Racing To The Altar: From Frying Pan to Fire?

My phone rang. It was Caro. First there was a squeal, so loud I thought my ears would burst, then: “He proposed!! He proposed!!! Ugo, Dennis proposed yesterday! If you see the size of this rock ehn, my dear you’ll just faint!”  After my ears had adjusted to normal, I finally could make out what…

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My phone rang. It was Caro. First there was a squeal, so loud I thought my ears would burst, then:

“He proposed!! He proposed!!! Ugo, Dennis proposed yesterday! If you see the size of this rock ehn, my dear you’ll just faint!” 

After my ears had adjusted to normal, I finally could make out what she was saying. Her boyfriend had asked her to marry him and she was ecstatic. I was indeed happy for her but also had reservations.

“Wow, so Dennis finally proposed? And what did you say?”

I was deliberately teasing, trying to draw out some reaction from her.

“I said yes na! Haba, what else? Husband no dey easy to find ooo!” 

I laughed at her response but sobered up immediately, wondering if laughter was the best thing to do at that point. Caro and Dennis had been in a relationship for four years and, as with all relationships, they had had their own fair share of ups and downs. In their case, though, I’d rather say they had more downs than ups. Dennis was a good looking dude with a bank account that flowed like the river Nile and Caro was still a student with one surviving parent and four siblings. She had spent most of her life struggling to meet her basic needs, so Dennis had been like an answer to her prayers. He not only provided for her but for her mum and four younger siblings.

Initially, I thought their relationship was cute. I absolutely loved the fact that he was taking care of her. The only issue I had was how condescending he could be about my friend’s family. He ridiculed her family even in front of me, causing me to speak up for Caro sometimes.  I also noticed how he wished to control every part of her life. She couldn’t miss his calls without being accused of being with someone else. She couldn’t visit anyone or go anywhere without him being aware of every place and every person she planned to visit. Once, when she forgot to tell him that she’d gone to a male student’s apartment to enquire about school stuff, he found out and threatened to beat her up. He even told her she’d be nothing without him.

I had tried to voice my concerns to her but I didn’t want to come across as a bad belle friend. I just hoped that maybe she’d realize later and leave him. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong because now they were getting married. A million thoughts ran through my head that day. What was I to say?

“Erm Caro… Are you sure?”

“Sure about what? Abeg abeg please don’t start. Dennis has done a lot for me and my family and I really love him. Do you think I would be graduating now if not for him? Please please leave all that your woman empowerment stuff for you single ladies, as for me I’m already Dennis’ wife.”

Ignoring the slight shade on my single lady status, I still tried to reason with her. My reasoning earned me a permanent exit from the bridal train, as well as the aso ebi. I attended her wedding as a well-wisher and really hoped that all would be well in her marriage.

That was all three years ago. I recently ran into Caro at a supermarket in PH. To say she had changed would be an understatement. Caro had undergone a complete transformation. Her bubbly, always grinning, larger than life personality had completely disappeared only to be replaced by a woman who viewed the world as a prison. I hadn’t been in contact with Caro since her wedding which took place some months after our graduation, so I didn’t even know what her life had been like. We sat down and reminisced about school days but when I asked after her husband, I noticed her withdrawn look and then as if she couldn’t hold it in anymore, she said:

“Ugo, I regret my marriage.”

Those words shattered me, not just because I had tried my best to warn her of the impending doom she was heading into but because Caro did not deserve what she was going through. She had already gone through a lot in her life. Now, it was being compounded by a bad marriage.

This describes the lot of some women in this world. One of my mentors once said there are some women who start going through hell here on earth, even before they die, because they fail to notice some major flaws in their partner before they tie the knot.

We, as ladies, need to start asking ourselves serious questions before we consider marriage. What exactly are your reasons? Are they mainly financial? Do you feel you can’t survive or afford a certain lifestyle without that particular person? Age may be another reason. Reaching one’s thirties as a single lady may not bother some, but our society will definitely have something to say about it. I’ve also heard stories of ladies who got married because of family issues. They leave their parents’ home because there is no peace there so they jump into a marriage without thinking, hoping it would be better than their present situation. This really describes a case of going from the frying pan to the fire, doesn’t it?

Sometimes love even hinders us from seeing someone’s true character. Yes, love. It’s a beautiful thing to fall in love with someone but that love may also blind you to the fact that your partner may not be as true to you as you think. Then, add mind-blowing sex to the equation and that just ruins everything. Many women start focusing on the guy’s prowess in bed and less on his other characteristics.This is why I always try to advocate for abstinence in relationships, not just because of the spiritual aspect but because introducing sex early on in a relationship can make both partners focus on the physical aspect of that relationship, at the expense of developing other important parts.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation. There are relationships where the partners don’t abstain but are still waxing strong. Still, I think it’s best that ladies hold on to their cookie so as to avoid the usual stories that touch the heart.

At the end of the day, marriage is a union of two best friends and lovers becoming one. It is not a bed of roses; it is hard work. Don’t rush in head first for the wrong reasons. Look before you leap. Seek the face of God and try to live a good life. If God was able to give you that job, or university admission you prayed for, then he’ll definitely give you a wonderful spouse that you’ll grow old with. Love will find you at the right time, at the right place and with the right person.

 

Responses

  1. deeh
    God bless you Ugochi.The message of your write up cannot be over emphasised. Women will keep missing it until they understand there is something called “marrying for the wrong reason”. The worst thing to happen is for anyone to regret a desicion that once made their happiest day.
  2. SeryxMe
    Been a while I commented here and this is one post I think is very important. There are lots of misconceptions about the marriage setup that many people end up getting married for all the wrong reasons. Yes, the pressure from our society is usually prevalent but most people do not help themselves with the choices they make. Getting married at any age is certainly not the issue for me (I think we can still fight against societal pressure to an extent), but how do you choose who you get married to?

    Here is where one of the key things many of us have forgotten about in life comes into play – values. If two people’s values do not align, then their union is almost certainly headed for the rocks. Many people think it’s about perfection and the realization that there’s no perfect person makes them settle for whatever is in front of them. That is always an error. Yes, there isn’t a perfect person but we have different ways we react to things. We need to know both positives and negatives of whoever we’re hoping to settle with then decide if we can cope with the negatives (even if we’re going to try to help them work on it). Same goes for the partner. Everyone has a part of them that people will not like. The key to having a successful union is the ability to handle that part of the person rather than ignoring it as if it doesn’t exist.

    This, I believe, is the mistake that many make. Once we find a semblance of what we feel we want in a partner, we ignore the ‘other part’ of them, only to find out after the deal has been sealed that we cannot even cope with that part. Then a marriage that should have been an enjoyable ride to better things for both of you becomes an ‘endurance trek’, or worse, a prison yard.

    Marriage is supposed to be a lifetime commitment. If you do not feel ready or you’re not sure of the person you intend to settle with, please relax and take your time. There’s a beauty to marriage that can only be found with someone you can share it with.

    Nice article .

  3. Shy
    My thoughts exactly. And when your younger ones are getting married before you, things tend to get worse as some family members even some friends wont fail to rub it in. Atimes, one get loose one’s self in the process and the thought of marrying just anyone would be darn tempting.
    Lovely post by the way.
    1. ugochi
      Yes but despite the pressure anyone faces whether from family or friends, they just have to ensure that they are not pushed to make any hasty decision concerning marriage because the result may just be horrible. Thanks for reading by the way 😊
  4. kiki
    It’s been a while..TNC fam😊 I went on a short leave to do moon cos I just got married😍..2 months now. Feels good to be back to read from Tnc. Okay, so back to the matter.. Marriage! Pls ladies don’t ever rush into marriage whether pressure from anywhere, fam, friends or ur age sef. Trust me when it goes bad u are OYO. So shine ur eye’s. Asides “love” look at other key things. Like religion, habits, behaviour, fam background, compatibility, financial stability, etc. It’s better to wait long & get it right than rush in &rush out. Believe me I have a friend who got married recently like me, she’s considering divorce right now..its rampant these days. Nice write up Ugo
    1. redforx
      “Trust me, when it goes bad you’re OYO.”

      I chilled when I got to this part. That’s just the bitter truth and the ladies are affected the most – especially here in Nigeria. Before marriage, people probably gossiped until the inner parts of their mouths got sore. After a breakup, it would get so bad that they’d gossip in their dream.

      The affected lady ‘almost’ has no chance of being reconsidered for marriage. So rather than walk away from a union which is obviously headed for the rocks, they live in denial and pity forever.

      We are yet to understand that good people do end up with wrong people and that they breakup upon realisation. Some divorcees (referring to ladies here) are really good people.

      Posted from TNC Mobile

  5. sire
    OK, everyone is talking about pressure from some angles. I think most ladies focus too much on financial security and end up being blinded like Caro. She wasn’t in love. Her financial struggles caged her into his arms and that’s why no one could change her mind.
    Money can fool alot
  6. bkd
    Enjoying he piece until you brought God into it. Marriage has never had anything to with God(or God with marriage) .
    Has nothing do with friendship or being in love either. These ideas were drawn from movies and fairytales. I believe it’s more to do with the the character of the persons involved, with responsibility and honor. It doesn’t take love to treat your spouse right. My parents had an arranged marriage but you’d think they’d been childhood sweethearts. I believe my father treats her well because of the regard and value he places on her considering the fact that she’s his life partner and mother of his children. I also have a polygamous uncle whose daughters dream of marrying men like him. An outsider can barely tell that he’s married to many wives. They coexist happily because everyone is treated right. And the man is a traditionalist. ‎
    So please let’s ditch all these fairy tales about falling in love and God and be more practical. If you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with someone, I think the person deserves to be treated right. 
    Interesting piece by the way. I admire your simple style of writing. 
    You’re more concerned with passing a message than impressing anyone or showing off.
    Cheers! ‎
  7. ugochi
    thanks for reading and for the compliments but I hv to disagree with you on not involving God in marriage. Yes falling in love and friendship may not be enough but having a close relationship with God will prevent you from making some mistakes you would have made if the case was different, trust me. Well it all depends on one’s beliefs. There is no single rule for success in marriage. Both partners have to do their very best to make it work.
  8. Dickson
    Hmmmm….I wanted to send the link of this article to my most recent ex but that would earn me title of “lifelong enemy”. We are cordial So I want to keep it at that. So I won’t.
    Recently she after our break up; she told me she was engaged to a Ngerian bishop based in texas with 3 kids. She is 28 her fiance is in his mid 50’s.
    I had many concerns. I told her I had concerns and she implied she has got it all figured out. She said my concern isnt her business and she was right. It really isn’t her business. However; I believe none of us knows it all. We should listen to as much well meaning counsels as much as possible.
    But what do I know? i am based in lagos and she is one step away from having a green card (dont know if it’s an achievement though).
    Here is wishing them all the best…my comment don long pass the post….
    1. ugochi
      lol thanks for commenting @dickson. You can send your ex the link if you think she really needs it though u’ll be considered an enemy or ‘bad belle’ friend but just know that u’re doing the right thing that is trying to stop her from entering into something she may regret later.
  9. Tony
    I think you’re quite right with the abstinence part to develop other parts of the relationship besides the physical. Worked for me and helped make my wife today, my best friend.
  10. Amie
    This article makes sense.
    Concerning a potential sweetheart, a friend once asked a question I hope never to forget. ‘Why do you think you love him? Because of what he does for you?’
    Perhaps its best to not even place oneself in a position that will make you mistake gratitude for love. They ain’t the same.

    Thanks

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