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Fumbi O: Dear Young Lady, Are You Getting Married Too Early?

Fumbi. O

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Today’s post was inspired by my dear friend Theresa. She doubles as my editor and proofreader. She ensures that I don’t give you guys rubbish to read and keeps my dramatics in check. Thank you Theresa

From the heading, you can already guess what we are going to be talking about: early marriages.I don’t mean those decorated pervs who go around marrying toddlers, I’m talking about people who are relatively adults, but decide to marry early – 18 years old and above.

Marriage is a beautiful thing, I am all for it, in all its glory. I believe wholeheartedly in the forever after effect it has; thus for this reason I believe that anyone who decides to go into it must be very ready. Cold feet and anxiety notwithstanding, you must be ready for the changes it brings and the sacrifices it demands, but lately people tend to skip this part. Marriage has now become an item on a checklist for most people. Once they meet someone who seems good enough and their names rhyme well enough to create a cool hashtag (#Lollipop 2030) voila! They are wedding ready.

Who am I to know what it takes, right? It’s not like I’ve been married before. However, I don’t believe in learning from my own experiences alone; I prefer to avoid possible mistakes by learning from other people’s experiences

I believe marriage should be till death do us part, ride or die, thick and thin; for this reason I would rather go in late and get it right, than rush in and be a young rich divorcee (no offence to anyone please) This is not to say age is a factor that guarantees a successful marriage, definitely not; but the essence of this is that, once you go in early, you have a lot of years ahead of you. You have to be sure you are truly done being single, before becoming part of a team.

Once you’re married, the concept of individualism become less relevant. I know I may get chewed up for this, but you can’t see yourself as one person anymore.

So you get married at age 20, have a beautiful wedding ceremony and your boo worships the ground you walk on. He is probably way older, so he promised you not to worry, you guys are going to be just fine. One year later, junior arrives, charming little thing. You enter the mummy club at 21. In this scenario, I would even assume you’re like me, so at 21 you are already done with schooling and youth service so those things do not even come up as hindrances. Then two years later, little princess arrives (perfect family right?) Your friends start telling you how you’re becoming old school. Why did you allow your hubby buy you a mini-van instead of a G-wag? Why is all your underwear so mummy-ish? Really, you have to stop drinking? Unbelievable! Why won’t you go clubbing? You are not even 25 yet… live a little! Then, eureka! You start to think “oh my God, my life is passing me by. I didn’t even get to do my Masters as I planned. I didn’t get to travel and go back-packing with my girls. What happened to me? I used to be free, I used to be hot”
Suddenly, your kids become such a task. Your husband becomes a bother. You start endless talks about finding yourself and how you need to do something for you. If you’re lucky, someone or something calms you down, before you cause too much damage; but for people who fall in deep, you start saying maybe this marriage thing isn’t for me. Thus you commence your visit to the lawyer’s office.

The scenario I have painted may not go in the exact same progression for everyone, but there are common cases of young women who decide to get out of marriages – because they had not thought it through properly before taking the step.

I am all for early marriages; I love the idea of having your kids looking like your siblings – you know when you’re forty with four kids behind you still looking fresh and hip, and then you retire with all your kids properly settled. All that notwithstanding, we need to start treating marriage like the sacred thing that it is.

So you have a well to do, fine and tall Bae who says he is ready for marriage. You both are truly in love and everyone is saying: Why not? Haaa you better don’t lose this one o. There are no more husbands out there o, grab him now. Who says you’re too young? Don’t be like that your cousin that was fronting for years and is now going for spinsters retreat every month etc. You then start thinking: maybe I should get married…

Should you?

Different strokes for different folks, but the main thing is that you need take your time and be ready. Get your mind to that point where you can boldly say: “taking this step is part of my fulfilment and not a tick on my to-do list”.
Marriage doesn’t define you as a woman; it definitely adds to you, but having a failed marriage will take away so much more from you. Dear young lady, the goal shouldn’t be a lit wedding ceremony, but a successful marriage.

Are you done being single? Have you found yourself? Are you in your own element? Are you going in to complement the man or are you going in as a liability? Have you found a career path? Are you ready for the changes marriage might cause to that career? Have you pictured your life five years from now, and having kids and a home is part of it? Are you ready to be a mother? Do you have the slightest fear that you might get bored down the line? Or are you doing it just because the guy is ready and your parents are also ready? Are you ready to be a ride or die (because things can get ugly really fast)? Even if you are 18 the moment, you get married and you become a woman. So most importantly, are you ready to be a full blown woman?

If you answer all of these positively, then happy married life; but, if there is a pinch of hesitation at any point, please take a moment and rethink.

Are you already married and for whatever reason you are already considering backing out? To be clear: these reasons must not include verbal or physical or any form of abuse o (if that is the case, my sister please flee) I mean non-violent reasons like you’ve started thinking: maybe you weren’t ready for this or maybe you don’t even like being a mum or maybe you think you have lost yourself upon getting married or maybe you both are starting to disconnect emotionally Before you fill that legal document stating “irreconcilable differences”, please ruminate on those vows and try harder. If not, please think better before taking the step again, if you do decide to make another attempt.

Cheers 🙂

Photo Credit: Sam74100 | Dreamstime.com

Fumbi Olaolu is a graduate of International relations from Covenant University. A God loving nerd who likes all things fashion and business, talks a lot and likes to be the boss at everything. I try to find various means of expressing the myriad of thoughts in my head. If you would like a front row sit into my world, visit my blogs at Amie's Thoughts or  The Casual Writer, On Instagram @missfumbi :)

29 Comments

  1. www.stylelately.blogspot.com

    January 9, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    This piece us very relatable to me. I’m quite young and also done with school. Sometimes I feel quite pressured from the boo and friends to get married but deep down, it’s not what I want to do with my life now. I want to explore the world, travel with dear friends and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I will eventually get married at the right time but now is not just it for me

    • Anne

      January 10, 2017 at 1:32 am

      One of my biggest regrets in life is getting married late. I just wish I had done it earlier. It takes a lot of strength and energy to take care of children, it is good for you to know. May your mum be strong enough to help out and may your nanny be effective. Marriage is more fun and romantic when you are young. You have more responsibilities when you are older and please don’t forget that age is not just a number. It is for real.

    • Tosin

      January 10, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      I was way more interested in these marry things when I was 18ish (for like a minute). Now, like you, I’m just like why trouble go sleep yanga go wan come wake am? Abeg, marriage is good sha but at my age I can’t now start stressing again from man matter to pikin matter. I don retire make all these yoots sef do their own. 😀 For the adults in the house, even shag sef I don tire, talk less of somebody mention kitchen and other responsibilities.

  2. nene

    January 9, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    i believe marriage should take plate when a person is at least 80% content with their life in every aspect. it’s not a recipe for a successful marriage, but it’s a recipe for a successful existence. i believe marriage, kids & family is the second to the last stage (and the longest phase) of human existence, then death.

  3. AJA

    January 9, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Nice write up! found it particularly helpful bcos as a woman in ur early 20’s ur career path is fairly unstable, i.e ure probably fresh in the work scene, u dont even know if u’ll get transfered out of state or out of the country,also finding yourself is key, before u add on having kids and starting a family. thanks BN for this post

  4. DA

    January 9, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Married at 18. You are definitely right about the theory of how bad things may go if the individuals involved are not matured enough. In my case, i can confidently say my marriage has been waxing strong for 5 yrs now, 3 kids, good career, ongoing masters. Ofcourse they are drawbacks – limited travel, clubbing, family drama (extended). The key is maturity and having a supportive pattern.

    • prevail

      January 9, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Awwwnnn 18, you tried oooo, my own problem is kids, did u av kids immediately u got married or u chilled for a while? Cos children changes a lot of things in marriage

    • DA

      January 9, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      Yes I had my 1st almost 10 months later ( it wasnt planned though?). But like buttercuP said, i am lucky to have a partner who cheers my on.

  5. DA

    January 9, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    *supportive partner

  6. buttercuP

    January 9, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I am married. I haven’t found myself, I haven’t gotten the career path,still dabbling here and there. But I’m glad I have a partner and friend who understands and cheers me on towards my goals, aspirations and finding myself. What if I had let him go because I needed to find. Myself first or gotten my career path or ticked all those boxes I had in my head? will I still have found someone as awesome as him? I almost let him go cause off those reasons. But I realised I could do all that and more even in marriage and right now I am at peace and happy even with a baby on the way.

  7. prevail

    January 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    God bless you for this write up
    Am just 21, finished hnd but rounding up back next year.. av always pictured myself doing masters b4 settling down but my bf is not agreeing saying 4years time is too much and my parents are supporting him…..
    I don’t want to lose him cos he is caring and gentle but am just soo sure I will be miserable after a while, am just sooo confused???

    • prevail

      January 9, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      *Bsc

    • busola

      January 10, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      If you love him, please marry him. You guys need to understand there is no right way to do anything in life. Some people find love early, and some people find love late. Don’t chase love away simply because of education or career. Trust your heart.

  8. Charidee

    January 9, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    This is me, boo wanted to settle down and I really wasn’t ready and was really praying about it… fast forward some months later we started having issues and I was glad the scales fell off, Cos I was feeling guilty .. Little Sis brought her man and they got married. in my early twenties and she’s 21… These mothers need to take a chill pill, in fact Nigerians… Am really in a good place right and damn happy for my sister. We really need make ourselves happy for us and damn what people think or say

    • Pam

      January 9, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      I had to beg my mum to be careful not to turn me to a desperado! I think out mothers are just scared that time will pass and we’re still living under their roofs in this our African society. The pressure especially frm mothers is too much jare.

  9. Deji

    January 9, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Sometimes it is a phase in marriage one goes thru and with proper guidance and acceptance one can weather that storm. Particularly for me I get those feelings every now and then, to just back out of my marriage (I am a guy). I have the most supportive and lovely wife ever, married 5 years and I love my kids to death. But deep down, I feel stuck. I feel like I have missed out on life’s adventures. I had dreams to travelling the world, getting an MBA and owning my own restaurant. The whole 9-5 thing is so boring and cliché to me sometimes I wanna scream and shout. Been in a relationship with her for 6 years before being married for 5 so I never really went on dates or sowed my wild oats. I am in my very early 30s but yet I feel so bloody old and out of sync. What can a brother do really? Marriage is for life aint it.

    • demash

      January 9, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      I know that feeling….

    • Baby gurl

      January 9, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Wow hardly do you find a man opening up in this manner. Anyways if the funds are there I advise you to take I dunno 2, 3 weeks or even a month off and travel. It might seem daunting but travelling to a whole new world gives you a new appreciation for life and deep gratitude for what you have. You will experience things you never thought possible, meet people you never knew existed and eat food you cannot even spell. As long as your wife approves though. If she doesn’t at first, give her one or two reasons why you need the trip in your life and the positive effects it would have on the future well-being of your family. Even African countries like nearby Mauritania or Tanzania are fine you don’t have to go that far. It’s a pity we lack quality retreats in Nigeria that would have been a less expensive alternative just to clear your head and realign. Heck you can even confide in a friend or trusted family member who will be willing to assess status updates from you. That’s less committal and less expensive than traveling. I wish you the best in your marriage. God bless you and your family.

    • Vee

      January 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

      And then he meets someone new…..

    • Obi

      January 10, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      @Deji – nothing is stopping you from travelling, getting an MBA and opening your restaurant. You can do all this even in your marriage thats if you really want to do them (MBA and restaurant). As for your travelling, do you mean you regret not travelling the world being a hoe and lashing random strangers or do you really want to travel and see new places ? If its the latter then do it with your wife. Its a great bonding experience and you get to tick that off your bucketlist but if its the former then my man im assuring you that you didn’t miss anything. I wish you the best.

    • Tosin

      January 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      lol husband-wife travel, that’s another genre on its own
      solo travel too. everything is making me laugh today abeg. 🙂

    • Nkechi

      January 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Not sure you are the Deji I envied years ago. You and your wife got married at 25 and had been in a relationship since Uni. Anyway, my story is different. I had just left a soar relationship which made me feel ashamed so I envied Deji and his wife who were already married, working and studying. I admired them because they got it right. What’s the point in having serial relationships, getting heart broken with scars. If the first one that comes is the right one, what’s all these futile exploration all about. It is what you are not supposed to be looking for that will eat you raw. Eventually God had mercy and I got married to someone who told me God told him I was his wife when I was 19. Trust me, I thought he was joking. I felt I had the right and beauty to choose by myself though I was a worker in church. It’s interesting how the mouth speaks of total surrender to God’s will and the heart longs for the wind. I am saying this because some people are about to make that mistake. Today I can say that the best decision I have made in life was getting married. I am not stressed in any way in fact I find it hard relating with women who complain about cheating, violence etc of course I feel for them and will help as much as I can because they are human beings, created by God and should not be treated by another human being the way their creator can never treat them
      Here is my point: involve God in your decisions. You don’t even know who will be President in the next 15years. Your knowledge of life is limited compared to God’s.

  10. ruhamah

    January 9, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    MIss fumbi. This article will be speaking to lot of young adults rushing into this sacred phase called “Marriage” Good job!!!

  11. didi

    January 9, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    @ Deji pls don’t travel alone o if u have to (based on babygurls advice). It can also b dangerous as u can meet n fall in love with one foreign beauty. Beta still go with just ur wife n b wild. Enjoy yourselves n play like babies. Do d things u never did. If however u feel going with ur wife won’t make a difference, please go with a fellow who can reset ur button incase one gf wan confuse ur brain cos from all indications u cherish ur family n won’t want to break d bond b all.

  12. LL

    January 9, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    At the end of the day, it boils down to being able to do what YOU want because even if you feel you’ve made a mistake, you’d deal with the fact that it was YOUR own mistake and not pressure from others. Also, getting married early is not always about age, an 18 year old can be as clear as day about her life while a 35 year old is still confused and trying to find herself.
    For people who have gotten into marriage and feel it may be too late to do certain things, please don’t limit yourself. As long as you live, you still have time to do certain things. I know a couple in their 60s/70s who take a boat cruise every year. Driving a nice car still feels good in your 60s; and many people have begun new careers in their 40s, 50s and beyond. Life has no manual; the most important thing is to try to avoid being thrown around by the wind

  13. Creamchic

    January 10, 2017 at 3:51 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, Funmi. I got married at 23, had 3 kids in 5 years and really enjoy being married but without doubt I paid the price in my Big4 career even though I have been a working mother. I’ll still advice young people to marry early if they find love early as long as they count the cost. I’m currently grappling with how to combine being a good wife and mum (which requires time) and having a fabulous career which also requires a lot of time investment

  14. happywifey

    January 10, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I actually wish I met husband earlier..in my late twenties, cant believe I have him all to myself, also glad I didn’t marry that early cos it might not have been him, Thank God its him i get to spend the rest of my life with!! so i am glad i chilled a bit. Early marriage and not so early marriage doesn’t matter so far as you marry your God given boocakes.

  15. Tosin

    January 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    We’re selling market here: amazon.com/dp/B01MU5Y51A/

  16. Bisola

    January 18, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Beautiful write up Funbi!!
    I really do agree with most of the points. Getting married early is not a crime tho if you’ve been able to discover yourself early enough and you’re at peace with everything. At the same time, self discovery is key. I believe you cannot arrive at a future you do not prepare for. Before thinking of getting married, we should all take out time to actualize what we really want. Though, no amount of preparation can ever be enough but we should be at least 80% prepared. Some do ge it right while others miss out.
    As for me, I would love to find a career path, hang out with friends, attend more seminars, visit some countries and above all I would love to truly discover myself before saying I do.

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