By Joy Ehonwa
I’m a relationship enthusiast, and few things give me more joy than helping others enjoy love, so I was excited when I found out on Twitter that this week’s episode of Nasco Moments was going to be all about banter on relationship questions and trying to find solutions! The guest for the week was lifestyle and relationships writer, Mfonobong Akpan. Our show host, Joy Isi Bewaji, read out three questions, and together she and Mfonobong helped prescribe solutions to these relationship woes:
The dilemma: After dating for four years, her boyfriend proposed and she accepted. Their wedding is supposed to hold in October, so she is shocked when he informs her that another woman is 7 months pregnant for him; he cheated on her, and without a condom. Her family and friends say she should go ahead with the wedding and “not let the devil decide” for her, but she is not sure what to do.
The prescription: STEP BACK. If he had someone on the side and you never knew, what’s to say this kind of behaviour won’t continue in marriage? On the other hand, people make mistakes, and we don’t know the kind of person he is apart from the infidelity. So, the best prescription is put the wedding on hold, step back and evaluate the relationship. Take a full year if need be. Yes, it’s tricky: Nigerian weddings can be expensive, and a lot of money and energy must have gone into preparing for October. However, remember that it is you who is going to be in the marriage. If you choose to go ahead, can you deal with the fact that your husband has a child – his first child – outside your marriage? Can you handle the baby mama drama that may arise? You don’t necessarily have to leave, just step back and evaluate.
The dilemma: She is with a man she really loves and even though they are barely a year into the relationship, she knows she wants to spend forever with him. The only issue is she earns way more than he does; she earns N300, 000 a month while he earns N80, 000. She didn’t think it would be a problem, because he’s a very confident man, but whenever she tries to plan a good time for them, he objects. When she suggested a vacation in Dubai, he said no. Ghana, then? Still no. Romantic dinner at a fancy hotel? No again. Now he says she acts like the man, trying to dictate financially. What can she do about this situation?
The prescription: HAVE THAT CONVERSATION. Our society is a very religious one, and religion says the man is the head and places the woman under him. No man wants to be made to feel as if he is not in charge of the relationship, so sit down and let him know how you feel. You may be surprised that he doesn’t even know the situation bothers you this much, and that it’s not a case of him being resentful of you being the higher income earner. If it turns out he is in fact resentful, insecure or feels threatened, you need to consider the future of your relationship.
If the guy cannot handle being with an upwardly mobile, driven woman, then there’s no need for a relationship. If he is insecure, he’s going to bring you down. You don’t want to spend your life with someone who can’t appreciate the fact that you’re a go-getter. If both of you are not thinking the same way and working towards the same goal, there’s no need. Have that conversation.
The dilemma: He has been married for two years to a woman who was an angel during courtship – calm, god-fearing and patient, without a troublesome bone in her body – and suddenly changed after marriage. According to him, she has “become his equal”, arguing with him and stamping her feet. He has told her there can only be one captain in this ship, but she remains stubborn.
The prescription: REVIEW YOUR MARRIAGE. Can someone really pretend that much while dating? Surely there must have been some signs? The truth is, your wife is an adult, and no adult wants to be treated like a child. Review the way you talk to her, and see if there’s anything you’re doing that’s bringing this out in her. Marriage is very different from dating. For instance, if a man mismanages finances in relationships, she can just walk away, but in marriage it affects her and her children. Your wife doesn’t love you less; she just needs to be heard in the marriage that she’s in.
I had fun, and time seemed to go by very quickly! Every relationship is different; there is no one size fits all. What works for one may not work for the other, but we can see that the common denominator in all the answers given on today’s show is communication. Please note that if you’re in an abusive relationship, you need to leave before something tragic happens. Other than that, you’ll find that thinking and talking things through helps a great deal.
As usual, there was trivia time: Answer the question “Where is NASCO’s head office?” correctly and you can win a NASCO goodie bag. Simply send your answer to 08033286604 or tweet it using the hashtag #NascoMoments