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The most horrific experience for a young man in Nigeria is to get to the age (which I don’t know who set) of marriage and still be unmarried. Your family becomes your worst enemies, going for social events gives you a running tummy and whatever achievement you acquire in any other area of your life is met with a flaccid “well done, now you need to settle down.” So when you eventually get married, you feel like you have attained the ultimate accomplishment and that all your troubles are over. You would expect that people would finally let you be, unfortunately, society has other ideas for you. Below are 10 things most newly married men experience in Nigeria.
  1. Don’t you know you are a married man now?
    For reasons best known only to them, this becomes your rebuke for everything you used to do that society feels you can no longer do. So you stay out late, just to hang with the guys and society says…”don’t you know you are now married”. You laugh too loudly with your friends, female of course, and some judging eyes say… “Don’t you know you are a married man now”. You want to stop over and have a plate of your favorite ‘nkwobi’, but no… you are a married man now….
  2. How is the wife?
    Greeting changes from “how are you doing?” to “how is the wife?” It’s as though nobody cares about you anymore and all you live for now is to be a husband. Once you say “she’s good”, then the world is alright irrespective of how you feel. By the way, if she wasn’t okay, would I tell you?
  3. Cash Cow
    Although you have the same job you had as a single person, and still earn the same salary, everyone believes that now that you are married, you have money.  “What do you have for us,” takes the place of “hello,” and “Send us something,” takes the place of “bye”. Even the people that used to give you, now expect you to start giving them. Maybe in some world, once your status changes, they start paying you some obscene amount of money.
  4. Overnight respect
    Society acts like you get a dose of wisdom at the altar once you say “I do”.  Suddenly you can talk at meetings and your opinion would count because according to them “you now have a woman at home.” No one figures that it’s the same head you had on your neck the day before, that is still stuck there after the wedding. Just because you now have a ring on your finger does not make you any wiser. But hey, why argue, just enjoy the respect.
  5. You have responsibilities now
    You can no longer decide what you want to do for yourself anymore. Everyone wants to give you advice on how to manage your life moving forward and it always ends with “you know you have responsibilities now”. Thank you, I’ve heard.
  6. See your stomach
    A week after your wedding, everyone secretly expects you to have a swollen abdomen and woe to the woman if, on the contrary, you lose weight. For some reason, that you gain some weight means you are happily married. So if you want society to give your wife a pass mark, lay on the waistline.
  7. Uncle or Oga
    At the altar, you also got christened, your name changed from ‘Okey, Tola or Audu,’ to ‘Uncle’ for every family member younger or unmarried and ‘Oga’ for the rest of the world.
  8. Have you scored?
    Whatever happened to ‘Family planning?’ Once you tie the knot, the next question is not “do you have a house?” It’s not “what is the plan for your new family?”  You would think it would be “how are you adjusting to this new life?” Nope, it’s, “when is the baby coming?” “Why is your wife not pregnant yet?” “When are you giving us bom-boy?” Please, you had better have a plan for the new life before you introduce it into this economy.
  9. Men’s club
    You are automatically expected to join a men’s’ club. Whether it’s an estate union or a church men’s fellowship, once you are married, you are required to find as many of these gatherings and join. It feels like you have not yet completed the marriage rituals if you don’t find a group of people to say “If it’s my own wife, she would… .”
  10. Where are you (!)(?)
    This one is a more a male challenge than a ‘society’ one. Marriage seems to expose a raw psychological nerve in men. Some newly married men begin to mix-up punctuations and develop linguistic hallucinations from things their wives say. The loving “where are you?” which was the high point of your dating relationship, now begins to sound like “where are you!!! Are you cheating on me???  Are you in another woman’s house? You are irresponsible….” Maybe it’s because of number 1 on our list, but many innocent women whose intention was just to show some care have gotten badly scarred by this all too frequent newly married male disorder.
There are a gazillion other expectations, and assumptions out there, not all are bad though, maybe you can add some of the ones you can think of. Read 10 Things a Newly Married Woman in Nigeria Should Expect

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This article was first published on 30th August 2017

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