Monday, July 19, 2010

Is This How Divorces Are Made?

Monday, July 19, 2010
So we have a friend who while otherwise being a perfectly good person, ALWAYS has something negative to say about marriage. Bolaji has known this person, let's call him TJ for a quite some time, they went to King's College together, then met up again abroad in university. I on the other hand know TJ as one of my cousin's ex-boyfriend. So we know him quite well and I can attest to the fact that he really is a good person. However since knowing him as a couple, i.e Bolaji and I, he's just always had something to say.

When we first got engaged he'd make comments like "oh no, it all goes downhill from here". Or he'll say kiss goodbye to the woman and relationship you have now because it's all going to disappear, or if we're holding hands (which we always do), he'd say "don't worry this is going to stop abruptly soon". He asks Bolaji, "does she allow you to listen to your own music now? don't worry that will change and you'll never be allowed to any longer". The woman you're dating now is not going to be your wife and all kinds of scary crazy things. The thing is TJ is married! He has been married for the past 3 years and has two beautiful daughters to show. At first his offhand comments used to slide behind my back but I started to get really ticked off! All of his qualms about marriage where about the woman and I really didn't appreciate him saying things to an almost married man (at the time) that could scare him or give him jitters. I discussed it with Bolaji and he was like you know what? He's just jealous about our happiness and doesn't know how to show it, the best way to deal with him is also make a quip about how happy WE are and roll with the punches that way.

I say all of this to set the scene. A few weeks ago, at a friend's party TJ goes "so when was the last time you guys argued?" and he said it in this really smirky way as if he really wanted to prove himself right about how terrible marriage is. Bolaji and I looked at each other and replied..."you know what? I can't even remember!" But we also made a show of it and feigned like we were trying to remember and couldn't. Shame. You could tell he was disappointed that he couldn't be proven right at that time. I was so happy because truly at the time he asked we hadn't even had a misunderstanding/disagreement in a long stretch so I REALLY couldn't remember!

Cut to last week. One of the thorns of our relationship is that I LOVE giving and receiving gifts and my love could care less really! lol. He's one of those people that doesn't celebrate birthdays or any other type of anniversary, meanwhile I'm the kind of person that you could come in to the house and find a 100 balloons and a special cake to surprise you on the little things. So we are quite different that way. We celebrated our 3rd month anniversary last week and I also finally did my name change so of course I was in the mood for a little celebration. Bolaji was very blase about it. That evening not only does he come home later than usual, he then says he would really love to go to a going-away dinner for one of our friends who was leaving Nigeria for good (he had forgotten about the surprise dessert tasting I had arranged for us!). I was very upset and felt that he wasn't considering how important it was to me to celebrate milestones in my life. This little thing turned into a big full blown disagreement (we are not yellers so it's hard to say fight lol). I ended up listening to Beyonce's "Why Don't You Love Me" to sleep which in my head is the highest scale of marital unhappiness i guess lol. The next day we got up and it was another round of trying to listen and understand and explain to each other. I was exhausted. Just as we were beginning to patch things up, something completely different happened again that day to cause even more tension and friction.

During this time I was thinking those thougths that all I think all newlyweds will think at some point during their first year: Aaargh, I'm so mad at him, gosh what have I gotten myself into? I thought many different things. In that moment of feeling unloved, unheard, and just plain feeling that this marriage thing can indeed be tough, I thought of the carefree single days. I thought what if this man can't change and I can't change, could we be happy?

That evening Bolaji headed to one of his best friend's bach eve. Not even an hour in, he sends me a message:

Gosh, where do all these women come from? I'm sitting here, looking around, and I've never felt even more confident that I picked the right person, that I'm truly content and truly happy. I'm good, I don't need nor want anything else. I love you very much. Very very much and don't ever doubt this.

About thirty minutes later he sends me another message:

Okay I'm officially sad now, all these men grinding on all this women and gyptian ft. nikki is on and I'm by myself wishing my babes was here. I'm leaving here soon, once Nkem comes out of the room they've locked him in. (Bolaji really REALLY likes that Gyptian song!)

I tell him I'm trying on the dresses I just got back from the tailor and he asks me to please send pictures so he can see them on me. He comes home a little after that and I'm not sure what it was but it's like he just realized that whatever we were arguing about did not matter in the grand scheme of things. He grabs me and holds me so tight. I get a little perspective too. Here is my man. The man that goes to a bach eve and rushes home because he misses his wife. The man that isn't afraid to share his feelings with me. A man that loves me so very much, that he tells me almost every week that he dedicates his life to making sure I'm happy and cared for. A man who wakes me up to kisses all over my face.

A lot of marital activities went on these last few days ;-)

All kidding aside, I wanted to post about this incident because it was my first real challenge and realization that yes, marriage is going to have it's rough bits. I also gained a new consciousness that it is the journey that we are going for, the ups and downs of it all is exactly what we've signed up for. I thought to myself, how many of young couples out there go through their rough patches and instead of choosing to grow from it, choose to grow apart from it. And yes, it is a choice: Am I going to learn from this or am I going to withdraw just a little bit from this relationship because of it? Be wary of the withdrawal and teach the TJs in your life a thing or two!

We also talked about having kids this past week but that's the next post :-)


doll said...

aw...what perfect way to make up

NewLife said...

what a lovely post, the joys and sometimes pains of marriage. I've got to say though, TJ has to step aside, words have power and please and please, don't take those negative things he's speaking into your life for granted, you have to counter them with God's spoken truths as soon as he says them and you and hubby work together to not allow him to speak negativity into your lives anymore.
You may not be as strong as you think, you may think it doesn't affect you now, but you never know on a day that you or Bolaji are vulnerable and you may think , maybe, just maybe TJ was right about one of those crazy sayings, that would all be the plot of the enemy. Hope this makes sense. God bless

Kemi said...

@doll, i agree!

@newlife - makes perfect sense, thanks for your comments! I probably didn't explain it well but that is essentially what Bolaji said. Whenever he says anything we just counter it with what we believe for ourselves in our relationship and marriage. Don't worry we don't see him that often and he really has slowed down since he's seeing that his manifestations about marriage are not necessarily universal. I'll say though that I strongly believe that the ultimate power over our relationships lies within us, and not outside of us.

Rita said...

This is lovely, thanks so much for being open and truthful.
During the time i dated my hubby, we NEVER had a disagreement. I felt that was how marriage was going to be. And then one day, about 8 months into our marriage (cos previously we were apart) we had an argument. The type of "I can't stay on the same bed with you tonight". I was shocked! At that point, I wanted to say I am not doing again.

But marriage is beautiful. I have come to see that my husband and myself only disagree because we have different opinions which are not wrong, just different perspectives. I also realized that each argument is like an eroding agent, and if left unhandled, could cause so much damage. So if we ever have any conflict, we make out time to discuss it as soon as possible, make up and make sure we are not holding any grudges.

Enjoy your beautiful marriage. You have a wonderful man.

Niki said...

awwwwww you guys seem so sweet.
I so agree with New Life. PRAYER girl, prayer!
Maybe you and Bolaji should review your friendship with Mr TJ, yeah you guys have known him for a well, you say he's a cool dude but if being around him is going to hurt your marriage, you need to take precautions.
Pray for the poor fella as well, its obvious that he isn't happy in his marriage, so ask God to bring happiness into it. Ask God to use your marriage to help teach this poor guy a few things that he can hopefully take into his own marriage.

Eve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eve said...

just came across your blog...had to catch up!
it's been inspirational ..keep wiriting :)

Blowing Blessings Your Way said...

Aww! How beautiful...I like how u 2 deal with ur probs!

Hiss at TJ, he's obviously unhappy!

And I like tht Gyptain song too!!!!

And I read ur post on ChiChi's blog, good job!

lol @ marital activities!!!...sounds like fun!

Myne Whitman said...

Rita has basically said what I wanted to add to your beautiful post.Thanks as always for sharing. And more marital activities for us all, lol...

YankeeNaija said...

lovely read. gives me hope and a newer perspective on marriage.

silent follower said...

adorable! i love you guys
**Lord Jesus, can you please send my MAN to me? quickly?"

aww.. dont worry, test come and go... you will PASS excellently!

Amy said...

I love how real you are and I appreciate you sharing your experiences with your blog followers! TJs of this world really can be a downer. How do you plan on dealing with his negativity in the future? Do you plan to tell him about himself or will you two distance yourself from him? On a completely different note I am soooo looking forward to your next post about future mini Kemi's and Bolaji's!

Kemi said...

@Rita, thanks for your comments. Bo & I just stay up real late until we're tired and then sleep in the same bed lol. But I understand exactly what you mean. It's part of the journey isn't it? Funny, I love him more now than I did even last week!

@Niki, I know. I'm definitely going to be praying for his marriage. It's funny I never thought to do just that. Thanks.

@Eve, thanks for stopping by! I'll continue to write so long as you continue to read, deal? :-)

@Blowing, hey girl! that song just gets Bolaji going and I love it cuz he loves it so it's fun to dance to. thanks for reading my guest post i was honored to do it.

@Myne, Amen to that!

@YNC, thanks. I always say to anyone that asks and I mean it to the bottom of my heart, I'm very much enjoying marriage and being married. I say the key is having a good man u know, but i know you KNOW all about that ;-) In case i haven't said it recently you inspired me to start this blog!

@silent - your man is probably saying the same thing and you guys will be making sweet music together in no time! :-)

@we really don't see him that often anyway so we're pretty distant as is. Like someone else advised I think I'm just gonna really pray for him and his marriage. In the meantime we counter him quite well if i may say so myself. More and more HE's looking like a fool when he says random things like that.

Kemi said...

oops, missed @Amy in my last response. the last comment was directed at your comment. Wishing you peace and calm and joy in your last months as a single lady!

KabiOsi Edumare said...

Awww....Dear,U r with the love of ur life
Wishing you guys decades upon decades of anniversaries to come in love and happiness and good health with kids and many more kids...

Btw,TJ gats to go!!!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your honesty! I think it's the tough times that help us realize that we ARE with who we married. Just being willing to muddle our way thru the tough stuff is part of growing our marriage's stability.

QMoney said...

Rita totally spoke my mind,when the facts change,u change your mind.The fact that the two of u hav 2different opinions doesnt make anyone wrong,it's cos u are 2different people with brains.Like i wrote in my last post,husby management isn't an easy task but we all learn everyday.
Might i add that i think the bible preaches that we should agree with our husby even when we are sure he's wrong,am guessing that's what submitting to his authority and been submissive is....i am yet to inculcate tihs rule in my life but i have a feeling life would be easier if only we married folks could and then in the grand scheme of things,if u win a fight/argument with the husby,who do u wanna celebrate with??best not to allow things blow up at all times jare..God help us all

Anonymous said...

Great post. it reminds me of the quote "If we desire to blossom like a rose in the garden, then we must learn the art of adjusting with the thorns".

Sting said...

This is really helpful to read as it can be applied to all relationships. All the best in ur marriage.

Ekene said...

Lovely post.
You know the best desserts are not those that are sickeningly's those that have a little sour or tart to balance out the sweet, a little spice to give the richness an edge...That's how marriage can be...bitter and sweet...complicated and simple.
Happy married life! Enjoy the tasting.

Anonymous said...

tiffs make you stronger if dealt with well...

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