Thursday, March 28, 2013

Are there Truly Happy Marriages in Nigeria?

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The main reason I write romance novels, and why I moved into blogging about relationships is that I wish more people, and women especially have a better experience of their relationships and marriages. I have defended good and happy marriages before when an article insisted they were all based on lies [see post], but I have also wondered why Nigerian marriages are sometimes such a farce? [see post].

The issue of the dysfunction in Nigerian marriages have come up again. Sting asked whether truly happy marriages exist in Nigeria. She wrote;

At this point I want to know what is the incentive for me to get married. People don't take their vows seriously, no one wants to work on their marriages anymore, the divorce rate is too damn high. Seriously, what is the point of marriage? Is it just a rite of passage that I am expected to go through as an African woman?

I hear stories of people who regret getting married and are truly unhappy but stuck because of societal expectations. If you are married, are you happy? Is it what you expected? Do you think finding the right person is luck or you did something special ( besides pray). What would you do differently?

Jemima gave a couple of amazing replies, as did a lot of other people who left comments. There may be a lot of unhappy Nigerian women in unhappy marriages, but there are also some truly happy marriages both in Nigerian and outside. This was my comment;

Happy is relative, happy is not perfect. I got married at 31, always thought I would never get married after leaving an engagement offer to do my masters. And no, it wasn't me, it was him, and so many other Nigerian men both married and unmarried that I had interacted with. My parents were an example of a good marriage, and I wanted even better than my dad. It didn't become a special prayer point but God and I knew ourselves so I felt free to keep living my life till He said so. He did say so, and I keep counting my blessing everyday, day by day.

One thing I can tell strong willed independent women, be who you are, never hide it or you'll attract the wrong sort for you. When the right sort does come around, don't be afraid to give love a chance.

So yes, I am a romantic, and I believe in marriage. Not because society says get married, but because I think love is one of the most powerful emotions we can ever experience, and my small experience of it even before marriage showed me that love is best nurtured in a stable, supportive, long term relationship. A monogamous and honest marriage is the ideal type of such relationships. In marriage to the right person, you feel safe, secure, and open to fully enjoy and grow in love.

My marriage is by no means perfect, but I'm really happy with who I'm with. I'm truly blessed by what we've made of our time together, and I look forward to forever. Who remembers this post, about how it is important to make marriage not just look good, but feel good too? I know it is easy to get discouraged by the ubiquitous marriage horror stories, but hope, positivity and trust are key ingredients to the respectful communication that many happy marriages are based on. Whether married or about to, keep an open mind, remove the fear, and try to create a connection with your partner.

For those who are married, please feel free to share what you think about Nigerian marriages in general and your marriage in particular. Thanks.


  1. Judging from facebook, most Nigerian marriages are deliriously happy... But, we all know facebook's filled with some truths, some outright lies and lots of make-belief, so.... :)

    Marriage is hardwork and has absolutely nothing to do with length of courtship (if I may use that word) and all to do with a determination to stay true to vows made, even in times when our 'feelings' are not as heady as they were, the day we said our vows.

    Talking about my marriage in particular, I would say that we are happy only as much as we allow ourselves be. Since divorce is not an option, I choose to enjoy the man I am married to, rather than spend the rest of my life in some miserable union.
    We're both very strong willed people, so there are bound to be moments when our wills clash.
    Some of those times, one of us just has to take a chill pill... It is what is it.
    Other times, both of us just have to deflate our sometimes-over-inflated egos, cos @ the end of the day, we're in agreement that neither of us is more important than our beautiful union.
    If that's one of the many definitions of a happy marriage, then we are very happy :)

    1. Marriage is hard work. True talk.

  2. Marriage is beautiful and has its ugly sides. It all depends on the couples will power and determination to make their union succeed. Like I always say, true love begins after the wedding.People try to paint a perfect picture of it and are suffering within. A truly happy marriage is one in which the couple confront their flaws, admit these flaws,change the ones they can to suit each other and learn to live with the unchangeable flaws.
    I didn't have up to a six month courtship but my marriage is waxing strong for almost 6 years now because we choose to be happy irrespective of our flaws.

  3. For some people marriage is the wedding day, how much you spend that day, what people said about their wedding been the talk of the town. But marriage is much more than that. It s the life after the wedding that counts. It has its good and bad sides but the most important thing is understanding. When you understand one another you can make it work.

    I have been married for 5 years and I thank God because I married an understanding, God fearing and loving man.

  4. Most of the time the pressures from society is what make people decide to get they are not patient enough to understand what marriage means and what it stands for neither are they willing to take out time to know the person they plan to spend the rest of their lives with. What we discover is that they go into marriage disillusioned. Great marriages don't just happen upon the individuals involved, they both have to work hard at it and protect it, like a flower in a garden, in order to see it blossom.

    My marriage experience has been a beautiful learning experience for me; sharing time and space with a God-fearing/loving and understanding man.

  5. It takes two to tango......a happy marriage involves two persons who are not self centered. The home as to be nurtured, sacrifices made and often times lifestyle changes are a necessity. A happy home doesn't mean there are no disagreements, it implies the willingness to live, love and learn. It comes with knowing that not all disagreements are worth the trouble.

  6. I can honestly say i have a happy marriage. Of cos, living with another human being is difficult & one has to adjust fantasies from reality. My husband is good to me, he really is. He tries his best & i appreciate that a lot. I try my best to be good to him too. So, on dat ground, i believe we are happy. We are not always 24-7 happy oh, don't get me wrong. We have moments when itz like d whole world is on self-destruct & we are hastening to speed it up. There are moments when I long for a wealthier, more romantic husband like i feel my friend has. But, most of the time, am just basking in the love we have for each other - in those times, it feels like heaven.

  7. I have a very good relationship with my husband. It is in marriage I have discovered myself, true talents n things I love doing n my husband has supported me all the way. I have fallen more in love with him after the birth of our daughter cos he has truly been a father, and caring husband.

  8. Marriage is not easy. Its a lot of hardwork. Been married for 7 years and honestly its been a mixture of 'why did I get married' and 'what would my life have been like if I hadn't married this woman'. Thankfully, the later far outweighs the former. I am far from perfect and neither is she but we have found a way to be happy inspite of our flaws. We have learnt to love, forgive and sometimes forget, yes, forget each other's wrong doings. Recently, we have found activities we can do together as a couple and its been fun and beautiful. Am loving my wife more everyday. We are not deliriously 'happy' but we are happy enough to keep at it and continue on this life's journey together.

  9. Getting married to your best friend is the best thing that u can marriage is just going to be a year but it has been blessed,though we quarrel a lot and am always crying during those period but i dont let him see my tears and he is not always happy too we normally confess to each other if we settle so we ask ourselve why go through the trauma when we can talk it out,but there are times he will just swept me off my feet.dats is marriage for you i dont expect good times always,the way you manage the bad times depend on the wife.

    we are still learning to understand each other cause we are two different people that why we talk about everything around us,we apologise to each other and forgive and we dont involve 3rd parties.marriage is a lot of hardwork and have made up my mind to enjoy everybit of it.

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