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Every weekend in Nigeria, if you are not in one wedding or two or even three, you are driving past a car with ribbons or seeing your neighbours in their own tailored version of the aso-ebi. Most of the weddings today are very extravagant. Champagne flowing, DJ spinning on the wheels of steel and after parties going down VIP style, but then is that all it is about? Apparently, most of the time, yes! Weddings in Nigeria are starting to have a similar situation. It’s just a wedding. It’s not a ceremony ushering you into a new phase or celebrating a union but just a wedding party. My aunty went for a wedding and came back shaking her head. What happened? I had to ask, she said “that couple can never make it.” Two months later she updated me on how the man kept late nights and the wife cried all the time because her marriage wasn’t what she thought it would be. Who knew that marriage turned out to be what you thought. But what if what you are thinking isn’t what your spouse is thinking? Marriage can’t work according to what you think because your spouse might be on a different thinking path from you. The truth is no matter how elaborate your wedding is, it can never dictate the way your marriage will turn out.  Your marriage won’t be special because your wedding was. Your marriage won’t be filled with unending riches because your wedding was “the bomb”. Your marriage is not a mirror of your wedding but a mirror of the love the both of you have for each other. If you do not know who you are having this elaborate ceremony with, then you will not be having that happy married life after all. I know this couple; her husband started physically abusing her two weeks before the wedding. It wasn’t anything major like she stated, it was just a slap. She had said something out of context so she understood why he was so mad. The wedding day, arrived and she was in her white dress, encrusted with crystals and he was in his tuxedo looking all dapper. They wore one thing in common, smiles. The wedding reception blew everyone away. The décor, the food, the drinks, the music, the way they looked at each other, the romance in the air, everything was perfect. An elaborate wedding and a couple of months later, she turned up at her mother’s house with bruises. He had beaten her up and then forced her to have sex. He had just come back from work; she fed him and did her duty as his wife. Later that night, he had started to touch her and she begged if he could move it to another time. He said no he wanted it now. She turned around and kissed him telling him that she was tired and needed to rest. As she turned around, he held her and climbed on top of her. She tried to push him away, he started to tear clothes off. At the first abusive word she hurled towards him, she felt a slap across her face and he began to throw punches. At the end of the day he got what he wanted. As I listened to the story, as it was being told to me by a third party, I was looking at her with my mouth opened very wide. Why would he dare rape his wife? Not only that, he beat her to a pulp! My next question was “is this the first time?” because if it is then I must assume he must have transferred aggression towards his wife. Boy, was I wrong. The two weeks before the wedding slap was the beginning of the end but they were both to into the wedding to realize. A month after, any minor frustration he had was taken out on his wife. He beat her up as long as it made him feel good. He stopped treating her nice and she told the one person she felt comfortable telling, her maid of honour. Her maid of honour told her to ask someone who was married for advice because left to her she would go out and look for a man who could give her what she needs. Little did the maid of honour know that she had given her friend an idea. Deciding to start having an affair, she took to the streets looking for who her new man was going to be. When she found one, she started having dinner with him in secret locations. Places she knew her husband would never go. But the truth is she really never knew her husband that well. Did she know he would rape her one day? No. did she know he was a physically violent person? No. So how was she to know where he would hang out or not? This was her mistake. Her first public outing with her new boo and she was caught without her knowledge. Her husband saw her and went into a rage. When he got home he turned the rage into what forced her to finally confide in her mother. The truth is whether she was blinded by love, money or the fabulous wedding they had, she realized she had married the wrong person. He had not cheated on her according to his story which was why it hurt him to know she was about to. He was just a violent person. She had never wronged him but he just felt better letting go of his anger. I would have advised him to pick up boxing with a trainer but he took the cheaper option, his wife as a punching bag. They finally got a divorce and that was it; a marriage that lasted several months. We also tend to think women are the only ones who go through spousal abuse. That is not the case at all. Men suffer this as well. Ever heard of a man who lost his job and the wife is the bread winner? Some marriages like that the woman tends to maltreat her husband so as to make him know who is boss. Is this a bad thing? Extremely! No matter the cheddar your husband brings to the house, he is the head of that household. If you earn ten times more than he does, it is of no value and gives you no right to be the head. You still need to treat your husband with respect. There is a couple that I was told about. The wife had maltreated the husband for so many years due to their difference in salaries. He had taken it like a man but more importantly, he had kept it a secret so he wasn’t emasculated by outsiders as well. She traveled for business for a month leaving her husband home alone with her sister, who is originally his caretaker. He starts to see a wife in the sister rather that the woman he married. One thing led to another they started to get close. There was a great deal of affection going on and the maid started to notice. Immediately her boss came back narrated a different story; the “Daddy and aunty are sleeping together” story was born. When he was confronted by his wife and he denied it, she used a tray to hit him on the head, and beat him silly. Of course the sister had to run to their family house with the story, so they were summoned to a family meeting. When they sat down at a family meeting to discuss why the relationship had degenerated to this extent, she blamed him for not being able to meet up with the needs of the house like she could. She stated that since she bought nearly everything in the house, he should show her more respect. The man said he could have beaten her but he promised himself never to hit a woman but since he is not capable of being her husband she had the right to leave. This couple is still together. How they work it out id between them but the woman hasn’t really changed much according to the fights the neighbours’ witness. Has he made the wrong choice for a wife?  Probably! If we rush into marriage for the wrong reason, we might rush out of it faster than Kim Kardashian. Get to know people before you decide to take the huge commitment step called marriage. Another advice is no matter who you meet, be yourself. If you are yourself, it is easier for another person to know you better, and figure out if you are right for them and vice versa. Marriage is not for the elaborate wedding you have; marriage is like the vow says, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part. If you read those vows over again and you cannot see yourself keeping them with the person you are about to marry maybe you shouldn’t go through with it just because you shared invitations. Don’t be afraid to cancel a planned wedding you believe won’t work. It’s better to cancel a wedding than to end a marriage.

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This article was first published on 27th March 2012 and updated on July 1st, 2012 at 7:02 am


Dami is the editor and business developer for she is an On-Air Personality and also an Artist with a focus in sculpting and pottery.

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