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Lota Ofodile: To Get Married or Not? What NdaniTV’s ‘Gidi Up’ Taught Me About Letting Go

Lota

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Although I might still be considered too young to be thinking or talking about marriage, I believe I have a few words to share about the topic. Of course, I have never been married before; I don’t even know that I have dated anyone that seriously to say that I have had a close-enough equivalent. But over the years, from movies, books, songs and the lived experiences of friends, colleagues and family, I have learned a few things about the matter.

We have all heard the “Marriage is not easy”, “It requires a lot of work”, “Every marriage has its ups and downs” kinds of talks, and given the insurmountable rates of separations and divorces, and just plain unhappiness and dissatisfaction encountered by married couples, I am convinced that marriage is no easy feat. So why is it still such a sought-after enterprise?

You’re probably thinking this is one of those feminist rants, or anti-marriage arguments, or something along those lines. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it has absolutely nothing to do with that. In fact, I would openly like to state that being happily married and building a home is perhaps one of my biggest aspirations in life (before you say anything, just remember, to each his own).

Anyway, what I am trying to get at is, despite the beauty, complexity and intricacy of marriage, for some reason, it seems that we are so desperate for it that we end up getting into it for the wrong reasons, and settling for much less than we deserve. And this applies to both men and women, even though in Nigeria, there is perhaps ten times more pressure on females to get married, and earlier too.

There is a myriad of reasons that could lead to these hastened, not-well-thought-out marriages including: unplanned pregnancies, financial interests, getting “old” and the pressure to get married/have kids that accompanies it. Oh! and my personal favorite: “We’ve been dating for so long already, we might as well just get married”, even when the love and excitement have died out. Perhaps the most interesting and accurate description of this example can be seen on Season 2 of Ndani Tv’s “Gidi Up” (only the best TV show ever! If you haven’t seen it yet, I have no words for you). Seriously, go check it out, it’s amazing!The producers just confirmed that Season 3 is on its way… so excited!:D

On the show, one of the characters, Sharon, played by the one and only Adesua Etomi, is engaged to be married to her long-time boyfriend and only child of her father’s bestfriend, Meka, played by Anthony Monjaro. Wedding plans are already underway, just for us to find out that Meka isn’t exactly happy or excited to be getting married. He recently lost his parents who were very wealthy business moguls, and he’s had to fill their shoes and run the family business. He feels like he hasn’t lived his life for himself but for others, that his entire life has already been scripted for him and he basically just has to show up to play the part. And it wasn’t that he did not have feelings for Sharon, because he did; it was that because they were childhood friends turned lovers, everyone expected that them getting married would be a no-brainer. But now that the time has come, he realizes that he doesn’t love her anymore, at least not in that way, and definitely not enough to want to get married.

Unlike basically all of my friends who have seen the show, I understood exactly where he was coming from. (I can feel some of your eyes rolling at this point, but just hear me out). Of course, it is not fair or nice to Sharon who is still in love with him that he feels this way right now, or that he let things get this far… but what would you rather have? That he marries her out of pity or obligation/duty and then in the future asks for a divorce? That he cheats on her or emotionally checks out of the marriage and leave her unhappy?

I don’t know about y’all, but I am sure that I don’t want to be married to someone just because he pities me, or because he feels like he has to. Maybe you don’t mind—I don’t know; whatever rocks your boat. What I know is that even though it will hurt like hell, and it seems like there has been too much emotional, time and even monetary investment “wasted” on any relationship, when it doesn’t feel right or complete, when it seems like something fundamental is missing, proceeding to marriage might just not be the brightest of ideas.

Obviously, this is not to say that we should easily give up on our relationships when there’s a glitch somewhere, NO. In fact, once there are any issues, I think it’s always smart to try to resolve them; talk things through and try to work things out. There is no guarantee that you will be successful, but at least you BOTH tried. Perhaps Meka and Sharon need to consider that. But if after talking about it, making some changes/adjustments, taking a break, counseling, or however else you choose to accomplish that, it still doesn’t feel right, it might just be time to pick up and leave, especially if your issues are between you two, and not external (from friends, family, work, money, etc.)

Everyone is different; we all have our peculiarities when it comes to love, relationships, and marriage—what we can handle or deal with, and those things we absolutely can’t tolerate. So it’s really up to the individual(s) involved. I always say: your spouse is literally the only important and relevant person in your life you have the ability to chose, so don’t mess it up for whatever reason. Rather than subject yourself or the other party to stress or misery, be honest with yourselves and do what needs to be done; there is already enough stress from work, the economy, and life in general.

This might sound a little selfish, but if there is one thing I’ve learned about relationships and breakups, it’s: “do what’s best for you, because ultimately, that’s also what’s best for your partner” (this was also said at one point on the show by Yvonne, played by Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama). There is no need holding on to something that can’t stand on its own. How much longer before you give up and let go?

P.S. Can you already tell I am obsessed with Gidi Up? ’cause I am! Love it! 🙂

#TeamNollywood 😀

Hi I'm Lota, and I believe that love is the greatest gift of all. I am Nigerian, and my family and friends mean the world to me. I enjoy having great conversations and listening to people's opinions. I am a Nollywood connoisseur of sorts, and a lover of God, food, and everything pink! Writing helps me relax and process my thoughts. Professionally, I am in pursuit of a career that merges my passion for healthcare and entertainment media. Visit my blog at Lota Relates. Watch my vlogs here.

7 Comments

  1. Nneka J

    January 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Folarin for the girls

  2. Anon

    January 28, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    We’re all seeing it from the guys point of view and pitying him. But if it was Sharon doing it everyone would say “oh spoilt emotional woman rich kid blahblah.” I myself got bored with my long term relationship, but I gave it a few weeks, or so and the feelings came back. But when my partner became stifling and over possessive etc, I knew it was time to end the relationship, so I did, With long term relationships, oftentimes the excitement wears off and you actually get bored, there are times you don’t even want to see the person and the attraction isn’t there. You suddenly start finding other people more mysterious and exciting because your own partner is now “see finish”. No one should ever “settle” with a life partner, but we should also not expect perfection. But what you should do is try, figure out what your feelings are, if it’s worth giving some time to see if it’s seasonal, if you’re truly happy in a relationship and if a breakup is much better. NOT going into an affair with someone else. Because one day, that same amount of time will pass on your new relationship- and you will do the same again. This is a very good topic that I hope many adults, single married and otherwise, can discuss and look into. Sometimes what we think is a “lack of” love and attraction is just boredom. What we need is to reflect and discernment from God to know whether to stay or move on . Meka was BORED with his life, ignoring his privileges and only looking at what we think we lack. In real life, you can lose everything when you do the things he did.

  3. Anne

    January 28, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Whether you like it or not, what you do during courtship will affect your marriage. Many people don’t believe it. They want to keep doing the same thing and get different results. Yes marriage is hardwork but you add to the hardwork if you lived like married people before marriage. That’s why you get tired of each other . Nothing much to look forward to together alone. You may have children but both of you won’t have fun because you had it all during courtship.

    • CHIBABY

      January 28, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      Even if you marry a man as a virgin, you will still get bored eventually. Forever is a hell of a long time to be together. Regardless of your courtship, i think the most important thing is a genuine commitment from both parties, to make it work, regardless of the circumstances.

  4. serendipity

    January 29, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    This is one of my biggest fears in marriage, I’m afraid to say it but people bore me easily, it takes a lot to hold my attention span. I am a melancholic so I do enjoy my own company, constantly want my space even with family and friends who have over the years learned to let me be when my mood swings. My friends say I have a fear for commitment, I think its the realization that I can’t just choose to ignore my husband, we can’t take a break unlike dating, he’s going to be in my space 24/7, I am super organized and don’t like anything being out of place, some times I just don’t want to talk to anyone on social media or calls, even now I turn off my phone some days and some people misinterprete it to mean something else, how do I explain this to a husband when we are going to live together, forever is a long time…oh well I guess I haven’t met who will make me want to spend a whole week with him…

  5. Truth

    January 30, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Many of you are placing too much expectation on marriage as a tool to alleviate your boredom, when what you should really focus on is what relieves you of boredom on your own. Do you have hobbies? interests? passions? You can’t always expect your spouse to relieve you of boredom just because you live together, you have to take responsibility of your own happiness. I am married and also someone that easily gets bored in general, but I have ways to cope with my boredom without relying on my husband to ‘change my mood’. This is why maturity is essential in marriage, you must be independent and have your own life that you both bring in together and form a unique routine. What is exciting is that there will be many opportunities to share experiences together and also opportunities to explore life on your own i.e with your own set of friends, colleagues, group associates or even just by yourself. Nothing about marriage should feel so constraining, unless one partner is clingy and overly dependent on the other- even then, the more independent spouse can teach the other to value their space and explore their own interests. There is nothing to be afraid of in marriage if you love and trust your spouse and if you are both mature enough to take charge of your personal development without solely relying on the other. People keep saying ‘forever is a long time’ but once you get married you will appreciate how quickly time passes, how much there really is to do in so little time. That said forever doesn’t seem like a long time when you are truly happy and that is the only criteria that’s important- not someone who constantly entertains you, but rather someone you feel at peace with, who makes you happy and feel safe- forever then doesn’t seem long enough!

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