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Nkem Says: When Your Spouse is not as Spiritual As You Thought



You know the drill. You’ve seen it happen one too many times, or perhaps it has happened to you. You meet a charming, witty and handsome young man who initially seems to have a great relationship with God, goes to church, is in a service unit and quotes the scriptures, but upon getting to know him, you realize it is all a façade: he does not uphold the Christian values that he preaches or claims to believe in and he is not even covert about it.

Or. you meet a very hot but homely and reserved girl… you intuitively feel something isn’t quite right – especially since she is a “Yoruba Muslim”, while you are a Northerner yourself. However, she mentions her family is a strict Muslim family and you accept her. But, after you proceed to marriage, you find that when she said she was a virgin, she meant she had quit sex for a while, not that she had not ever had it. You now literally have to drag her to the mosque; she does not motivate you to pray as you should anymore. She drinks and she does not care for any kind of fasting. In fact, she starts to mention her intent to perhaps change religion…and you wonder how you didn’t foresee all of that.

Earlier this year, my path crossed with that of a dazzling young man. Perfect at first: he was 6’2,well-built, an introvert, book-smart (I initially confused this for intelligence), his mother was a pastor, and most interestingly, he mentioned that my church was his “island church” as he lived on the mainland. I mean, I quickly noticed that he was feminine and little too radical (he was all for feminism, gay rights, e.t.c) but it was different, and I found it quite refreshing.
About five weeks into talking, I invited him to church, but he declined, saying he would attend the following week. I did not see anything wrong with it. Actually I thought it may be difficult for him, considering the fact that his ex was an usher in the church. He probably didn’t want to run into her. Then sometime within the week, dude now mentioned that actually, he was “agnostic”. I knew what being agnostic meant and to be honest, I would not have judged him at all had the first thing that came to my mind not been the fact that he had lied about his belief at the initial point. To be fair to him, he had actually said to me: “I am spiritual, not religious”… still… that was a far cry from being agnostic. I hate lies. It is a deal-breaker for me.

He went on to share how Christianity did not make sense to him and there really was no proof that God existed..e.t.c., sending me torrents of memes as though his intent was now to convert me. While we were having the chat, I was just on my bed staring at the ceiling and thinking: “Adonbilivt! I nu Kwa! Tell me ‘suntin’! As expected, the scripture “Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what partnership has light with darkness?” immediately came to mind. I was still in that toxic honeymoon phase and super attached to the dude, so it was no surprise when I found myself wondering what kind of Christian I would be if I judged him. I quickly turned to another scripture in 1 Corinthians that said: “ … To the weak, I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means, I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” And decided I would not wear my own belief like a signboard on my forehead, rather I would make myself approachable in that aspect so that he would not feel judged, rather he would see the light through me.

Perhaps my plan would have worked, had he not turned out to be quite the narcissist and his belief no longer even the issue. As it was in my case, many people go on to fall into relationships with people who later on reveal that they are not at the spiritual level or as religious as their partners initially assumed they were. How does this happen? How can you really tell the spiritual level of the person you want to be with or marry? Even more, how do you handle the relationship after you find a disparity between your initial perception and the reality based on what they are they now exhibit?

It is simple: spirituality is relative and having a picture in your mind of what a spiritual person should be like, is what limits you in the first place. Every single person is on his/her own spiritual path, despite what religion or faith they subscribe to. Despite how fervent they may have been in faith at the time you meet them, or how much of your expectations they met, there is no guarantee that they will remain the same. And when they eventually fall short of expectations, you cannot really say that they had lied [unless they clearly did, like my agnostic fellow] or they had led you on.

You must remember that spirituality is personal. You can only be in control of yours. Whether the partner is willing to work on himself or not, all you can do is focus on yourself and do your own thing. Perhaps, you will be tempted to blame them and condemn them for backsliding or being unfaithful, but that kind of “You are trash and I’m better than you” mentality is nothing but self-righteousness and even pride. When you catch yourself getting into that frame of thinking, just recognise it, and let it go. 9 times out of 10, it would lead to debates, arguments and then breakup, separation, or divorce. Instead, set boundaries with them and be their light. Do not give up on them or dim your own light either. Continue with your level of spirituality and even do more work to move on higher. Over time, your partner will see the benefits you enjoy as a result and fall in line.

Have you had to deal with a partner or mate turning out to be less spiritual than you were made to believe they were at the initial stance? how did you handle the situation?

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.


  1. peter

    August 25, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Nkem and her fabricated gist…Ogini..???

    • Ladi

      August 25, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Hahahahahahahaha! Over fabricated i swear.

    • Smh

      August 25, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      And you know its fabricated how? The fact that your social life is boring does not meanthe writers has to be as well. If you were even a little bit brilliant you would be you able to tell a fabricated story from a real one..clearly you arent. All you beefers. Smh. Im sure you will be glad when you finally run Nkem off this site with your hate. God help you.

    • Honestly

      August 26, 2017 at 7:00 am

      I just take the “story” and learn what I can and leave the rest.. Finish. IT IS A STORY!!!
      Meant to get one thinking. Fabricated or not, this is a situation or similar situation many many people face in relationships.
      Also, Nkem bashing is becoming a little tiresome and boring! Chill!

  2. Puzzles

    August 25, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Personally, i don’t think it is wise to go into a relationship talk less of get married to someone who doesn’t share your beliefs AND live by the same principles. (I capitalized the “AND” because e.g. there are those who say they are Christians but don’t live by Bible principles.)

    It may seem like a little thing in the beginning but it becomes a big deal as time progresses. Some couples have claimed that it didn’t matter, they didn’t let it bother them etc, but if you look at things critically, you’ll observe that they have had to make compromises contrary to their beliefs which inwardly they regret but would never admit. Some watch their children being raised in a religion they don’t agree with but to maintain peace, they keep quiet. Sometimes, it even becomes a competition.

    I have seen it happen around me and those i know who married someone who doesn’t share their belief admitted that they regretted it. (i’m speaking based on those i know. Your experience might be different)

    Many ladies have had to compromise or even leave their faith to “keep” their homes. That man who told you when you were dating that he didn’t mind you using make up and going to another church all of a sudden after you get married to him begins to insist you stop wearing makeup, stop wearing trousers and go to his church. If you refuse, you’re called a rebellious wife by him, his family, his pastors and the society at large.

    Look at Nigeria today, dem dey carry religion for head.

    There are too many issues married couples have to deal with. i don’t want to add differences in beliefs to it.

    Yes, nothing in life is guaranteed but a couple that share the same belief and convictions would have a better chance in having a more successful marriage than those who don’t.

  3. Hadassah

    August 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Mehn! This gust resemble my own
    Met this dude, fine chocolate bearded,early this year, dude was always asking me about my day, I just moved to that town because of the job, he was driving me around, and Me I was already thinking maybe he is d one. Father and mother pastors ,one day I told him I was going to church, I don’t even know what said I should ask him if he was christain, I mean after all his parents were pastors,dude drops the entire *i don’t believe in God*thing on me
    I was like Jesus!!! This fine piece of goodness ??
    Why he is not even a lukewarm Christian, I mean we can still try working with that small.
    Guy tried asking me like three days after that, my brain no gree say yes ??

  4. JT

    August 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    This sounds fabricated, but since you mention it, am going to speak my mind on it. I am a Christian and I am going to say straight out that religiosity and spirituality are not the same. Spirituality entails a personally connection and relationship while religiosity is more on the outward dimension.
    A spiritual man is a non negotiable factor for me because I don’t want a boyfriend, I want a man who is ready to be a husband and take on the responsibilities that come with it. That’s why the Holy Spirit is Very Very essential for a Christian who wants a Godly marriage. You want a man who fears God, a man who loves God more than he loves you. And you need the Holy spirit to know because even when he seems spiritual on the outside, the Holy Spirit will remove your peace and tell you NO in ways that YOU will understand.

  5. Jane

    August 25, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    You don’t have to be taken by surprise, the Holy Spirit is the greatest gossiper ever!

    • Dr.N

      August 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Who is thisssssssss!!!!!
      Lady after my own heart
      Pls drop your email
      We have to be friends

  6. Chris 10

    August 25, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Nkem you sabi your work. You know how to come up with these relationship scenarios, add your own jara to it then flick the ball back into our court while you sit back and enjoy how got served. You try, but a little confession.
    I was once that guy who was so spirit filled that when you meet me you will give God the glory. I was doing well with my new walk with God as a new creation until I met one sister from a different church during an outing. We chimed instantly and become good friends in the Lord. She was a chorister in her church, I was also a chorister in mine. We prayed together, shared sermon materials, spoke at length, shared personal goals and challenges and she visited me once a while while. We were relationship bound. But being a new person in God, I struggled with the temptation that stared me in the face anytime we were together. She was so free and loosened up with me that I caved in one day to the sensual sights and sounds of her and one thing led to another and we did the thing.
    After that day I was so unhappy with myself like she was also guilt-filled. We tried to remain and continue as we once were but we couldn’t bring ourselves to pray together and our friendship started a downward slope and we drifted apart and further apart until contact was lost. I am sure we both consciously allowed that. Since then my walk with God has been lukewarm. A brother on fire for God before is now someone so lax, so un-encouraged and wondering if I would ever find that me again. But I want to. Prayers for me please. My church people also let me out of maybe because I am just 1 out of a 100 sheep.
    Nkem, so you see, the stone you threw into the market has landed on one.

    • Dr.N

      August 26, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      I hope you are this
      What is happening to you has happened to so many. It is a tool of the enemy to separate gifted people from their purpose. Godly remorse leads to repentance which means change in behaviour not condemnation which means avoiding the presence of God.
      Today you can confess your rebellion and ask The Holy Spirit to renew your walk.
      Start all over and it will come back to you.
      For relationships you need mentors and accountability partners. Keep things open and altar-bound.

    • Tilly

      August 26, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      So sorry about that, I bet if you can get a mentor or a close spiritual leader, he can help you through it. Try talk to God if it’s possible. Ul be fine again

    • Peter

      August 26, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Jesus had His hands opened on the cross, meaning, you can always come back. Please brother, give your all and Christ will embrace you like Peter. You are in my prayer roll. God bless you.

    • Cocoa

      August 27, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Dear Chris
      Holy Spirit prompted me back to this post because of you.
      Firstly, I want you to know that I have prayed for you my brother..HEAVEN REJOICES OVER JUST ONE SHEEP that returns…the Shepherd leaves the flock to go searching for that ONE SHEEP that got lost….YOU ARE THAT IMPORTANT TO GOD.

      Can I remind you of the Isrealites……they sinned against God…came back….sinned again…..every generation of Isrealites continued that cycle but God NEVER once said I’m done with these people. He also sent prophets to them, Judges to fight for them…..they got their punishment which was their EXILE ( there is consequence to every sin ) but God always let them know there was HOPE AND FORGIVNESS READY IF THEY WANTED IT.
      Read the book ofJonah…Jonah was upset that God forgave his enemies once they repented….he had hoped they would be destroyed…So he accused God of being “too kind…too forgiving” …and God said “these are just lost children….” You are just a child in God’s eyes…a child that needs his Father.

      Speak to your Father. He is not monitoring your past like humans…he is waiting for you in your PRESENT …to hold your hand into the FUTURE!

      Romans 8:38-39. NOTHING can seperate you from the LOVE of God.

    • Ajóké

      August 31, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Jesus paid for it all. The devil wants you to live in condemnation but Jesus paid for everything, he knew this would happen and he paid for it. Pray for his Grace and hold on to Him(God) more than ever.

  7. Honestly

    August 25, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Nkem, you are a good writer. You just need to find a way to get your audience interested in your articles. Personally I’m tired of the ‘fabricated lies’, rubs me off the wrong way. As though you are trying to overcompensate. How many dates have you gone on this year if I am to judge from your write ups? How many relationships have you ‘tried’ to start and something dramatic suddenly happens, the other person is always not up to some idealistic standard. Please, just get the message across without the drama.

    • Na wa

      August 25, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      Madam judger/advicer…please goan sit down. No one cares how it “rubs” you. Dont try to form support when all you are actually trying to do is run the writer down.

    • O_o

      August 30, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Exactly. Such a back-handed compliment. It’s fabricated because there’s a story about her date? Since when did it become impossible or abnormal for a lady to have many dates in a year? Jealous much?

  8. Yellow sun

    August 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    My elder sisters husband..for the life of me I can’t seem to correlate him when they were dating and now that they are married..we used to assume I guess,That he was very religious etc.. .yinmu
    It was all a facade…his true colours shown after they married.

  9. anonymous

    August 25, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    This relationship sthg eh, be authentically your best self.

    I’ve had a lot of dating experiences but my current relationship has been so easy I’ve been looking for fight up and down. Things that were issues and deal breakers in my other relationships are nothing in this one.

    E.g, I have been told I can be opinionated and overtly assertive sometimes; he addressed this by saying jokingly one day (his tone was fascinated and non-judgemental); you should be a DG of NAFDAC or run a ministry. Once you have a point of view eh, you are willing to fight for it with everything, you will even fight God sef if he stands in your way. Your saving grace is that you’re a nice person and you take time to form opinions but once you do hmmmm. (He was actually laughing when he said this, it was an observation not judgement and I didn’t know when I said ‘you’ll let me know when I’m being overtly stubborn abi.’ He just smiled and said ‘now you’re going to start watching this deeply, that one good thing about you, once you’re convinced about something, you follow through to the end.).

    2. I have a sarcastic tongue; this is one thing my mum and I have worked on for a looong while, but I am sarcastic even when I don’t mean to be; Le boo just said one day ‘you tell people things that hurt them but people ignore it because they know you’re sensitive, don’t dish what you can’t take, you’re not the only sarcastic person around. I didn’t know when I genuinely apologized.

    3. Intimacy scares me and I pushed this guy away for a very long time; Bobo just gave me space and kept loving me and one day when my wahala became too much, he said ‘stop this babes, just stop this, you really love to quarrel and I am not having this. I like peace. Stop inventing situations for us to fight. You need to get used to a peaceful, loving relationship.

    4. He’s not rich; he earns 500k and to me that’s suffer head; One day, I said ‘I wish you were rich’. He just smiled and kissed me deeply.

    I’m happy with this guy, he makes me happy and I make him happy too. My best sides have blossomed and the sex is awesome. He has been attending interviews, pray for us BNers, we need his salary upped so that we can move to the next phase.

    • Onyinyechukwu

      August 25, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      …akúkó gi a sef..onwekwara ka o di mehn..
      But hope say you ma dey Kuku earn close to the 500k because for una to move to the next phase ,
      You don’t have to sit around waiting for his salary to be “upped” know right?.
      LOL *with a straight face*

    • busayo

      August 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

      i am very happy for you. wishing you all the best love. i love your love.

  10. Cocoa

    August 25, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Like you rightly said, Spirituality is a personal journey and has different levels, I have let men go because i realised they were not at the level of Spirituality that I was on..and although they were Christians , we would still be unequally yoked.
    I love God too much to pick a man over my salvation, I would rather remain single. Any relationship that does not inspire me to want to be closer to God wont cut it for me. Even if he is not leading me to sin but merely promoting spiritual stagnancy…im good.

    The same way I wouldnt find a man who doesnt like my family desirable…is the same way my attraction dies once a man doesnt align TOTALLY with my God. We are not on the same team. I love my God more than I want to to be married and i TRUST His matchmaking capabilties hehehe
    The devil weeps at the thought of the godly man I will marry and the godly children we will raise…if we have a pet dog sef….it will be godly.
    My household is destined to be arrows for Christ. Amen.

    It is my prayer to all sisters and brothers out there waiting that you will tap into the strength of God to walk away from ungodly suitors in Jesus’ mighty name, AMEN!!!!!

  11. Frida

    August 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    How to know a ‘godly ‘ person?

    By waiting patiently and observing prayerfully.
    One thing I’ve learned: actions speak louder than words.
    Note the choices the person makes, the decisions he/she takes, his/her opinion on various subjects, how he/she treats his fellow human beings regardless of race, class or status.

    Therein lies your answer.

    • Poesy

      August 25, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      Exactly! My ex was in the choir and other church groups. We even studied the Fireproof book and did Purpose Driven Life 40 day Bible Study together. All these acts for me were confirmation bias as I was head over heels. Looking back now, he was just ‘going along’.
      If I had waited patiently, I would have observed that his actions did not always match his words. It took a while but eventually I saw the light. You can’t pretend forever. Read 1 Cor 13; Replace ‘Love’ with your partner’s name – if it does not match, you know what to do.

  12. Naa

    August 25, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I just can’t fathom y some peeps r such party poopers ! Fabricated or not it’s very prevalent n relevant! If u can’t deal just go luk for ur supposedli unfabricated gists n camp der haba! Tenx for dis write up dear I can relate! God bless uuu plenty

  13. Mrs chidukane

    August 26, 2017 at 12:27 am

    This is very important oh. My husband is not a fire brand and I wish he was. Sometimes it’s like he’s drawing me back spiritually. That iron sharpening iron scripture is the truth. I believe one day he’ll feel comfortable enough to completely let himself get lost in God.
    Nkem keep writing. Don’t allow naysayers run you off. I would advise that you find a way to connect with the readers. Lots of people here don’t get your humor. All the best.

  14. TEE

    August 26, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Humm Yes spiritaulity is personal , and it take different forms in everyone and every race, It saddens me deeply the state of Africa especially Nigeria and the mindset; i have recenly been on one of theses dating sites just wanting to see if there is chance of meeting a nice lady. How ever most of them have this phrase ‘ God Fearing’ in their profile. i thought to my self what does this mean. so i sent messages to few to clafiy for me what they meant but none replied. I came to realise that most our women are just trend followers ‘Keeping up with the jones’, just as we now have the largest concentration of ‘religious houses’ in the world. It same God fearing women that will maltreat house helper and cousins and nieces that are in thier care just because they are less furtunate. There are many women in nigreia who are very pretentious and have dark heart and they put on cloak of religion, they will support a man that this looting the treasury; it our time to enjoy,.. God has bless us! is all you will hear. Look at the many people that have been indicted or acccused of fruad and looting they are all belonging to the 2 main religions. I will take a honest woman over any religious one anyday ! integrity and sincerity and humanity trumps any religiousity. For me it is what is in your heart not outward holier than thou posturing that is synonymous with our people. Above all LOVE conqures all !

    • Bimbo

      August 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      May God bless you. All damn hypocrites talking about a religious walk with the lord that ends at partying with the Holy Ghost in church . It hardly reflects in their behavior – it’s hard to correlate how holy we are with the rottenness around us !

  15. Bokun

    August 28, 2017 at 1:06 am

    When your spouse is not spiritual as you thought………………………. You stand in the gap for him?

    • May

      August 31, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Keyword being “spouse” and not boyfriend/fiance.

  16. Koffie

    September 1, 2017 at 1:33 am

    I couldn’t get past the writer’s shade of Yoruba muslims but of course for the majority of commenters who are bible-thumping and love-spreading, there’s nothing wrong with shading muslims or Yorubas.


  17. Tessa Doghor

    September 7, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    No. You are not trash
    But being in Christ is so amazing, why would I want to be anywhere else?

  18. Chuks

    September 9, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I admire your eloquence in writing,super intelligent .my own opinion on this,one just has to be open to his or her partner about their level of spirituality or religious believe.

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