“Just over three years ago when it was obvious that divorce was inevitable and the only solution for remaining alive and sane, I called my siblings especially my brothers and asked them to give me a little portion of land to build probably a two bedroom bungalow for me and my three children.
As you all know that in Igbo land, our men have made it a culture that women don’t inherit land, some agreed to give me a portion of land while some vehemently refused. One of my brothers told me to my face that no house will be built in the family compound by a nameless person.
I left them alone. Some months later, someone found me a land in my village but I refused to buy it, rather I bought myself a land somewhere not even close to my town. It is about four towns away from my town.
Initially, I didn’t intend to build on the land immediately because I had finished the money I wanted to use to start the building. Besides, I did not want to live near my family. I even wrote in my will that I do not want to be buried in Nigeria when I die. In fact, my body must be repatriated to the UK should I die in Nigeria.
As time went on, I did the fencing, paid all the necessary fees to the community and youths and started building on the land. That’s how I continued until September 2019 when I lost my mother and my world crashed. I was hoping to build the house and bring her there to live with us for the period we will be in Nigeria this last Christmas but death took her way.
I was so distraught that I stopped work at the site. Besides, I was working in a private company, which wasn’t paying me well so I didn’t have money to continue. I came back to Nigeria to bury my mum in November 2019 and went to the United States for Christmas and New Year celebration. I went back to United Kingdom in 2020 and started another job, which I did for two weeks and quit because I was working with patients with COVID-19 and didn’t want to infect innocent elderly patients.
As I quit the job, I faced my COVID patients and that was where I worked the whole of 2020. I was able to complete my house, bought myself a car and brought my children home for Christmas. Oh did I tell you that I met the most wonderful man in 2019 and we got married October 2020?
So my reason for this post is that as a woman, you don’t have to remain in an abusive marriage because of your kids, what people will say and who will provide for you and your kids.
This is why I always encourage men and women not to marry if they have nothing doing or at least have prospect. It’s not an easy job to raise kids alone especially when your ex-husband like mine refuses to contribute anything towards the children’s upbringing.
Again, if you are an Igbo woman, you don’t have to buy land in your community, you can buy elsewhere because some family members will drag the land with you because you are a woman.
I know one case now where the lady gave her brother money to buy her land, the brother bought the land but later built on it and their umunna supported him to keep the land. He cheated his sister who bought the land and sent him money to build on it because of her gender.
Divorce is not a death sentence. Nigerian women should stop managing abusive and toxic marriages because they are afraid that God will punish them if they divorce their abusive husbands. God hates divorce but he doesn’t hate divorcees and women suffering at the hands of wicked men.”
A woman I know wrote this recently to encourage Nigerian women not to die in abusive marriages. The first time I heard her story, I cringed. She was banned from sending her own money to her mother, siblings and family members. At one point, her ex- husband banned her from owning a mobile phone and they reside in the UK then.
She endured a lot just to make her marriage work but it looked like it wasn’t enough. When she got tired of working on her marriage alone, she filed for divorce and all hell broke loose. Her ex-husband went to town with stories about her. He told everyone who cared to listen that she was a prostitute. He also denied his three children claiming he wasn’t their father.
It was so messy but this woman stood her ground, determined to live a better life from the one she had lived for years. Today, she is living a peaceful life with a new husband and her three children. How I love happy endings. This woman’s story should encourage women not to die in abusive marriages.
It’s hard to recover from a divorce. Everyone who goes through one feels broken and lost during the first few months, or even after years of trying put their life back on track. People hope for long and lasting relationships with the person they love. No one ever goes into a marriage and just expects it to fail. Although we all know that there is always that possibility, nothing would ever prepare you for the pain that divorce can cause you and your family.
But life has to go on, and you cannot allow your divorce to ruin all the good things that you still can do with your life. There are some steps you can take after a divorce to get over the conflict of emotions and the unending questions you may be asking yourself. You must know that you are not alone.
Ask for help. Do not bottle up all your feelings and pretend that you are okay. The people around you may not understand completely what you are going through, but it would help you a lot if you had someone around to support you through this difficult time. Surround yourself with family and friends who love you and would be willing to help you get back on your feet.
Keep yourself busy. It will take some time to recover from the emotional trauma caused by a divorce. Going through every day as you did before may not be ideal because you will just be reminded of the times you were still with your spouse. To prevent yourself from dwelling on those painful memories, keep yourself busy.
Some people distract themselves by putting most of their time and effort on work. Others do it by taking on new activities and hobbies where they can meet new people and experience new things. Do whatever it takes to get your mind off your problems.
You must find yourself again. If you have been married for a long time, it may take some time to adjust to being single again. Instead of dwelling on regret about the things you gave up or the things you were not able to do during your failed marriage, take this opportunity to find yourself again and do the things you really wanted for yourself. Go for that one thing you are most passionate about.
Give yourself time, don’t rush things. They say that time heals all pain. Although some people claim that the heartache never really goes away. You just learn to deal with it through time. Take things one day at a time and hopefully someday, you will realize that you are ready to move on.
You should know that some things happen for a reason. A failed marriage is not the end of the world. Everything happens for a reason. You may not understand it now, but someday you will look back on this experience and you will realize why it had to happen.
Find your focus. Instead of dwelling on anger and hate, try to focus your attention to the things that should matter to you at the moment. If you have kids, make them your inspiration to work hard and give them what they need. If you do not have kids, then maybe it’s time you focused on a goal that you have always wanted to achieve that you never got the chance to pursue.
Forgive yourself and your ex. Holding onto grudges will not help you at all. It is normal to feel all the negative feelings that come after getting a divorce, but you have to try to forgive yourself first. Do not blame yourself for your failed marriage. There are many reasons why things happened the way they did, but holding onto regret will only pull you down.
Lastly, as you recover from divorce, don’t close the door to love and throw away the key. Allow yourself to meet new people and be open to the chance of falling in love again. Divorce is not the end of your life. Don’t allow your fears to prevent you from finding your happiness. Live free. Life is good and love is a beautiful thing.