriend lets me read his messages and tells me some other things she says in person.. I am not one to check anyone. I told him to ask her to stop saying those things to him. But for where? Now that she she knows I know of the things she said, she has stopped being so upfront with her wants. I don’t want to make a big deal as they work together and I would not want him hating going to work because of the girl. My point is, some women are crazyyyyyyyyy. Also, I think my boyfriend may like the attention he is getting from her that’s why he doesn’t really want to make a big deal out of it.

    Oh well, I feel wife. I don’t think I would like the idea of her staying over. But, I may accommodate her…but, I will kill him when I find out that they are still meeting behind my back.

  18. Tosin

    January 25, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    How I really feel about this: hmmm.
    I’m walking on eggshells around any chic that has a fiance/husband nearby, except in the rare case that the chic exudes this sense of confidence and security, which is like never.
    I walk on eggshells and it’s still not enough, and that’s why I kukuma disappear.

    I really don’t want to sleep with your guy like that. I have lots of options that are not already spoken for. In many cases the guy is not trying to sleep with me like that either, he’s trying to be a good Christian or whatever. If your guy is not making an effort to avoid sleeping with other people, it’s because that’s the way he is, and your police and investigator work will only give you a headache or worse.

    The funny bit is how sisters’ paranoia may actually bring about what they fear so much. Many times I’m friends with the guy forgetting he has a sexual side or whatever, but his woman keeps up this behaviour and I keep thinking don’t think about his sexuality don’t think about his sexuality which of course means I’m now thinking about his sexuality loool.

    Chics need to chill. Do this thought experiment: your significant other has an affair or something, then what will happen? It’s not death. If you can face that fear you can get your life and your freedom back.

    It seems to be a deep-seated instinctive thing though, so I’m not blaming. Just saying chill. Your guy is not God.

    • Mogbo moya

      January 26, 2016 at 5:31 am

      Madam you sound like a side chic ?.

  19. Weezy

    January 25, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Zarah needs to find herself a new “best friend”. Are you telling me there are no men in her city who can be her friend? She must hold onto this one Hassan? Who has a best friend anyway at this age? She needs to stop forming innocent. We know her true intentions 😉

  20. Prec

    January 25, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    The problem is most people carry Marriage on their head, and don’t value friendship enough. Ya’ll use friendships to sustain yourselves till you get married. I’m not going to ruin age long friendship because my husband doesn’t trust me enough to hold my own, Zarah was only going to spend one night with his family and the woman is acting up, what does that tell you about their marriage? Let’s think about it for a minute, why will you marry someone you think is in love with his best friend? Women put themselves in weird situation that I can’t even believe. I have a best friend that is a guy for years, if we wanted to do something it would have happened. He had a girlfriend once that tried to pull that nonsense and he set her straight, when they had problems, when they broke up, is it not in my ear he came whining to? We have brains, not every relationship should be or is sexual.

  21. Nonye

    January 25, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Some humans & their mentality. There’s nothing wrong with platonic relationship & it really does exist. The fact that you can’t hold one doesn’t mean everyone else is that way. If you have a true friend you don’t have to push them away bcos your partner is insecure. Marriage is meant to improve your life & not kill what you’ve lived up already with out a promise of giving you something better. Your spouse doesn’t necessarily have to be your best friend. Funny when the marriage hits rock bottom it’s still the same friends that’ll be there to support you. If you have true friends (males or females) keep them & find smart ways to keep everyone happy (especially partner/spouse).

  22. Sename

    January 25, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    I have had my own fair share of mishaps with my boo’s bestie. Apparently, I didn’t know they were lovers and even dated. After seeing pictures of them cuddling, I had him call her up and asked her if she can never let go. To cut he long story short, this god forsaken brat (Funke) had the effrontery to even visit my boo with me around. Need I say that was her last visit!

    Just as the previous comment, we dey for Naija! Bestie or no bestie let gooooooooo!

    • Manny

      January 26, 2016 at 2:52 am

      Her last visit doesn’t mean your husband has not seen her since then.

  23. Be Like Zarah

    January 25, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Zarah and Hassan are best friends.
    Zarah sees that Hassan’s wife is jealous of their friendship.
    Zarah decides to back off to avoid trouble
    Zarah is smart
    Be Like Zarah

    • Kay

      January 25, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Haha good one

    • gurl_wendy

      January 26, 2016 at 12:03 am


  24. Dr N

    January 25, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Ehhh,it’s a no go area for me and I just don’t get the idea that a married man or woman should remain a best friend to the opposite sex post marriage. It should be that the new couple be into each other and build themselves rather than having someone in the background constanly BEING AROUND esp opposite sex
    My husband’s very good friend before we got married still carried on their PLATONIC relationship after we got married like it was normal,coming every sat for them to go play tennis ,coming over afterwards for drinks /lunch which she feels like its OK to and she can like dash to the kitchen to fix up something to eat real quick for everyone. She might have thought she was being nice .omo I used my tongue to count my teeth and the Naija babe in me didn’t want to wait to hear story.I asked hubby,he felt she is just a nice person being helpful.ehh ,only God knows what I did to pass my message across that 3 is a crowd in a marriage more so newly weds. Now she doesn’t visit as much but I sometimes invite her to family events so YES,married man or woman should not even deceive themselves about a platonic relationship with the opposite sex esp when unmarried.
    And what is it with Zahra,is Hassan his brother or relative,pls free the wife Joe,its when something happen we will be quick to blame the devils and be like why did she let her stay over.We should be wise even the bible says so.its not been insecure. ITS CALLED DEFENDING YOUR TERRITORY

    • Tosin

      January 26, 2016 at 7:20 am

      In church they said this year “enlarge your territory” or something like that. How do you interpret that, Doc? 😀 😀 😀

  25. mahki

    January 25, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Honestly I’ve been in this position a lot of times, most of my friends are guys and we just bond like homies. When they started getting married I just backed away a bit coz you know us ladies, some don’t say it but their wives give you the “evil getaway from my man look” but it’s lame especially when I in one case I actually went all out to make some of the relationships click!

  26. Ms.b

    January 25, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    The husband can visit her at the hotel and have sex!! Women r always scared of what they have no control over, if he wants to sleep with her he will. Not letting her sleep over doesn’t stop anything. That’s y we look older than our husbands cos we keep thinking about stupid things we can’t change.

    • Tunmi

      January 26, 2016 at 1:47 am

      Thank you

    • Ms. Lurve

      January 26, 2016 at 11:35 am

      But at the very least she does not get the indignity of it happening in her matrimonial home under her nose.

    • Spicey

      January 26, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      So true my dear!!! keep yourself so busy that you don’t even notice a thing.

  27. Jay Jay (Mee)

    January 25, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    @ Mahki…. nothing personal oh….. do u want them to be thanking you for the rest of their lives for match making them… life has to go on na… abi ddnt u do it out of goodwill?

  28. Tunmi

    January 26, 2016 at 1:46 am

    What I’ve learned is that there are so many insecure people, and even more on BN. As some people have said, he could have been with her and she with him if they both wanted. My goodness, this insecurity and fear is actually a lot more disastrous than we realize. Haba, you chose the guy and the guy chose you.

    Also, my guy. Did you really have to tell her “yeah my woman says you can’t stay the night?” really?? Brah…

  29. Tunmi

    January 26, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Right, reading the comments is too sad. So what happens if the guy kúkú cheats nko? Will you die?

  30. Betrfriendko

    January 26, 2016 at 9:16 am

    My philosophy….if you want to keep your platonic friendship with a married guy, better make sure u r friends with the wife too and she’s comfortable around you. Otherwise please give yourself sense and give them space. Once marriage enters, levels change. There is a new government in town and it is up to them to give you position in their lives.

  31. Femi S.A

    January 26, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    From what I read, Zarah just wanted to see her friend and meet his family for the first time. She wasn’t trying to be the best friend infact if I read well, Zarah and Hassan are not as close as they used to be. So all these comments about Zarah staying in her lane seem to be coming not from the story, but from the deep insecurities that most people have. For me, Yes my husband has to know I am now his bff and No, I would not severe the relationship as long as there are well defined boundaries. If they wanted to be together, they would be. He chose me so why would I get worked up?

  32. Koffie

    January 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I had a male bestie whom when we first became friends told me after a while that he had a girlfriend and I gave myself a brain reset to see him as out-of-bounds. Besto’s girlfriend had no reason to fret as we were all abstaining till marriage, only if she feared that me and him would become emotionally attached. Besto’s girlfriend had sense sha, she came on strongly to me to become my friend and had even bought me a birthday present that particular year. Anyways, we all became friends and she saw I was harmless. I however got the message and gave them space.
    I think it works better when the female best friend befriends the girlfriend as well while giving them a little space. She’s afterall the most important female in his life (after marriage) and she has to like you else it’s a “can’t sit with us” ever kinda thing.
    My female best friend on the other hand made me laugh when she did something at a fellowship thing recently. Her boo was seated in between herself and his female friend. Female friend was engaged oo, lol. Female friend puts her arm around Bestie’s boo’s neck and gossiped something into his ear (she couldn’t have said it out loud at the fellowship). Bestie sideyes them and removed the lady’s arm from her boyfriend’s neck while smiling 220 megawatts at her. That set the lady straight but I couldn’t help laughing when I saw them.

  33. Bigi

    January 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    at times I tend to cherish my friendships more than my Love relationships…they hardly ever get mixed tho, but babe pls let me have my friends!!!!!

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