Saturday, 15 December 2012


Ebele was a hard working young lady with a growing interior decoration business, she was financially comfortable and had many good friends, the only snag was that she did not have a steady boyfriend and as her parents pointed out to her quite often, she was not getting younger.

Her older siblings had all gotten married in their mid-twenties but she was already thirty and still in her father’s house.
On the morning of her mother’s sixtieth birthday, Ebele went to her parents’ bedroom to present her mother with a gift before heading off to work. To her dismay, her mother thanked her for the gift but was reluctant to accept it; she said that she would have preferred if Ebele’s present had been a prospective husband.
Though she laughed it off, Ebele was hurt by her mother’s action.
Some months later, Ebele’s mother called her aside to have a talk with her; Ebele was not surprised when her mother started again on the issue of marriage but this time around she was upset because she had not forgotten the incident on her mother’s 60th birthday so she was not willing to sit down to another “good intentioned lecture” but as she tried to cut in on her talk, her mother told that there was a “development” she would like discuss with her.
Ebele’s mother said that one of her friends had a son, Chris, in America who was interested in marrying a lady based in Nigeria because “there were no good girls in America”.She apologized to Ebele for whatever stress she might have given her in the past about marriage but said that it was because she loved her and wanted the best for her.
Ebele’s mother then asked for her permission to send her phone number to Chris through his mother so that he could get in touch with her. After some thought Ebele agreed to the idea because she wanted to please her mother and she also felt that she had nothing to lose.
About two weeks later, Ebele got a call from Chris. He sounded nice on the phone and they had a nice chat; when he asked if he could call her again, she answered positively. Over the following weeks, Ebele and Chris talked on the phone and chatted on the internet; they were becoming friends.
Not long afterwards, Chris came home for three weeks so that he could meet Ebele; they got along even better than Ebele expected, before returning to America Chris proposed to Ebele and she agreed to marry him.
When Ebele told her parents, her mother in particular was overjoyed.
Immediately, both families met and wedding plans began in earnest;Ebele and Chris spoke everyday and he started processing her immigration papers.
Less than a year after Chris’s first phone call to Ebele, they got married.
The wedding was a grand affair, everything that Ebele had ever dreamed of; their honeymoon was in South Africa. After the honeymoon, Ebele and Chris came back to Nigeria then he went back to America without her, as she did not have her papers yet.
Ebele moved in with Chris’ parents while waiting to join him.
Six months after their wedding, Ebele left for America.
The first week in her new home was like a second honeymoon as Chris had taken that time off from work just to be with her and show her around her new home-city.
Ebele soon settled down to being a wife and it wasn’t so difficult to do because she found Chris to be a gentle and undemanding man; she was truly happy.
 About two months after Ebele joined Chris, she noticed that he was no longer as affectionate towards her as he had been when she first arrived; they will hugged and shared light kisses but their love-making was definitely reducing in frequency and intensity.
At first she did not say anything but when in two consecutive weeks Chris came home late every night and did not touch her at all, Ebele became worried and asked him if there was something wrong as the physical side of their marriage was becoming non-existent.
Chris apologized and told her that it was because he was having some problems at work; during the following week things picked up and then quickly faded out again.Ebele was really troubled but she had nobody to talk to and ask for advice on how to deal with her husband’s lack of interest in her.
One afternoon, Chris came home early from work; he said that he had something important to discuss with Ebele.When she sat down, Chris began to apologize to her, saying that he never meant to deceive or hurt her; Ebele was confused and kept asking him what the matter was.
After a few minutes, Chris dropped a bombshell. He said that the reason he relocated to America and had no intention of ever returning to Nigeria was because someone like him could never be himself in Nigeria, Chris was a homosexual.
He told her that his family knew of his sexual preferences; the marriage had been their idea in the hope that he would “come to his senses” and also have children. He said that he had tried to be a husband to her but he just could not continue living the lie; his lover had moved out of their apartment a few weeks before Ebele arrived America but now the two of them wanted to get back together.
Ebele was taken aback at this disclosure. Chris said that he had gotten another apartment for Ebele so that his lover could move back home. He offered her some money and promised to continue to help her in search for a job.
At this point, Ebele burst into tears and refused to let Chris touch or comfort her. Not long afterwards, Chris packed a bag and left; he told her to call him later to inform of her decision.
For days, Ebele did not step out of the house as she cried and thought of a way out of the mess she had gotten into. She had no desire to remain in hiding in America so three weeks after Chris’ confession, she returned to Nigeria. When she got back, she told her parents of her experience and of the duplicity of Chris’ parents.
Presently,Ebele is divorced, her parents no longer bother her about marriage and their friendship with Chris’ parents has been destroyed.
Marriage is hard work and the hard work is only worth it if you and your spouse truly love and are committed to each other.
Marriage is never to be endured and contrary to popular opinion, it is not a 50-50 affair it is a 100-100 affair; anything less is totally unacceptable.
It is amazing the number of marriages that many not-so-young ladies in our society are entering into just to get rid of the pressure put on them by “loved ones”.
Many wives wake up with heavy hearts each morning beside husbands they would never have given a second look but for the pressure put on them not to shame their families and to satisfy their parents’ desire for grandchildren “before they die”.
A few months ago, I met a young lady in her late twenties who had to move out of her family home because her father had “not bargained that any of his daughters would still be under his room at her age”.
Another young lady was contemplating agreeing to marry a man she did not like simply because her family members did not see why she should be “choosy at her age”. I told this lady, just as I have told many others before her, to remember that after the wedding day, her family members would go to their homes while she would be left to face the consequences of their choice alone. That was what happened to Ebele.
She got into a long distance relationship primarily to satisfy her mother and they did not bother to investigate Chris’ lifestyle because he was the son of a family friend.
Yet events showed that Chris’ family intentionally set out to deceive Ebele and trap her in a loveless marriage.
As with all long distance relationships, it was so easy for Chris to say all the right things to Ebele on the phone and internet as well as to pretend to be all that she wanted during the three weeks that he spent in Nigeria.
He just acted right in order to get what he wanted:Ebele’s love under false pretenses! It is hard enough to determine whether the person you are courting is being sincere with you even when you are in the same environment; much less when he is on another continent.
The importance of making adequate investigations into the background and lifestyle of the person you want to marry cannot be over-emphasized.
I remember one young lady who was introduced to a guy in England; few weeks after they began dating, she sent his name and address to one of her aunts who also lived in England.
On investigation, her aunt discovered that the guy was living with another lady who already had a child for him though they were not married.
The shock this lady got was great but she thanked God that she got to know who he truly was before she got in too deep.
Many would wonder how Ebele could have known that Chris was gay but the truth is that the world is now a global village and almost any information can be gotten if we are truly determined. If only Ebele and her family had not automatically given Chris a pass mark just because they knew his parents and had taken the pains to ask around about him; they might have had reason to tread carefully; after all nothing really stays hidden in this time and age.
Ask questions from as many sources of information as possible.
In as much as the pressure to marry that matured singles, both female and male, undergo is great, one thing they must never lose sight of is that fact.
Never allow “pressure” to force into making such a permanent decision about your future and that of your future children. Nobody will stay in a bad marriage with you so look carefully before you leap.
Whatever pressure you are going through cannot break you unless you allow it to; tough times never last but tough people do.
Deflect all your pains, worries and fears to God, His shoulders are wide enough to carry your burdens. Don’t wallow in self-pity, increase your circle of friends and be a blessing to those around you, when you least expect it.
God will show up for you. You will not lack your mate.
                                                                           Late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya

Article from the archives/unpublished works of Late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya.Coutesy PBO Foundation


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