Though it’s been on like forever but it’s getting fiercer these days. The pressure induced via social media, pre wedding shots, wedding shots that looks like movies, and the likes joined by pressures from home, friends, relatives and the society at large… every girl just wants to wear the ring and be called ‘Mrs.’
And don’t you dare let the ‘feminists’ deceive you, a whole lot of them are also under pressure to get married.
My name is Ujunwan. I was born and raised in an average income family of 7 – dad, mom and 5 daughters. From the onset, my dad made it obvious to us that unlike his Igbo counterparts who would have gone out to seek for a male child, he chose to stay because he knows someday, we will get married to wealthy husbands and take care of them.
I am the 3rd amongst the 5 girls so when the first two got married, every one looked towards me as the next but no suitable man was coming along. The 4th girl got married and by the time preparations were in top gear for No 5’s wedding, had been turned into the ‘family dustpan.”
I remember a day no. 4 came visiting with her husband, mom had called me from the room to come and entertain them. When I chastised my sister to get up and serve her husband, dad asked why I was feeling too proud to serve a married woman. He said perhaps my BIL would see how dutiful I could be and help me with one of his unmarried friends.
The insults no be for here, abeg. You can imagine my parents asking that no 5 makes me her bridesmaid maybe I would find a man to notice me on the day. Of course, she refused. Not that I would have accepted, though.
I met Bala while we were preparing for No 5’s wedding so I invited hm to the party and introduced him to every one. It wasn’t because I was in love with him, I just needed to safe my face. I had thought that being a northerner would make my parents reject him. I just needed to save face that one day but alas, my parents accepted him and by the time they were meeting him for the second time, they were already discussing wedding with him.
At 37 and Bala at 41, we got married. His company transferred him out of Lagos to his state of origin, and we moved together. We have been together for 10-years now and it’s from one challenge to another. No child between us yet, but Bala sired a child with Amina, his towns girl 2 years ago. He beats me at will, sometimes even to pleasure himself. Amina also comes and goes as she pleases. Bala’s people call me all kinds of names but can I go back home?
I met someone from an NGO recently and he has promised to help me. Please, pray along with me that it works out. I would leave Bala, move back to Lagos but not to my parents house. They are the reason I got here in the first place. I found out that 2 of my sisters are passing through difficult times in their marriages, too, but for the fear of our parents, they chose to stay and bear it.
This is my life, I have decided to ignore my parents and live for me, abeg. I just pray it works out with the NGO guy that wants to help me start afresh, I am so done with this marriage.