Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In Defense Of...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I read a terrible story today that touched my heart. A young lady who was married 2 years ago, has a daughter, was brutally murdered by her husband last week. This horrible monster, stabbed his wife, mutilated her, and by all counts tried to cover his tracks by dismembering her. This is gory, and just plain devilish. May her soul rest in peace, and may the Lord have mercy on her. I think about the fact that this young lady could have easily been a reader of this blog and I'm saddened.

However the reason for this post is not to just share my condolences but to talk about the way in which I came to hear of this story. Someone somewhere wrote about this story and understandably tied the tragedy in with "marriage people". I understand the intention and stemming from reports that this particular marriage had had a history of violence and physical abuse, I get it. Nonetheless, my reaction is to say wait a minute, not all marriage is bad. It saddens me to see something that enriches my life so much is the subject of hurt, pain, and in this case death for someone else. It is not marriage that caused this tragedy, it is uncontrollable anger. It is our societal policy of "need-to-know". Our dogmatic attitudes. Our penchance to revel in secrecy. Don't ask, don't tell. All these things are not planted solely in a marriage, they can be planted in any relationship we find ourselves in. So whether in platonic, business, or romantic relationships I think it's important we always check that we are staying true to who we are and be that person unapologetically.

I wanted to defend marriage today. It is an institution made up of two individuals. Sometimes despite our best efforts the other person just refuses to change, or to grow together. Sometimes despite our best intentions we just don't know what to do or where to go. Or worse still, we realize all too late that we've made an error. We're all human beings and are prone to making judgements in error. However, when God's grace does shine and you're lucky enough to tie yourself to the partner God provides for you, then it can be sweet, and loving, and challenging, and warm. I've heard some ladies say, "80% of married women settled [for less that is]" I'm a married woman and I settled for honesty, kindness, self-control, thoughtfulness, and sense of responsibility. That's what I settled for. If we really all sit down and decide for ourselves what it is that we want to settle for, and let it be positive non-physical attributes, then we're a good way to forming a partnership with someone who's stable, kind-hearted, and has respect for self-control.

This post is not to say "you can avoid a physically abusive relationship", no, but to say that because it IS possible to have a sweet loving and kind marriage, we should really all think about what qualities have to be present in both parties to have this and don't settle for less than those. Be aware that bad things to do happen, and no one is immune. Fortify yourself. But remember that good things can happen as well, and can happen for you. Prepare yourself.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Monday, June 20, 2011
This weekend was amazing.

Bo & I have been going through a rough patch lately. It's a bit hard to describe. When you're one your own and you're having a bad day or having a bad week, you can easily just say to someone, I'm having a bad day and need a drink. But what do you call it when a couple as one entity is having a bad day or a bad week? Either way, that's what we've been having lately. I think we're getting to a very interesting point in our relationship. The excitement of an impending wedding, the excitement of a new marriage, and all of that is wearing off. Now we're just left with us. Which can be incredibly terrifying and incredibly freeing in bits. In the last few weeks I've lost two close friends and gone through a challenging incident at work, and Bo has been dealing with what I can best describe also as a challenging episode at work (to say the least, I really want to say drama). It got so bad that Bo just wanted to walk away from it all. Which is actually fine by me in theory but then we had to think about how we were going to cope with the immediate loss of his salary which is really a sizeable chunk of our household income. I wanted him to leave too so that wasn't the problem. It was just in the midst of everything we both became over worry-ers and after you've shared and communicated your anxieties so much you start to internalize them rather than risk the other person going into a depressive mode.

So it's been challenging. I think by last week though, we just both broke out and CHOSE to not be bogged down about everything happening around us. I think we were just tired of constantly carrying the weight on our shoulders. One of my favorite things about our lives together is the talks we have together in bed on saturday mornings (and some weekday mornings). We'll talk a bit, play around in bed a bit, then talk a bit more. These moments are so very precious to me because I truly believe they keep us connected. We just chatted and decided that things were a bit too heavy lately and we wanted to be fun and lighthearted. So we decided to just take things as they come, whatever they may be, and be lighthearted about it. It worked wonders! All of a sudden we were back to our normal selves. Last week was great but this weekend was just fabulous.

Our friends were getting married on Saturday in Abeokuta so we packed our road trip regulars (snacks, music, gum) and headed out. It was so nice to be able to reconnect on this trip. We laughed and joked. My husband is so funny! I had to keep telling him over and over again that I love his sense of humor. He can make me crack up like no other person. Every time I told him I loved his sense of humor, he would smile a wicked grin and I mentally reminded myself that I needed to compliment my husband more often. That's something I did quite a bit in the months after our marriage but has somehow fallen off. So throughout the weekend whenever he did or said something that I liked or loved about him, I would tell him. His reaction every single time was very much worth it. Sometimes in the midst of everything we do we forget to just say, "I love your smile" or "You're a fabulous husband and you add so much meaning to my life". It's the truth. At the wedding we took a picture and I didn't like it but Bo turned to me with this shocked/confused look on his face and said "You look so beautiful". Instantly I felt better because I reminded myself that I had a husband who tells me I'm beautiful regularly. I mean, how lucky am I really?

Just the friday before Bo & I had gone to a houseparty. I stepped away from a conversation we were having with friends to join another friend. By the time I came back, Bo had also left that conversation. Immediately the two ladies started telling me of how much my husband must love me as he couldn't stop gushing about me and about our wedding. I was actually shocked because Bo never gushes about the wedding, I do! Both girls were told me repeatedly "Nah, girl, he was gushing, we could see the love in his eyes as he was talking about you, he loves you so much." I couldn't help but blush. This guy is pretty special.

This Sunday we went to a friend's house and just hung out with him and a few other friends for a while but Bo & I could barely keep our paws from each other. Just him being there and being around makes me so happy and gives me such a sense of wellbeing and security. Anybody that saw us yesterday would not have believed that we are going through such difficult times in terms of what life is throwing at us: death, work drama, repayment of student loans (ha!), etc. I am very proud of us and how we were able to come back to the center of joy for both of us, and that is our relationship and each other's presence.

PS - Bo ended up NOT quitting and things have been resolved which really is a testimony of God's Grace in our lives.

Baby Update: Bo & I had a rather unexpected talk about our timeline for baby and I'm pretty sure we've moved the TTC date plan up by a few months. I think the birth of one of our close friend's baby has added a bit more pressure to us both than we care to admit. I have to say though that immediately the next morning, I thought about it all again and got unready again. I actually REALLY like the way we live now. I'm not sure why we should willingly add another dimension to it. As of now I don't feel like something's missing but whenever I think of having a baby it's more of the line of thinking of "let me just do it now and get it over with, get everyone off my back" and somehow I don't think that's a good reasoning or environment to push TTC. I want my child to be conceived out of complete love and longing not out of pressure and irrational thinking. Keep your ears to the ground!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Overheard in the BoKem Household

Saturday, June 11, 2011
Might be a bit of a TMI but all the same:

ME: Bo, please can you feel this area of my boobs? They feel kinda weird.

BO: (easily obliging) No they feel normal babe

ME: I'm serious, don't they feel odd?

BO: Nope. And I would be the one to know wouldn't I?

ME: (giving him a side eye) Smh.

Strange but it does feel kind of nice to have someone who knows you inside out who can have this conversation with you and then carry on with whatever they were doing before. I love it!
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