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Yemisi Wada: Don’t Say ‘Yes’ Just Because You Were Asked! If the Marriage Doesn’t Feel Right, It Probably Isn’t

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Writer’s block is a reality, especially when you’re constantly writing on particular issues. In this case I try to write to mostly women about relationships using experiences I have gathered over the years personally and from others. However, it could get monotonous if there’s no dialogue.

In a recent Instagram post, I asked for ideas on what to write about next and one of the ladies wrote ‘A lot of girls are scared of marriage or the idea of going into one because of the high increase in domestic violence. Could you kindly write something encouraging to assure them all marriages are not the same and also how to recognize an abusive partner before committing to for better, for worse?

The words ‘Will you marry me?’ then the diamond ring have been glamourized over time, as the ‘Proposal’ for marriage. In reality though, that is not the proposal and should not be the proposal… but just the window dressing of the processes as it were.

It was so aptly put in another post I read on Instagram that said ‘I don’t think the four words and the diamond are the proposal’ ‘Every act once you meet is the proposal’ and this quote informs my post now.

Marriage between two agreeable adults can be a very beautiful journey, so beautiful in fact that one can recommend that everyone go through it. But having said that, it is also a very difficult and strange journey not to be undertaken lightly, especially if one wants to honour that ‘ till death do us part’ of the oath to one another.

So you need to realize every action (once you and your intended get together) is the question; it simply asks: ‘Are you prepared to be with me forever based on what you see?’

What do you see when you go out? How does he behave? Are you proud to be out with him or is he a source of embarrassment? Are you proud to be besides him and is he your good fun? I say ‘your good fun’ because it is a very subjective thing.

How is he, especially, with those who offer him a service? Is he a ‘Get me a drink’ kind of person? Or does he treat those who serve him with respect? I once heard of a guy who sent out for kidney suya and he proceeded to count the pieces in order to ascertain the person sent was not a thief; he haggled to make his point that the pieces were not complete to a totally embarrassed date. The irony was he wasn’t even picking up the bill!  This kind of man is offering you stinginess cloaked on the pretext of accountability and he has serious trust issues. You will have a frustrating life always trying to convince him everyone, including you, is not always trying to outsmart him.

What are his views? On marriage, and his role and the role of a wife and a mother. Don’t go in, hoping to change his views. Chances are you may never be able to. I had to step out of a gathering many years back when a guy was boasting that he would sleep with any househelp his wife brings into the house. His rationale was that if she brings in help, then that help should also help her in the bedroom. This guy was a lawyer by the way. This guy obviously views the woman he marries as his hired help. This man cannot view that his life partner would have a career and definitely would not cope if God forbid she even has a more successful career. More sinister is that he obviously is an abuser, because what makes him assume the help would want to sleep with him? And if she doesn’t, he intends to take it as his entitlement. This one is a beast.

How does he resolve the issues when there is dispute or when you have a difference of opinion? Is he comfortable with you having your own view if it is different from his? Does he apologize when he’s wrong or show remorse if he’s hurt you? That’s a way to see how much he does or doesn’t value and respect you. If he lets you stew in it whilst you still can go to your place imagine when you have nowhere to go to.

I always say cheating in marriage is not only when the parties stray, but also depriving one of what they are entitled to deliberately or acting in a way that’ll cause the other grief, just because you have that power is cheating. It is a painful experience.

Many years ago (and I tell this story all the time) when Jeffrey Archer cheated on his wife with a prostitute, reporters accosted her and asked her why she wasn’t leaving her husband. She said ‘sleeping with a prostitute I can forgive now, what I cannot forgive is indifference, that type of cheating I cannot forgive’ I didn’t understand what that meant back then, but as I’ve grown I understand the essence of her words.

How does he resolve issues amongst his peers? Does he always spoil for a fight at the drop of a hat; as such a person would be a grouch to live with.

Many women who are victims of physical abuse interestingly say they had never suffered abuse from their spouse whilst they were dating. Said spouse had never even spoken to them harshly! I said this myself after my first marriage crashed BUT the real truth is that the signs were there, but you feel it’d never be your portion… as we say.

The real truth again is that anyone capable of violence to any woman will visit it on you too. I had heard stories but I thought their situation was different. If a man has a reputation for violence just stay away.

A few years ago in Nigeria, a young upcoming musician accused a popular music producer handling her, of gross abuse. She was shunned, shamed and abused on social media and of course he denied it all. A few months or a year after he married a beautiful actress who one of his crew described as ‘the one who knew how to handle him’. Well, I wasn’t surprised when barely a year after probably whilst pregnant for their child or soon after the birth the dream marriage crashed! No reason was given, but I’m willing to bet he gave her a few slaps and she wasn’t having it.

How is he with his family? This matters so much in a marriage, but the significance is often overlooked. It is a great thing for a man to love his family and it’s quite comforting when the family is close and you have the support and the love not just from your spouse. It is over-dependence on the family that is the problem. When you cannot make a move or decision without of parents, it’s a nightmare.

The other day I read about the marriage of another big politician’s son crashing just months after the very lavish wedding. Many women want to marry a financially secure man, but in Nigeria it comes at a cost. A corrupt man cannot raise a hardworking child. Our system has taught many that life is about getting rich quick through deals. Everything is marred by this dreaded corruption.
Many are ready to live with this, as they say ‘better to cry in a limousine than in a Tokunbo car’ But know what you’re going in for. This is not to imply that abuse resides solely within the domain of financially secure couples, as we know, poverty is often cited as a justification for frustration that also leads to abuse. Abuse is abuse – irrespective of the depth of the pockets.

We always know when there are issues ahead; we just feel we can deal with it. The truth is that if it doesn’t feel right then you should not go ahead. It is almost impossible to change an adult and especially change one when he already has you.

Marriage is great when it is right. Even then it has many ups and downs and adjusting and sacrifices and patience as is expected when two adults now have to live as one. When it’s wrong, it is one of the most miserable situations to be in. When a marriage fails – especially – when children are involved, it doesn’t matter why it broke, it still feels like failure.

I think the reason is that you blame yourself for not taking the caution at the time you were asked that question ‘Will you marry me?’ Why didn’t you just say the golden ‘I can’t’.

Be kind to yourselves.

Yemisi Wada is a Lawyer and a Business woman. She has decided she has reached a stage in life where she likes to do what gives her Joy. She has just produced the Crime Series 'Lasgidi Cops Serious Crimes Unit' and last year when she turned 50 decided to start up a Blog where she can mentor younger ones on the realities of relationships and life. She also loves giving back and has a Foundation for Street Children called the Haven for the Nigerian Child Foundation. She is married and has 5 children. She blogs at www.namsblog.com.ng

25 Comments

  1. Bebe

    February 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I just love this… the part where the man counted the suya pieces reminded me of an ex who did tge same thing, only it was shrimps and he was asked to see my own to compare if it was bigger than his

    • Summer

      February 20, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Omg

    • Anon

      February 20, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      Me, I have counted pieces of meat in egusi soup before o. Ehem, I was with my paddies and we went to this joint/mama put where you are charged according to the number/pieces of meat in your soup (Tiny pieces). There were only male servers. Once they see a group of guys or a guy with a babe, they put e.g 8 pieces of meat in your soup and charge you for 10/12/14 etc. But, on this particular day, I was the only babe in the mist of about 6 guys I counted o. My guys tire for me. The server gave me bad eye. I don’t curr. I hate thiefing. Ask me nicely, If I have I go give you. Nor steal my money with ogboju.

      But, that your mean on.

    • Anon

      February 20, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      *But that your ex mean o*.

    • Red

      February 20, 2018 at 11:44 pm

      I had an ex who held on to things: Mr. Grudge. Beg him, plead with him. Fine. Few days or weeks down the line, you will hear that he reported to his Aunty or my friends about what I did or did not do. Apparently, his level of unforgiving spirit was so bad that he was not in communication with one of his relatives until said relative passed on. This unforgiving spirit? Tufiakwa. Can’t deal with it. Another thing, his Anger. I remember this grown man was mad at something I did and while were at the Airport, he was YELLING at me to “walk fast like a human being”. See my life! Heathrow airport ooo. But I just ignored him as if it wasn’t me he was speaking to. The relationship didn’t survive the next few months. That man is a terrible person and will be a horror to live with; Anger and Unforgiving spirit are two vices a person should dread /avoid in a life partner.

  2. Ceryified Efiko

    February 20, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Thanks so much Yemisi! this is a great write-up! Thank you!

  3. ceetoo

    February 20, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Do not be deceived a corrupt man cannot raise a hardworking child…. very profound indeed.
    That is what i will put under any corrupt politician’s child’s wedding or wedding announcement.

    • jennietobbie

      February 21, 2018 at 5:00 am

      I paused for one minute to marinate in that sentence: a corrupt man cannot raise a hardworking child. WoW. HEAVY something…

    • e mi ni

      February 21, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      but a corrupt man’s child can CHOOSE NOT to walk in their father’s footsteps. I beg please do not go and insult any person’s wedding because of what you think about their father.

  4. Wande

    February 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Ms. Yemisi is such an inspiration to me. She’s profound in more ways than one. I hope to reach out to her with regards my struggle with trich as soon as I’m done with school.

  5. Aare farmland

    February 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    what if he is reformed crack sniffer?
    Marriage is overrated.

    Airport safety and improvement and farm security initiative.

  6. Mama

    February 20, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    This woman needs to start a marriage counseling center. People tend to counsel married couples or soon to be married couples in church. The church is important but sometimes it helps to hear from experienced people who have been to hell and back in the name of marriage. Her first marriage would have broken the strongest of women but here she is standing and looking gorgeous with it.

    • Bleed Blue

      February 23, 2018 at 10:45 am

      I concur about the marriage counseling center.

      I feel like she’s sort of lived many lives already and can therefore relate to several issues young women are currently going through.

      Plus she’s sooooooooo easy to talk to, I would know 🙂

  7. AdamaziEvents

    February 20, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Nice article.

  8. Mymind

    February 20, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Such a fantastic article. You hit this one out of the park. It contains so many nuggets of information and profound truths that I’ll be sharing this with single people I know. THANK YOU!

  9. chy

    February 20, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    True and clear write-up

  10. rita

    February 20, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    this rang so true to me.. my husband of only two years cheated on me with a popular abuja prostitute or homewrecker.. or whatever you want to call her.. she messaged me on instagram actually and said she had been sleeping with my husband etc… we are still going through the motions but if he was indifferent it would make this a no-brainer.. that hasnt however been my case… smh… this thing called marriage…

  11. Anon

    February 20, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    As much as I like Yemisi, I was put off when she recently on her instagram referred to her ex as a dead beat father and a useless man . Girl, put some class on it. Except you are not over him. You say he is dead to you and your *gews*. Let the dead remain dead.

    • Anon

      February 20, 2018 at 11:36 pm

      Bella, you have started this your nonsense. Why is this comment awaiting moderation? Yet my other comment went through? Hypocrite does not even begin to describe you and your administrators.

    • Cmbo

      February 21, 2018 at 10:18 am

      If he is a dead beat why should she state otherwise? Why are we always uncomfortable when terrible people are called out on their BS? She already stated that she didn’t say those things but even if she did, why is that an issue?? Is it your forgiveness or your dead beat??

    • Anon

      February 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Ainty, why so hot under the collar. Is someone beating you? Easy o. No be fight.

  12. Sisi

    February 21, 2018 at 1:07 am

    So many frank gems here. I love the closing line – be kind to yourselves!!!!!

  13. Anonymous

    February 21, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Thank you so much, Yemisi. I have a daughter from a failed marriage. A marriage I had no business entering. She is a reminder on my failure to say “no I cant”. I see her as a gift from God regardless and I have accepted my mistake and know that no one is above mistake no matter how smart. I am in my 30s and not in a hurry to get married. In fact, it is not in my list of things I want to do. If I am blessed to meet someone who is worth it, I would be happy with an “Oprah and Stedman” situation without all the legalities that come with marriage.

  14. Yellow sun

    February 21, 2018 at 11:36 am

    God bless you aunty yemisi.
    You are a breath of fresh air

  15. Daniel

    February 25, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Me Yemisi, you are a blessing.
    I read this write up many times.
    Keep it up.
    Proud of you ma

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