Nigerians are obsessed with marriage. It is an unescapable and undeniable fact. As soon as a girl finishes the university(some even before), the questioning begins “Do you have a serious boyfriend?” Why will u bring home a man for us?” As she gets older, relatives start to broach the subject as well. As she nears her 30s, it is a ‘free for all’ From aunties to distant cousins to the mallam selling chewing gum down the road. They all begin to ask “you no go marry. Your mates don born finish”
In April and August, I have published two contrasting experiences. One was aptly titled “Single shaming”, the story of Felicia(not real name) whose siblings and friends have all gotten married. (You can read it again HERE) She felt ostracized by her best friends who didn’t invite her for their reunion and alienated by her married younger sisters. I got in contact with the now 33-year-old Felicia a few weeks ago. As much as I would have to be delivering a happily ever after story right now for Felicia, her fairy tale is still in the works. She is currently dating though. She is with a 42 year divorcee with 2 kids. It raised some red flags with me. Now I have nothing against divorcees. I have handled a lot of divorce cases in my time and I do realize being divorced doesn’t necessarily mean the party has a bad character. Sometimes people are not meant to be. HOWEVER, sometimes the divorce could be due to the character of the divorcee. I was concerned as to whether she had let the pressure get to her and is settling or genuinely ready to be with the man and become an instant mother. She assured me she was. Looking forward to the wedding bells in the future.
My next writer had no qualms about admitting she was settling. In August, Susan wrote in stating that she was about to have this huge extravagant wedding with an amazing man who loved her. The catch was she didn’t love him. Not even a little bit.(or so she says. She was waiting to feel butterflies) Her main consideration was her age. (You can also read that HERE ). Some readers advised her not to go through it. Others told her the love would grow. She went through it and even posted all the pictures on Facebook. It was truly an extravagant wedding. Yesterday, I got into a chat with her and asked if the butterflies has arrived. She ‘lol’ed and said no, but she was comfortable. Comfortable…… Not happy…. Comfortable.
Now I am not trying to poke holes in these ladies’ lives, neither am I trying to criticize their choices. I understand all too well the intense pressure of being an unmarried girl in her thirties in a country like Nigeria. A lot of hype is attached to being a ‘Mrs’ over the general happiness of the girl in question. Marriage is one of the hardest thing in the world to handle, and it takes the constant effort to make it work. So it’s not about being a ‘Mrs’ but staying a ‘Mrs’ while keeping your dignity and sanity.