Married with friends

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I took my mother in law’s advice as I marched into martial life, I cut off from all my friends including my bride’smaids and those who bought my asoebi, I didn’t need them.

“Friend’s are not good for a married woman” my mother-in-law had said and I agreed with her.

Friend’s could ruin a marriage, they gave bad advice and they try to come in between a woman and her husband, some even snatch the husband, it has happened to many women before and I was not going to let it happen to me too.

“Ah Ginika, I don’t hear from you anymore” Sandra was complaining over the phone, she and I used to be close, she was the one who ran around for my wedding more than anyone else did. She was yet to understand that I had cut her off too.

“My dear no vex, I’ve just being so busy settling down into marital life, and now that I’m even pregnant sef, it’s harder on me” I had just found out about my pregnancy, it was four Months along. I was overjoyed, but certainly not that busy. “John and I just have so much on our hands”

“Hmmmn, no problem sha, just try and pick my calls or at least reply my WhatsApp messages”

“I will, I promise” I lied.

“Okay, later then.”

“Bye.”

I dropped the call and danced my way into the kitchen to finish preparing John’s dinner, soon he would be home and I needed the table set and waiting for him. He had promised to take me to the Cinema after his meal, I couldn’t wait. Oh! how I was enjoying marital life. John was my beginning and my end. I woke up to him, went about my day thinking of no one but him. I was loving every bit of being his wife.

Sandra wasn’t the only friend who complained, other’s did too. Eventually, their messages and calls stopped coming through, I guess they got tired of calling and sending messages they were getting no responses to, but I didn’t mind, I was too engrossed in my sweet husband to care.

As the pregnancy progressed, I began to spend alot of time at home, leaving my boutique to my staffs to run, I needed my rest, the pregnancy was developing fine but it was making me very weak. I couldn’t keep up with John anymore, first it was the sex that diminished and then I couldn’t go out like we used to, I would rather lay in bed watching TV and eating something. John would go out without me, other times he would stay home.

I got bored of the TV, I was beginning to feel lonely. One night, John was in the parlor watching football and I was in our bedroom, he was fussing because we hadn’t had sex in over three weeks, it brought a little bit of tension between us and I hated football so I stayed up in my room, I felt really lonely that particular night. I needed someone to talk to but I didn’t know who. I opened up my WhatsApp and made to send Sandra a message but I was too ashamed, I hadn’t contacted her in months and it didn’t feel right to send her a message now.

The time to shop for my baby came, I called on my sister whom I was hoping would accompany me but she had exams in school and I had to do the shopping by myself. It was hectic, as I walked through the market that day under the hot sun, having to choose between different baby items, I wished I had a friend by my side, helping me out.

The baby came, my in laws and church members came around but my friend’s weren’t there and I felt it, they only sent me congratulatory messages but I didn’t blame them, I hadn’t been much of a friend to them either.

I had imagined marriage to be a fairy tale, and it had started out like that but it wasn’t much of a fairytale anymore, thing’s had moved along so fast, John and I were arguing alot, sometimes we would be so mad at each other that we won’t talk to each other for days, he would go out after work to hang out with his friends, an effort to cool off I figured, and he came back looking like he had a good time, it annoyed me because while I was at home stuck with the baby, bored with no adult to interact with, not even online since I had no friends, he was out having a good time. I felt cheated.

Because I had built my world around my husband, I didn’t have much of anything that was just me, not friend’s, not hobbies nothing, everything about me was John so whenever we had issues it hurt so much and I would hasten to make peace even when it was his fault. I didn’t hold him accountable for anything because I didn’t want the argument to be prolonged, I took the blame for faults that weren’t mine, it began to feel like I was loosing myself.

Sometimes we would have issues and because I had made up my mind not to tell our problems to his family or mine, I held it all to my chest. But I sometimes wished I had a friend I could confide in. I was going crazy bottling up all those emotions.

One day we were arguing and he lashed out that I was too clingy, it hit me hard and I pondered on it afterwards. Since the beginning of our marriage, for the past three Years, I had built my world around him and that had caused me to hold on too tightly to him, depending on him for every little thing so much so that he now felt choked, wow! He was right. It was obvious that if I didn’t have him anymore, I won’t know what to do with myself.

I had to change that.

I decided to re kindle my relationship with Sandra and two of the other girls who had been great friends to me during my single days. Sandra was now married too and had a set of twins who were a Year old. It wasn’t easy winning her back but I crawled my way back into her life and this time around, invested in all three friendship’s although I was closest to Sandra.

It was great! I had a fellow woman to talk to about things that only a woman would understand, we shared views on kids and marriage. I would visit her home and she visited mine too, our kids got to know each other. When we couldn’t visit each other, we kept in touch via calls and chats, we even made video calls, it was really nice. I now had a fellow woman to do things with, to reason with. She helped plan my baby’s third birthday, we even travelled together to stock our shops.

It was great, eventually John’s office transferred him to another State and thank God for my Friends because even though I missed him, I still had my friends who would drop by from time to time, friends I could call to go grab lunch with, or see a movie, and all that made his absence a bit easier to bear.

He came visiting every week, he was in Warri and I Benin so the distance was not much. John was still my friend and we tried to do fun things together as much as we could, but he wasn’t my only friend anymore. I had my own friend’s, I had my boutique, I was my own person, it was no longer a case of, without him I would be lost because I had my own things going for me. I even found hobbies, Scrabble, and I would play it online with Sandra and other friend’s.

My mother-in-law was wrong after all, it didn’t pay to suppress things inside, I did that then and it was only increasing my blood pressure. Now I had my good friend Sandra to confide in, she gave me good advice, and when we couldn’t figure a way out of either of our situations, we would write anonymously to a page we follow on Facebook and pick out the comments that made sense.

Everyone needs a friend, even a married woman. It is great for your spouse to be your best friend but he shouldn’t be your only friend. Make new friends and invest in those relationships, visit them, call, show care, be an active part of their lives, don’t be the type of “friend” that calls only when she needs help.

Yes, there are bad friends but they are also good friend’s, and as adults, one should be able to discern between the good ones from those the bad.

Find yourself some good people, people who would speak life into your life, people who would stand by you when you are having tough times, people who would contribute positively into your life, the kind of people you can rely on anytime of any day and invest in that friendship, just like I did with Sandra.

We need each other.

WRITTEN BY OGBUGOH TERUNDU JOY.

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