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Nkem Ndem: The Thing About ‘Fighting’ For a Man

Nkem Ndem

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Nkem NdemJust as so many other Nigerians did, I read the famous “On Becoming” by Toke Makinwa – the week it came out and certainly followed the juicy comments online. To be honest, I had no intention of sharing my opinion or even writing any article on the matter (as I do not like to write on trending topics) but then, a comment I saw on a popular blog yesterday got me immediately screaming: “What the hell?” and I just had to get on my computer. The comment stated that the whole incident with Toke and her ex-husband, Maje, only proved one thing: Maje always only truly loved Anita which is why she (Anita) won the fight in the end.

Firstly, I hope she (Anita) did not get a sense of triumph reading that comment. The thing is, most people tend to use the word “fighting” in a way that taints its meaning.

“Fighting” for a man does not mean the same thing as “competing” for a man. There is a huge difference. When you meet someone who has clearly chosen to be with you as he has defined your relationship and committed himself to you alone, you “fight” for each other and take actions to keep the relationship alive and well … meaning… there is the effort being put in on both sides. There is no imbalance whatsoever in the amount of love given or received and in all truth, this is necessary for every relationship. “Competing” (which is what most people mean when they say “fighting”) on the other hand, means there is a triangle and an extra body or thing -possibly another girl, his job or even his family- is involved. Something is between the two of you and you constantly feel like you need a huge neon sign to remind the brother that you exist.

Basically, any man who puts you in a position where you feel like you have to compete for his love, attention, and respect does NOT love you…at all. If he did, he would actually care about you and there would be no room for anyone else to interfere in your relationship. He maintains the consciousness that he wants you, so, he chooses you from the start. Not only that, he commits to you and clearly shows that he does not want anyone else.

In the case where there is a love triangle and two women find they have to hustle for an “uncle”, they are no longer fighting for love; they are merely competing for him. Each woman hopes to stick around long enough for him to acknowledge her as his woman with the belief that that would scare the other women off and they would be the last one standing. Unfortunately, the truth is, if the man in middle loved or even valued any of them at all, there would be no triangle in the first place. As they fight against each other, he merely sits back and enjoys the battle for his attention as he does not really care how both parties are truly affected. His satisfaction is from knowing that no matter how things turn out; he still gets to have someone on his arm to give him the benefits he desires.

I believe the hard truth is simple: fighting over a man is a losing battle for every woman involved. And even the one that eventually gets him, has not won in any way. The that fact that you have to compete in the first place shows you are not originally valued or genuinely loved. It is not for the woman to have to fight that battle. If a man loves you, he would not put you in a position where you have to hustle for him. He puts down his feet because he does not want the woman he truly loves to have to deal with or be hurt in any way by such nonsense. What do you think? Am I being too rigid with my opinion?

Nkem Ndem is a dynamic freelance writer and editor who can be reached for copywriting, editing and proofreading. She is also a content creator (web, T.V, radio) who has had stints with Jumia and SpiceTV Africa e.t.c. Now she works at Glam Africa as Online editor and BellaNaija as Features writer. E-mail: [email protected]; IG: @kem_dem; Twitter: @ndemv

60 Comments

  1. Nahum

    December 10, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Abeg help me tell them o!!! I don tire sef

  2. Truthie

    December 10, 2016 at 3:34 am

    If he loved Anita, why did he marry Toke and constantly display her on his Instagram
    If he loved Toke why did he cheat and get another girl pregnant
    Maje loves Maje. Period.
    It was very beneficial for him to have both women, kept tthem competing for 10 long years, finally married one, had a baby by one. But thoroughly Enjoyed both.
    Nice article, wish it was longer.

    • Me

      December 10, 2016 at 4:19 am

      Honestly that Maje Guy and many other guys have serious psychological/spiritual/mental issues…

    • le coco

      December 10, 2016 at 7:50 am

      @Me.. u are spot on.. I really believe Maje is possessed…but I also believe tht he kept doin this rubbish because those were the 2 ladies who stuck around for the mess…

    • Beard gang

      December 10, 2016 at 9:30 am

      hahaha! and the women that stuck with him for a decade don’t have psychological/mental/spiritual issues? lol..some women have failed to understand dignity, respect and the concept of love… that some people can not recognise toke has a mental disorder is shocking..she is behaving as if anita’s baby was the biggest blow maje brought on her..if anita’s baby was not public knowledge toke will have remained with maje..all these divorce proceedings and book bullshit is to validate the unforgiving feminist agenda (when a man cheats on you leave his sorry ass no matter how apologetic or contrite he is) maje is obviously a dog but toke is also a b*#ch…you start as you mean to continue..you dated a man for a decade and you noticed his ways you married him and suddenly his regular ways shock you? lol..toke you are a big joke to strong women..strong women don’t give room for bullshit from day one…. i hope your friends have told you the hard truths? you were absolutely foolish! your kolo is similar to kanye’s, see a psychiatrist asap!

    • ATL's finest

      December 10, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      @ Me ???????? pls don’t kill me with laugh :). No be only spiritual problems. Every problem started with men. And I wish our ladies won’t be hanging in messy relationship because these days, the struggle to hold the title ” Mrs”. Is real & getting so hectic & unhealthy for some souls.

    • See

      December 10, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Kept them competing? Rather they kept themselves in a competition over him. It happens, but it’s sad. That man is a cross that should have been offloaded speedily.
      This love thing, it should build you up not tear you down, revere you and not ridicule you. I’m just sincerely hope that Toke is done with that set up for good.

    • nene

      December 10, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      i dont think he loves any of them. he’s an overgrown child who doesnt know what he wants in life. the women made a mistake by being with him

    • Adel

      December 11, 2016 at 12:22 am

      Wow! First ensible comment I have read since this book was published

    • Hian

      December 18, 2016 at 3:52 am

      Sensible comment, abi article?

  3. A case of misallocated blaming. (AllER2016 BNSC)

    December 10, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Lol this is too much good logic for such an emotional situation. A culture socialised to blame. Blame women for anything at all, blame men for whatever, even blame rape victims and victims of abuse. I think it’s always personal, which is why people pick sides with their favourite woman to ‘win’, even though the man is obviously no prize, even to the most conservative Nigerian mind. We then forget to blame the man, or we don’t know how to, because this is after all, Nigeria. In Nigeria, our way to respect, heaven, and breathing is Marriage. Marriage is our culture and lifestyle. Men must be merely existing to be qualified. I would say rich, but many poor men like my driver openly cheat on their wives, but my driver’s wife comes to beg for him whenever he’s in trouble, and she has a job. Women must be humble-(but not stupid), meek (if you’re too proud with too high standards they’ll laugh at you for not marrying before the ripe old age of 30.) You must cook and clean for him, but if you do that and he doesn’t marry you, you will be judged for doing wifey roles without the ring and therefore, being desperate. It now boils down to the contenders, who the jury (the rest of the world) pick camps to root for. My favourite landmark case is Okagbue v Ebiere 2015 (because they’re both so pretty and the man is clearly a two-timer that is eating his cake and having it, as both subjects are content with post-and-delete queen mother titles, similarly timed pregnancies, getting their validation from their Instagram camp members, sending their family members to fight for them on blogs, secret marriages, and putting song lyrics on Instagram captions to show who is currently in charge…….. while the man denounces marriages and endorses polygamy in interviews). Other popular cases are Makinwa vs Solomon, Macaulay vs Adeniyi, Ajaba and everybody else in Lagos, Danjuma vs OtherMixedchicks. There was also Savage vs E-Catering and everybody in Moremi Hall and California.

    What I’ve learned from this is that although Nigerians love the good lifestyle, they hate women who live that lifestyle and dare to show it off eg Toke vs Anita (the BN commenter’s favourite), Annie vs Pero (the BN favourite), Savage vs the invisible catering that nobody even knew (the BN favourite). Note that because we are too busy enjoying the show, we forget to blame the men who at least know they have one girlfriend/wife and proceed to keep/impregnate another, then another, until it becomes a full fledged Felabration. We should stop acting like Toke did anything stranger than what millions of Nigerian women do everyday to win the ring and ‘keep it’. All of you esteem experts have ‘high self esteem’ but who are all these married men cheating on? The only thing Toke did differently, was leave.

    The same people that judged Toke are only doing so because she bowed out. The only way she can win now to Nigerians is through marriage, and only by marriage. Especially if she achieves that marriage before Anita. She needs to read up on some obiter dicta or ratio decidendi from claimant Ajaba, who has now moved on to greener pastures of marriage. We wish all public and private claimants the best. Remember, marriage is beautiful, when you have someone that loves you as God ordained. Watching War Room and enduring it out is always an option, but don’t be surprised that it hurts or that it doesn’t actually get better or hurt less.It’s our culture to stay, but it was also part of our culture once to kill twins.

    • Xoxo

      December 10, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Gbam! Gbam! Gbam! @A case of misallocated blaming, I don’t know you but I like you already…
      Nkem, this is a wonderful write up. Precise and straight to the point. I didn’t want to stop reading it. Great job.

    • Sultana

      December 10, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      I know you are a lawyer! Was honestly thinking okagbue v ebiere was a real case of love gone bad and wishing I had the citation to check it out until I found out: not!
      Enjoyed your comment; well put together

    • Josephine

      December 10, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      @ A case of misallocated blaming, I love your comment.

    • englishgirl

      December 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      I like how said there was too much logic then proceeded to give us a legal judgment on the issue. loool. I agree with you though

  4. WarriChic

    December 10, 2016 at 4:51 am

    Don’t fight for a man that is not willing to put in the same effort to fight for you! End of.
    Why make someone your priority and your whole world when you are just an afterthought and a fall-back option to him?
    Desperation and low self-esteem is the root of a lot of problems.

  5. Tee

    December 10, 2016 at 5:17 am

    The conclusion of the matter is this: Maje needs serious adura from the spirit of SELF and SIN. My own prayer be say, may our children never meet and marry the Majes of this life IJMN.

  6. Biola

    December 10, 2016 at 5:19 am

    Amin Amin Amin loruko jesu

  7. Darius

    December 10, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Some people aren’t worth fighting for. Learn to pick your battles.

  8. john

    December 10, 2016 at 6:03 am

    I also pray our children never becomes or meet the likes of toke in this world in JMN..amen

    • Ay

      December 10, 2016 at 6:12 am

      The likes of Toke…why? A woman who did nothing else but love to the best of her abilities. Is that what every man should pray for?

    • Marlvina

      December 10, 2016 at 9:19 am

      That prayer isn’t complete John! And the likes of Maje?

    • See

      December 10, 2016 at 10:19 am

      It’s not a terrible prayer if you look at it dispassionately. I’m not looking down on Toke because we all have low points. I sincerely won’t want my daughter to struggle endlessly for the love of a man, neither would I want a woman to keep clinging to my son when the writing is all over the wall in blood. Every body is precious and should be valued.

      A bad man is a bad man. Women, flee from bad men. Especially in the boyfriend phase. If you choose to stay with a bad husband when you sincerely thought you married a good man because ‘for better for worse’, God is your eternal muscle.

  9. TDMusic

    December 10, 2016 at 6:24 am

    No your not wrong… Well said…

  10. Fadaka

    December 10, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Well said. But truth be told, it’s a lesson best learned through experience. In the moment, all parties involved (trust me in some cases its more than two women) are driven by ego – it boils down to who will “win”.Its pathetic game, but every adult has played it on some level either as a competitor or as the “prize”.
    In the end though, we live, we learn and hopefully do better.

  11. Spunky

    December 10, 2016 at 7:04 am

    From the comments I see, Maje really had a ball…feeling like a champ. Now I’m on leave, I can read the e- book and have a filled day.

  12. Triple A

    December 10, 2016 at 7:09 am

    Nice write up from you on this particular one. No one is worth fighting for……if you are the one……..then YOU ARE THE ONE…..Shikena!

  13. esther

    December 10, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Nice article and. So true. A man truely in love with you will go an extra mile for you.

  14. ikcon

    December 10, 2016 at 7:13 am

    You’ve said it all, the truth is that true love does not call for contention otherwise it become a routine till maturity surface.

  15. Fille

    December 10, 2016 at 7:30 am

    lol I remember being in a ‘love-polygon’ with some nasty guy who was exactly like Maje. He’d hurt, embarrass and do very nasty things to do, when I want to leave he’d beg me and was always saying the other girls were forcing themselves at him and I was “the one” I tried to please him so he could leave the other girls but I learnt that men are insatiable. Even if you’re perfect they would still go after other girls.

    • Prince Charming

      December 10, 2016 at 7:56 am

      All men? So women don’t cheat? Sicko!

  16. Oge

    December 10, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Enough said.

  17. Oge

    December 10, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Well said.

  18. Chisom Owoseni

    December 10, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Truth be told, no woman is suppose to hustle for any guy. A guy that loves you should stick to you and not make you feel threatened by another woman. You are right by all you have put out there for people to read and not too rigid.

  19. Shadow

    December 10, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Issues of the heart are very complex. . . Using one experience to judge others may lead to the wrong conclusions. . .

    • Hian

      December 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

      @shadow. Most people hide behind such reasons as you have stated above because they are not ready or even not mature enough to really and actually love. “Issues of the heart” may differ per experience as people generally are different. But in all truth, true love is actually very simple and straightforward. It is what it is.

  20. Ogidan Kayode

    December 10, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Lol, very straightforward, but u focused solely on d lapses of d man. Also, we have instances when luv grows. It takes some time 2 nurture. I feel when sm1 luvs u u just know it deep down in ur hrt u feel it .

  21. anonymous

    December 10, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I swear women don’t know what they want.
    They fall in Luv with the bad guy,filling they can make him change or for fall in love too..
    When they are played on,they begin to have insecurity problem..then why Luv the bad guy…all the singles good guy are there waiting for u and then u friend zone them.
    “All guys are the same” Date the good guy and know the difference.. Women will all have issues with guy until they learn their flaw…

    • Emenike

      December 10, 2016 at 11:47 am

      But you know in tall, dark and handsome: the dark doesn’t mean dark skin but personality? Good boys would never get the girls cos they ain’t blunt. Bad boys would, they ain’t ashamed of their personality and come off blunt over what they want. These ladies here keep making noise over Maje surely fall for Majes though in different degrees compared to one legbere that brings flowers and sends poems via whatsapp. Figure that. Women if I am lying, shoot me.

  22. peterslord

    December 10, 2016 at 9:25 am

    This is a summary of this precise and lovely article “The that fact that you have to compete in the first place shows you are not originally valued or genuinely loved.” You have taken me back to my university days when a girl will be beaten blue black by one boy or a girl will be sleeping around the neighbourhood with her boy friend’s friends or any fine boy yet these fools will say ‘hem go change make I hold on.’ Hold on for who? Monkey!

  23. @yahoo

    December 10, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Gbayi Woman(capital W), you immediately become a scape goat ? when u put urself in that weak position hustling for a man’s love. Yes!, every man loves loyalty and a woman who can assume the position of a Lieutenant General in a justified battle BUT no man wants a stupid woman or a porn for a wifey. You can always see style and grace in a woman that thinks and does right, men have inner eyes ? for such women and it rings nothing but RESPECT to the head.

  24. @yahoo

    December 10, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Pawn not porn. You come as a pawn then it’s game time, you come right u get treated right. ✔️

  25. Corolla

    December 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    “Maje always only truly loved Anita which is why she (Anita) won the fight in the end.” Seems you are contradicting yourself here. Because based on your logic, Maje would never have let Anita hustle and compete for him if he genuinely loved her.

    • mohammad

      December 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Atink English comprehension mata dey worry you. Abeg make you read the article again

    • Carmen

      December 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      @corolla…go back and read again.thank me later.

  26. [email protected]

    December 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Society conditions our thought. Why leave a man for another girl after all she does not have two vagina. We always want to win at the end. My neighbour always tell anyone who cared to listen…. Fight for your man she did and she is happy with him. I dont blame toke girls are in relationships with bums every where.

  27. B

    December 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Well written

    “Basically, any man who puts you in a position where you feel like you have to compete for his love, attention, and respect does NOT love you…at all” very true!!!

  28. nene

    December 10, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    any woman who fights for a man that is not her husband must be crazy! for those women who fight for their husbands, at least there’s a legal and traditional angle to it, and marriage is like a contract, you don’t give up on it very easily, and you can always renegotiate as many times as is convenient for you.

  29. Ememobong

    December 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    @ Nkem Ndem, right on sister! As someone who has tasted both sides of the coin, I can confidently tell you that when a man genuinely loves and respects you, you will feel that royal ? treatment. There are just certain things that will not be a major issue in the relationship like struggling for love and attention, feeling insecure due to neglect, being taken for granted unnecessarily etc. There is a big difference, any girl that truly loves herself should train herself to wait for such a man and such a love instead of compromising and suffering unnecessary heartbreak and despair.

  30. Tobi

    December 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    If a lady creates a room for a second, she should be ready to fight her way back to be the only. In most cases its a loose fight.(just to comment on the triangle analogy). You’re right no man should put his love in a spot to fight/compete for him but what if the love put herself there?
    In short, the Toke gist is a one sided story even though it sound real, its still one sided.

  31. alwayshappy

    December 10, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Idioms we always mix up and how they complicate communication and clarity in the minds of folks, leading them down the lane of foolishness. Fuckboys are not men, do not place men-like expectations on fuckboys, side chicks are not your wives, your sidekick can become a wife someday but will never be #thewife you betrayed, fighting is not the same as competing , one holds perceived value, the other is redundant y’all are losers at the end of the day. if you have to tell a man, father, uncle, brother how to hold down his relationship responsibility, take a long walk and leave him to grow up. You cannot be busy raising yourself as an adult, raising your kids to be responsible adults and then carry overload of an mgbeke man who refuses to adult.

  32. Ibukun

    December 10, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I believe it just doesn’t make sense to ‘compete for a man’s attention or love. It’s just total bullshit! Unfortunately, most ladies find themselves in this situation because of greed, inferiority complex and giving too much credit to the male folk.

  33. Mo

    December 11, 2016 at 12:19 am

    The love of my life got married today. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much. He might have been the love of my life, but if I was his, like he said, why did he pick her over me. He said I wasn’t willing to fight for him. But why should a grown man be fought over? It’s simple, me or her, he picked her! he said she hustled with him, but I wasn’t even interested in his money. I was and still am willing to work for my own. He said I wasn’t ready, he wanted to get married this year and asked if I could leave my masters programme for him. Is that love? Me thinks not. He said she’s been with him for a while, he can’t just leave her without honouring her. Does the fact that I’m younger make me less worthy of honour? He said I have my whole life of ahead of me but I should always remember that his heart belongs to me. He said, he said, he said. Excuses are all I can make of it all.
    This is not love, this is cowardice. This is a man who is not man enough to tell me plainly that he chooses her; that he chose her. He wanted me to prove my love. How does proving my love equate to competing for him with a woman who was not even in competition with me. With a woman who had already won, because he clearly chose her. I’m glad I stood my ground and picked my battles. Love is patient, Love is kind, Love does not dishonour others. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. This was not love, not for him at least.
    I’m hurt and I can only cling on to God’s promises for my life. I have never loved like this and I pray I have the strength and hope to love again. Better, deeper and more than ever before.
    Ladies, do not compete for a man who does not choose you over and over again. Competing is not love, it is foolishness. It is draining and takes all your energy. It is futile.

    • B

      December 11, 2016 at 12:53 am

      I pray for strength for you dear! You’ll be fine. You deserve a man who loves you so much that he won’t only say it but prove it by holding on tight to you and never letting go. I’m glad you know all he said are just excuses. It will take time to get over the pain but you’ll be fine ?

    • Mo

      December 11, 2016 at 1:09 am

      Thanks B!

    • Mo

      December 11, 2016 at 1:09 am

      I forgot to ask for advice as to how to get over the pain. He still called me this morning telling me how much he loves me. I can’t move on that way so I deleted him from all my social media. Deleted his number but I’m not sure this will help me get over it. I’m so sad and bitter and I’m usually a very happy person. I just need to forget it all asap. Help!

    • Iya ibeji

      December 11, 2016 at 2:05 am

      Dear Mo, you will be fine eventually. Its good you have deleted him from your contacts. Someone who loves you will not ask you to leave your masters program for them, they will support you. Cry as much as you need to but get up everyday and tell yourself you are good enough. Its hard but you will be okay in the end and glad that you stood your ground.believe that God will never give you more than you can handle. Stop talking to him totally so he doesn’t rope you in again. I wish you the best. Hugs

    • JENNIETOBBIE

      December 11, 2016 at 3:53 am

      EVERYTHING Iya Ibeji said and BLOCK him. That’s not love and you know it. Concentrate on your studies, pray and slowly but surely you will get over him with time. Years from now you will scoff at the idea that you once claimed this person as the love of your life. Do not rush the process of healing; otherwise the pain will spill over somehow. Some days will be happy; others will be gloomy and dark, but never stop putting one foot in front no matter how hard.

      Hugs and love from me to you. He’s married now so back off and stay on your lane. He does not love you. You will be fine and your lover will come by again. Happy Holidays.

    • Nkem Ndem

      December 11, 2016 at 6:04 am

      @Mo, it may not seem like it now…but you will be alright. As for the advice you need right now, please read my previous article “The lure of another girl’s man”. Read d comments too. And if that doesn’t help, send me a msg on IG and we can arrange a voicechat.

    • Nitomeya

      December 16, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Start by deleting the Love of my life tag, He is not the love of your life. Let God over the process of time heal you. Mourn the loss of your relationship to him, talk about it as much as you need to with people close to you. Keep busy but don’t date some else for a while at least 1 year (No rebound). Stay positive and it will be alright. Tell him to stop calling you and be firm about it. I wish all the best and pray that God will be an ever present help in this trying period.

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