SOME women in Lagos on Tuesday expressed divergent views on whether a woman’s adult life only begins when she gets married, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
According to them, marriage is a union between a male and a female that creates a family tie and carries legal, social and religious rights and responsibilities.
When it comes to taking a plunge into marriage, several people tend to worry, especially the young adults.
They know adulthood is the time when one takes responsibility for his or her actions and well-being.
Ogba Abah, who works with the Nigerian Popular Theatre Alliance (NPTA) said that adulthood is not just about one’s age.
She said it was about the mental and emotional state of a person.
“I do not believe that a woman’s adult life only begins when she gets married. In my opinion, it begins when she becomes responsible to herself and to others.
“Society has made the average woman believe that she is complete when she is married and she needs a man to be socially correct. This, in my opinion, is wrong.
“Single women can and are living fulfilled lives. Many women are restrained from being their best because of some norms of the society, culture and marriage.’’
According to her, the winds of westernisation have blown to other parts of the world and people are beginning to challenge the society and culture.
“People are generally beginning to accept the truth that they do not need anyone to make them happy. Happiness is first, an inside job.
“Women are hard-working by nature and many single women are able to reach their full potential without having to rub any man’s ego.
“ I believe in love and know that it will happen to me someday. I will not allow people’s stories and their past experiences determine whether I will get married or not.
“Everybody’s journey is different, every experience is different.
“The best thing to do is to approach love and marriage with an open mind; and in cases of violence, one should know when to say no,’’ Abah said.
A chemical analyst, Karimot Oseni, who works with a multinational oil company, told NAN that a woman’s adult life usually started while still single.
Oseni said marriage had nothing to do with what makes a woman an adult.
She said that an adult woman might be able to surmount the challenges of marriage better than a girl would.
She said that there were some girls below 18 years who had married but did not have a mind of their own.
“I am not married, yet the responsibilities on my shoulders beat me.
“It only gets tougher after getting married, as responsibilities are synonymous with being an adult.
“It does not mean there are no irresponsible married adults,‘’ she said.
Oseni added that some women were of the opinion that they would be fulfilled with marriage; but after marriage, they would realize that there were still more to explore.
“Surprisingly, some married women are not even fulfilled in their own space.
“I believe in marriage. In fact, you will be hearing my wedding bells very soon and I am so excited.’’
She said that when one had found the right person, it would be easy for the union to overcome its challenges.
“Despite all the recent horror stories pertaining to marriages, I believe two people can make their marriage work.
“All it takes is commitment, dedication and a lot of hard work from both,’’ Oseni said.
Tola Aremu, a cardiac technician in a general hospital, said she got married when she was 22 and it made her feel she had achieved her heart’s desires.
She told NAN that she grew up in a home where it was the social norm to finish school, find a job, get married and have kids.
“Today, I am a divorcee but living a happy life. It feels good to have left a married life that kept me in bondage for four years.
“If you ask me if I think a woman’s life only begins when she gets married, then my answer to it is a big NO.
“Adulthood for me started before I got married. I am an outgoing and sociable person; thankfully I was able to change my perspective on needing a man to complete me.
“I am not looking forward to getting married again because I had the slimmest opportunity to escape from a near death from an abusive husband,’’ Aremu said.
Mrs Jolade Fapounda, a caterer, stated that a woman matures before marriage but that real adult life for a woman begins when she is married.
According to Fapounda, marriage is not a piece of cake.
“You must have reached a certain age to handle the responsibilities inherent in marriage.
“I personally got married in my mid-20s and I must tell you that marriage has completely changed my perspective on life.
“I have learnt to sacrifice as a mother and a wife. The experience is so overwhelming and challenging all at once.
“It has not always been rosy, but I have had an amazing partner who has tolerated me for nine years and two months,’’
Fapounda said that neither she nor her husband was perfect. “For me, my life started after I took that big step to say I do.
“My husband, children, in-laws and family friends have contributed immensely to changing my life.
“I don’t know what tomorrow holds; but today, I feel fulfilled because I am happily married with children and a thriving job,’’ Fapounda said.
Mrs Oluwatosin Agboola, an event planner, said a woman’s adult life did not necessarily begin at marriage.
Agboola said adolescence is all about maturity; however, marriage might come with higher responsibilities.
“Conjugality is based on individual’s perception and a matter of choice. This position is, however, relative when compared to cultural experiences.
“While most Nigerians may see marriage as a yardstick in placing value on women, same is not obtainable in the Western world.’’
She said that life’s goals varied for individuals. “For some ladies marriage might be it. I think that the ultimate goal in life is to seek happiness.
“Some find it in marriage; others find it elsewhere as they will not be fulfilled if they are married.
“So marriage does not automatically make one fulfilled as a person,’’ Agboola said.
A relationship expert, Mrs Iyabo Obasa of The Counselling Ambassadors Organization, told NAN that a woman’s adult life begins at puberty.
She said there were certain physical signs that indicate the beginning of puberty in a young girl’s body.
“It simply explains that a woman’s adult life starts way before she gets married.
“How she decides to live her life when she gets married, handles the challenges and prospects of marriage, becomes a learning process.
“Irrespective of the growing evidence of domestic violence in marriages, I believe we still have young adults who want to experience love and eventually get married,’’ she said.
She said that she always counselled people on what they could do when they were confused in a relationship
“There are instances when even the oldest person in a family cannot handle a couple whose communication has deteriorated.
“If they are able to meet with trained counsellors, it might have a lasting effect on the couple’s marriage,’’ Obasa said.
The post Women react differently to whether adult life begins after marriage appeared first on Tribune.