What She Said: What We Hate About Being Married

| Her
September 2, 2020

For this week’s What She Said, I decided to do something a little different by asking women from different parts of Africa about their marriage experiences. While the answers form a wide range of experiences — from the woman who hates sharing a room with her husband to the woman who doesn’t want to have kids — the truth is that they are similar and show us that our experiences as women in spite of our backgrounds, sexuality, age, religion, etc. are quite universal.

Name: Eliza
Country: Uganda
Age: 25

‘My husband is mostly progressive online, but expects me to wash his boxers.’

Before I got married, I was looking for someone who was on the same progressive wavelength as I was. I really didn’t want anyone that would stress me as past boyfriends had. Then I met my husband online and he said all the right things. He also did (and does) some of the right things, but the truth remains that he’s a man and men, they expect some things from you that they consider mundane. Like he expects me to pick up after him and to do things like wash his boxers. Hell no. 

Name: Ifeko
Country: Nigeria
Age: 38

“It’s having to share a room with someone for the rest of my life.”

I’ve never liked sharing spaces with people. Never ever. On getting married, the plan was to have separate rooms. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen due to Lagos and other financial reasons. The one time when we got the opportunity to have separate, my mother-in-law came over for a while. She was so mad that we were not sleeping in the same bedroom. My husband tried to tell her it wasn’t her business, but she wasn’t having it. I’d have to add that in-law wahala is another thing I hate about being married. Now that we have children, I’m back to sleeping in the same room with my husband. The worst part is that he snores. Sometimes, I go to the parlour to sleep, but it’s not just about sleeping at night. There’s nothing like having a room of one’s own.

Name: Efi
Country: Ghana
Age: 26

“It’s being married.”

I got married when I thought I was ready to get married which was when I was 22, right after university. After the wedding which I loved and the honeymoon, which I loved even more, I realised that I wasn’t ready to be married at all. I always have to consider the needs of my husband before doing anything. This is stressful because I feel like I could be out there, having multiple boyfriends, having fun. Some of my single friends from university or high school are living their life. I’m here, preparing dinner at 8pm, watching television with him like we’re an old couple and then going to bed by 10pm. It doesn’t help that my husband doesn’t like stress. We’ve tried to have fun together a couple of times, but he finds nightlife boring and too much. I’d rather have fun without him too, but if I have the fun, I’ll end up in another man’s bed. 

Name: Ireti
Country: Nigerian
Age: 45

“It’s people calling me Mrs A, when they can see that I am Ms B.”

You’ll go somewhere and introduce yourself as Ms A, but because they know your husband, they’ll insist on calling you Mrs Y. That’s rubbish. It’s the one thing I cannot stand at all. 

South African
Age: 30

“I’d have said the flirting, but it’s the fact that he’s allowed to flirt and I’m not.”

We’re not religious, so everything has been on the table since we got married. Every single thing. At least that’s what we said before getting married. Five years in, we haven’t explored much. No threesomes, no open relationships, no foreplay. I was okay with this until recently when I noticed my husband flirt with other women. At first, I wanted to talk to him about it. But I changed my mind and decided to flirt with other men. The reaction wasn’t pretty at all. So now I asked him, you can flirt, but what about me? He said he’s a man and he has needs. I won’t be surprised if he’s cheating. 


“My husband doesn’t rate my cooking, but he makes me cook because it’s my duty”

I went into marriage with the belief that the kitchen and bedroom were the two most important places. The kitchen even more because ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his belly’. The catch is, I’ve never been a good cook. I know it, my husband knows it, even my children know it. I recently began to understand that cooking is not a validation of my person and neither does it make me a good wife. I wanted to stop cooking, but my husband has refused. We can afford a cook, but he says it’s my duty to cook. How can I allow my kids and him eat outside, he asks me. Is this some kind of punishment? I don’t know. I hate it here. 


“For me, it’s the foolish arguments. Who left soap suds on the wall? Who didn’t put the toilet cover down? Things like that sometimes become big things.”

When I got married, I imagined that it’d be a fairytale. I like to think my husband and I are quite compatible. We can go months without arguing. Then something tiny would happen and we would start screaming at each other. We’re not hot tempered people typically. In fact, we can be very good natured and we don’t have any issues — the sex is great, our conversations are great — but sometimes, those arguments creep in and make us look like fools. Sometimes it is perhaps taking out our stress on each other. Other times, I can’t even explain it. 

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the subjects.

If you’d like to share your experience as a Nigerian or African woman across a range of different issues that affect women, send me an email.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

June 26, 2021

Just in case you don’t know, sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s gender. A common example is an idea that women are inferior to men and so should only do certain things like cooking, taking care of the family, etc. While many may not agree with this, there are sexist ideas they […]


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

More from Her

September 25, 2022

Simi and Taofeeqat became best friends in SS2. Before adulthood came between them, they gave each other cheesy love letters and long hugs. In this #LettertoHER, Simi wants Taofeeqat to know she misses her.

September 20, 2022

If your partner spent so much time in your home that it felt like they lived there, moving on can be tougher. So what happens when you can’t afford to move out to move on from the memories of your partner? 7 Nigerians who’ve been heartbroken shared their experience.

What She Said: I’ll Run For Office in 2027
September 14, 2022

Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon talks about experiencing politics in secondary school, choosing public service over a legal career and finding purpose in helping young women enter politics through “Girls Just Want to Run”.

September 11, 2022

“In everything I wanted to do, my grandma always told me to go for it, even if I wanted to fly to the moon. She never made any of my dreams seem unachievable.”

In this personal essay, Dammy talks about her grandmother, who was also her best friend. #GrandparentsDay

What She Said: Feminism Led Me to Atheism
August 31, 2022

This week’s #ZikokoWhatSheSaid subject is a 23-year-old Nigerian woman. She tells us about discovering her feminism, pansexuality and atheism through books while living with her close-knit conservative family.


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.