‘When a lady gets to at least 25 years, she should be married’. In Nigeria, getting married seems to be an issue of concern in many families. Some want the grand wedding, exquisite clothes for aso-ebi. ‘Our family no dey carry last oh’ in their own words. Some mothers go to the extent of looking for husbands for their unmarried daughters. Aunties will be calling, just to ask if there is a man already. Some aunties go to the extent of saying it’s a spiritual problem that makes people unmarried when their mates are married. Recently I had a conversation with a woman and she said, “getting married is an achievement”.
But it got me wondering, if marriage was an achievement, why do some married people get divorced? Why do people get married and still feel unhappy? Why do some feel unexcited about getting married? Carrying out a survey on some married women, I found out something very enlightening.
Let’s meet Rebecca, she is a very hard-working woman, skillful and humble. She didn’t complete her education because her parents couldn’t sponsor her. She decided to learn a skill so she could make money. Everything was working fine till she met the man that wanted to marry her. He was well educated, had two masters overseas. She felt the man will support her through school since he knew the importance of education. She got married but she couldn’t fulfill her dream of attaining higher education even after 16 years of marriage. She felt more caged than fulfilled as a married woman.
However, let’s hear Sandra’s story. Sandra was an ambitious woman. She went to school and got a degree in Psychology. She enjoyed her profession and felt so fulfilled as a psychologist. She ended up with a man that believed women should be housewives. He didn’t allow her to continue with her work. They had so much arguments about it and her family supported him. She felt so devastated.
The heartbreaking part was the story of Christy, She was so desperate to get married. She eventually got married to a man of her dreams, rich and handsome. Immediately she started having children, he changed. She was beaten for even the slightest mistake. Well, she endured domestic violence until she died.
But there were a few women that got married and remained happy in their marriage. Their husband stayed faithful to them. Their husbands were very supportive of their dreams. Their husbands understood them. Even if they had misunderstandings, they usually worked things out.
With all these, can we still say ‘Getting married is an achievement?’ or ‘Having a happy marriage is an achievement’. I know there is intense pressure to get married. I understand that our friends are getting married and we feel desperate to get married. Let’s stop focusing on getting married, but on having the right partner. Marriage is for a lifetime, hence, you have to choose wisely. Not due to circumstances or benefits. I will say it’s better to define your goals, make your dreams clear, develop yourself to be woman of character and get married to someone that will support your dreams and love you for who you are. Be careful as well, so you don’t fall prey to domestic violence.
Comfort Eke is a native of Abia state, Nigeria; from a family of three. She is based in Port Harcourt, Rivers state and a student at the Department of Anatomy in the University of Port Harcourt. She is a writer, an entrepreneur and volunteer.