We were supposed to get married last year December. It didn’t happen. We planned for it all year. December came. No show. When I asked him why he said, “I want to finish my master’s first. It’s getting harder. Each day, new project work. I can’t keep up. Kindly give me some time to complete this whole thing so the marriage will be the crown after the fight for a master’s degree. I thought he was making sense so I agreed with him.
It may sound like I’m being pushy but that’s not the situation. I’m a woman who loves planning. I want to have control over the things that happen in my life. I hardly leave things to chance so right before I said yes to him I asked, “When do you intend to marry?” He said, “When everything falls in place.” I don’t believe in vague assurances so I went further to ask, “If you look at your situation in life right now, how long will it take for things to fall in place?” He said, “Oh, not too long. Let’s just say two years. I should find what I’m looking for in two years’ time and when that happens, marriage will be the next step.” I asked, “So two years from today you will like to marry?” He said, “Yeah, that’s the plan.”
I told him, “This is life. Things don’t go according to plan all the time so we make allowances. You say two years. I don’t know what makes you so sure but if I were you, I’ll add another year to it. I will make it three years so I can have space to deal with unforeseen circumstances.” He said, “Yeah it’s true but let’s hope everything goes according to plan.”
We had this conversation four years ago. I was twenty-seven years then.
I call myself a lucky woman because so many good things had happened in my life over the years that I don’t know what I did to deserve them. I completed university and did my national service with an organization that paid me monthly allowances and bonuses. Whiles my friends and schoolmates were complaining about money, I was very comfortable. That same organization took me to places where I got trained for the role I was given. I got employed by the same organization even before I completed my national service. Midway through my service, my boss resigned. I was made to act in her stead. Five months later, I was given the job permanently.
I started building my life right from that point. So when I met Randy and he proposed to me, I was already doing well. He had a job he was doing but he has complaints every day; “That job doesn’t pay well. I’m looking elsewhere for a better opportunity.” or “I’m being underutilized and it’s hurting my career progress.” So one day I told him, “You want to leave but you haven’t had the opportunity yet. Why don’t you prepare yourself for the opportunity?”
Months later, he enrolled to start his master’s program. He’s an intelligent man, very calm, and knows how to treat a woman. He doesn’t use his gender to intimidate me. When we are together, he makes me feel very comfortable and secured. This is a man whose phone will ring in the night and ask me to pick it and ask the caller what he/she’s looking for. He makes me understand that between us there are no boundaries. I love him. Even in these difficult times that we are in, I still love him and want him to make the right decision.
Along the line, he encountered difficulty in paying his fees. He struggled to ask for help. Through coercion and my fingers through his hair, he finally opened up. He said, “I need a loan. I need to pay my fees but I have no money to pay. If you give me a loan, I can pay in three months’ time.” The next day I gave him what he asked for. I told him, “You don’t need to pay. What you are doing today is for our future. Just settle the fees and be great.” He was thankful and I was happy to have helped.
He completed his masters and forgot about the marriage. He’ll come to my house, we’ll cook, watch movies, play games and make jokes with each other. Everything looked fine but within me, I had questions. “Why is he not talking about marriage again. I’m not getting any younger. Why is he wasting time.” Someone has to start the conversation. Obviously, that someone was going to be me because I was the one who was worried. I asked, “You’re no longer talking about the marriage. Have you changed your mind?” He tried to make light of the situation but I insisted, “I’m serious. I need answers.” He said, “I haven’t changed my mind. I need a little bit more time.”
I didn’t understand his hesitation so I started digging around. I was checking on his phone daily to see if I could see traces of infidelity. I didn’t. He has one very close friend who likes me a lot. When issues came between us, it was that friend of his who resolved it for us. I went to him; “Kobby, you talk to Randy a lot. Has he ever told you the reason why he’s hesitant about marriage?” He said, “Hmmm, he hasn’t. I’ll talk to him and see what I will get.” His answer didn’t support the expression on his face. He knew something I didn’t know. So I probed; “Kobby, you know the truth, please tell me. What has he told you.” He insisted he didn’t know anything.
I made the questions personal. I asked him, “Did you wait until you got all you needed in life before you married your wife?” He said, “No I didn’t. It’s not even possible to get everything in life so why would I wait on a mirage.” I said, “Randy wants to get everything in life before he marries.” He asked, “Is that what he told you?” I said, “Yeah.” He sighed again. I asked, “Tell me what you know. You know me, I won’t make a drama out of it. I just want to know So I know how to help him resolve the problem.” He said, “Ok here’s the truth. we’ve talked about it somehow. He said you’re too independent for him. He feels you don’t need him that much and he doesn’t take care, you’ll become the man in the marriage. He’s also thinking you’ll push him around because you have everything. You might not respect him.”
I was shocked. I asked, “Is that what he told you?” He said, “Yeah.” I asked him, “You also believe I will do that? We’ve dated for over three years and I’ve never disrespected him. Why will I start after marriage?” He said, “Now that I’ve told you, you can start a conversation around it and see how it goes.”
I asked Randy, “Do you foresee any future challenges when we marry?” He said, “No. Why do you ask?” I told him, “I’m desperate for marriage. I only want the right thing to be done. This is the last time I’m going to start a conversation on this topic. tell me, “What’s the reason for the cold feet.” He said, “I still haven’t found my feet in life. I need a job change. I need to earn a good salary. The foundation has to be right. Currently, it’s not.” I told him, “That’s fine. Get all you want. When you are ready, let me know.” He asked, “What’s that supposed to mean? I said, “It means you’re free to go ahead and chase your dreams. I will be here.” He said, “You sound angry.” I said, “I’m happy.”
I started giving him space. He sensed the change in me and started asking questions. He told his friend Kobby that I’m trying to leave him. I’m glad he sees the change but I’m not leaving him. I’m trying a new strategy to see if it will push him to make a better decision. But then again, I want to open myself up to other people. I want to meet new people. I want to date another man, not sexually. I just want to say yes to another man and see what the results may be. When I get another man’s proposal and I like him I won’t hide it from Randy. I will simply tell him, “There’s this man who proposed to me. I want to give him a chance and see how things go.”
I’ve seen enough disappointments in life to keep all my eggs in one basket. What if one day, he gets all he wants and tells me, “I’ve found someone else. I’m sorry.” One day he can tell me I’m too old for him. The age difference between me and him is only two years. Anything at all can happen. I want to know if I’m doing the right thing. What’s wrong with marrying a woman who is ‘independent?’ Should that be a disadvantage to me because I tried to get a life before a man?
Source: Silent Beads