SETTLING down to married life takes a lot of time and adjustment. When Seyi and Mike met at their first place of work after their youth service, it was an electrifying experience. Months after they found new jobs, they were married. Within six years of their marriage, they’d had three lovely children. All the children the couple agreed to have. Whilst Seyi juggled her job and motherhood, Mike got on with being the bread winner – until Seyi became resentful of having to spend time on her own most of the time – especially nights.  She was still a young woman, and spending time alone wasn’t her idea of wedded bliss.

“I trust Mike to some extent”, said Seyi now in her 30’s.  “I don’t ask questions about where he’s going, who he’ll be with or when he’ll be back. If he calls to tell me, fine. If he doesn’t, sometimes I’ll call him on his phone. Most of the time, I’ve discovered I’m all alone on the whole bed and there are nights he saunters in, in the middle of the night. The last time it happened, I’d spoken to him at work and I think he must have mumbled something about meeting up with a friend at his club later. So, should I have quizzed him how late he’d be?  Or be concerned that he wouldn’t be home until the early hours?

“I seldom go out. I’m a home person who enjoys her own company more than a night out, partying. But the odd aso ebi arrives and I might decide to get dolled up and paint the town red with my friends. Mike expects a blow-by-blow account of where I’m going and with whom. And if I were to come home at an `ungodly’ hour, I’m certain he would wring  my neck!  Isn’t this a sort of double standard when it comes to a curfew for both of us?

Now that we’re married with children, I think that hanging out until the middle of the night should be a thing of the past. If it’s a specific occasion, (nights of heavy official meetings, that stretch to club entertainment, etc), he can stay out till he drops. Other than that, I might resort to embarrassing him by smoking him out of all these joints he finds so entertaining he often forgets he’s a family man.”

Mike snorted throughout his wife’s tirade. When he started stating his side of the story, I was at variance with his wife’s. “She’s conveniently forgotten to mention the fact that we live in Festac and I work on Victoria Island”, he said.  “After a night of going out either to a party or on business, I’m forced to navigate the dangerous terrain that is Lagos roads with the deft and recklessness of a danfo driver.  The way  my wife talks, it is obvious she wouldn’t mind imposing a husband curfew on me. I am a full adult and as a responsible professional and husband, I believe I should have right to set my own curfew – within reason.  I mean, it would be absurd for me to cut the night short when I’m at dinner with business associates or out and about with friends just to rush home to meet my wife.  On the few occasions I made the effort, I always found her already sound asleep.  Plus we all have the freedom of mobile phone. All she has to do is call if she’s worried before rolling over to sleep!

“I’m not saying that I should be the man about town every night, but there should be times when I can come home later than usual without any conflicts.

“There’d been times she’d accused me a lot of my male friends did the same thing.  But when you’re on an illicit liaison, it doesn’t take you all night to do what most men even achieve in the confines of their offices!

“There’d been times I’d had to drive dangerously through traffic just to be at her majesty’s service.  I nearly got swallowed by a large pot-hole yesterday. Thanks to some area boys who hauled me out. Wryly, I thought of what we’d both be doing when I got home – only to find my wife on her way to bed. It is frustrating that most nights, I rush home to please my wife and all I get in return is a yawn … our love life is almost in tatters.  It’s no turn on to realise your wife would rather be asleep than rocking your world …”

These two have obviously forgotten the benefit of dialogue – it beats sulking and guessing what your partner is up to all of the time. Seyi was a bit shamefaced, when confronted with her husband’s accusation.  With a bit of understanding now their feelings have been well aired, their love-life should be back on course and their marriage a healthy union.


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