Thursday, 30 June 2011

Seize the Day

A close friend of mine has been going through some distressing marital issues and I have shared her experience with some people I exchange emails with.

In summary, she has dealt with domestic violence; financial abuse (where one spouse uses money as a form of control) and infidelity. The last fight they had ended with the hubby beating her up in front of their only son.

This post is not about judging who is right or wrong - because one can never know EVERYTHING about a marriage or romantic relationship. Instead, this post is to share the advice I gave her because I believe it might help someone out there.

I usually refrain from giving advice because I am wary about misleading people BUT I was moved to say something when my friend said
- They (her hubby and her) hadnt spoken in two weeks
- He was spending most nights out of the house
- Everytime she approached him to discuss things, they ended up arguing - often descending into violence
- Her four year old son touched her bruised face as they sat on the bus and said 'Daddy hurt you, didnt he?'

At this point I asked her what she was going to do and she said she had decided to face her career and accept that they would  live separate lives in the same house. She also said she didn't want a divorce because she was worried about 'what people would say'

So, I asked her:
'Imagine you were the well paid CEO of a multi-billion pound company, who is celebrated and feted everywhere. How will you feel if you always have to return back to a house where you have a  room-mate who insults you, slaps you, refuses to pay rent and argues with you all the time?.'

Her answer was ovbious: 'I would be so unhappy'

So, my advice to her was that she owes it to her son to take charge of her life and do what is best for him - provide him with a loving and peaceful environment to grow in. How she does that is up to her.

How one overcomes life's challenges is a personal decision.

However, it is important to remember that YOUR life is YOURS alone. If you keep on worrying about what others will think, you will never make important decisions about your life.

Again, you are never too old to make a life change.

If humans are expected to live to 70 years old............Consider this:
An adult aged 30 years old has only had approximately 10 years control over their life because parents have made decisions for at least the first twenty years.

So, is it not sad if a thirty year old gives up and decides to settle for less?  Even if you are 40 years old and you decide to change your life, you have at least 30 years to savour the changes you have made.

One of my favourite mottos is 'Carpe Diem' - which means 'Seize the day'.

The day you stop learning is the day you give up on life. The day you give up on life is the day you die....It might not be literally in you fall down and die. BUT, the day you give up on life is the day something in you might be the sparkle that made you special or the smile that opened doors for you or the hope that made you wake up every morning.

My dear's never too late ....Seize the day and take control of YOUR life.

PS - The lovely Vickii made me aware that I have been nominated in the Nigerian Blog Awards. To whoever nominated me. Thank you, I'm really flattered xoxoxoxxo


  1. Well said!

    Congrats on your nomination!!!

  2. Well said, Naija mum! Very well said! It is a reality which many grapple with. Hopefully, she will find enough strength and knowledge to deal with it.

  3. Wow...this is deep. I don't know if you've read the story that has been going around of the dude who killed his wife of 2 years in Nigeria. Anyway, you are right. I learnt a long time ago not to bother about what people would say and just live my life.

  4. definitely never too late and "The day you stop learning is the day you give up on life. The day you give up on life is the day you die" is so true

    Congrat on the nomination

  5. Great advice....

    I feel for your friend. She should also protect herself against possible STDs from her husband.

    Congratulations on your nomination.

  6. You gave a really good advice without actually telling her what to do..that's a double thumbs up.
    I hope she overcomes her present challenge soon. she should make a decision without thinking about what people would say because she's the one facing the challenge not the "people" a sister on blogspot would say(can't recall what blog) "No use shame chop poison".....

  7. Will the day ever come when life becomes less complicated? *sigh*

  8. Good advice definitely. And it is up to her how she uses it. Children need healthy envionments to grow up in. Better to be a single parent than have a matrimonial home poisoned by emotional, financial and physical abuse.

    @ Coy-introvert
    Love the phrase: "No use shame chop poison."
    So apt, so true.

  9. Carpe diem, so true. It's never too late to start anew. I'm truly hoping your friend seizes the day.

    And the point about not giving up on life is totally true. Something I'm learning to do everyday - no matter the challenge, with God, it will come to pass.

    Congrats on the nomination. You deserve it.

  10. I guess the man has not yet killed her. I know true stories of so many women that have died while their husbands were beating them. I wonder why some women still allow this to continue. Even if she feels so strongly about divorce, she can do other things. Even the very famous Pastor Bimbo Odukoya will tell you that 'Separate, but don't divorce' in such cases.

  11. NIL, so sad, so true. A friend of mine is in a similar situation, and now her children speak to her disrespectfully because that is what they see and hear daddy do. Congrats in your nomination :)

  12. Seems domestic violence has become a big topic in Naija. You analysed it just right. She's got so many years ahead of her? Why persevere in pain when you can be FREE?
    May God give her the strength to move her mountains. Especially for her son's sake. We always think children are too small to understand but that young 'un is learning all the wrong lessons. That women are subservient. That women cant/dont hit back. That male/female relationships cannot be harmonious.
    He may or maynot beat his future partners but he may find negotiating the give and take of good relationships difficult.

    Congratulations on your nomination. I have done the needful..but that blog awards was something else shaa. So many newcomers (some are quite quite good actually)All ye my famous friends just fall my hand seriously. I thought my friends ran thingz :). Thank God for You, Sisi Yemmie, Prof, Strategic chic and Jaycee. At least I can raise my head small with pride. LOLSSSS

  13. NIL, well said. I believe that every woman should walk out of an abusive relationship with her head high, without considering what people or family members will say.

    Our cultures have not made it easy in any way. I was once told by an elderly man that in Igbo land, if a man and his wife have any misunderstanding, that in settling the matter, the woman does not have the right to say her own side of the story, and will be mandeted to knel and apologize to the husband for peace to reign.

    Where are all the human/woman right activists, when will the rights of women live the papers and hit the streets- especialy in Nigeria?

    Is there a gail term for abuse in Nig? Even when a girl is raped, her parents will rather make her shut up and live with it than to let the neighbour or even the society hear about it. HMM!

  14. Hope your friend seizes the day. She doesn't have to divorce her husband. I don't personally support divorce, but a separation isn't a bad idea.

    Congrats on the nomination.

  15. I know i nominated you!!!! Well, you're rigght, it's never to later to take another turn, and Ive been pondering on this for about a month now. Women should get jobs so as to have income, when one does'nt have an income, you set yourself up for whatever a man gives you. Hope your friend and other women alike will be able to make that turn.

  16. When it comes to relationships COMMON SENSE is a word that must be stressed at all times.

    Love with your heart, think with your head. If you die, your children will go on living and probably in an unconducive environment. Why not get out now that you can, leave, live and fulfil other dreams.

  17. This is a very touching matter! Your advice to was good. I pray your friend takes charge of her life and do what is best for herself and her son. I believe she will find a way round.

    I feel pain whenever I hear or read about women in such circumstance.

    Congratulations on your nomination!

    @Coy~Introvert, That your phrase is one of my favorites. My own version is "Dem no de close eye drink poison"

  18. well said NIL....Happiness is the ultimate goal in life (in my opinion), I think she should choose a path of happiness for herself and he son.

  19. I echo Gbemisoke but with God we overcome complications.
    congratulations dearie.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. NIL God is in "control of our lives", the place your friend can run to right now and find all the answers to this is GOD! May she FIND HELP where she needs it most cos for real,even if she chooses to walk away,she'll still be nursing a hurt and perhaps be traumatised.
    May God heal her and give her PEACE amen.

    Congratulations on your nomination :)

  22. well said Naijamum, you really have to 'sieze the day' to be able to get through this wicked world sometimes.

  23. Oh goodness, i don't know what to say on this subject. I just pray that i am NEVER in a situation anywhere close to this one.
    Congrats the nom.

  24. Hmm.Too many marriages going sour these days and this issue of DV is rising too. Anyway, I think your advice was pretty good especially as you did not tell her what to do. She'll eventually have to make the choice for herself on how she'll give her child a loving environment. But above all, in making her decision, she needs to go to God seriously in prayer. That said, your post is on point...

  25. Congrats on your nomination, of course you're our favorite mum, :). It's so sad when women decide to stick it out without seeking help, or other options. I hope things work out for your friend.

  26. WORD! I hope your friend takes this great advice you've given her. Congrats on your nomination.

  27. WOW! May God help and strenghten her..Like I would say, no use shame chop poison..

    I do pray she seize the moment and ask God for guidance, its never too late to make a change.

    Congrats NIL..and thanks for your support all through my journey..xoxo

  28. @Blessing
    Thank you my dear

    @ HoneyDame
    How are you my sister.
    Yes, I pray for my friend oh. She is a very giving person and really deserves some happiness
    Thanks for dropping by

    Yes oh...I saw the DV story on several blogs. So, so sad.
    Glad to know you have made the decision to just do you. You will def have a peaceful life. Amen

    @Yellow Sisi
    Thanks my sister
    I hope all is well with you

    Agree re: ' STDs from her husband'
    I wouldnt even let such a man touch my feet let alone .....
    Thanks dearie

  29. @Coy~Introvert
    *Nodding* re: 'good advice without actually telling her what to do'
    I dont want any backlash oh LOL
    I am praying for her also.
    Totally agree re:"No use shame chop poison".....I think it was unveiling gold???
    Thanks again

    LOL @'Will the day ever come when life becomes less complicated?'
    You are the eternal dreamer/optimist LOL
    This life eh....I believe even a 100 year old person still has stuff to learn.
    Full of surprises. *sigh*
    Hope all is well with you and yours

    I couldnt agree more re: 'Children need healthy envionments to grow up in'
    My sister, please preach oh. A lot of adults seem to forget that their job as parents is to protect their children as best as they can. The ting tire me oh
    Thanks my sister.
    Hope all is well

    @ Coy-introvert
    Re: "No use shame chop poison."
    Too true. You see why I like pidgin English. So much sense in a few words LOL

    *Nodding* re: 'It's never too late to start anew'
    Yes oh...Life is a gift - and if you are blessed with good are on a roll !

    I'm glad to know that you are learning that 'no matter the challenge, with God, it will come to pass'

    Thanks so much

  30. Marriage is to be enjoyed and honestly, not to be endured! Ositadimma is an Igbo name that means, "If things turn out for the better today, it's still in time".

    Seize the day!Marriage is to be enjoyed and honestly, not to be endured! Ositadimma is an Igbo name that means, "If things turn out for the better today, it's still in time".

    Seize the day!

  31. @@ilola
    Re: 'I wonder why some women still allow this to continue' The reasons are endless......low self-esteem, financial dependency, societal/religious pressure to remain married, childhood role models etc etc
    It's quite complicated so all we can do - as women - is support other women in such positions.
    Thanks my sister

    *sigh* re: '...... now her children speak to her disrespectfully.'

    That's why I feel the woman owes her child a nurturing environment. Thank my sister

    Re: ' ...domestic violence has become a big topic in Naija' Ye soh. The sad thing is that it has always been a common issue. However, a lot of people are now taking a stand against it.
    Thanks for your lovely prayer. I sincerely pray that she finds the strength to move on.Like you said, this is especially important if her son is to learn anything about how relationships should work.
    Re: the awards. I must confess that I'm new to all this so I really dont know how it has worked in the past.
    LOL @ 'I thought my friends ran thingz :)'
    We do now....quietly. LOL
    You no go kill person with laughter

    Agree re: 'Our cultures have not made it easy in any way'
    Outraged re: '....the woman does not have the right to say her own side of the story, and will be mandeted to kneel and apologize to the husband for peace to reign' I laugh. Not in this day and age - I hope.
    Like you, I am saddened re: rights of women in Naija. Girls are abused everyday...and they have to live in shame for the rest of their lives. So, so sad.
    Thanks my sis

    I feel you re: 'I don't personally support divorce, but a separation isn't a bad idea'
    I'm all for divorce if one party is being cheated in a marriage. Everyone deserves some happiness and some marriages can only be described as a 'car-crash'. In such cases, Mr and Mrs must go their seperate ways.
    Thanks my sister

    @Sisi Yemmie
    Thank for the nomination. I am flattered.
    Totally agree re: '...when one does'nt have an income, you set yourself up for whatever a man gives you'
    Problem is, my friend does work....and she actually supported her hubby in the past !
    Unfortunately, now he is earning well, he has become a bit horrid. *sigh*
    Thanks sis

  32. @P.E.T.
    Gbam re 'Love with your heart, think with your head'
    That should be printed on a tee-shirt and handed out to every teenager so they are forewarned *sigh*
    Thanks sis

    Thanks re:'Your advice to was good'
    A big Amen to your prayers. Like you, I believe she will 'wake up' one day. I just pray it is not too late when she does.
    Thanks my sis

    Thanks sis

    @ 9jaFOODie
    Yes oh re: 'Happiness is the ultimate goal in life' Totally agree
    I'm sure my friend wants to be happy. The unfortunate thing is that she ties her sees her hubby as a part of this *sigh*
    Thanks sis

    Yes oh re '.....with God we overcome complications'
    Thanks my sistah

    I agree that 'God is in "control of our lives" - but only if we let him or we realise this.

    Like you, I believe that my friend should seek God for guidance.

    However, one must understand people who are britalised, abused or belittled often feel tooo weak (psychologically) to even begin to nurture their faith.

    It might be easy for me to put a Bible in an abused woman's hands and tell he read passage X or Y and you will be strengthened. However, it is not that easy. In my experience, when I have spoken to women who have been abused, recently bereaved (lost their husband/child etc) or become will see that what they need at that moment is help with next steps.

    They are often traumatised and in shock so the first step is to help them deal with their immediate predicament. In doing so, one can then speak to them about their faith - as a way to give them hope and strengthen them.

    I pray God heals her as she has a lot to deal with.

    Thanks my dear sister

    Thanks my sister. I'm really flattered you nominated me. I hope I continue to deliver :)))

    @Pretty Lashes
    Ye so my sis 'Carpe Diem'
    That's the only way to make inroads in this wicked world.
    Hope you are well

    @Chizzy D
    I pray YOU are NEVER in this kind of situation too.
    Thanks my sistah

    I'm not sure the issue of DV is rising. I just feel that we are getting to hear more about it now.....esp. with internet etc

    Yes oh re: '...she needs to go to God seriously in prayer'
    Thanks sis

    *Blushing* re: ....' of course you're our favorite mum' Oh thanks. That is truly sweet of you.
    I truly pray my friend 'sees the light' too
    thanks sister.

    @ Tatababe
    Thanks for dropping by and especially for leaving a comment.
    I hope my friend - and other women - overcome this abuse. Too. too sad.

    @ Unveilinggold
    Yes oh re 'no use shame chop poison'
    Too true. I'll def be adding that to my list :)))

    Thanks my sister. Re:....' thanks for your support all through my journey'
    I am only standing at the sidelines and applauding your bravery.......You are the one who needs a medal for being so stron
    xoxoxo *big hug* xoxoxoxo

  33. @Emeka
    True talk re 'Marriage is to be enjoyed and honestly, not to be endured!'

    ohhh I absolutely love the Igbo name 'Ositadimma - "If things turn out for the better today, it's still in time"

    It is similar to an Edo proverb that translates as 'The time you wake up is when your dawn breaks. Too true

    Thanks for that my brother

  34. I really love the advise you gave your friend. She can't blame you for anything she did wrong and at the same time, you won't feel guilty for not letting her know she's on the wrong track. I just learnt from that cos I know sometimes when I'm so afraid of the consequences of my advice to a friend, I just decide to keep everything to myself.

    Funny that you didn't know about your nomination. I voted for you already. I was so delighted when I saw your blog cos I really think you deserve to win in that category. There's no contesting the fact that you know a lot about good parenting.
    Good luck with that :)

  35. hmmmmm...this is serious word.

    I hope your friend does what's best for her and herson...and I pray God helps them both, even the husband too.

  36. Congratulation sister on your nomination :)

    I always let out a sigh when i hear such stories.. like you explained, you don't want to mislead anybody,which is true becox nobody wants to be accused later on of breaking up a home since one is not 'inside' their heads to know what they are really thinking is kind of many factors playing.....*sighs!....pls marriage is not a do or die affair...GET OUT IF YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER!...BETTER TO WALK OUT WITH YOUR TWO LEGS THAN BEEN CARRIED OUT IN A COFFIN!

  37. That advice was just the perfect one for her. You can't tell her what to do- she has to decide. Honestly, that excuse of 'what would people say' is one of the stupidest things i've heard (and one of the hardest to break out of)

    Muse Origins (formerly The Corner Shop)

  38. Very true.
    People are too scared to live apart from their abusive spouses because of the kids and what people would say but the truth is, in the long run, the kids would get it...and appreciate it.

  39. @MsJB
    Thanks my sistah re: 'She can't blame you for anything she did wrong'
    Yes oh...Teflon is my second name oh! LOL

    *Shamed look* re: 'Funny that you didn't know about your nomination'
    Guilty as charged. I sometimes blog under duress - at lunchtime, in between kids' homework, in the kitchen while cooking etc I have to admit I can miss stuff at times. LOL

    Thanks for voting for me. I am truly, truly flattered. Re: 'you know a lot about good parenting' mmmm.......I would say I'm still learning oh. Thanks for the compliment

    Yes oh ..I really hope my friend 'sees the light'
    Thanks for praying for the hubby too. He truly needs it. I dont think he's a happy person
    Thanks D

    Thanks oh re: congratulations

    *Nodding* re 'pls marriage is not a do or die affair...' Abeg, help me shout am oh.
    Dem no dey get award for suffer abi? *sigh*

    Hope you are okay my sistah.

    @Muse Origins
    *Nodding* re: ''what would people say' is one of the stupidest things i've heard'....Unfortunately, a lot of women lack the self esteem to put their needs first *sigh*
    Thanks my sistah

    PS- Change of address noted :))

    @ H
    Totally agree re: ' the long run, the kids would get it...and appreciate it'
    Courage is in short supply, methinks
    Thanks for dropping by. Visiting you pronto

  40. To, All I will say is she needs to read the news report that is going around now about that man that killed his wife. This is how it starts.

  41. @Sugabelly
    I know oh
    The problem is that until she is ready to accept that she deserves better, this will get worse

  42. Hi NIL,
    I just happened to be innocently ransacking ur blog, and well, hv just read this.

    Interestingly, I posted something similar on my blog a few days ago (a fictional account though, but that's as good as real).

    Whilst I don't support abuse in marriage, broken homes present their own grievous outcome.

    It just makes me realize the need to marry right (well, yes, mistakes happen).


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