Host: Is it good to marry early? This is a show under the series, I feel unfulfilled in life, is my marriage the reason? Good afternoon viewers, and welcome to the show: Happily ever after. In this show, we chronicle the journey of marriage and what it truly entails.
Often, I have wondered what it feels like to be in a marriage where one partner finds themselves feeling unfulfilled in life and if it has anything to do with marriage.
Most people don’t talk about it because they probably don’t have someone to talk to. We talked last week with two bold mothers who came up to talk about how they felt unfulfilled as a result of their marriage in relation to the quality of men they got married to.
Today, we have a bold father who has come up to talk to us about why he feels unfulfilled in life due to his marriage. Please let’s appreciate Mr. John Egbokhare.
Host: Good evening Mr. John Egbokhare, let’s hear from you, how has marriage left you unfulfilled?
Mr. John Egbokhare; Thank you very much.
Is it good to marry early? Right decision, wrong timing
I got married at a young age because I wanted to. I met my wife while I was still in school. Immediately I finished University, I got married to her.
I came from a middle-class family but I had always dreamt of working my way up to the higher rung of the society. There was work to be done.
As at the time I was about to get married, I was yet to find my footing in life, my friends advised me to work first and get to a certain earning capacity before I walk down the aisle but I refused to accept their advice. My parents also said the same thing but I was too wise in my ways to listen. When they realized they could not dissuade me from doing as I wished, they supported me with the little they had.
My wife’s parent only frowned at the fact that I was young; I was 22 trying to get married and my wife was 18.
Is it good to marry early? Not yet… Now children
I got married with the support of my parents, then I had a small office job which I felt was enough to take care of my family, a decision I would later regret.
When we got married, my wife and I agreed to wait for 5 years before having kids. Not because we wanted to spend time together, but because we wanted to make sure there was enough to take care of two children at least.
Once we clocked 3 months in marriage, people started asking questions. Our parents started to ask us questions. We told them we wanted to wait but they prevailed on us to start having children.
I was not in support of it but my wife succumbed to them and she got pregnant. That was how we had our first child.
Remember I was still working an office job and my wife was not earning much. She is a seamstress. It was hard for me because taking care of a baby is draining financially if you don’t prepare for it. I was borrowing and having to pay back later when I got my salary.
After a year, my wife gave birth again. I was sad, this was not the way I planned it. It was more painful because my wife was listening to outsiders which were our family members.
We lived in a rented house and the cost of housing was always increasing. In three years, we had two fast-growing children. There was another growing one that was not my child; my wife’s cousin, she came to help my wife take care of the kids as my wife could not handle them alone. I knew I had to step up on my game.
The woman I married
My wife was not taking proactive steps to contribute. She could have improved her business if she wanted to but as I said earlier, she lacked drive. She was a seamstress. Women doing the same business with her were improving and learning new things to get more customers. My wife was content to continue with what she knew which was mostly Iro and Buba.
She herself pointed out some of her former mates with whom she learned tailoring together. Some of them were her juniors but these people had gone ahead of her to do better and improve themselves. She was losing customers because they wanted new styles but she did nothing about it. Each time I raised the issue with her she cut the conversation with excuses of having children and not wanting to stress herself. At some point, she sold her sewing machines and closed down her shop when she did not have any customers. She started staying at home.
The woman I married wants a simple life; have kids, eat and sleep. The drive for success was not there. Something I failed to see earlier. It’s important that when you are looking out for a partner you ensure they share certain values with you. I wanted to be a high flyer, I wanted more out of life than just having kids, eating, and sleeping.
More struggle, more strife
I had business ideas but could not discuss them with her. If I try to, a few minutes after, she would say she was tired. This thing crushed me in more ways than she could ever imagine and I could ever explain.
I was dissatisfied.
More so, I was sad because this was not the way I intended to provide for my children. The burden was on me and I had no one to share it with. I knew I had to do something. I started applying for other jobs. The one I got had a better salary but it didn’t give me much freedom. I went on to take it, I had no option.
A few months after I got this job, my wife fell pregnant again. We had a row, I asked her to flush the child. She declined and said it was time for us to have another child.
There was nothing I could do but provide. I was raised to be a provider and a responsible husband. It was hard because I was the one handling all the expenses.
Time and chance
I got the opportunity to travel out and work but I did not have a Masters or a Ph.D. Something I would have easily gotten if I had not married or was not weighed down by marital responsibilities.
This was terrible for me, I felt sad and downtrodden.
Is it good to marry early? Frustrated hope
I got another opportunity to travel out of the county but I could not travel with my family and would have to work for a while before I would be able to send anything. I brought up the issue with her and told her my plans. She threatened to leave the marriage if I ever leave her and the kids to travel out and asked who would provide while I was away? I told her she was the one who would provide for till I find my footing abroad.
She said she cannot go through the stress of taking on everything. I am supposed to be the one providing and now I am running away from it. The kids would go hungry if I leave. I was angry, very angry. In anger, I asked her what she would do if I died. She said she would give out some of our children to relatives and just take care of one. I knew this was something she could do if I ever traveled. I didn’t want any of my children to stay with relatives. I tried to make her understand that it was for the good of the children and a chance to give ourselves a better life. She accused me of being greedy and not being content with my life.
I could not even bring up the issue of the funds to take me out of the country. The woman I married would never be ready to rally round and help me.
That opportunity passed, and it hit me worse.
Is it good to marry early? Slippery chances
I continued to work hard to take care of my family the best I could. I took on extra jobs like driving people and also bricklaying on the weekends to make ends meet. It was a time of constant struggle and strife.
Seven years into our marriage and me hustling to take care of my family. My wife got pregnant. I could not it take any more. Telling her to get rid of the child was of no use so I accepted the child and told her if she ever got pregnant again, I would send her out.
My threat worked because we did not have kids after that. It was hard for me, really hard.
I continued doing the best I could. I could not think of furthering my studies and I could not leave for greener pastures.
15 years into our marriage, my friends wanted to start a company with an idea that had great potential. They wanted me to join them but I did not have money. The money I had was my children’s fees and the house rent. I was sad not to be able to invest. Someone did and the company went on to become a big company.
My friends are living large and I am here.
I had always wanted to see the world but how can I do that when I had four mouths to feed, clothe and send to school.
Is it good to marry early? Regrets, tears and death
When my children grew up, I gave them a law; don’t bring a partner home till you have masters and have a good job. When I explained the reason behind my law, they were happy and did their best to follow that law.
I was not opportuned to build a house with my money, buy a car with my money, or even travel abroad with my money but my children sent me abroad, bought me a car, and built me a house.
I am grateful for all these things but does not equate to the satisfaction of doing it myself. This is something I could have done for my children but they had to go out to get it on their own. I had dreams. Now, I can only watch on the sidelines as people achieve my dreams. I am 70 now, I still have those dreams but they are tainted with regrets because I don’t have the strength anymore.
My wife is there and I don’t hate her but there is something missing; I don’t see life the way she sees it.
This is my story
Host: Wow, thank you, sir. Your story is touching. I must say it’s good that we’ve heard from you, the perspective of a provider. This will help our viewers to be more careful in their choice of a life partner. Thanks for being with us on the show, dear viewers see you next week with another great story.
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