Maybe it just me, maybe it real, certain words seems to be losing their real meaning these days, but like I said, it’s not a fact though, it’s just observations from real happening around us, people say one thing and mean another, so it does mean that the meaning of those words have come to change overtime or it just me in one of my weird thoughts.
So this bring me to something that I think needs to be buttressed and talked about, because in terms of expectation, at least if I still remember the meaning of expectation correctly, expectation would mean believing that something is going to happen or believing that something should be in a certain way. But of course it happens to be one of the words that seems to have gotten their meanings changed over time, either due to actions or inactions, negligence, loss of value, misplaced priority or whatever the case may be. Perhaps in my subsequent write up, I did look at some of the other words.
Back to my main issue, people expect that certain things are meant to be one way or the other, who sets the standard is a question for another day though, of course just like we have expectations that are general, we do also have expectations that are unique to us, such that Mrs. A’s expectations of marriage for instance might be different from Mrs. B’s. However we cannot deny the fact that they are some general expectations of marriage that the society have so designed and which in most cases do not really work that way, especially in Nigeria, where we seem to be “special breed of humans’.
So it’s going to be expectation versus reality in marriage, join me as I look at some of the expectations and what reality is on them in this present day Nigeria, you may find some of them childish or hilarious, nevertheless, it’s still expectations that somehow have over time found their way into the marriage institution.
- Always be by your side; always be by your side would literarily means the husband would always be there for the wife, and vice versa, they would both somehow have time for themselves, for a naïve young wed, especially the wife, she would think that, oh my husband is always going to be there for me, now that we are married, we would see each other everyday (of course), we can gist about every other thing, I can see him anytime I so feel like. Hmm that’s expectation but reality differs so much from this, especially for a typical Niaja family living in the busy towns and cities, here is how the week would go over and over again : the husband and wife (that’s is if they both have an 8-6 work) would probably leave home around 5am in the morning in order to beat the traffic and make it early to work, most cases, husband returns around 10pm at night, wife returns around 10.30pm(we are leaving the kids out for now) and by the time they are home, both tired and have to prepare for the next day almost immediately, and there after hit the bed, with hardly 5 minutes of communication between them. And this circle goes on all through the week, on Saturday that is if one of the parties doesn’t even do a weekend job, there is an owambe to attend and they get stuck in traffic and the whole day is gone, Sunday, church or Mosque for those that would attend, in the afternoon there’s probably a Football match between Arsenal and Madrid and the husband focuses on this, he may even prefer to watch with his guys and then he heads for the viewing centre and that is, the week is gone and the circle goes on and on and on, so where is the time to always be by your side as expected?
- To love and to cherish, till death do us part; Expectation is that they would both love each other and no matter the circumstances, challenges or situation that may come their way they would never leave each other, they would stick it out, reality however (in some cases) doesn’t go with that, infact in between a popular saying came about where you hear ‘’ for better for stay, for worse for go, in other words some are only ready to stick it out when the going is good, as soon as challenges start coming in , they think the best thing to do, like seriously, real thing to do is to go their ways, and then we hear words like divorce, separated, married but living alone etc.
- To provide and care for all your needs; expectation is that the man since he decided to get married is capable enough to take care of the woman’s need, to give her all that she needs, whenever she needs them. Reality however is so different from this, especially here in Naija, it is what you can bring to the table as well, infact in some houses, such responsibility are a 50-50 things, the wife pays the Nepa bill this month, the husband does the next, or they both share the bill into two equal half and pay, same goes for other expenses in the house, afterall they are both earning salary, what baffles me in this scenario though is why can’t the traditional woman duty be shared as well? If the wife does the dishes and laundry this weekend, for example, the husband takes it up the next since responsibilities are now equally shared as against the age long man is the provider and woman takes care of the house saying? Well that is a topic for another day.
- To protect and guide against any intruder; expectation is the man as the head of the family and as a man of course would protect the wife against any form of abuse or disrespect from anyone, that is why you realize that most women turn up that sharp part of the tongue when they are with their husband in the face of any trouble or exchange of words, they believe their Mr. Macho would turn up against anybody that tries to disrespect them in his presence, of course that is the way it should be. Reality; women don’t try this in the face of a Nigerian uniform man, or the agberos/omo ita (thugs) you would realize that your husband is the most gentle man you would find around at that moment.
- To place above everyother person/ thing; expectation, you are supposed to be his number one ‘sheree coco’ before any other, his attention should be 100% or even more to you, which is quite right, because you are about the closest person to him as it is, but men when the Nigerian factor sets in, reality would take over, which is as much as he places you as the number one, when he gets a call out of the blues from his boss to show up immediately, and you have a request on him, he would so honour his boss first before coming back to you, you know I don’t have another job yet is what he would tell you.
- To tolerate every character of yours, whether annoying, naughty, silly, dirty or as the case may present, afterall on the day of your wedding, the clerics did say that you are both one henceforth, so that’s the expectation, anything you do, he or she takes in good faith and is just supposed to let go to show his or her tolerance. Reality, if you keep messing up the house after your wife have arranged it, she would complain, if you keep throwing your shirt and trousers all over the house, she would talk, afterall you are not the only one doing the 8-6 job, if you keep farting around him thinking afterall he’s my husband, if I can’t fart uncontrollably in his presence, then where can I, he would complain, if you are too dirty and don’t take care of the house, he would complain, if you keep tying wrapper all over like an old woman, he would complain, if you keep bringing your guys in every weekend to gist over a bottle of beer and messing the whole place up so ruthlessly, she would complain.
- Your problem is my problem; expectation is whatever problem you have , your husband is there, he can always and should always bail you out, my wife is there, she can and would always bail you out, be it financial, ideas, relationship with extended family members etc. reality however may not work that way especially when it comes to the extended family issues, try telling your wife about what mother in law says about her not coming to visit often and ask her what could be done because mama is pestering you, Lord help you if she doesn’t pull you off the seat with her eyes, or if she doesn’t give you a shoulder and tongue lashing. When last did you visit my mother as well, abi no be the same 8-6 we dey do?
I can go on with the list, but of course I know somehow I have been able to pass a message, meanwhile, the aim of this write up is not to scare off intending couples(especially the women), it not to paint marriage as a ‘make belief’ institution or not as friendly as people make it sound.
Marriage is whatever you decide to make of it. Your ability as couples to sieve and live through the expectations and reality is what make your own marriage unique and fantastic. Do not go into marriage expecting that your whole problem is solved, neither should you go into it thinking you are coming into problem, it’s all about mind approach. Those expectations and reality are on a lighter note.
Although they do happen that way, but of course they are way too minute to hit the boat in a marriage. Keep your home happy always, expect less, do more and face reality squarely.
Featured image: www.hingepeegel.ee