Everyone in Nigeria now knows one, two or more persons who have gone through the horror of divorce. So sorry for horrifying it, but it always isn’t. It could be a path to peace and happiness for some, making it disastrous and amazing at the same time.
The divorce scare in Nigeria has never been taken seriously because those who go through it are rarely seen talking because of what we believe in and how we handle our beliefs.
But to call back our consciousness, there are simple questions we need to ask:
- Is divorce real and right?
- Is it happening everyday around us?
- Are we saying or doing enough to stop the next one?
- Will it ever reduce or keep getting high?
1. CULTURE AND FEMINISM
Most men of today were born with the ‘House Wife’ mother concept, and having read somewhere that most mothers want their daughters to marry a good husband, but don’t want their sons to marry a wife who is better than them, things are now coming together.
The man is always the HEAD OF THE FAMILY and the woman should be as submissive as she can be. Mothers are the first to preach submission to their daughter-in-laws because from experience, they understand how the lifespan of a man is directly proportional to his peace of mind.
They push with their sons and sometimes, it becomes war against a new bride who is trying to explore the EQUALITY trend that is gradually sweeping us off our feet. Things are changing, but only few men are changing their ideologies to accept that women should worth more.
A man would want a sick wife to go to the kitchen, to protect his ego. Same reason some women would prefer a hospital bed to their matrimonial bed, with the slightest headache comes knocking on the door.
On this ground, men don’t want a wife who will:
- Question them always.
- Force them to the kitchen and other chores.
- Talk back in public, especially where there are friends and family members.
- Go through their phones.
- Look into his income, spending and properties
- Who will question his nightlife, as cheating is just their nature or simply an audition for a second wife which is supposedly the fundamental hu-MAN right of every Nigerian man.
As bad as it is, these DON’TS are often supported by those who don’t want it and those who once experienced it, just to protect their own. It will all end on a particular day, when she has had enough or when he believes she has done enough, the marriage ends.
2.HIGH COST OF WEDDING CEREMONIES
No one will actually believe this is an issue, until you ask questions and realize that some marriages died on arrival because of wedding debts. Women borrow behind their husbands just to look better than their budget and men, God help them, must do everything possible to meet up with everything on the marriage rite list.
Imagine a couple who are yet to see their wedding photographs two years after because they are still owing the photographer. Just imagine what it would feel like for a typical African man to relocate because of huge wedding debt, but his wife cannot give him a single PEACE OF MIND.
It is often the beginning of domestic violence. Some men start raining abuses on their wives’ families, calling them HUNGRY, WICKED and DESPERATE. How would you feel as a woman if your husband is insulting your family on daily basis, blaming them for the debts?
As a man how would you feel to know that your wife borrowed close to a million Naira just to make your wedding more flamboyant? The creditors are in your home to take away your properties.
The man starts imagining how he got to marry such a selfish woman, same with the woman who is being insulted. Some men and women also learnt that their partners did some nasty things to raise fund for their weddings
3. SOCIETAL PRESSURE AND SHOWOFF
“When will you marry?”
This is the most heartbreaking question singles get in Nigeria and also across the world. Someone being single has become a disability, so every single person is doing everything possible to find someone to get married to.
There is also this shaming on ladies above thirty, everyone is saying they are still single because of their bad character, making it a task for every lady to get married BY FIRE BY FORCE before that age, even if it is with the wrong person.
Ladies normally wake up when they are 30+ and it takes a simple self-discovery to realize that one has been at the wrong place and that is the end.
Parents, friends, mentors, religious leaders and recently social media platforms are just perfect in being the rallying point for singles with the intention of getting married. Marriage is often made primary, while communication, tolerance and coexistence are mostly secondary.
Others also want to show off, for everyone to know they have arrived. Some spend more time planning what their wedding pictures would look like that they forget to talk about their marriages. That hurts right?
Fine pictures are amazing, but if they are the only thing you plan for, that would be so disastrous for the marriage.
But who cares? Yes no one does even after divorce.
4. READY OR NOT: THE NEW MENTALITY
This is a new theory by men and ladies who no longer believe in dating, but marriage. They have used up all their emotions in their past relationships and now are all out for only ladies/men who are ready for marriage.
- You see their parents to activate the relationship.
- She does not really want anyone to stress her with relationship THIS AND THAT.
- She believes past heartbreak have made her a thorough WIFE MATERIAL.
- Everyone tries to be of good behavior.
- There’s actually a dating process during this period.
- After introduction, her parents can turn the man down if they don’t like him.
- She can also withdraw if she makes shocking discoveries about the man.
- The man in some cases can pull out along the line if he no longer likes her.
- Some ladies and men have had more than three introduction ceremonies with this method.
After the period of pretentious dating, the wedding goes on, only for both parties to unveil their true selves. Many ladies in this situation have discovered they are second wives, while other and their men are finding out they are on a RIDE OR DIE situation.
What would you do? But trust me, this has really worked for some people and that is the amazing part of it.
5. PARENTS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS
Normally these people are actually trying to take care of their loved ones and that’s what they always do. Remember that it was supposed to be an amazing job, connecting two singles, yes it is especially for those who are finding it difficult to take decisions.
This act of love often back fires, because in most cases, those two unknown and incompatible fellows are only together because they have respect for the people who connected them.
Don’t get it twisted, this often goes right, but look well because when the UNKNOWN COUPLES are tired being strangers in what is supposed to be their homes, BOOM!!! That’s divorce.
These are times when people ask:
- Is he/she a bad person?
- Does he/she cheat?
- Does he/she maltreat you?
- Are there health issues he/she has?
They try to make you to discredit the competence of the other person as a perfect partner, but the answers are usually, “he/she is a great person, but we’re not just meant for each other”
No one understands this answer, they blame you for not fighting harder. But the oil is spilled already.
No one wants to believe that our religious nature is contributing to the high rate of divorce in Nigeria. But look at it very well.
I should be scared of blasphemy, but we have gone past that level now and so these truths must be said so that things can change.
- Most denominational religions, encourage intermarriage just to keep members, not for people to be happy in most cases.
- Everything is a spiritual issue. So when someone has bad habits, they pray instead of changing.
- People must listen to their spiritual leaders, who are often the greatest match makers.
- These spiritual leaders are often experts even when their marriage is a SHOW ROOM.
- Churches pray for ladies to get married, but never find time to teach good behavior or help them get jobs.
- The enculturation of the African tradition in our religions, means ANY MAN IS A MAN as long as he can foot the bills of the wedding.
No hard feelings, but believing prayers can change a bad behavior or believing it can make two incompatible people live under the same roof in peace and harmony is a waste of belief.
Most people, Christians especially change their church after divorce, because they often feel mislead and in most cases, they leave because of the stigma that follows.
7. GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIEND AND BOYFRIENDS PAST
For those who married who was READY and not who THEY LOVED, one day, the person you loved would be READY AND RIPE just the way you wanted to harvest them. What would you do?
Going back to exes is now a common thing and I don’t want to talk about the numerous BYE BYE SEXES which has left some men training children who are not theirs or the late nights and fake conferences men use to cover up for the time spent trying to make things up for their exes who were not READY when they wanted to get married.
Our social media generation has what we should medically look into. It is now very difficult for one person to make another happy. It is always a case of collective efforts even after marriage.
Men are still glued to the ladies they used to know, same with ladies and the men they used to know. This distractions can lead to the next reason, something I have carefully avoided till this point.
I simply saved this for the last because of some funny reasons. When Nigerians hear of divorce, the first thing they want to find out is who cheated.
So I once asked someone on social media if cheating was the only reason he broke up with those he dated before marriage and his answer was a NO.
If cheating is not the only reason people break up, why do we look up to it as one? Cheating is even becoming a way of life amongst married people and that is the reason I brought it to number 8.
Cheating is often the reason some marriages had lasted longer because it is the only distraction they can get. That’s when cheating becomes amazing right? But unless spades can be mistaken for shovels, CHEATTING WILL ALWAYS REMAIN A BAD THING.
- So, have you cheated before?
- How did you feel after cheating?
- Have you been caught in the act before?
- How did you escape or did you lose the person.
There is no room for unhappiness in human beings, and those who are not wise and strong enough to walk away resort to cheating, so every single thing I have mentioned earlier can lead to cheating. CHEATING has simply become A MISRABLE ACT THAT IS USED TO CURE BEING MISERABLE. This is funny.
Another issue on cheating is the GLORIFICATION OF SIDE CHICKS. They have become an integral part of every family, but the worrying things should be
- The degree at which married men run after single ladies
- The way single ladies have seen dating married men as the safest relationship
- Why some who did it, find it difficult to accept same from their husbands.
Isn’t the LAW OF KARMA STILL REAL?
Aside making excuses for some people, Cheating is in the genes of some people and being church cleaner or worker does not keep them away from it. They must do it because THEY MUST DO IT.
The truth is that most of the breakups caused by cheating, happened when WOMEN CHEAT, as Africans, men have the slogan of YOU CHEAT, YOU GO; I CHEAT, YOU GO.
We hardly hear that a woman left a man; we always hear that he sent her packing, it doesn’t matter who was wrong. CLAP FOR US, we are really doing well.
9. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
A former colleague once told us stories about his neighbor who believes that a MAN BEATING HIS WIFE IS COUNTING HIS MONEY. Another lady described how amazing the MAKEUP SEX was after being beating. These are simply two people on the opposite sides having fun with a taboo.
Domestic violence used to be men beating their wives up, but it has graduated to women
- Stabbing their husbands
- Cutting off their penis
- Bathing them with hot water and acid
- Drilling heels into the heads of their partners
We can only talk about these, but how about those who were poisoned? I know men would be glad only women are perpetrators of these horrors, but that’s a big lie because men set the pace.
Funny enough most marriages that ended because of domestic violence, were always as a result of the interventions of the lady’s family members who became sensible enough to know that IT IS BETTER TO HAVE HER AT HOME ‘SINGLE’ THAN BATTERED OR DEAD AS A MARRIED WOMAN.
The fact that women are now eating FIVE APPLES instead of JUST ONE, means one slap could make one leave the husband. Some would call it a stupid judgment, but we all know a punch could follow and she could respond with a stab or breaking something on his head and that would be the HEADLINE, instead of the cause of the issue.
This is bad. We say no to it.
10. SPIRITUAL EFFECTS
As a Nigerian, if you joke with spiritual things, then you are joking with the lives of your entire generation. No one can deny the fact that a good percentage of marriages and divorces were caused by one enchantment or another.
With women and men now buying love charms online, there is a possibility the man or woman is under a spell and in most cases their expiration dates are never known. Let me make it simple, the moment the man or woman regains his/her senses, the marriage is automatically over.
Some married men/women have also been charmed to leave their partners. This is happening every day because JUJU IS REAL.
This spiritual effect can also come on the positive side where God will decide to give two people who forced marriage on themselves the strength to walk away.
Going off the numbers, it is a huge fact that marriages are breaking in Nigeria regularly and because of how negative vibes and stories thrive, we enjoy them on social media, not knowing we have just discussed a problem, but haven’t solved it.
What do we do next to save the next marriage from being a mistake, yes it better to stop the mistake than to engage in a fruitless battle to keep the marriage.
My name is Chinedu Hardy Nwadike (Facebook/IG/Twitter: @hardynwa)
Blogger, writer and social commentator.