Hello Reader, This particular divorce story set me thinking again about whether marriage is really for everyone. If left alone without societal pressure, would we have as many weddings as we have?
People seem to think that if a person isn’t married at a particular age, there must be something wrong with that person either male or female. Therefore people are sometimes pressured into marriage without being ready for it. The prevailing thought is that the the unmarried person must have a problem. Maybe they are closet gays or lesbians.
The prevailing thought is that someone must get married. It is like “Married?.. Good” “Not Married?.. Bad” An unmarried person at a certain age is seen as either being irresponsible if a man or adulterous if a woman. I have seen women being hurled for deliverance at 27. Some have become serious prayer points at 30 and some have become frustrated with themselves at 35 just because they are unmarried. It is so bad that the lady considers she must have a problem or a demon or two if not married at 30.
One question I sometimes ask is “can someone live a successful life without being married?” The answer to that question would be based on your definition of “success”. Success, could also meean fulfilment. There are several successful and fulfilled women who aren’t married. Condoleeza Rice, Oprah Winfrey quickly come to mind.
These days though, we see the boundaries of relationships being pushed and redefined so while someone like Oprah isn’t married and is neither a lesbian, she has a male life partner she hasn’t come around to marry. Some women like Linda Ikeji are having babies outside of marriage ( at least she hasn’t told us yet). Others like Condoleeza, just aren’t interested. Some prefer to raise other people’s kids.
I deal with more of this in my upcoming article “The Case Against Marriage” so I wouldn’t spill the beans here.
Today we have Wendy’s story. Wendy’s story is the episode 51 in our my divorce story series. She pushes this argument a bit further. Also check out my other column Hello, Ross which deals with marital issues. You can send in your divorce stories or marital questions to me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can be assured of full anonymity. We re-write the stories to hide some of the more obvious facts.
I look forward to your comments and contributions.
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Hello, my name is Wendy and I have been following your blog for a while now. I would love to share my divorce story.
I was a rather ambitious child and I became an entrepreneur by the age of twelve. I was selling handmade crotchet purses to everyone. In my family I was regularly called on by aunties and uncles during the holidays to assist them in their businesses. Little wonder I later in life established big businesses.
I always seemed to be occupied by my ideas and goals, this made me anti-social. I could hardly relate to people who were’ not like me’.
In the university, I had a shop of my own where I hired someone to fix and braid student’s hair and also sold snacks. I was pretty independent from an early age. I also did well academically. My parents were business people and they encouraged me in my line of business. My father mentored me on several occasions.
So I found myself at thirty-five and unmarried. The pressure to get married mounted. My younger sister had gotten hitched and my brothers as well. Pressures came from church, work and family.
I felt like a failure even with the little success I had. They made me feel like with all my money I had nothing.
One day, out of the blues, an old classmate of mine sent me a message and urged me to try a dating site. I was not into dating sites but I decided to give it a try. There I met Dennis. Amazingly we both lived in the same town. After exchanging contacts and chatting online for a while, we fixed a date to meet.
He was also a serial entrepreneur like me. We talked for a long time and agreed to keep seeing each other. At the end of the day, I feel we both wanted to get married because we were getting ‘old’.
Dennis was thirty –nine at the time. He had a child from a previous relationship. He was looking for stability he said. He was always busy and so was I. I, on the other hand, had been deeply buried in my businesses.
It was about six months into the relationship that he proposed. I accepted by default, I didn’t even think about it.
My parents were happy and so were his. We had a glamorous wedding ceremony a year later. It took a year to clear our schedules just to wed. I was out of the country for three months for training before we eventually attended counselling and had the wedding.
Well, we just co-existed. We didn’t have time for each other. We would leave the house before 6 am and return by 9 pm. I had to hire a cook. Things changed when I had a baby. My Victoria was a miracle. I didn’t plan for a child and I even assumed I could not have one. I found myself pregnant after a year of marriage.
Now I needed to be home and give my baby attention. I also needed Dennis around too. He didn’t give me that attention. I found caring for a child very overwhelming. She cried a lot and it made me unhappy. I became depressed and tried to suffocate my baby. The cook caught me and alerted my husband.
I was arrested but later checked into rehab after a doctor diagnosed with postnatal depression. My parents took care of her while I was in treatment. Dennis filed for a divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences. He was overwhelmed as well. I didn’t blame him because I probably would have done the same.
We did get to talk after three months in rehab. We both mutually agreed to care for our child and help each other. I am better now and more in control of my life. My daughter is being raised by my parents even though Dennis and I visit her every week. I guess this whole marriage thing is not for everyone.