How did you meet your husband?
Wife: He came for my hand in marriage and I refused because I was not ready. I was 22 years then, but as faith would have it, after a month God joined us together.
At 22 years you were not ready for marriage, why?
Wife: It was not part of the things that was bothering me. It was not close to my thought. I didn’t want to marry or belong to any man by that time. As I said, it was later that God joined us together.
Tell us how you met her?
Husband: She didn’t say so many things. I was a born-again Christian before I married, which means it was expected of me to pray for God’s will and guidance. I prayed before my marriage, asking God to give me my wife. One thing led to the other and I got connected to her. I went to her father’s place and proposed to her and she said no, that she would not marry me. Immediately, I decided to leave. As I was leaving, her mother called me back and I told her my intention of marrying her daughter, and the reply I got from her. She cautioned me on the need to have patience with a woman. She asked if breaking the news to her was the only way I knew how to ask a lady’s hand in marriage. I told her that the best method I knew was to walk up to the girl and ask her in person. She might or not agree, in both cases, there is no problem; there is no big deal. Her mother disagreed, pointing out the flaws in my method. Then she instructed me to tell my people about my intentions and come with them to marry her. I did as she instructed and it was easier.
Did your mother try to convince you after he left?
Wife: Yes, she did, she told me that the family is good, hardworking and are reputable. She said a lot of things about him and his family.
From what was said about him and his family, what persuaded you to change your mind?
Wife: All of them.
Husband: The first was the fact that I was born again and from a reputable family
What makes your traditional wedding memorable to you?
Wife: I was very happy and my heart was full of joy. Also I remembered about my mother, I felt sad because I was going to leave my mother. Nevertheless, I didn’t cry, I was strong.
The thought of leaving all that you knew and to start another life didn’t make you cry?
Wife: I knew that I was going to marry and I had prepared my mind immediately I agreed to marry him. All my reasons for rejecting him in the first place had disappeared. So there was no need crying for something you are doing with your eyes opened. I was old and I had learned some skills to tell you that I was prepared for the outer world
What made you think you were old enough to marry your wife?
Husband: It was not that I was only financially capable, I was tired of doing my chores myself or giving it to my apprentices to do. The food they cooked was no longer sweet, the floor they swept was always dirty in my eyes, there was nothing they were doing that satisfied me. It was a point in my life that I felt a vacuum and I needed a companion that came to me in a divine revelation. Another reason was that I had a confidant, my mother who had died; her space was yet to be filled in my life. There was no one to discuss my pain with. The house was lonely, yet there were people around it, the bedroom was echoing. There was nobody to tell how my day went and discuss business with, at that point I knew I needed a wife and a companion.
How were the first five years of marriage?
Wife: I started learning his character because I barely knew him before we got married. And for the marriage to work I had to know him, most especially, his likes and dislikes, which meant that anything he wants me to do, I will do it for him.
When you were pregnant, was he helping out?
Wife: He helped me and I felt very happy. Sometimes he would be the one to bring the hot water for me. He loves being a father and loves children, so to help me out has never been a problem for me.
Were you able to fill the vacuum of his mother?
Wife: He would be in the best position to tell you that. But to my best of knowledge, yes! I was able to fill the vacuum, by cooking his food and washing his clothes. I was pampering him, what else would I have done?
Why did you agree to marry him?
Wife: I told you that time I was not prepared, but he was the kind of man I admired. There were tales of people’s traditional marriages and I was anticipating my own. Another reason was that he asked me to marry him the first day we met. It was strange to me because I didn’t know him. Truly, I was not ready to marry but he persuaded me.
When did you plan to marry?
Wife: At least, at the age of 27.
How did you cope in the first five years?
Husband: Before I take this question, let me say something, she cried on the day she was handed over to me. The father said I should go with my wife. I disagreed and demanded that the father officially hand her over to me. He then called the mother, who joined her father in handing her over to me; it was at that point the first tears flowed from her cheek. To your question, when we moved in together, I saw that she needed someone to represent her mother, she was still acting like a newborn child then I handed her over to one of my neighbours, a woman, to groom her. For some time, it was the woman that was taking care of any feminine matter concerning her till she could adapt. For a long time, I was the brother, father, husband and the only friend she had. The only way I get her attention was when I bring up the mother’s subject. As the only child, it was hard to make her be on her own. At that time even if she faltered, I would understand. The first five years was for grooming her. We put God in the marriage and it worked well.
What was the scenario when you had your first child?
Husband: It was wonderful when she became pregnant and I wanted to see the child, caring for children is part of my ministry. When she became pregnant, I asked God not to allow anything to happen to me, that I want to see this child and see how you have made me a procreator. On the day she delivered, when she went into the theatre, the doctor called me and certain documentation was made. It was a very memorable day, Nigeria was having a match with one country, the tournament was Atlanta 96. I was there looking at the television but my mind was not there, all I could think of was the child and my wife. Not to long, the baby gave a loud cry and I became a father.
You were 23 by the time you were pregnant, how did you tell your husband that you were pregnant?
Wife: I missed my menstruation, then I told him and when it was 3 months I told him I was pregnant.
When the doctor confirmed it was positive, what was written on his face?
Wife: He was happy when he heard it.
When did you break out from that woman he kept you in charge with?
Wife: She was only a neighbour and I didn’t have many friends in order to avoid gossip and move around. Then I used to go to the shop with him always.
When did you come around in the marriage?
Wife: It was when I started having children. It was then it dawned on me that I had more responsibilities to carter for.
Has your husband changed from what he was when he married you?
Wife: There is no difference, the only thing is that if I do something wrong, he talks to me like a baby. He just knows how to spoil me under the disguise of trying to care.
When he offends you, how do you usually make up?
Wife: If he offended me, I would tell him that what he did was wrong in the bedroom. We have never allowed anybody to notice our flaws.
What’s your best moment in this marriage?
Wife: It was when my first baby came and it was glorious to me.
Did he promise you anything before you got married?
Wife: No, he did not
Why didn’t you?
Husband: As a child of God I didn’t have to lure her into marriage because I had seen it in revelation. I went straight to the point. I know that I do things most times to please her, and to make sure that she sees the love I have for her all the time. There was an incident that happened two years into our marriage. Some gang of men came to our house and robbed us of our belongings. I was cooperating with them until one of them beat her. I was mad and stood up and faced the men. They threatened to shoot but that was not my problem as her safety was what I was after. At the end, when they left and I could not find her, I ran after them. It was on my way back that I was told that she was also looking for me.
What is your advice to young women who are yet to marry?
Wife: My advice to them is that they should love one another and they should respect their husbands and whatever their husbands tell them, let them do it so that peace would reign and the marriage would move forward.
What is your advice to young men who are yet to marry?
Husband: Let them come into marriage not with testers but with all their hearts, that is, by seeking the face of God. Let them not ask for an already-made wife or husband but come together and make themselves partners. The woman must be submissive to his husband and the husband should love his wife.