Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Sometimes we plan things and they don’t go as we plan – fact of life. Other times we don’t plan things, and they happen – another fact of life. Any other variations to this statement? Don’t think so. 

I’ve got five voices to grace the blog this month, and I’m most grateful to them for taking the time to chronicle their year for you, my glorious readers. Meanwhile, 2017 has to be better, I must write more! Gosh! I miss it!

We kick off the series with a personal friend of mine, Ehimen. He is dependable, a lover of God, and has the most gorgeous wife! God bless you for writing in Mr Wordsmith!

Appreciating the value of Today while it is today

Many men would rather wear a luxury timepiece on their wrists than wear their emotions on their sleeves, especially if those emotions are powerful enough to make them cry. Well, I’ve learned to do both and as someone jocularly noted recently, look well put together while at it. He was referring to the fact that I cried at my own wedding –an occasion for which I was suitably attired, complete with a finely-crafted wristwatch peeking out from under the sleeve of my tuxedo- but I somehow managed to avoid the pictures of me crying going viral, unlike another gentleman who also got married in 2016 and cried like a baby at his wedding.

Why did I cry at my wedding? It wasn’t only because of the profundity of starting to learn the awesome mystery that marriage is, nor was it only because my wife is the walking exemplar of the word “beautiful”. It wasn’t only because my entire lifetime flashed before me in an instant and I was grateful to GOD for the many times He saved me from death. It wasn’t only because I remembered my father who died when I was nine-and-a-half years old and left me in a world where I was told (a bit too early) to “be a man for your younger ones”. Those are small contributors to the whole truth. The whole truth is at that time, my body, soul and spirit sent commands to my eyes to produce tears and I didn’t know how to not yield. I am human.

Men who shy away from being emotional often miss the privilege of having Father Time and Mother Nature tell them what time it is better than any man-made time-telling device ever can. I received a sobering reminder of this truth just a few days before I composed this. The routine of everyday life had stealthily crept into my marriage. You see, “the two shall become one” promise of marriage doesn’t happen instantaneously and can take gruelling work. My wife and I were just sheathing our swords from killing a giant marauder so the lovey-dovey “I love you’s” weren’t being exchanged with the gusto we started off with. I hadn’t done anything major to honour her in public in a long time, which was counter to what I’d learned that good women deserve. I subscribe to this truth King Lemuel’s mother told him about virtuous women:

“Her husband brags about her and says, “There are many good women but you are the best!” Give her the reward she deserves. Praise her in public for what she has done.”

A few nights ago I tiptoed out of bed and went to post on Facebook in appreciation of my wife. If I pulled it off right, it would almost be the equivalent of sending her flowers at work. By the time she saw my post, it was past noon and I wasn’t even at home. However, her appreciation of my romantic effort was muted as we found out that morning that someone very close to us had just died. While my wife was in tears and my mouth was agape in shock, I realized that at the very same time that I was putting up a picture and celebrating my wife on Facebook, we lost someone dear who we’d been procrastinating calling to appreciate. In fact, as I was rifling through the pictures on my computer to pick the one I eventually used to celebrate my wife, I saw some pictures of the now deceased and was contemplating sending them to her, not knowing she had just left this world. Every like and comment we got on that Facebook post was a jarring reminder to love each other and make the most of every moment as we’re not promised the next.

So to those who hide their love and appreciation of others while waiting for the perfect time, this is your wake-up call. Don’t just add this lesson to your “New Year Resolutions for 2017” list; start it now! One thing I’m deliberately doing right now is pouring out my heart into all that I do so that I can be the best version of myself while I have the time to do so. I’m working on a project aimed at reducing the impact of hate speech online and offline in Nigeria so that as a nation we don’t repeat the mistakes that led to the horrific genocide that happened in Rwanda in 1994. That’s my way of showing love to people and helping them stay alive to love others.

A sad thing it is when the sun sets on our lives and those of our loved ones because we failed to seize the day while it was day.

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Thank you for writing in Peter, here’s to a fabulous holiday and an ever greater new year!

 

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First off, how una dey? How are you wrapping up your year? Nicely I hope… I saw something recently that said even if it doesn’t look like it now, keep working at it. So, keep working, that breakthrough is closer than you think!

So what are we on about today? Marriage. You know, the concept of getting joined traditionally, in the court of law and before God and then spending the rest of a lifetime with a spouse? The one with the wedding day and two dress changes, and the traditional wedding with two or three outfit changes? That one.

According to our ‘societal norms’, there’s an age period where it becomes acceptable to bring a guy home/take a lady to meet your folks. Never mind that leading up to that age (for the ladies especially) you’re not supposed to even recognize that males exist! Lol.

There is also the age when your family members (nuclear or extended) start to drop hints and prayers all over the place, about the ‘person God has designed for you’, about ‘everyone not being perfect’, about ‘not being too picky because all men/women are the same’, about ‘slowing down with work because the clock is ticking’. Hian! The age where every wedding you attend you hear things like, ‘the next one is your own’, ‘go outside and meet people’, and my personal favorite, ‘why are you standing with your cousin na, people will think he’s your boyfriend’… Lol! Thank God for families!

So, I’m female, and will write from that point of view. Ok? In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard the most horrible stories about some married folk I know, and I will give lean details about three. All of them have children, either boys and girls or single sexes. One of them hasn’t seen her husband in a little over two years, and he’s left her a mountain of debt so she has to fend off creditors apart from take care of the home. He’s alive, and well, not just home. Another one buried her husband who committed suicide in front of her children while she was at work. He was a chronic gambler. The third one took great pleasure in expressing whatever frustrations he felt from his job through his hands, on his wife. The first (and only time) one of the children clung to him to stop the beating, he landed that child in hospital from the transferred aggression.

Now. I know all men are not like that, matter of fact for each of these horrible stories, I have at least 5 of homes that are great, growing in love and grace. Are there days when one spouse might want to wring the neck of the other from vexation? Of course. But that’s where it ends. Are there days when they might not even speak because one person is that upset? Of course. But they always come back together, either at bedtime or the day after, and they keep on loving and learning each other.

There was a story on social media recently about a man who slapped his 28 year old wife and she fell down the stairs, sustained fatal injuries. The end. Apparently he had been hitting her for a while but she was advised to ‘endure, stay and make the marriage work, not bring shame to the family’. Well, except there’s a chance for that in heaven, that’s that isn’t it? And it isn’t just the men being violent, I’ve heard of females (know a couple) who would draw blood from their spouses. Na wa.

Sometimes I’m not sure to be honest, is it that our generation has been tainted by the content we’re exposed to or families back in the day were better at hiding domestic abuse from their children? Is it that our parents came from a school that didn’t see divorce as an option or our generation is more interested in putting away than working at things? I don’t know.

Once upon a time I belonged to the school of thought that said that a spouse who would end up being violent would have shown signs during the courtship/dating period etc. But I’ve heard of a saint who turned devil the night the ‘I Do’s’ were said! They’d been dating like 5.5 years!

I don’t know where I’m going with this to be honest but if there’s anything I’m even more convinced about now than I was before, there’s no rush. It will happen. I’m also doubly convinced that enlisting the help/wisdom of God, the creator of all men (and women) in saying yes to that man or woman is the way to avoid becoming a negative statistic.

Light, love, and God’s great blessings!

The bible says, “take heed what you hear”; ever come across that before? I know I have.

Based on the three stories I’m going to share below though, perhaps for both males and females, we can/ should introduce “take heed, who you marry”.

Before then, am I married myself? No; matter of fact I’m single (so we can get that out of the way early).

Ready to share 3 stories with me? Without messing the facts up, I’ll try to protect the identities of all three couples (Or ex-couples)

  • Boy meets girl who is in her late 20’s and under a bit of pressure by her married siblings and of course her folks. Therefore, she ‘allows’ a lot if things and her family foots the bill minus (N15, 000/ $90) that the guy contributes to the entire preparations. Less than a year later, he’s moved out of her house (where she pays rent) because amongst other things she’s not ‘submissive’, and her family has returned the dowry they collected. The End.
  • Boy meets high-flyer type chic, get married, have a beautiful daughter. Husband invests the Mrs.’ money (huge sums) in a string of failed deals/leads. Of course they start to have problems, wife starts to suffer emotionally and at the peak of their trouble (when he stops her from seeing their daughter for a period of time) she develops high blood pressure, and is said to be acting ‘weird’. At the time I wrote this, she’d been buried less than 10days ago
  • Boy meets girl and everyone thinks they’re a gorgeous couple except the ones who knew the inner workings of the relationship. She hits him, continuously, ridiculing him sometimes in the presence of his friends; did I mention they were engaged to be married? Man snapped one day and called it off. Now she says he ‘used’ her, and has wasted her time.

Three stories done. Might seem like it’s all doom and gloom ladies and gentlemen, but I promise you it’s not. For each of those tragic stories, I promise you there are ten, hundreds and thousands of success stories around. Even better, you have friends and family with super successful marriages, so you’ll agree it’s not a myth.

I stumbled across a blog today (dunno how I didn’t hear about them before)- Naijahusband.com where a man and his wife (Naijawife) chronicle the ups and downs, happy and not so happy times in their marriage. Not a hundred percent sure it’s a real life or brilliant scripting but you should have a look. Really interesting stuff there!

Also, I read somewhere once that marrying the wrong person is not only hell on earth, but will lead you to hell because of the amount of mistakes/missteps you will make.

Ladies (especially), no pressure at all. Don’t let anyone put you under pressure, and don’t do it to yourself too (I know about self-inspired pressure don’t worry). When he comes, he will come. There’ll be no shadow of doubt.

Guys too, no pressure, whether from family/peers or self-imposed. When you meet the ‘her’ that God designed for you, trust me you’ll know.

Who best to confirm your choice than The One who created you two? Get on your knees ladies and gentlemen, and ask Him to bring them to you! And He will!

While you wait, improve yourself, strengthen /solidify your relationship with your God (who is your first love ANYWAY), and have fun!

PS – Written on the 12th of July.

 

 

 

 

Olamide is one of those friends that I cannot do without. Does he drive me up the wall? Absolutely. Is he one of the closest friends I have on earth today who I can go to with anything and not feel judged or looked down on? Absolutely. Is he one to uphold his friends in prayer, with words of encouragement, with love, and with physical manifestations of that love? Yes Sir!

I love Olamide (lots and lots), and can I say congratulations on your engagement? She’s a gorgeous lady (in and out), and I wish you both all the joy possible.

I give you @RevDrCraig!

A few days ago I got a surprise call from a friend from school I hadn’t seen in many, many years. That call birthed this piece you now read.

This week I met up with that old acquaintance, a lady whose exceptional beauty back in high school made all the boys go gaga.  She was vacationing in the capital and wanted to know if I could show her around. After picking her up at Euston station, we went to Trafalgar Square, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Madame Tussauds, Westfield Mall, and goofed around like tourists taking pictures of everything and anything that caught our fancy. As we caught up on the 15 years that had gone by, I couldn’t help but wonder where the ‘wow’ factor went. She was still quite good to look at, but the exquisite beauty she once had seemed to have faded away, or at least paled into a less blinding glare. For the first time since I’d known her, I actually saw who she was, talked to her, wasn’t carried away by her looks, and realized that there was more to her than was so obviously apparent. I wondered how many people, like me, had missed out on seeing a wonderful person simply because all we saw was ‘a fine face and a hot body’.

I really enjoyed spending the day with her and as I walked away from the platform at Euston, I pondered at the absurdity of our generation that ubiquitously employs beauty as the foremost yardstick in the selection of a potential mate. This absurdity was first made apparent to me when, after I announced my engagement a few months ago, an associate of mine clapped me jocularly on the back exclaiming, “You’ve done it bro! Congratulations! You have finally found a woman finer than you who has agreed to marry you”. You see, I met my fiancé last year, just when I was coming out of an extended period of deep self-reflection following a string of very bad decisions. For months, I had been acting out of character and ironically chasing after beauty, weaving in and out of fragile relationships with some of the most beautiful women I had ever met; tall, short, curvy, straight, dark and fair. It took falling in love with this one to make it clear to me that the true worth of a woman is vested, not in the beauty of her face, or the curves on her body, but in the depth of her soul.

When pictures of my fiancé and I emerged, the most frequent comments were those praising her beauty and what a beautiful couple we made. One friend asked jokingly, “Did you conduct a beauty pageant and then propose to the winner?” LOL! Sure, most of these comments were made in good faith and were not in the least bit intended to offend nor did it mean that those who made them were shallow or anything of that sort. They were merely commenting on what they saw weren’t they, admiring a beautiful couple that were sure to have a beautiful marriage? Maybe it was all harmless banter, simple admiration, and unveiled praise.

Unfortunately, the reverse might also be the case. I know this because I too was once stuck in that place where deep in my heart I held to a primitive notion that the more beautiful a couple are, the more likely it was that their marriage would succeed. Perhaps the Disney fairy tales of beautiful princesses and handsome princes that ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after had fatally tainted my view of reality?  I know for certain, that a handful of those reading this now also share this view I once held, for it seems to me that the Ovation wedding culture of the past, once the preserve of the super rich has trickled down and has become the BellaNaija wedding culture of today. It is no secret, however, that some of the most celebrated high-profile weddings of the most gorgeous couples do not even last a year!

So to answer Chioma’s question; “What have I learned?”

I have learnt again something that I should never have forgotten. It took talking to a woman whose beauty once mesmerised me to remind me of a truth I used to know; Indeed, Beauty fades but character is enduring.

To all the beautiful girls out there who have character but are only sought after for their looks, I apologize on behalf of all men. But remember, if that’s all you put on the table, then perhaps that’s all we are inclined to see.

My name is Olamide Craig. I am Nigerian.

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