Is Love Really Enough?

The dating/courtship journey is never the same as the marriage journey. Let me take you down a little bit on my one-time relationship journey.

The first man I ever opened my heart to. He was charming, handsome, tall, dark-skinned, loving, and caring, with a touch of sexiness. Christian? Yes, of course. I loved this guy with everything in me and was willing to even take a bullet for him anytime. Crazy right? But that's what I call true love. We connected greatly, and I can tell you that he was a great guy. One every woman would love to be with, he was good in his own way.

But his temper was out of this world. He was always abusive when angered and never cared who he was yelling at. His mum, dad, siblings, and every other person, including me, usually got it hot whenever he's provoked. It didn't matter who provoked him; it could even be something that happened at his place of work; whoever that's closer to him at that time would definitely be served the hot meal. He was ever ready to fight anyone at any time; it didn't matter when and where. I tried to talk about his temper with him to see if he could adjust in order to stop hurting innocent people, but all my efforts proved abortive.

This relationship was heading to marriage. I have always prayed to God for a peaceful home because I come from one. How on earth was I going to end up with this guy with such a temper?

Aside from the temper, there were other signs I saw that I wouldn't want in whoever that's going to be a husband to me. When you see these signs or red flags, what do you do? He wasn't the only guy on my suitor list, but he was the only one I was in love with. I kept turning down every other man that came for me because I wanted no one else but him. What can a girl do when she can't even help herself?

Friends who knew him warned me; my own friends who were closer to him also warned, but it was hard, very hard to let go. Then one day, his anger led him to slap his own elder sister. That alone got me pieced; like, what the hell is wrong with this guy? A lot was running through my mind at this point. Like, do I really want to go down the aisle with this guy? Is love really enough? I could recall the day I met one of his friends. He and I got talking, and the guy was like, ''If you marry my friend, you will regret it for the rest of your life''. I asked him why, but he didn't say more than that. He only told me that I'd run to him one day, crying with a swollen face.

The one that changed everything was the day he asked me to accompany him to see a family member. On our way back, we boarded a Keke. When we got to our stop, he paid the Keke driver and asked him for change. The man wasn't fast enough, and this guy started yelling at him, calling him names and all. The Keke driver being an elderly man, I expected him to have some respect for the man, but no! I felt so embarrassed. The man, too, decided to give him back in return, and both of them started insulting each other on the street. I tried to calm him down, and this guy pushed me like I was a piece of trash; I fell inside the gutter and got a cut on my leg. Did he care, no? Even when people were trying to help me come out, he was still busy arguing with the Keke driver. That day changed everything for me. I had to think deeply if I really wanted this guy in my life forever.

I knew the feeling was too strong, and it was very hard for me to just walk up to him and say, ''I'm not going to marry you''. That wouldn't sound nice, right? But I got to do something, to break out of these shackles. Then the fear came the inner thought, the distracted, the confusion, the blame. What would people say? Everyone knows this guy as your potential husband. What are you going to tell your family? What about your friends, your Church? Do you think you can start all over again? What if you can't love again? What if he's better than every other man? Can you cope without him? Remember, he's your first love.

In all these, today, I can proudly say that leaving such a toxic relationship was the best decision I ever made. I brought this up here because I know that most of you are going through shits in your relationships, but the fear of starting all over again won't let you move on. The fear of what people say keeps you glued to where you should be running from. Before you think about what people would say, just remember that none of them will live in that house with you. Before you think about how he/she would feel when you're gone, think about how terrible you feel being with such a person, and think about your well-being, sanity, and peace. I want you to know that you can do this. It's hard, I know, it hurts, of course, I've been there. But once you finally get over it, you will be glad you did. It will be the best feeling ever, trust me.

We all see the signs, but we keep sticking around, thinking that things would change, but no, they won't. Stop hurting yourself and trying to be the best for those who don't deserve it, mehn! Don't get too desperate for marriage and not listen to that tinny little voice trying to communicate with you, to help you reason. People will talk; I quite understand that, but let them talk. It doesn't matter; what matters is your peace and sanity. Don't wait till marriage. I hate divorce. So for me, divorce is not an option. Leaving is the best solution, my dear. A broken relationship is far better than a broken marriage. Please don't wait until marriage before you break out, do it now because this is the right time. Love is not enough!

Monica Ama

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