Cliche as ever title right? Well it’s because this piece is a little bit serious so it’s nice to set the mood with a little humor. As you should know by now, I’ve been married for a couple months and it’s been blissful.
What you don’t know is that 3 months before I met my husband I had broken off an engagement to someone else.
Yeah, when things don’t work out people, including me, don’t like to talk about it. But can you blame us? Who wants to relive their failures? I’m choosing to write about this today because in hindsight I know what influenced that almost very costly mistake.
The person I was seeing came to me via Instagram after following me for years (first warning sign tbh, why take that long to make a move? Even if it was just a friendly approach, than just sit there watching for years knowing your intentions. Suspicious behavior). It was mid pandemic and my professional exams had been indefinitely postponed as were my lectures, my job had put me on furlough since we couldn’t work from the office anymore, so I was for the first time in a long time – very jobless. If you know me, you know that me having nothing doing is very, very strange.
He came at me from a public health perspective as he knew my interests based on my social media, and for a while after the whole thing messed up I was wary about sharing because it felt like this guy stalked his way into my life. I’m glad I got over my fear of sharing and instead devised a way to share that I didn’t feel I was over exposing myself.
When he finally dropped the L-bomb – I was very shocked. I’d never met him in person (and never did throughout the “relationship”) and it came from seemingly nowhere. He’d then spend so much time telling me that God told him I’m his wife and when I tried to gently explain that I didn’t feel that way, he would say I’m not strong in my faith, that if I was closer to God, He would have explained that this is the man for me. As I type this I am rolling my eyes at how incredulous this all sounds.
Being an intellectual babe I still stood my ground that I had no interest and this is where things got funny, suddenly my mum’s (now former) prayer warrior friend calls her to describe how “God revealed the person I’m to marry” and identified this fellow. He too, his “mentor” started having dreams about us being married – so I’m being bombarded left and right by “revelations” whilst me I hadn’t heard one syllable on the matter from God. He capitalized on this and kept saying it was down to my inability to connect to God properly but that through being with him I will start to see it’s from above.
I think feeling bad about everyone but me seeing the picture eventually got to me and had me agreeing to be in a relationship with a man I’d never seen before, whom I had no emotional connection with and who I quite frankly couldn’t picture a life with. You think this is bad? He went ahead to propose over the phone a short while later! Said he wants me to come and move to Nigeria to be with him. (This one I strongly refuted.)
Mennnn this story goes from bad to worse but I’ll spare you the silly details and skip to where the scales finally dropped from my eyes. I was to go to Nigeria primarily for my very good friend’s wedding and he wanted to attend with me. He’d asked me to pay for our flights (he couldn’t afford the local flight from Abuja to Benin) so I was like send your passport details – lo and behold this guy was 3 years younger than me and had consistently lied from day 1 about his age. I mean whenever he introduced himself he would say his age unprovoked – so this lie wasn’t a slip of tongue, it was very intentional. For a “relationship” that was hanging solely on trust since I didn’t have any feelings for him, it hit rocks and died a permanent death.
For a while, I felt very stupid to have even gotten to that stage with someone like that. I had ruled out the possibility of dating for at least a year because I truly thought I had temporarily lost my senses and needed time to recalibrate and be sure that whatever made me go along with such a hoax has been sorted out. I would sit and ask myself are you low-key desperate? I don’t like to even imagine what my life would have looked like if I saw that through.
By the time things wrapped up with that guy I was job hunting, as my then day-job was becoming very hostile – honestly that was a really rough period for me – so I was applying like my life depended on it and was shooting applications all over the country. Eventually I resigned my job and the day after I got an offer to work in a hospital 5 hours away or stay at the hospital near me where I did here and there shifts. I decided I needed time alone to heal and recentre myself and get closer to God since I’d be living by myself – and that’s what informed my decision to go.
On my very first day at the hospital, I met my husband.
One could almost say that the trauma made me move across the country for work when I still had a hospital job conveniently close to my parents house to work at. God does work in mysterious ways.
I made a mistake that almost made me miss out on the blessing of being married to my husband, simply because I felt so stupid for being in that messy situation. I would compare what I almost was reduced to with what I’ve been blessed with and feel so bad like “sis you almost missed all this!!!” rather than be grateful for the grace God showed me. I can now proudly say that I am not defined by my mistakes, I learned from them and I’m better for it.
Forgive yourself sis, you deserve to be happy.
Till next time,
Dr. ETP xo