Its 10.45pm, the weather is perfect and the night sky is absolutely gorgeous. We’ve just had chinese take-out for dinner. I pick up my fortune cookie and read what it says; “Make a wish on the next star for good luck the next day”. I smile and gather the kids, get a pair of binoculars and the telescope. The kids are excited. It’s always fun to go star-gazing. Its past their bed time, but I’m feeling a little relaxed tonight, so i guess 10 mins or more of gazing at the stars wouldn’t do much harm. We head outside and start watching the beautiful night sky as the stars twinkle with so much breathtaking radiance. Suddenly we spot a shooting star and i ask my 5-year-old to quickly make a wish. He’s ecstatic and quickly says; “I wish we had loads and loads of money”. I smiled at him and asked; “why would you wish for that baby?”, he replies with; “well if we had loads and loads of money, you wouldn’t have to work all the time and you would spend time having lots of fun with me. Suddenly i realized, my baby is all grown and I’m not sure how i missed it all. He was right. I wasn’t spending as much time as i wanted to with my babies. they were all growing so fast and as much as i want to be with them, I’m not always with them, even when I’m with them, I’m never really completely with them, cos my mind is constantly focused on some project I’m working on.
Somehow I had become a workaholic, and i don’t remember how it all started, but i still remember the simpler days. The days when i had nothing but i was content and happy. I was in love and my boyfriend and i had just moved into the big city with nothing but big dreams. We had nothing but an air bed at home to lay our heads on when we got home. We had no furnitures, no stove, cooking utensils or carpet on our floor. Just disposable paper plates for food and an air bed to sleep at night. We would lay up almost all night having a laugh about the state of our lives. Then he would kiss me and promise “It won’t always be this way, i promise”. i would smile and reply: “I know baby”.
That was 7 years ago. But it feels like it was 50 years ago. We now made all the money we stayed up all night dreaming about. Successful careers we wanted so bad back then. This was what we wanted right? i mean surely that was the plan. But it’s now 11.30pm on a sunday night and my once romantic boyfriend now husband is out and i have no idea where he is.
My thoughts are quickly interrupted by my second child asking for help with the toothpaste to brush her teeth. It was time for their nightly routine. All three of my kids line up in the bathroom, toothbrush in hand, pajamas on and ready to brush their teeth. When they’re done, they all come up to me, smile and ask; “Is it clean mummy?”. My usual reply would be; “hmmm, lets take a look… hmmm, looks good to me”. They would all smile, while i escorted them to their bedroom. Then tuck them in and read a bed-time story. We would say a prayer and each one of them would give and receive a goodnight kiss and cuddle. Somehow i longed for their nightly routine. It’s weird how that’s the only bonding time i seem to have with them these days.
As soon as the kids were sweetly snuggled in bed and fast asleep, i headed back to my work computer, but this time it was hard to stay focused. I kept hearing my son’s voice in my head. “Maybe if you had loads and loads of money, you would spend more time with us mummy”. I looked at my desk, there was so much to do, i had just gotten a promotion 2 weeks ago, and i do love my job but i’m definitely not a workaholic. At least i’m sure i’m not. So what’s happening? i thought to myself. I shrugged the feeling of pain and loneliness that was now starting to build up and tried to get some work done, but all i could think of was; how my life was now so different.
It’s now 12.50am and I’d manage to get a few projects partially completed. I hear the door knob turn. My husband is back, so i walk over to the living room and greet him with “hey baby”. “Hey” he replies. “Want some dinner?” i ask. “Nah thanks I’m good” he replies. I can tell he’s not in the mood to chat as he walks into his bedroom and closes the door behind him. Once again, that feeling of loneliness and pain starts to well up. I’m at the brink of tears and I’m not sure why. So i go after him into his bedroom (yes we have separate bedrooms like two old couples). I sit on the bed beside him and ask; “Do you remember the days when we would sit up all night and laugh?” he replies with: “yep! why?” “Nothing. Just wondered if we can go back to those days again” i say. “well we can’t go back, cos we both have, work kids and responsibilities to deal with, so if you don’t mind, i’ll like to sleep now, thank you” he mutters with a half sleepy voice. I give him a kiss on the forehead and say “goodnight baby”.
I fight the tears and tell myself its ok. It could be worse. it’s just another day with a perfect stranger that was once my lover..
I’m a hopeless romantic and as a young girl, i dreamt of the ‘Perfect Marriage’. One were my husband and i couldn’t keep our hands or lips off each other. You know, the ‘Notebook’ kinda romance where he would be by my bedside when i was old and gray and we would die together. We would never have a fight, and our kids would play in the sand in our backyard and grow up to be Scientists and Presidents and all the good stuff. However, when i did get married i realized the term “Perfect Marriage” was a bit of an Oxymoron. So when a friend of mine sent me this story this A.M, i thought i might share it with the world and then give a little bit of my opinion on the subject of ‘A Perfect Marriage’.
Here’s the Story:
“My name is Dayo. I’m a typical Nigerian guy and I cherish my Fridays. I get to hang out with the sickest guys every Friday night and It’s also an escape from my nagging and boring wife. I get confused sometimes on whether she’s my mother or my wife. Don’t get it twisted; I love her a lot but It just gets complicated; like I wish we never got married…marriage has turned her into something that doesn’t amuse me. I wish she was still the adventurous, charming, high-spirited lady I dated for five years.
A lot of people say its unethical for married guys to be found in a club, but I wish everyone won’t be too quick to judge and understand that people look for fun to run away from their problems; they just want to breathe, like me.
I forgot to say that I work at Guarantee Trust Bank along Lekki, I love my job and my job loves me, maybe it’s because I’m the senior banking officer. Lol… This particular morning, a lady breezed into my office. My heart raced faster because I had not seen anything this beautiful in a long while. She wasn’t the typical slender Barbie, in fact, she was a bit chubby but her smile, cuteness and…I was tripped.
“Hi Good morning! Your ATM has swallowed my card!” She said, laughing, unlike the typical customers that would ram you.
I just tried to form Boss laughter…
“Good morning, You know what? I’d personally make sure they get it out for you, but not today. Can you wait till Monday?” I smiled
“GTB shaaa! OK, can I just drop my number so you could call me up or just text when its ready so I don’t come twice? Please? My name is Nancy” She blinked her eyes in a funny way.
“Sure” I smiled
We exchanged numbers. What a lucky Friday…..
So it was 10:00pm and I headed to the club…as usual my friends were chilling for me. My wife had called a couple of times, I just ignored it. She knows I’m never home Friday nights.
“Look at you!” I heard someone say. I raised my head and it was the ATM lady-Nancy.
“Wow, look at you too!” I was surprised to see her but I was happy I didn’t have to wait till Monday to see her again.
“Happy Friday!” She screamed because of the noise, “Wanna dance?”
I didn’t even have the chance to answer, she already pulled me to dance floor. I really suck at dancing but she helped me; she was a great dancer! I had fun! At some point we decided to go to a private area and we talked, ranging from work, business to personal life. I tried to hide my ring as much as possible, I certainly didn’t want this to end now.
“You are a really wonderful lady. You are so interesting…any guy would want to be with you all day” I said.
“I wasn’t always like this but I have learned the hard way that life is just too short to be sad” she sang
Then her phone rang…
“Hey baby! Yeah I’m at the private lounge, I’d like you to meet someone…alright boo” she talked excitedly as usual.
I was in shock until this tall handsome man walks up to her and kisses her.
“You were late. Meet Dayo; I met him this morning, he’s helping with the ATM card I told you got swallowed and Dayo this is my B to the O-O,” she laughed “Meet my husband Kolade, we only come here to dance every fortnight Friday; away from work, stress and kids.”
“Wow, a pleasure” I managed to shake him
Then she stood now excitedly holding her husband’s arms.
“Why don’t we invite Dayo for Mimi’s 16th birthday tomorrow?” Her husband said
They have kids too? How long have they been married and they look like a couple just dating!
“Silly me, please come for my second daughter’s 16th tomorrow. It would be an honor” She brought out an I.V from her purse.
I began to feel so ashamed of myself…this was another guy like me, getting it….
right with one woman.
I collected the I.V and promised to be there.
“See you tomorrow! Have you had something to eat Kolade?” she talked and dragged her husband along.
They left and I kept staring at thin air like I had seen a ghost. They come just to dance together every fortnight Fridays? Why didn’t I think of that! Temi loves to dance…she also likes long walks, she loves to talk…she loves jazz music, there’s this vivid picture I have of me putting her hand on my chest when we danced at a jazz club on our first year anniversary…I found myself typing all the things I knew Temi loved to do on my Ipad and I realized I had denied her of all…I had made her the old woman she acts.
What on earth was I doing here! I didn’t even tell my friends goodbye, I walked out of the club into my Jaguar. Temi’s call came through and I picked it.
“Temi?” My heart raced
“I know you are not coming home…”
“I am, stay up so we can talk. Been a while” I decided to do everything on that list and to even add many more for the rest of my lifetime with her.
“Are you alright?” She was shocked I suppose
“And I’d like us to go for a birthday party tomorrow. I want you to meet this amazing couple”
“You sound different Dayo”
“Maybe I’m different”
“Don’t say it! don’t say it! when you come we will gist very well” she laughed
She laughed!!! In just that laughter that I hadn’t heard in a while, she sounded like the lady I married six years ago…
I wrote this just to remind us that creating memorable moments with our partner matters. Do you know that little things are the sweetest things? Just creating time to talk and have a laugh with your partner, having a day in the week that’s exclusively for the both of you – No friends or kids allowed.
Lady, when last have you told your partner he is so darn hot? Guys! When last have you told your lady she is the sweetest thing? When last have you whispered ‘Thank you’? When last have you been quick to say ‘I’m sorry’”..
I kinda loved this story when i read it and I’m pretty sure everyone loves a good happy ending story. However, i can’t help but wonder how long the new-found love, lasted for both of them. I know that’s somewhat of a pessimistic question but let’s be honest. 9.5 times out of 10, most marriages experience what i like to call “Recurring turbulence”. There are days when you feel like you love him/her so bad you can’t breathe, and then there are those recurring days when you just want to strangle him/her for being so goddamn annoying.
I always tell my single friends to take their time in getting married. Simply because, i believe you need to be mentally prepared when you do make that choice. It’s usually all rosy and fluffy during the honeymoon phase but when those turbulent days do show up, they can make or break you if you’re not prepared.
A couple of weeks back, my husband told me 1 of his friends was getting a divorce. Then he asked me how come i was still with him despite all of his stubbornness. I replied with; “I’ve asked you for a divorce 5 times baby, you just refused to give it to me”. He smiled and said; “Ok, why have you stopped asking for a divorce?” “Well cos I’m tired of playing that ‘I-Want-A-Divorce-Oh-Baby-I’m-Sorry-i-love-you-Kiss-kiss’ game” i replied, laughing..
I don’t believe there is a recipe for the perfect marriage, neither do i believe there’s a perfect marriage. I believe that 6 out of 10 marriages end in divorce, simply because they’ve come to a point where they realize life will be a whole lot easier if the other partner was out of their lives. Then there’s the 3 (in addition to those 6) out of 10 who stick around for 1 valid reason or another, like; kids, social stigma, fear of the unknown etc… Now i like to think that there are definitely a few happy ones like the lady in the story above, who goes clubbing every fortnight with her hubby. But i guarantee you, they aren’t happy bunnies 24/7. They just know how to create those moments that help them forget the down-times and fall in-love all over again.
I heard someone say once; “falling in-love is easy, its staying in-love that’s the hard part.” and i almost totally agree with this statement. We all tend to think of love as this warm fuzzy feeling that once you catch it for someone, it never goes away or you can never feel anger, hurt or even hate towards the person you love. I’ve heard people say, if you start feeling negative emotions towards your partner or, if you stop loving your partner, its cos you never loved them in the first place. But i beg to differ. I think you can love and hate someone at the very same time. what makes a difference is; when you hate him/her, do you still love him/her in that very same moment? for example, when those days when you get into a brawl over God knows what; Money, tardiness, a different opinion, whatever… and you feel like ripping his throat out, what’s stopping you? is it the fact that you might go to prison? or is it that feeling of “If i wasn’t going to miss the hell out of you cos i can’t bear to live without you, i would so bury your stubborn ass in the backyard right now”?… if the latter is the case, then you’re in that love/hate mojo and all you need do is find new ways to re-ignite that love affair. If however, it’s the former, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, you just have to step back and try to figure out what or where things are going wrong (now that’s if your partner is willing to figure things out).
I know this all makes marriage sound like a lot of hard work, but please show me something beautiful in life, that didn’t come through a lot of work and pain. Is it childbirth? that promotion? a successful career? a reputable brand name?.. even the earth does a lot of hard work.
That being said, its the moments we have to smile, kiss, make love, have a laugh, watch the beautiful night stars or sit at the ocean banks and feel the slightly chilly breeze from the ocean sweep against our skin as we look in our lover’s eyes and whisper “i love you” that makes all the difference. Those special moments are worth fighting for. But if we can no longer create those moments, then there’s a conscious choice to be made. And that choice had better be a well-informed one.
In today’s society, as many as 1 in 4 marriages end in divorce and as many as 30% of married couples (male and female equally) in the united states have been involved in extra marital affairs because we’ve simply just stopped trying to make it work. Does that make us a lazy society or is it just the way it is because that’s the way it should be?. Then again, If you’re lucky enough to be one of the select few who figured out this thing called love, please feel free to share you wisdom with us…