Monday, November 28, 2011

Pushed To The Wall (Your honest opinion please)

I have been going through a lot of heartache from family members concerning my marriage.  Like many marriages, my marriage was not one of a united front.  Many things were said; he is not this, he is not that, why didn't he do this??? The main point is he is from Imo state and I from Anambra and it is too far and one Imo person from blah blah blah used to do this to their wife and so on (ignorant things basically).
 I met my husband when I graduated from the university, I was only 19 and so marriage was not on my mind.  It took a lot of convincing from my better half and as charming as he can be it was only a matter of time before he won me over.  When we were friends we never thought that anyone would be against us, we saw how perfect things were and never in a million years did we think we would have to prove our love to anyone.  I remember the very first time someone challenged our future marriage; hubby and I were so cut of guard, we couldn't speak for a second as if we were both saying "what happened to you, were did you come from?" "looks like love just messed you up and shoved you off the side walk."Hubby and I fasted and prayed because they were actually from people that mattered (Family).
So after many years of what I called 'prayerful waiting'  the issue was brought up and to our surprise close family friends and family had different single men and women waiting for us to consider.  Seriously? we thought...what is really going on? we even prayed harder because we wanted to hear a reason you know something other than his village is too far.  I mean I had never given dating a chance before I met my husband and even gave him a hard time but he came at the right time and I embraced the idea of a future and marriage but little did I know that it would be this hard.
So after lots of unwanted weight loss, exam failures, stress in general, I got the approval that I needed (at least I thought we did) and we got married.
First presentation at my trad wedding in 2007

looking for my better half

my mom greeting hubby

hubby and I still at the trad in 2007
3 months later in Florida (03/2008)

 
Our evening outfit at our wedding










 You can see how happy we were and we are still going at it, we felt like winners after 4 years; we thought it was over. Well there have been yet so many trials...i was so embarrassed at my traditional wedding at all the insults that happened in Nigeria (you would cry for me if I shared with you and you will be surprised as to how I pulled off so many smiles in my pictures) and to top it up we came back to the states and it didn't stop but at this point I was done.  I was ready to walk down the aisle myself.  I was ready to direct the attention away from me...I couldn't wait for the wedding.
Fast forward to the wedding everyone put their act half way together and it was a success (just for that day).  Ok basically I am writing this because obviously there are still hurtful things still said, even now that a baby is involved.  I've heard reasons like you married too early and your father wasn't ready and you know you were his favorite.  How can that be when he has made every attempt to deny me happiness unintentionally at first but now even after I had made it clear.  My husband and I have cried about this many times, had sleepless nights about this, been stressed to the point of a miscarriage.  What will you do if you were me? and this wasn't even your in laws but your own parents?  To make things difficult my in-law accepts me as their own, I wished for so many years that my hubby will get the same kind of treatment from mine or even their daughter may deserve a little good will but no! it has been too much of a favor to ask.
I had ignored them for a year, and my stress reduced to like 90%, I achieved pregnancy with no help (after 3 years of hubby and I trying but due to stress my ovulation was jumping ropes); I had no problems; the best part I got so many compliments that I seemed happier.
Hubby wanted this relationship with his in laws so bad that he pushed for me to try even harder until he realized what it was doing to me and kinda did his own thing.  He called them more than me but yet they never seem to appreciate any of it, he sent gifts but there was always something wrong, they crushed him with their words at any opportunity. And whenever they do they go back and dig up how much they hurt us at our weddings and how proud they were and they should have worked a little harder.
Well now they pushed my husband to the wall.  My husband for the first time (as quiet as he is has now said enough is enough).  With tears he begged me that he has no more strength to continue this. He has a family now and this is too much amidst all the other responsibilities that we have.  I am so lost at what that means but I am afraid to even ask.  I've gone for a long time without talking to them but I usually forgive them (my husband had never supported this and so never joins in on it) but you know how everything always seems to be his fault ... I am so lost and yet there are family members still saying keep trying.
Is it what the stress I mean to think it took a million people to plead with my father to come and see his first grandchild ... I didn't even want to open the door I was unsure if I wanted my daughter around such negativity.  I am still unsure because I did grow up with a lot of negativity.  And I still wonder did he come to visit for a better future or because people were starting to tell him how wicked he was and that his grandchild didn't deserve it. 
Well here goes another bitter day in my sweet bitter life.  Thank you in advance for reading, I welcome anonymous responses and please excuse typos I just poured my heart out and couldn't write it all since it can't all be said.

29 comments:

Highly Favored said...

I can only imagine how hurt and tired you are. This is a difficult situation and without the backgroud knowledge of why your family insults your husband and what they say to him all I can say is God is Able, He cares and He will provide you with the strength and wisdom you need.

Mrs Newlywed said...

Hmm! My dear, I just kept nodding my head as I was reading this. Funny because I can identify with your husband but my situation isn't as bad. I read your earlier post about your parents lack of encouragement and support for you. It would be easier if it were an outsider doing such things. All I can tell you is, continue to be prayerful. But, keep the relationship at a level comfortable for you to maintain your sanity. If that means, communicating by letters and pictures only, so be it. Just do your part so you can be vindicated by God. Same goes for your husband. Some of our parents, despite being overseas for decades are still very stuck in the olden ways. In their eyes, because you refused to marry someone closer to home, someone they recommended, you have slapped them in the face. I am even happy for you that they gave their approval! I only wish parents would understand how their negative actions and words spoken to their children and in laws affects the marriage. My mom told me before I got married that the devil hates marriages to the point that he would even go as far as using the couple's parents to destroy it. Pretty much, be watchful of everyone as a tool the devil might use to destroy what you have done because marriage pleases God.
Destruction of it doesn't happen overnight. The devil is too smart for that. It is diligently calculated, step by step, words overlooked by words remembered and one day it all adds up to the big bang.
For me, after the last episode of wahala, I decided to keep the relationship basic with the in-laws. When they show openness, I enter. When they close up, I back off. Be good to them as their child because it is their right. When they start speaking ill of your husband, calmly tell them "I am sorry I disappointed you by marrying this man, please forgive me for doing so. It is too late for me to leave him now as we are married and have a child to raise together. If we were still dating, I would have done so just seeing how much pain it is causing you. I knew you didn't quite approve of me marrying him but I didn't know it was this bad." I will put you in prayers and may the joy of the lord be your strength :)

9jaFOODie said...

It is well with you and your household love, I know it's easier said than done but it is your life not theirs. focus on your husband and child and leave everyone else alone.

Nightingale said...

Very sad story o! Even worse that it is really happening to you. God is your strength my dear.

In as much as I love family and closeness and all.. I think in this case you'll have to draw the line. You have your hubby and your baby.. That is enough work and stress to add family.

Just keep praying to God and in his time.. He will make everyone to be at peace with you and your family. God bless.

Seriously do not stress about people you cant change.. just leave them to God. God is the your no. 1 daddy anyways:)

Unveilinggold said...

I am shocked.i dunno what to say ....may God strenghten you and your hubby..please always remember to run to God.*hugs*

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this. But you know what? This is very typical of ibo's from Anambra and Enugu. I have a friend from Anambra who is married to an Edo guy and I won't even bother disturbing you with her experiences with her very own parents!

Please you have to be calm and prayerful. Understand that they are not doing it because they hate you but this is the ugly and ignorant side of 'tribalism'. The Bible asks us to honour our parents and so I will advise you too keep calling and asking after them esp you dad.

I think you honestly need to talk to your parents and let them know that they are not helping your marriage at all.

Above all, remain prayerful, put your husband and daughter first as they are your priority and choose to be happy!

Afronuts said...

Your predicament reminds me of what happened when my wife and I were about to get married. (we got wedded in 2008)
In this case it was my family against her.

We faced all manner of stress until I took up the decision that I was to live for the new family I was starting - my own family could catch up when they came to their senses. Still I continued to pray that God would change their minds about us.
We went on living our lives until they suddenly realised that we were actually doing well contrary to expectations...with time a mediator came in and we were reconciled. It was crowned with us doing a white wedding just to honor them(we had wedded initially in court).

One thing I'll say is this - this is a reason for you and your hubby to become closer and live for yourselves and your kid...one thing I know is that many of the best marriages always have strong oppositions but in the end they are the most beautiful unions that are fruitful.
Dont let the fact that your marriage has challenges of acceptance tear you apart. Use it as a medium to stay closer as a family and when you guys blossom, those that rejected you will soon come and embrace you...And remember what the Bible says that even when your father deserts you, God will never do that.

It is well with you my sister!

Naijamum in L. said...

I havent visited blogs in a long time but something pulled me here today. I'm glad

I have to tell you that your child comes first, your husband comes first and everyone last.

I used to try and please my parents and immediate relatives - until I realised that I was ignoring those that were now closest to me - my own family.

Some parents specialise in emotional blackmail....it's all about 'what they did for you when you were young' OR 'what you should be doing for them in their old age'

My answer.....'I did not ask to be born. You (the parent) prayed for a child and God sent me. A child should not be held hostage because he was brought into this wicked world.

Long and short, what I am saying is that your parents have lived their lives and you deserve to live yours. Yes, God wants us to take care of our parents...but the same passage that urges children to honour their parents, also urges the parents not to 'frustrate' their children.

I make no apologies about my stance in life - I do not welcome negativity around my children because their youth should be the best time of their lives. Whoever tries to disturb their peace and hapiness knows I will distance myself from them.

Your home is your castle. Guard it well!!!

Your children are your jewels. Protect them!!!

Naijamum in L. said...

I havent visited blogs in a long time but something pulled me here today. I'm glad

I have to tell you that your child comes first, your husband comes first and everyone last.

I used to try and please my parents and immediate relatives - until I realised that I was ignoring those that were now closest to me - my own family.

Some parents specialise in emotional blackmail....it's all about 'what they did for you when you were young' OR 'what you should be doing for them in their old age'

My answer.....'I did not ask to be born. You (the parent) prayed for a child and God sent me. A child should not be held hostage because he was brought into this wicked world.

Long and short, what I am saying is that your parents have lived their lives and you deserve to live yours. Yes, God wants us to take care of our parents...but the same passage that urges children to honour their parents, also urges the parents not to 'frustrate' their children.

I make no apologies about my stance in life - I do not welcome negativity around my children because their youth should be the best time of their lives. Whoever tries to disturb their peace and hapiness knows I will distance myself from them.

Your home is your castle. Guard it well!!!

Your children are your jewels. Protect them!!!

Anonymous said...

PART1

OMG!! are you sure we aren't twins from another mother??

Before I start, rest easy knowing your husband hasn't done anything wrong. He sounds like he’s always been respectful to them and they dislike him for his very being. What about when we have to deal with costly mistakes our husbands have made knowing full well that our parents never liked him and predicted his failings from the outset?...............How does one still remain united?

Here's my story;
I stumbled across your blog 1 year ago when i was looking fro info on my friend's cousin's death, Saleha Huuda. I spent hours trawling throuugh all your postings but didn't leave a message because i was busy *hangs head in shame* I recently stumbled again on your blog .

Here goes. I am an igbo 26year old obgyn physician in London married to a 38year old yoruba guy for nearly 4 years. we have a daughter who's 21 months now. I too returned to work after only 5 weeks leave and had to express her milk in between clinics! IT WAS HELL MULTIPLIED A MILLION. Some days i'd forget the sterilised conatiners and would have to decant the milk into washed coked bottles! on top of that, my pregnancy had ended in pre-eclampsia because i worked up until my 37th week as we needed money (see below). if you do the math, you'll see we must have married whilst i was a med student. My parents have subconsciously never forgiven me, including my liberal outgoing siblings. there's always an underlying tension. Till today, even with a family, my parents would happily sanction divorce and would have somebody more suitable lined up for me.

Anonymous said...

PART 2

Thankfully, my parents have lived in the Uk for 20years so they did put on their rational hats and behaved impeccably during the wedding prep, albeit, they had a few gripes etc. I would need a whole blog to outline the drama of our wedding prep alone!
I was always their golden child ("a whole Dockintor") and always had loads of igbo friends. You can imagine their shock when i began dating a yoruba guy! To make it worse, hubby had a few financial issues in our early years, which have now gone (why i worked through my pregnancy). Mum and dad always lament to this day that I didn't marry a well-heeled rich igbo doctor from a home they could trace. Hubby's parents are also divorced.......Let's not get started on how self righteous igbo parents can be towards things that are untraditional e.g. divorce, stepparent families, people not in jobs related to law, medicine or finance! etc


My husband is amazingly chilvarous and has always reached out to them. they reciprocate in kind but tend to have a low threshold before they openly savage him. They especially dislike him because his family is nothing like ours. My parents are young welltodo pillars of the community. his parents are elderly,divorced, living on 2 separate continents and facing financial hardship. You get the picture? My parents believe that generational curses are very real and don't understand why i'd marry into a family of brokenness when my lineage has never featured divorce. they now worry we will end up exactly like his parents.......

Anonymous said...

PART3
The hardest thing I battle with everyday is making sure we have a united front. Sadly, I have only started working on this in recent months :O( I was always my hubby's biggest fan until the courtship veil came off and the hardships of marriage began. I'd always known the realities of marriage and certainly wasn't naive. we'd had extensive premarital counselling at church and i surrounded myself with mature Godly women who advised me well. That was until my hubby started falling short on a few things. Things i guess wouldn't have mattered if my parents actually liked him. For the early years, I'd take my parents' side as soon as Hubby misdemeanoured. Not only would i feel let down over something that had gone wrong, I would then have to be caught between my feelings and those of my disapproving parents, trying to defend what hubby had done wrong. For example, Our apartments in the Uk are tiny, nothing like in the states. I have family in texas and mine and hubby's first apartment would be the size of my aunt's houston bedroom-FACT. Hubby and i lived in a 1 bedroomed apartment up until our daughter was 11months. My parents refused to come to the apartment when she was born because it was too small and they were disgusted that a 38year old man could not provide a decent 2-3 bedroomed home at least! Normally, most wives would back their husbands right?? However, I wrestled with feelings of inadequacy as to why i couldn't buy a normal crib (no space) or decorate a nursery. My medicine books would be strewn all over with her large baby items and i could never study at home. I always had to go out. Our daughter never had a highchair (again no space) and struggles till today to eat sitting still. She always ate on my lap until recently. I envy when other mothers put their babies to sleep in their nurseries. Our baby has always been in our bed and doesn't know how to sleep unless we are there. Some people reading thi s may laugh but these little issues niggle at me. I haven't even mentioned how awful it was to repay my husband's debts to the tune of £12,000+ with my salary for one year as a junior doctor without any questions asked. For richer for poorer abi??? He'd accumulated these debts long before he met me and concealed it from anyone. We couldn't progress without them being paid off. It explained why he had no money for the wedding. For 3 years, I bought EVERYTHING secondhand at garage sales and thrift stores. All my baby's things. everything. At a time when girls my age were partying it up I felt soo old and haggard. All whilst trying to keep a strong image and pass exams and be a daughter, mother , sister......

Anonymous said...

PART 4

Neither my mum or my motherinlaw could even do the whole obligatory 3 month stay when our baby came because there was no room. This burned deep to my soul esp as i was still working fulltime as a resident and had to rely on daycare instead of live-in help which made everything ten times harder.I had to manage work AND doing the drop/pickups at daycare enroute to work. Hubby often worked far away from home (hours away) so i often had to rely on my parents for the most basic things. In turn, they accused him of making a "young girl suffer" and were appalled that he wasn't supporting me adequately to enable me to flourish at work. Don't forget they'd put me through 6 years of med school financially and otherwise only for me to face possibly dropping out of work because of an unsupportive husband. At a time like that how could i have my husband's back?? It was much easier to join my parents in lamenting and I often found myself wishing i'd listened to my parent's advice about marrying the "right" kind of guy they'd wanted for me.

Till today, my mum mutters that he could have killed me via the preeclampsia and for that alone she'll never forgive him!!lol!
Similarly, Hubby's financial woes meant that we had to scale back our wedding alot. I had to watch the budget and compromised on things any igbo mother would want to see at a wedding. I have never told anyone but my wedding dress was second hand. it was an "in season" dress so nobody would've guessed but things got that bad. I suspect my mother knew and often warns me that things will only go downhill when we as wives compromise our happiness.A man that permits his bride to wear a second hand wedding dress can permit anything afterall she says..... Again, how could i defend hubby when i too, along with my mother, was upset that certain elements had had been compromised?

Anonymous said...

PART5

Hubby is constantly having to prove himself and when his plans fail, he is under the watchful glare of my parents. As much as i support him, i wrestle with how to handle his failures whilst protecting him. Call it immaturity but i haven't yet worked out how to do it. They will forever compare him to similar-aged igbo men from "good" families they know and he doesn't measure up.He is under alot of pressure and i know i haven't helped with my attitude. I am still dealing with issues of unforgiveness and asking God to heal me and our marriage. I am still learning to rid myself of a feeling of entitlement. I am very clinical and organised so i expect things to follow an order. I had visions of what it'd be like to be married to a man 12years my senior and that vision has fast eroded. I guess God is humbling me daily and helping me learn what it's like to rely on HIM daily and noone else.
In the main, our marriage is now a happy one and i am learning daily through dialougue with hubby how to best support him. I am trying to become his biggest fan again and daily pray that God will bless and multiply his endeavours. He is a good spiritual head (always has been and that was the quality i saw) and i pray that God removes my eyes from the material achievements i often feel he has missed. It's hard esp with disgruntled hardened aunts and mothers who advice after years of scorn! "why have your standards dropped? You don't dress fine again" "why are you people driving such an old car? You had a better car as a single woman.Haba!"

Also, i have learned to confide in mum less and take my disappointments to God. this has been verrryyyy hard for me. My mum has lived here 22+years and is very British in her thinking. she raised us quite liberally so she and i have always had girly conversations from day one. she has advised me on everything with her favourite phrase being " I am your mother, I would never deceive you..". I am now a wife, Doctor and mother. I must learn to cut the apron strings and build my marriage. Not try to build the one mum would want for me.

Anonymous said...

Part6

I Have just re-read my post and realised how long my comment is!! I've rambled abit and hope it all makes sense. LOL! All in all, I am essentially saying that things will get better and even if it means your husband silently doing his own thing then so be it. He just has to honour/respect your parents, not make them happy all the time. By keeping his home well, your parents can look on from afar and see that you and mmeso are happy and that's all that matters. even if you aren't happy for what ever reason in your marriage (my post topic!)you have to keep standing united and only God can give you that resolve. Wavering in your resolve and wondering if your parents/friends/family were right afterall will kill you. we all eventually act out our thoughts so trying to make him prove to you that your family/friends are wrong will only push hubby away from you.

Reading your post raised so many raw emotions for me, many which although nearly healed can still easily be reopened. I remain encouraged by your blog and will return xxxxx

anonymous said...

It is indeed sad that your own family is treating you and your husband this way. The Lord does not give us anything that we cannot handle, so keep your head up, things will get better. Keep praying for God to touch your family. Keep showing them love, call them, send them gifts e.t.c. Don't get tired of doing what you know is right, your reward is in heaven.. It will be hard, yes I know, but God is on ur side. Look back at what he has done for you and your family. Don't let nobody steal your joy away from you. Take care. xx

Che said...

WOW. I had to reread this to be sure it wasn't fiction. I feel for you ooooooo so much. Your parents should be happy that you married an igbo person ehnnnnn. It's quite common in Anambra, but i have never heard it been this bad. I am from Anambra & my sister is married to an Edo guy. At first, my parents resisted slightly, but after my sister stood her ground & they (my parents) sought the face of the Lord, they let her be. They don't bother her @ all. Infact, popc just came back from visiting her cos she just put to bed(mumc is late now). You have a family of your own now & that is your primary responsibility. Don't put yourself under undue pressure in trying to win your folks over. Just keep praying about it. You need to be strong & healthy for your hubby & daughter. First time here and still feeling so bad for you. :-(.


naijabankgirl.blogspot.com

Che said...

@ N.I.L: Thank you for the bit on emotional blackmail. I have been having issues with my popc for a while and he always says "Is it because I sent you to the university and you are now doing well, bla bla bla. In my mind, i go: did i beg to be born into this family. You asked for a child and God in His wisdom deemed it fit to send me to you guys. Of course I don't voice this out cos it would be rude and all that. But really, sometimes, parents need to back off & stop the whole emotional blackmail thingy.


naijabankgirl.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

You should not have to beg your father to come and see his own grandchild. If you know you've done everything in your power to reconcile your differences, then let it go. Your husband deserves your support. Best of luck.

Myne Whitman said...

I believe a lot in unity between families, but your post breaks my heart. Please take care of yourself, hubby and baby and your parents will come around.

Anonymous said...

This is the first anonymous who commented and I'll like to address this to anonymous part 1-6.

Girl, it was difficult reading all you wrote and your experiences most especially because you are soooo young! You got married at about 22 right? And you have had to deal with all of that?!

I agree with you in standing by your husband and supporting him. But sweetheart, don't and I mean DON'T allow it become the norm in your household. I know it is not good to generalize but there are some things that we see constantly out there, just like I mentioned to Neyenwa that this issue she blogged about was very common amongst ibo's from Anambra and Enugu, in the same vein will I also say that Yoruba guys are generally known to be 'bums', basically they don't mind the woman taking the lead esp financial responsibility, something that an average ibo guy will NOT do. Just saying. The fact that you had to pay back all his debts bothers me. 12 years is too much a gap for you to have done that and for him to have let you do that! Did he refuse or jejely allowed you to do it?

My dear, I really don't want to sound sour. Marriage is for life and I will always take God's stand on the matter. Please be prayerful and I hope things turn out for good financially for your husband. But at the same time, let him take the lead, no matter how small it is and then you supplement. If not, you will end up becoming resentful about it all.

God Bless you.

Ginger said...

I dont know why i was led to read this. first off, if you will..accept hugs from this Stranger. Hold on tight to your man and kid. Let God's continued blessing on you guys turn the hearts of your parents to love. The truth is they are the ones missing out on the full love of their daughter, a son in law and a grandchild.

I just blogged about mixed marriage..i was thinking of the more obvious Igbo/Yoruba. Forgetting that we Ibos are even more insidious in out tribalism. God dey!

Anonymous said...

Wow! this is really heavy, i pray that your parents will turhn around soon, but until they do, hold onto your husband and keep your family stronger than ever.

Amy said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this and at the hands of you parents. It is a very heart breaking situation. Just continue to be prayerful like you have been and one day God will speak to their hearts and you parents will see the error of their ways. Until then continue to stand by your husbands side 100% and keep your distance from your parents so they don't inject poison into your relationship but try to maintain at least some form of communication with them. I think its a great idea that you are verbalizing your distress and not bottling it in inside because letting your emotions out is a great form of therapy!

Nenyenwa said...

Thank you so much everyone- I truly appreciate your words of wisdom and encouragement

Destiny - Yankeenaijachick + Success said...

@Nenyenwa
This post is very touching, am tearing up reading the comments. Marriage is never easy, it takes prayers and some fasting. I don't even know where to advice but will say take heart, keep it all in prayers, you will get through this. With time, they will come around. Just remain positive and leave it tGod to fix it

Nenyenwa said...

@Destiny thanks and Amen! to all of your prayers

Anonymous said...

Anoymous 1-6: I'm just gobsmacked reading through it all. WOW is all i can say.

Nenyenwa said...

I know it is quite sad that anyone should have to suffer this much