One Family, Two Continents

Hearts apart

Too Bee Honest…

I know it’s irrational to expect everyone’s decisions to align with my thinking but sometimes I wish it would. I’m just unable to decipher some people’s thought processes.

Example: I was talking with a young man, who by all appearances was in his mid-30’s. Somehow the conversation turned to marriage (the fact we were at a wedding probably had little something to do with it) and I discovered that the gentleman was married. Nothing scandalous had been said or done, so this revelation provoked no burst of emotion, it was calmly accepted. It seemed only polite to inquire about the whereabouts of his wife; technically most men come with to weddings with their wives. With a puffed out chest he informed me that his wife was in the United States. This surprised me; they had only been married for two years, why were they living apart? He gave what I consider a valid reason; their child has medical needs that required them to reside in the States. I was sympathetic, I’m sure a sick child is every parent’s worst nightmare, but my sympathy took a nosedive when he got octopus arms and attempted to dance all over me. I was aghast, and while pushing him away I “jokingly” said, “I don’t want your wife to appear and stab me oh!” It seemed less brutal to say this instead of my initial thought which was “You are a married man, come on respect yourself.” My mention of a wife did not in any way sober him up; nope, he wanted to proceed with grinding, this was the perfect time to retire my dancing shoes and I did so post haste.

Fast forward a couple of months and I’ve had multiple conversations with youngish men whose wives and children are living in the states while they reside in Nigeria. Disturbingly, a number of these men live as though they aren’t family men. Maybe this issue of living on different continents would not have bugged me as much if the men appeared to honor their vows and commitment to their families but they are cavorting about town.

Whose sorry idea of marriage is this? That a young couple who are just starting off and should be growing, loving and yes annoying each other on a daily basis barely see themselves. They get to see each other for a couple of months a year, if they are lucky. What sort of absentee father and husband is this? I’m not attempting to lump all men who must be physically absent into this category,  I know some who maintain very close and loving relationships with their kids, they are more involved than some men who never leave home. I’m also fully aware of the fact that people have different situations, and unfortunately many of us don’t get the fairy tale life we imagined. I have many friends who are separated from their spouses because one person had to go back to school, complete a medical residency, live with a sick kid in a different country or are simply separated because of immigration road blocks.  There are also people who live in the same country, but live in different states for a number of reasons. My irritation isn’t directed at these folks.

I understand folks who are genuinely trying to provide a better life for themselves, or those just dealing with the hand they’ve been dealt. However, it’s incomprehensible to me that wealthy men purposely live apart from their families because it’s fashionable or for their own selfish reasons. Like when did it become cool to separate families? Are children who grow up in wealthy Nigerian homes, attend really good private schools, eat well, travel and basically have everything a child can want so disadvantaged? Is it necessary to offer them the American, British or Canadian  dream at the expense of one parent? It’s also puzzling because these same men are the ones who are building factories and businesses in Nigeria, and they expect their children to run them at some point. It’s hard enough to get kids who leave Nigeria as teenagers to move back, why they think those with absolutely no attachment will move here is beyond me.

It takes two to tango right, so what about the wives? Truthfully, I’m even more clueless about what’s going on in their minds. Are they just women who wanted the Mrs. title and a couple of children? Is life simply better and easier for them abroad? Did they have their opinions ignored and their attempts at decision-making overruled? It’s probably a bit sexist of me, but I think a man’s reason for buying into this idea is so much simpler than a woman.

I’m sure this one of many posts where I’m preaching to the choir, none of these men or women is reading my blog 🙁 . If you happen to understand this trend, I would love to be educated.


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2 thoughts on “One Family, Two Continents

  1. " Is it necessary to offer them the American, British or Canadian dream at the expense of one parent? "

    As we say in in igbo "o baro ulu" (there's no gain/profit). My dear, you are being deep. It's kind of like the question "what does it profit a man if he gains the world and forfeits his soul". we are often very short-sighted in our decision making.

  2. Sincerely, I think sexiest thing about you is true. I’m not here to talk about women leaving in country with husband probably in the states and a cute younger boy to warm their bedS(capital “s”).. I did a research on life satisfaction as an undergraduate and it is amazing what satisfy people eventually in life- social relationships. So tell me if their is no social relationship in the home, getting it outside is a treat to the “conjugal”. The value two people have before getting married is what holds the marriage. I prefer to live with my wife in Ikeja than alone in the states or a woman living in Banana Island alone then her husband in the states. Itz better they both live in Ikeja and forget Banana. I just got married months ago and I remember my wife and I dint sleep well the weekend I stayed outside Lagos. It’s all about what matters? What is the value? What is the focus? I bet u our values are goin down the deep.

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