Marriage is a big deal, no doubt. A few months ago, we spoke to a few Nigerian women who regret making the decision to commit their lives to one partner.

We spoke with a few Nigerian men about the same issue. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Zayn

I didn’t envisage that getting married would have me spending this much money. I’ve been married for over four years now, and from my ₦720k salary, I spend over ₦100k every single week taking care of both my nuclear family and my wife’s nuclear family. I can’t even begin to tell you how unhappy all of that makes me.

2. David

I’ve been married for less than two years, but I’m constantly looking for ways out of this marriage. My wife is never happy with me. We never even have any meaningful conversations unless I’m about to do something for her.

I’ve tried coping with the lack of affection for almost two years now, but it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. It also doesn’t help that she exhibits extremely poor physical hygiene; that makes it two things I’m struggling to cope with. If I had my way out of the marriage this minute, I’d take that chance.

3. Korede

I hate my wife. She makes me want to throw up. I hate how her vagina feels and I hate that she even looks at me. The only thing I like about our union is the kids. They look like me. Before we got married, she used to treat me like shit, but I assumed that after we got married, everything would change.

She was beautiful, so I just thought it’s that thing beautiful women do. The biggest mistake of my life was marrying her because she perceived the fact that I stuck with her, even when she treated me like shit, as desperation. Now, I want to step out one day and just disappear forever and start a new life, but I can’t do it because I don’t want to lose my kids. So, I guess I’m staying.

4. Chinedu

I got married at 27, but I feel like I was not thinking about myself and my future when I did it. I got married because it seemed like the right thing to do after being with my high school sweetheart for almost 10 years.

Now that we live together, everything appears normal but deep down there are so many character traits she has that I wish I could change. Maybe those character traits are not enough ground for a divorce, but they’re enough to reassess the whole essence of our marriage.

Another thing that makes me regret getting married is money. I’d totally be a baller if I had all my income to myself. But I have to share. At the end of the day though, my kids make it all worth it.

5. Mo

My wife and I have been separated for almost two years now. We dated for about five years before we got married, and at the beginning of our marriage, things went pretty well. When we started having our normal couple fights, I thought things were going to blow over, but they only got worse. The major source of my wife’s issues is her mum. My wife doesn’t have friends; the only person she’s close with is her mum. Her mum started giving her all sorts of terrible advice that only made things worse. The quarrels continued and then she started sleeping around.

Recently, she made me pay for couple’s counselling just so we can get things working for our child. Shortly before we were meant to have our first counselling session, I found out she was hopping around hotels in Lagos with a man married with three kids. I even foolishly called the guy and told him to back off my family. On the morning of our counselling session, I was at her house as early as 6:50 a.m. to pick her up. The other guy was there too. I lost my cool, and we somehow ended up at a police station where I had to sign an undertaking not to move near her or our child again — a restraining order. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I can’t see my child. In all of this, her mum champions her on and fully and openly supports everything she does, even the sleeping around.

Before all of this, I tried to get her a car. We went to a car dealership together and I told her to pick a car but she said she wanted the cash equivalent of whatever car she picked. But it’s not as if she had any plans to stay. She was just trying to extort me.

The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that I have a child with her.

6. T

I’m 33 now. I got married at 27 and I regret getting married so young. If I could go back, I would hold off getting married till I turn 40. When I see my friends linking up with babes, but I’m here stuck with the Mrs, it can be quite depressing. If your wife genuinely loves you, it’s nice having someone waiting for you at home. But the major thing that makes marriage tolerable is feeling the unconditional love your children have for you. Nothing beats that.

Other than that, maintaining a home and doing stuff like paying kids’ school fees are very expensive. I can’t put myself first or buy stuff for myself.

7. James

I got married to the spawn of Satan in my late 20’s. I’m in my late 40’s now. At the beginning of our marriage, she was good. The first time she ever abused me, it was with a wooden eba turner on my balls while I was asleep. I could not hit her back because I didn’t want to lose the job her father got for me. He was an influential man. I remember when I pushed her back one day and she cut her face with a knife and lied to everyone that I did it. No one believed my side of the story The physical abuse got worse over time.  I used to go to work with scars under my shirt, and I remember that one day, my shirt showed that I was bleeding under.

Long story short, I left her and ran away to Cyprus. Nobody knew I was leaving except my brother — I’m an orphan — so it was easy to leave without anyone worrying. I’m still single and although I’m seeing someone, things are not that serious, and I don’t think I’ll ever get married again. I’m just lucky she didn’t kill me.

8. Sammy

My wife has a hard time with intimacy. It’s easier to masturbate in the shower than to cuddle with her. I have found myself thinking about having an affair, so that I will be less of a burden of intimacy to her. I think it’s her self-image; she’s overweight. I have dated women with all sorts of bodies and a woman’s body type doesn’t really matter to me. It matters to her. She tried to work on her weight but stopped since she developed some life-threatening health problems. I feel like she’s more of an observer than a participant in our lives. She doesn’t like to talk, but her body language is loud to me. I don’t think she realizes that. I thought she was passive aggressive, but now I realize that she is just afraid of making mistakes.

I really like sex, and it was nice with her in the past but when her weight-related problems- like joint issues- started, it became boring. I had to start thinking of experiences with past lovers or porn scenes when we had sex just so I could finish. In my past relationships, I’ve enjoyed role-playing, Japanese bondage, laughter, and interesting conversations, so this one is very anticlimatic for me.

With my wife, she always has something else to do, or she thinks I’m wasting her time. I’ve gone from making love for three hours straight to being with someone that doesn’t even want to try different things. And it’s not about me, she’s the one that’s not opening up. She’s the one being passive and uninterested. Sometimes, I even wonder if she’s considering having an affair too because she’s not enjoying our sex life. If we get a divorce, it will destroy me.

This final one is long.

9. Dayo

I got married in my mid-20s primarily because I had a number of very problematic ideas in my head — ideas that were basically implanted by my dad, who was my biggest model for what being a successful man looked like. Idea 1 – A “good,” “responsible” man has no need to be single once he is financially stable, and the next logical step after achieving career stability is to get married and start a family. This idea worked well in the 1970s when he was a young professional living through Nigeria’s oil boom. In the 21st century? Not so much, as I found out.

Idea 2: When you find a “good” girl, don’t let her go. This idea was further complicated by the Umar Johnson/Hotep ideology I used to subscribe to, which basically held that the best and most important thing a black man can do in an anti-Black world is take care of a Black woman and be part of a cohesive Black family unit. In reality, as I found out, that ideology works for societies where being “Black” means something. In Nigeria/Africa where everyone is Black, there’s a good chance the person you’re marrying has no clue that they are “Black” or why you place a premium on these fancy IJGB ideologies of yours. And of course, there is no such thing as a “good” girl as I found out when I stumbled across a text from some guy telling her she forgot her panties and bra at his place.

Idea 3 – Cinderella stories are a real thing. This was not an idea I held consciously but based on observing my dad, whose marriage was the ultimate Cinderella fairytale, elevating an 18-year-old woman from Surulere into a mistress of the manor almost overnight, I subconsciously believed in the sheer romance of it all. In reality, as I discovered, dating outside of your socioeconomic neighbourhood is A LOT OF WORK. No matter how much money and effort went into convincing her that I was crazy about her before and during the marriage, she was never able to let go of the nagging suspicion that I secretly looked down on her and on her family, whose lives were quite literally transformed through my involvement. It also didn’t help that my mom was openly nasty to her in a very Patience Ozokwor type of way. In the end, she was never able to get over that basic insecurity and she ended up using things like sex as her leverage to fight the imaginary power tussle happening inside her head. When it came to an end and I got to hear what her mom really thought about me, I learned that the biggest omission in the Cinderella tale is that people will literally resent you for changing their lives because humans hate feeling indebted, and your presence in their life is a reminder of bad times. Cinderella is a lie.

It wasn’t until 3 years in that I finally summoned the courage to admit to myself that I was miserable and I didn’t want to be there anymore. From that point until when I informed her and both families about my decision was only a short hop and skip. The biggest roadblock was always in my head because of Idea 4: The idea that marriage is a lifelong unbreakable contract. Again a legacy of my dad’s ghost living rent-free in my head. My parents were excellent providers and by Nigerian standards, a low drama couple. Their relationship, however, to those in the know, was utterly dreadful. They didn’t even sleep in the same room, and yet the question of splitting up never arose. I admired the sheer commitment and iron will I saw in my dad for refusing to choose himself day after day, for over 3 decades. Thus I had also unwittingly convinced myself that no matter what, I had to stick it out. It also didn’t help that the decision to marry her was not at all received well by my parents who considered her to be a social-climbing interloper. So I was getting grief from them and from her at the same time, but I figured it was a “man” thing to suck it up and keep it moving. This changed when I watched my dad die and saw his casket being lowered into the ground. I suddenly realised that at the end of everything, his corpse didn’t get a medal for wasting most of his life in a joyless and destructive relationship. His death was my vaccine.

Overall, what I would tell young men looking to get married is that there is no medal for being married — whatever joy or misery awaits you in there is nobody’s business but yours alone. Even your family doesn’t really care. So never get married for any other reason other than because you genuinely want to. And just as important, make sure you marry someone who LIKES you. Not someone who likes how you make them feel or the things you do for them and their family. Marry your FRIEND — someone who enjoys the simple fact of your existence on this planet, and not someone who merely loves the ‘idea’ of being with you. Also, delay having kids as I did! Don’t rush into making a baby with someone you’ve been married to for 3 months. Give it at least 18 months to decide if this is what you actually want. The past 3 years since the split have been by far the happiest and most productive of my life so far.



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