Already on the 9th lesson! Time really does fly. Thanks so much for the feedback. The love and support have been so amazing. I was a tad afraid when I started this series because it’s very personal and as Nigerian women we are encouraged to never talk about our marriages. One or two well meaning people have expressed some concern about how deep, honest and ‘raw’ these posts have been but if they give someone insight and maybe save a marriage or two from mayhem then it’s worth every bit of honesty and time invested into it.
So without further ado, here’s the 9th lesson 5 years of marriage have taught me.
9. Don’t sacrifice your dreams on the altar of marriage.
A long time ago, when I was still a las gidi belle getting wedding proposals upandan a man asked me to marry him. He was cute, comfortable and seemed genuine but he said something that was a serious dealbreaker for me. He didn’t want me to be a doctor after we were married. He would get me a nice boutique somewhere posh and I would spend the rest of my days selling fine fine clothes to women and men. I had done a double take back then. After 6 years + X in medical school, I would end up treating fashion emergencies instead of real people just to satisfy his whims? Naaaaaah!
Ask yourself these questions; What are your personal goals? Are you still in line with them days/months/years after marriage?
Don’t ever lose yourself! It’s so easy to. You had dreams before you got married.
I had lots of dreams, get an MPH, do a residency program, become a Consultant….amongst others and my husband has encouraged me to achieve each and every dream even when I wanted to give them up because of prevailing circumstances. It’s the exact same thing I do for him. You are not allowed to narrow your qualifications to the single but obvious one of being somebody’s spouse or mom, because one day the kids will be out of the house and hubby will be busy doing whatever it is he has always done and you are gonna look at yourself in the mirror and remember the little girl who wanted to be a pilot!
If your dreams are important to you, put them on the table when marriage is being discussed. They should not be unexpectedly thrown at a spouse months into the marriage when he suggests you be a stay at home mom. Many women have come to resent their husbands because they gave it all up for him to be great and he (human that he is), didn’t show the right amount of eternal gratitude!
Marriage is a lifelong journey and personal satisfaction and fulfilment are as important as marital fulfilment. I’d rather be part of a power couple than only be the vehicle on whose back my man rose to greatness. Don’t get me wrong, I would be that vehicle if he needed me to be (all day, any day) but it would be a more fulfilling sacrifice if I knew that he was as committed to my success as I was to his. Marriage is a partnership and two can do so much more together than one could possibly achieve.
Some women have their wings clipped by the men they marry and they have to put a lid on their dreams for various reasons but even with that, old dreams can be replaced with new ones, as long as we are alive we should never stop dreaming. On the flip side, some women ‘retire’ as soon as they bag a husband. They give themselves a pat on the back, hang up their ambition boots and say to themselves, it’s now time to enjoy the life of my head… That is okay if settling down with a good man was all you ever wanted for yourself but the thing is, some men can’t deal with this and they begin to compare their wives to the women they meet every day in the corporate world and when the wives constantly fall short, the men become discontent. Woman know thy man and know thy marriage. If your man respects an ambitious and goal driven woman please dust your qualifications and go wow him!
In a nutshell, it’s so easy to sacrifice your dreams on the altar of marriage but ask yourself this; ‘Will you be happy and fulfilled in 30 years time if all you have accomplished were mother and wife?’ If the answer is NO then you need to bring out those dusty dreams and start really living!
There is greatness in you…
Have a lovely evening Chutzpah fam,