In pursuit of ‘the good life’…

Below is an experience that a reader shared with me sometime back. “This is just in appreciation of the good men out there…especially my ‘one-of-a-kind’ husband.I met a Nigerian-American when I was barely 18 years old. He was tall, rich and handsome. Moved in the rich circles. But I was just a village girl (with dreams!) next door.

He was looking to marry-from home.When we officially engaged…he went back to the US.Never enjoyed sex with him. Orgasm was “thoughts of living in America.”Shortly after, he began to act funny. Never missed an opportunity to talk down on my family.

I almost killed myself from sorrow when it seemed my dream was slipping through my fingers.Because he represented the life that I wanted, the country I wished for and opportunities I craved.

He would stay almost a year without sending a dime to me. I also heard that he would keep me here. The father was the one pushing for the relationship to work. And would often support me financially.

His son was a brute. Who never hid the fact that he felt my family was not rich enough. Not educated enough and has no class. He would look down on my mum and say junk about my folks.

It was not easy but I advised myself. Nobody told me that I was going to be a rag if I married him. I sorrowed over failed expectations, and all the dashed hope of a better life in America.

Some family members and fellow villagers were mocking my mum and me. Claiming that we rushed for ‘abroad life’.I know I wanted a good life but not at the expense of love, my peace and happiness.

That man rubbished my self-esteem. But he ended up making me stronger. He was also my first lesson in ‘the kind of man that no lady deserves’.Though, no traditional rites or demands were done, but he convinced my family to take bride price-within just family. Claiming that he didn’t want to lose me. And that he would come and perform the full rites within months. That was the imprisonment that I found myself in for two years.

Not married. Not single.Some people said I was married. Others claimed “no real marriage took place…the man just deposited money. And that no one marries without the extended family.” So, I didn’t have a status for two years.

That man moved my mouth from front to back. He was callous. Never seen a man that could be that mean to a young girl…so he could break her. That was my first lesson on psychological abuse too.He would call my name and say that I can’t love him, then asked ‘’do you know me?’’ He said that my family even took bride price from him, when decent families give the money back to the man.

Guess how much we are talking about here?
Seven thousand naira!My present husband paid more than 10 times that amount when he came to marry me. My hopeless elder brother took the money and squandered it. My other brothers were so disappointed in him, asking “how can you take such amount of money from such a young man?’’ The same brother of mine demanded for money from my husband on the day of introduction, took money for beer, wine and other drinks but on the D-day…no wine was in sight!

My husband was laughing, calling him ‘a guy man’.I was sad for days. Thinking the incident would haunt me in my marriage. But my husband looked at me one day and told me that I am worth more than all that. And that he has conquered money, therefore, money can never rule him.

You can imagine the departure from my previous hell! God knows how much of a mince-meat he would have made of me with that embarrassment from my brother.Frankly, there are men and there are MEN!

Oh yes, I ran into the former husband recently…he is still looking for a woman that will carry belle for him in Nigeria, at 62 years of age.I have never stopped thanking God for my lucky escape. My husband just turned 40. And we are blessed with a son.

Today, I am a lawyer (even managed to obtain a Masters degree from abroad) and can travel to places.

Lesson learned…Only a GOOD person can give you a GOOD life.’’A friend summarized it thus: “Only the good in you can attract a truly good person to you. Only the good in you can give you a good life. Life is what we make it and little else. The elements for misery and joy both exist. We attract either via the choices we make.’’

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