On the d-day the bride looks like a painting, with her gelled hair and impeccable make up, grinning from molar to molar and making me wish my wedding could take place sooner.
To my married friends, I have come up with a 10 point agenda to help you navigate the confusing maze called marriage. Ignore it to your detriment.
1. Get rid of false expectations
Before the wedding you had it all figured out-3 kids, a 3 bedroom in suburbia, relatives that inform you two months before coming for a visit, a husband who finds every other female unattractive, comes home by 6pm and makes dinner when you are too tired. When he gets home 5 hours before you do and waits for you to come back and fix dinner, don’t say he’s changed. You know what happened? You got married.
2. Birds of the same feather should flock together!
When you were dating, did he play golf on Sunday mornings while you went to church? Does he see Tafa Balogun as a hero for securing the future of his offsprings at the expense of those poor policemen? If it bothered you then but you went ahead with the wedding anyway, it’s a tad too late to be complaining about his lack of integrity, don’t you think?
3. Trust and Fidelity
It is the bedrock on which every relationship is formed. Stop stalking him. If he says he’s at the bank, believe that’s where he is. If he comes home late and says he had a flat tyre, then that’s what happened. Trust him until he gives you a reason not to. Except if you snatched him from your best friend, in which case your maid might most likely bear him a son. It’s called the law of seed time and harvest time. And sometimes it comes pressed down, shaken together and running over too.
4. Get a grip on yourself
You know at first it’s really cute when he hurts you and you cry but let’s face it, after a while, he just gets irritated and equates your tears to blackmail. Besides, if he has sadistic tendencies, he might make you cry just for the fun of it, and probably watch Supersport while you empty your tear ducts.
5. What a man can do, a woman shouldn’t bother doing
Sometimes I get put off by women trying to assert themselves. He asks you on a date, you foot the bill. He takes you shopping; you tell him you can handle it. He wants to pay for your hair, you say you got it covered, thinking, I want him to know I can take care of myself. Are you surprised that now you are married, he tells the landlord to see you when the rent is due?
6. The game is in the chase
Remember how far he went to get you? Remember when he stood on Akpongbon Bridge begging you to marry him or else he’ll kill himself? (Well maybe that was taking it too far) And now he treats you like household furniture? It’s because he’s got you and he knows you ain’t going nowhere; I think? Advice no 7 & 8 should fix this problem.
7. Give him a reason to come back home
Now you are married you’ve let yourself go. You wear corn rows for one month and tie a wrapper on your chest on Saturdays. You eat everything labelled edible and don’t know where your make up kit is. You have a pile of dirty clothes on the living room couch and a bathroom that hasn’t been washed since you got married. And you complain that he never stays at home? Why should he? He may be disorganised but he doesn't expect you to be.
8. Live with Purpose
Beyond getting married, having children and taking care of the home, I honestly believe there is a greater purpose for which you were born. Aspire. Dream. Achieve! It makes you more attractive. Find your purpose and enlist your husband’s support to make it happen. I mean, Okonjo Iweala’s husband must be very proud wherever he is.
9. Money Matters
Never, ever lose your financial independence. There’s nothing wrong with having your own cash. He said he doesn’t want you to work? Well sell ice-block or something. There should be other words in your vocabulary beyond I want, I need, I’ve got to have, give me. He will lose respect for you when he has to support the family all by himself. And God help you if anything happens to him and you are left with children, a greedy set of in-laws and no job.
10. Speak his language
There’s something about familiarity that will make you take him for granted. Then he spoke you listened, now before he gets a word out, you say twenty. Stop wondering why he’ll rather drink with the guys than hang out with you. If he’s acting funny, it’s because you stopped speaking his language. Rediscover what it was that attracted him to you, and live it up.
There it is. I hope it helps.
But then again maybe you shouldn’t take me too seriously, remember, I’m just a single lady.