Their meeting was magical. They met during a church conference for singles. They met during the lunch break and sparks started flying. They smiled at each other and started a conversation immediately. They flowed so well that it was like they have known each other for years.
When the conference came to an end, they met at the car park again smiling and chatting away happily like two friends who suddenly reconnected with each other after a long time apart. They had a beautiful time talking about their interests.
Alice was 30 years old when she met Henry. Henry told her he was 34 years old. They have been worshipping in the same church for a while but in different branches. It was the conference that brought them together. They started dating immediately.
After dating for a year, Henry made a demand that Alice was uncomfortable with. He wanted her to come spend the weekends at his place since they were planning to get married. She found it fishy that a church guitarist could make such a worldly demand from her. She told she would only spend nights in his house when they were properly married.
But her refusal to give in to his demands made her see his true colours for the first time. He became enraged. He told her that she wasn’t ready to get married. He accused her of being proud and arrogant because she had money, a good job, a car and a well-paying job.
Alice didn’t believe her ears. It was as if he transformed into another person. She tried to explain to him that she made that decision because she wasn’t ready to be toyed with by any guy hiding under the cloak of religion. She stood her ground and told him no.
For weeks, Henry didn’t speak to her. He avoided her and ignored her attempts to get in touch with him. He went around the church telling people that she was a proud woman who wasn’t ready to submit to a man according to the commandments of the Bible.
After a while, Alice agreed to spend her weekends in Henry’s apartment just to let peace reign. People kept telling her to do everything possible to keep her man because men are scarce these days. They told her to go to church with sense and throw away a man God sent her way because of being rigid.
But agreeing to spend the weekends with Henry didn’t change things between them. They started fighting a lot. Things became rocky between them because of Henry’s domineering attitude and possessive nature.
Whenever Henry sees her talking to a man, he would start yelling at her and calling her names. He would threaten to beat her up and nothing would happen. He tried to alienate her from family and friends. He told her that a good wife would always obey her husband and not question his decisions.
Deep down, Alice knew that getting married to Henry would mean a lifelong of misery but people kept telling her to endure because all men are the same. These advisers told her to stop being choosy since age is not on her side. She was reminded whenever she complained about Henry’s domineering attitude that men are scarce.
Months later, they did their traditional marriage and started getting ready for church wedding. They printed invitation cards, invited friends and family and preparations were in top gear. But one week to their wedding, something major happened.
Alice called off the wedding. Henry became mad. He called family and friends and told them to help him beg Alice not to disgrace him this way. Family and friends started bombarding Alice with calls and messages wanting to find out what happened but she told them she was no longer interested in getting married to Henry.
Henry went on social media and put up a post about his cancelled wedding. He said it was due to irreconcilable differences. He didn’t say anything about what happened between him and Alice that made her change her mind about marrying him one week to their wedding.
People started calling her names. They called her a heartless woman who just wanted to disgrace a good man. Some called her a witch for making Henry spend so much time and money on their wedding preparations. They didn’t care about her feelings and why she did what she did.
Are people saying that a woman doesn’t have the right to change her mind? Are they saying that a woman doesn’t have the right to call off a wedding if she feels she can’t cope with her man’s negative behaviour anymore? Are people saying a woman must condemn herself to a lifetime of misery because she must please society?
Most engaged couples experience some level of nervousness and last-minute questioning about whether or not it’s right, whether or not he’s the one, whether or not you both have what it takes to be in it for the long haul.
Just because you have cold feet is not a good enough reason to call off the wedding but if you have been dealing with an abusive partner, one who is domineering and possessive or one who has hit you and you know you can’t live the rest of your life with that person, you have the right to call off the wedding.
You can call off your wedding when you don’t share the same values with the person you want to settle down with but you think he will come around once you are married. Maybe he wants to continue to impose his own will on you and command you to do things you are not comfortable with. You should run away on time.
Even when you want the same things, marriage is a rough road, fraught with the ups and downs and curve balls that you are just not expecting. But if you are going into it thinking opposites attract, we will work it out, he will settle down once we are married, well, you are definitely in for more downs than ups.
You can call off your wedding if you wanted to get married for the wrong reasons. You are better off cancelling the whole thing before you make the mistake of a life time. Getting ready to marry someone because of pressure from your family or friends is not a good decision.
Planning to get married to someone because they seem like a good catch but in your heart you know you are just not feeling it for him or her then it’s the wrong thing to do. If you are hoping you will grow to love the person, it might happen by a long shot. It is better to hold off.
You must not marry someone if you are not convinced within you that you both would live a good life. If you are afraid of the man you want to marry because of his explosive temper or abusive nature, marrying him is condemning yourself to a life time of pains, tears and unhappiness. No one deserves to live that way.
You can call off your wedding if your family is pressuring you to get married to that person. No matter how much your family loves you, if you know you cannot cope with your partner’s weaknesses when you eventually get married, marrying them would bring you misery in the long run.
You should ask yourself the tough question about just how much a priority you are giving this part of your life. Ask yourself who is going to live with this person for life and do the needful. Think about that. It’s your life. You owe it to yourself to do what’s best for you.
Marriage is not a joke. It is serious business and if you have doubts about the person you want to settle down with, you have the right to call of the engagement or the wedding.
Re: How to cope with your partner’s depression
Kate, I applaud you for teaching your fans how to cope with their partner’s depression but don’t you think you are trying too hard to copy white people? Nigerians are not prone to depression like the whites. You should deal more with issues that affect Nigerians more. Like I said, you are educating people well. -Mazi Ifeanyi Okafor, Onitsha
Kate, I believe this piece has won all your readers minds and hearts including your perpetual venomous critics. Your counseling is not just about depression, it is about partners being there for one another. Ideally, partners are supposed to find solutions to their life problems collectively and as a team. -Chioma Papa
Kate, thanks for this singular truth that talk therapy is simple medication to help partners with depression. God said that couples should be help meets not death traps. –Pastor Chris Uzodinma, Mbaise
People who react negatively to the things you write are liars and deceivers who hate hearing the truth. Whenever I read your column, I sense you are someone who wants the best for others in their relationships. You are a prophetess sent to lead people in relationships along the right path. Don’t stop being you.
Dear Kate, I love reading your column because I am inspired and educated. Keep up the good work and may the good Lord always give you the grace to continue. -Lady Debbie