Saturday, July 19, 2008

The mystery of the Nigerian divorce

Chances are, if you are a single woman, you have come across the divorced Nigerian man. Chances are, if you are one of those stubborn women, you finally asked to see the "papers" and chances are, this is what he said:

a) Actually, there are no papers saying he is "divorced" because they were actually never married legally. Actually, it was a traditional marraige, therefore, since there were no "papers" from the very begining, there are no "papers" at the end.

b) Actually, they are not divorced "legally", more like they are seperated and even though he still pays for her upkeep, and she still bears his name, they hardly see, hence, it is more like a "divorce".

The truth is probably that you are dating a married man who likes to eat his cake and have it. He has his ever faithful wife kept away in a nice little home with his children somewhere while he is living the life of a bachelor or "divorced single guy" in the city. This is where the mystery lies. Are there any men in Nigeria that are actually divorced?

Ladies, lets hear your opinions on this matter.


Ms. Catwalq said...

Divorce is a concept that has not been properly described to the nigerian people.

Mocha said...

I wouldn't entirely agree with Ms Cat.
My former boss was a divorcée with young adult kids by his first wife and now has toddlers by his 2nd wife (who's frosty as heck!!).
I use this example cos he is his 2nd wife's 1st hubby & she's a very successful career woman who apparently was very particular about all legalities being sorted.
I also have friend whose mum just remarried in her 50s right here in naij even tho she got divorced decades ago.
Naij women esp in the present 30-40 yr old bracket either as divorcées want to remarry? And so are particular about docs? And if they're marrying divorcees want all areas covered so they don't lose out to the 1st wife down the line: they secure their futures so to speak.

I also know a couple of my girls who've been set up with divorcees usually by their church peeps.
But I will agree that until the paper show face, pesin no go dey too sure weda na lie abi na gbese pesin dey take dia 2 leg carry!
Also I find, from feedback, that the issue becomes: "so why did SHE leave you? Why didn't it work? What is it about you?"


blazingdaola said...

if its not working for you and you have done all you possibly can then dont just let it go,let it be legal without anyfall backs. and yeah htere are divorcees in naija(i believe)only that most slightly have different concept-dont ask me!okay , my first time hope am welcome here,well fine thnk u nice making ur aquintance 2.

Standtall said...

Good topic. I know a lot of Naija folks that r not legally married and if they are no longer together, there wont be any docs to prove it. Unless the knew partner will insist in making thiers legal and be prepared for any sudden appearance of someone else!!!

I have noticed though that a lot of Nigerian folks think making marriage legal is not important but we all know how important it is cos anything can happen... God help us

naijalines said...

Interesting post, sista. I think what Mocha said about current trends is true. Women are quite clued up about legalities these days. If a man tells me he's divorced, I'd certainly want to see the papers and keep a copy!

Anonymous said...

I agree that some people have soemwhat redifined the term 'divorce'. Until one sees signed divorce papers, one should safely assume he is still planning to do so.


Anonymous said...

Some women do not care! I know someone that dated a married man in Warri, went to Jand (sponsored by him, of course) came back with a masters and new baby in tow and did the traditional marriage. Old wife moves out, she moves in and last i heard,they had not gone to the registry or church.
So my dear, it is not the Nigerian man's fault all the time. If you let man price you like crayfish, e go treat you like crayfish. When i hear women cry foul when it sours, I sometimes ask, how una start?
All that we will do traditional this year and white next year...gist. Finish the process that weekend.People wey no get money de go registry abi?
A female family member of mine has finally moved out of her "hubby's" home frustrated, why? He has refused to marry her traditionally and refused to go to the registry. His excuse, her wahala is too much. (truly her wahala plenty,she is the type that can disappear for weeks and not come home, she works in another town. He cooks,he cleans, he bathes them...) but this is someone that has popped out four boys for him, na today you know say her wahala too much?

At the end of the day, men still marry more than one wife without repercussions so i guess some women in the throes of love are not bothered about legalities until they start aging and Mr man's eyes start roving.