To Wait Or Not To Wait

In all my years of writing I do not remember talking about relationships or giving relationship advice. First, because there are already more relationship advisers than the assorted meat in a Yoruba woman’s soup pot and I don’t like to dabble into what everybody is doing. Secondly, because in relationships there is no advice that is all encompassing.

I have observed that one quarter of social media users and radio presenters have turned to agony aunts and we see people sending them messages about their relationships, asking for help from people who do not know the first thing about relationships and advise you with bias. Quack love doctors everywhere. Continue reading

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Seed of Infidelity

“Why will I want a second wife? What is in their body that is different?” I had said to my colleagues who seemed to think that being a Muslim, I will want to exercise my freedom to more than one wife. That was two weeks to my wedding.

Five months down the matrimonial road, all was bliss like I expected it would. My wife was cool-headed, respectful despite our being only a few weeks apart in age and really economical with the little salary I earned.  I had no fear about the new addition we were expecting to our family. She will be the perfect mother.

There’s nothing like a wedding to bring old friends – and foes- together.  A married man for six months and my first time attending a social engagement without my wife due to her pregnant state, I saw her again; my ex.

It had not been a nice parting. How could it be after ten years together? The last we saw she came to pick her stuff from my house, a month to my wedding, and we barely acted in a civil manner towards each other.

Now, she looked to be doing well, though the way she painstakingly ignored me proved she was still affected by our break-up. Deciding to be the bigger man I made a move to be civil.

She was reluctant for a long time. I suggested we bury the hatchet. She looked at me with disbelief.

“Bury hatchet? You are one to talk when you have moved on! Ten years of my life is what I gave you. For ten years I refused every marriage proposal and what do you do? You replace me easily.”

Funny how the guilty can suddenly become the accuser. We had met soon as I was wrapping up my HND programme.  She was yet to get into school and with my paltry salary then of NGN 20,000 I paid her school fees all through school.

My friends saw it as a bad idea. She was in school in a different state from me. Anything could happen. And something did happen. While I was meeting her financial needs and preserving her virtue for marriage, she had a course mate meeting her physical needs.

On finding out, I pretended not to know then when she came to visit while on holiday I did what no Muslim brother should do; I seduced her. I consoled myself that it was the only payment I was to get for my years of sacrifice on her. “She wronged me first” was the reason I gave when my conscience worked overtime.

I would have straight up reminded her all the ways she was the reason for her own misfortune but I noticed for the first time, or just now chose to accept, that I still cared about her.

We are mature adults, surely we could sort out our differences and be friends. Upon further inquiry I discovered our offices were quite close and I suggested we met to smooth things over.

I never hid anything from my wife and when she asked me how the wedding went, I told her all save for meeting my ex. I didn’t want to trouble her, I rationalized. As she inquired further about the wedding and I answered distractedly, it registered that this time last year my wife and I were total strangers. To the surprise of my wife, i got up rapidly in search of a calendar. This time last year was the exact date I seduced my ex then asked her out of my life. Allah blessed me a few weeks later with a virgin maiden, Aisha, who is now my wife.

I began calling Hadiza again. In the office only. No need to trouble my pregnant wife.

“Does your wife know about this?” Nneka, my favourite colleague asked.

“No she doesn’t, but she will once I have made peace with Hadiza, that’s the only reason why I call her”

“OK o, just be careful” She warned. But that was not necessary. I trust myself and love my wife dearly.

Some phone conversations later, we agreed to meet and since I could not confide in my wife I told Nneka about it.

“Nooo Way!” She objected loudly.

“Yes way” I countered smiling. “Remember I promised I will never marry a second wife?”

Nneka continued shaking her head and did everything in her power to prevent me from going.

“Will you be happy if your wife meets with her ex?”

“Ahn ahn, why will she? See, it’s different. I just want to clear the air, that’s all”

“That’s how it starts.”

Very early Sunday morning, one full month after we had met again at that wedding, I met with Hadiza at her house.

She asked why i treated her in such manner. I explained that I found out about her unfaithfulness in school. She was shocked that I knew and explained that it all happened at a time when I began acting indifferent towards her. The guy was very attentive and she was vulnerable thinking I was not interested in her anymore.

I remembered that during that period I was really busy at work because a colleague resigned and I had to handle two people’s job till we got a replacement. I apologized for being inattentive but told her that wasn’t still a good reason to lose her virtue. She explained she was sorry about it and that she had no real feelings towards him.

But she had also become rude towards my family and when I brought that up she explained that she felt like the outsider amongst them because she had not been properly married into the family and hoped I would ask her the reason for her behavior and try to remedy things.

She cried. I cried. We apologized and I realized I had never stopped loving her. She begged me to take her back; Two wives was not unheard of. We talked till seven in the evening before I left for home.

 

“How did it go?” Nneka asked in answer to my “Good morning” on Monday morning.

I refused to go into details about all that transpired and said simply “I still love her. She was my first love.”

“Well, what can I say? Congratulations on your next wedding Fatiha.”

As I opened my mouth to remind her of my vow never to marry a second wife she interrupted me “And don’t feed me that ‘no second wife’ story because the first seed has already been planted and you are doing a good job nurturing it. I just regret that I didn’t make a bet with you when you boasted never to remarry, I would be richer in a few months.”

She sounded so certain that i will be getting married soon. I wonder if it is so. How can one love two women so intensely?

Writer’s Note: This is a true life story; the story of a close friend. Names have been changed and i am ‘Nneka’ in this story. It has been tweaked a bit though and i had to leave out some really personal stuff.

“Is it OK to stay friends with the ex?” That was the discussion on radio last night and as i listened i decided to write this story.

So i ask.; Is staying friends with the ex a sign of maturity or courting trouble? To what extent should one be civil towards their ex?

 

Disney Deception

Hi lovables;

Okay so there are lots of things i love to do, but the major one is watching movies. Indian movies and high school movies are my all time favourite and the reason isn’t far fetched . I LOVE ROMANCE. I like it the way they portray love, and the whole process of falling in love. It makes it appear ethereal and though i can’t claim to have been in love for real, watching these movies gives me an idea of what to expect.

I actually have an indian movie on ‘pause’ while am writing this, so as not to loose this line of thought and this is my 4th time of watching this movie. I’ve also watched high school musicals time and time again that i can take up the role of each act without missing any word or action. It just takes me to love land!

But this is where the real problem starts, not just for me but for most other young people, and i think the females are the worst hit. All our lives we’ve watched and read stuffs that paints love in a specific way(Thanks to disney) and we expect it to be so when we leave love land and come to the real world.

First you watch a movie where two people in love go out on a date, sing, dance, play… and you see that as the real picture. Then you can’t wait to experience this. And suddenly… Luck shines on you and you’re in a relationship! So here’s the pattern it takes…

Girl meets Guy. Guy claims to love you, and though he isn’t the exact replica of Troy or that cute Indian guy in your dreams, you decide to go ahead and give him a chance just to feel the much anticipated love.

Then you go on a date to a quiet restaurant. I’m assuming that at this point you’ve overlooked the fact that he doesn’t have a car and you had to jump Okada and buses(why do these movies always make us believe that the guy will have a car, even the 15-yr-olds?).
Well for the optimist, you probably won’t let that dampen your first outing with him. Now you’re sitting across from each other, feeling a bit nervous and having conversations about each other, while awaiting your sausage roll and bottle of coke (That’s if the chic is the considerate type who understands that he prolly doesn’t have much money and orders affordable meal).

After dinner- or lunch as the case may be, he walks you home and probably throws in a kiss in the bargain. And when you lie on your bed reminiscing about it all, you feel an anti-climax rather than the much expected climax. What you expected all along isn’t what you are getting- no wind whispering in your ears and blowing your hair, no heart stopping moment, no dancing and singing- but you don’t want to give up on him yet. So you call him up on the phone and ask him to sing you a song. You’re already dreaming of Troy singing Gabriella one of those heart melting songs and you fancy yourself replying… and then he bursts your bubbles,
“Actually i can’t sing”
Oh my God he can’t sing?! You won’t give up on love easily so you decide to give it another try.
“Ok what about we go someplace tomorrow, a club maybe, just to dance?
You still want to experience the drama in your books and on your screen. Another bombshell drops!
“Am not a good dancer either. Well actually i dance well when alone but am a shy dancer”.
And that’s it! All your innocent dreams are shattered and you try to stay on in the relationship, but the charm, the magic you’ve seen in these movies is just not there and you can’t take it any longer. You quit the relationship.

But it doesn’t end here. You’re still a firm believer in disney love and probably at the time of your break up you listen to this line in Celiene Dion’s song- love comes to those who believe- and you decide to give love another trial. But each time the end result is the same.

So after series of trials and after your bubbles have been busted more times than you care to count, you decide to come back to the real world and understand that love is all about trials and heartbreaks. Then you probably grow up and begin to live in the real world or you keep believing in fairy tales and waiting for the day a guy with blue eyes, broad shoulders, lean hips, great voice, terrific dancer and a body made for dancing comes your way.

As for moi, i guess i’ve refused to wake up (though my reaction to these movies takes a different turn- i find it hard to date any regular guy, so rather than give it a trial, i stay and wait for the day the guy with the whole pack in one comes along. My friends say that’ll be a life time). My friends have accused me of being a helpless romantic but i don’t mind. It works well for me, at least no heartbreaks.

All the same i’ll like to plead with disney to stop tantalizing our hearts and mind o. It’ll be better if they act movies where a couple fall in love, trek to the roadside buka, eat akara and pap, sing and dance to Fuji and walks back to the guy’s one room apartment. At least we wouldn’t have to expect much and meet with disappointment.