I have a post from last year where i mentioned that I got married at 22. If you have not read it, check it out here. I had just rounded up my final year of Uni and i had to travel from school to my hometown for the traditional marriage rites. Everything happened so fast. Incase you are wondering, it was not one of those arranged marriages. God made it possible for me to meet someone (through my cousin) who did not just love me but also believed in my dreams and was willing to share in it which for me was very important.
Did i contemplate it – Yes, very well, Did i go ahead? – YES (after plenty firing of prayer ooo), Am i the first to marry that young ? – No, Did it work for me ? – Yes
I used to be one of those Miss Independent (that Miss Independent song by Keri Hilson, Ne-yo and Kanye, was my fave). For a long time, i could see myself finishing school, getting a great job, hanging out with the ladies on Friday night, having my siblings over at my house and spoiling my parents silly. I was not having that gist of “No man will marry you if you are already living by yourself and/or driving a good car“. Marriage was not a priority at least till i was 26. However i was open to having a great relationship that will last till i was ready to settle – which is still ideal, if you ask me. At the time, people who got married early were the “holier than thou(s)” who couldn’t wait to have sex. I bet some of you still think that is the case.
Infact,i remember when some of my mates who were already planning their weddings would keep certain “mature” gist/details from me, or would change up topic of discussion when i showed up or even outrightly told me that it was to early to be thinking of that when i would ask a question like “how do they calculate pregnancy due date?” Me sef, why was i even asking when i wasn’t planning to have one soon?..lol
I must have pulled a Beyonce on them when i started giving out wedding invitation cards. That was before some of them got around to finally doing the wedding they had been announcing since like forever. Life’s a funny race. Now to think that i had once judged them for even considering marriage when they had not even graduated from Uni– particularly those that were not up to 26 yet. I could understand if someone older was talking marriage, because i felt these things do take time, so at least by 30 they would be off the single ladies list. But then, what did i even know about life then? I got my own fair dose of the judging.
Based on the myths,
Some people will say something like;
“What does Ijeoma even know that she’s going to get married?
I actually can’t blame them. Many people believe that getting married at such young age is a wrong move because you are bound to make a lot of mistakes simply because you are inexperienced and not yet a wife material. Experience comes from making attempts and no amount of experience is pass mark. Nobody was born a wife material, we all will learn these things as long as you are willing to.
She doesn’t even know this man long enough to be settling down already?
By the time we were settling down i had known my husband for 2years. I was too convinced within the last 3 months that i had made the right choice. People have dated for much longer only to be in marriages that only lasted a few months.
She’s such a smart student, now all these brains will end up in the kitchen!
A good man will not want a good woman that will end up in the kitchen. I am not surprised if people still think like that in 2018 but if you don’t want to end up in the kitchen as a woman, then you won’t let it happen. I have a friend who called off an engagement because the guy was not okay with her working and he won’t even be generous with the money he was giving her. He would give her money to go make her hair and ask her to bring change! Thank God for the internet age, even full time mums can still put their brains to good use in and out of the kitchen.
You are going to miss out on life, by getting married so early?
Getting married at the time i did was an advantage for me because with the kind of work that marriage requires, it is easier finding myself as i go through life with my significant other plus not having to compromise so much for the sake of the relationship. May, yes i missed out some things but i don’t see how those would have helped me now.
These days when i hear stories of extreme relationships and heartbreaks, I quietly say a thank you prayer knowing that of all my Adulting worries in the world this isn’t one of them. I’d probably be too tough to take any of those shit.
1. Marriage by two consenting adults is always a joyful thing. Where the hearts gravitates towards each other, the union is bound to happen. It may be sooner than is expected but in the end all the other timelines would have fallen in according to God’s will.
2. Even If you are a “Miss Independent” by nature, marriage will force you to strive to achieve more for yourself.
3. You don’t need to know it all before getting into marriage because no matter how much you know, it will never be enough. Sometimes its going to be hard on you because you will have to throw away some things and learn what works for your own marriage.
Some things i think will always apply and I’ve learnt is:
Learn to Manage your expectations.
Its been six years since i said “i do”, and with 3 kids shouting down the house with so much energy, there are many days l feel i don’t even know what I’m doing. Truth is i still haven’t got it all mapped out. Marriage is full of surprises and it sucks when you can’t make plans and have it run through the way you envisioned. You must be flexible enough to accommodate the many uncertainties else you will be putting too much pressure on yourself and your marriage.
Be ready to not expect your partner to fulfill every promise, so when they do, you will truly appreciate it. In managing your expectations sometimes someone has to play the fool. It takes a whole lot of emotional intelligence to pull this off. You don’t wait to get married before you begin to learn Emotional Intelligence and strategically decide how things/people will make you feel and how to react/respond.
There is no “the one” out there.
Seriously though, you will never be able to check off all the qualities on the list for a perfect partner. Because you heard expressly from God or your Mentor/Pastor gave you a go ahead, does not mean it will be a jolly sweet ride. Marriage takes two people who are willing to make amends.
Even love is not enough to get you through rough times. Your imperfections will provide a good landing when its time to fall. Often times the vulnerabilities becomes what makes you willing to learn, relearn and unlearn. See it as if the only person needed to make things work is you. You are “the one” your marriage needs, the same way your career, your children (if you have any) and you, need you. Continue to pick up yourself when you fall, develop yourself and reinvent your self. It does a whole lot of Good.
There are just the three of you in marriage.
Let me paraphrase it, ‘the three most important people in marriage is Me, My spouse and God’. Indeed, there is only so much I, friends, inlaws, pastor/sponsors can do. There have been times when i could have just complained to my husband or anybody else about a challenge in my marriage or my life (because i still have a life) but the only person i can talk to, with guaranteed solution is God. That’s why couples need to be careful especially women. Don’t be too busy trying to please everyone else and investing in other relationships when your relationship with God is suffering. More than respecting your husband, PRAYER is the cement that holds everything together. Nothing and Nobody else can. Don’t make God a spectator. I am learning to carry him along always.
Depending on where you are in your life now, don’t feel bad that you are not married. Gods timing always works best. The pressure you feel is everywhere, be it; to get married, build a great career, raise genius kids, making your first millions, be a slay queen, Saving God’s people etc. Focus on where you are now and give it a 100% every time.
There are still some things i wish i’d have achieved by now. However when i think of how small girl like me made it this far i just want to raise my shoulder up some more..
But last last Na God oooo …looking forward to many more beautiful memories ahead
Hope this long post spoke to someone today? What are your thoughts? I love to interact with you in the comments section
Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break. – Ecc 4 vs 12