Failing marriages

What truly matters in the end?

Everything…
Everything matters
Each word spoken and everything done matters
Everything left unsaid and everything left undone
Every transient thought
Every single day
All possible encounters fostered
Every single smile
The compliments paid
Every embrace felt
Every gratitude shared
Every gift given, even the tiniest handshake
Every promise made,
Every flimsy excuse
Every dream dreamed
Even the days that dragged on
And the nights that never seemed to end
The things you meant to do but never came around doing
And the one you did but never meant to
The things we should have done
The things we should have said
And the things we plan to do
The kindness we should have shown
The visit we should have made
Unwarranted procrastinations, and unredeemable opportunities, lost forever
The friend we could have been but failed to become
Family we could have had but were too proud to accept
Places we could have gone but too afraid to dream
The life we could have had but too short-sighted to believe
All of it matters in the end
Because everything is everything
The way we do one thing, is the way we do everything

Little drops

It is the little things we don’t do
That cause the heartaches we don’t want
It is the little time wasted
That cause the disappointments we can’t accept
It is the little things we hold back
That cause the heartbreaks we don’t admit
It is the little things we ignore
That cause the gulf we can’t cross
It is the little things we don’t care about
That cause the loss we can’t bear
It is the little things we can’t overlook
That cause the irritations we can’t avoid
It is the little things we can’t confront
That cause the distance we didn’t intend
It is the little things we can’t let go
That cause the heaviness we can’t unburden
It is the little things we don’t tell ourselves
That cause the  regrets we can’t live with

5 LOVE LESSONS THAT CAN GUIDE YOU 5 YEARS AHEAD

Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision again.  Don’t settle. – Mark & Angel


1. “Relationships must be chosen wisely.  Don’t rush love.  Wait until you truly find it”: – Take it one step at a time. Take time to reflect too. Sometimes in the frenzy of the moment you do not hear everything that was said or done. It is only when you are alone, that you can put the pieces together. Look out for patterns and red flags. Don’t feel afraid to walk away if don’t like what you’re sensing. Our instincts often never lie. Don’t let your emotions overpower you and don’t deny them either. Only let your head be clear. If he is not your idle man or if he’s beginning to show traits that make you feel the slightest uneasy. Go no further. Wait. There is true love for everyone, sometimes you have to wait longer to find yours.

2. “Don’t let loneliness drive you back into the arms of someone you know you don’t belong with”: – You’ve been with someone before and you know he is all wrong, wrong for you, wrong for your peace of mind, wrong for your life, yet you go back because you need someone. I’ve heard a few whining in that direction, ‘I don’t have anyone else and I need someone…’ If that someone isn’t meant for you, there is no way it is going to get better, only worse. Save yourself from trouble, save your precious time and save your precious heart from ache that can wreck it beyond repair.

3. “Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely”: – When you are ready for love, you will know. It means you have resolve all your past conflicts, and have let go of past weights of pain, hurt, regrets and are now whole. True harmony with oneself is a platform of strength. Such inner peace can only attract to you equal peace and wholeness. There is not saying you should deny being sometimes lonely, just don’t make that your criteria for getting hooked. Wait till you are ready. A chinese proverb says, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Same goes for finding true love, when you seek love from a place of consciousness instead of hypnotizing yourself with self-made assumptions, you attract to yourself exactly the right man for you.

4. “Some relationships and situations just can’t be fixed.  If you try to force them back together, things will only get worse”: — if your relationship is going down hill for the umpteen time stop trying to rescue it by pulling it back uphill with your teeth. Let it go and get a grip of yourself before you do something to hurt yourself badly. Some relationships can’t be helped. But you can be, so save yourself and take care of yourself. Care for your physical body, feed your mind with affirmations about yourself. Don’t stop loving the things that make you special. Get your groove back.

5. “Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something better.  Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over again with a smile on your face and passion in your heart”: – Do yourself a favor and accept that every ending is a new beginning. For every door that closes, somewhere God opens a window. Never give up on life. Never give up on you. Never give up on love. That you’ve had it bad doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist for you. You have to have faith in the impossible and that can only begin to unfold for you the moment you begin to tell yourself it is okay to start over. Life is about endings and beginnings. That is what makes it so exciting. To know that somewhere out there, there is someone who is going to be madly in love with you for you.


P.S. All quotes by Mark & Angel.

Love lessons

7 Reasons Why Work Is A Girl’s Most Important Companion Not The Man

People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer [to fulfillment]. Actually a job is better for me. ― Princess Diana


I have a bone of contention. It is about young promising intelligent girls being eager for marriage before they even get a hang of what they are about. I think it is a big, big problem, and the consequences of this putting-the-cart-before-the-horse disease are enormous as they are poisonous and deadly.

I hear about many young women, who were once lovely innocent brides become devious wives because of this short-sightedness and miscalculation of purpose. I see others who have found themselves in marriages that became mirages overnight. I’ve seen young independent city-girls become frail, lost and confused wives.

Although a good number of marriages today have their roots solid in mutual understanding and reciprocal affirmations, there are a silent majority, in which the woman is on the receiving end of this misfortune. Where she is either deprived of work entirely, or is deprived of work that aligns with her purpose.

Below are 7 solid reasons why I believe that the first most important discovery the twenty-first century girl will ever make in her life is work and not a man.

1.    First and foremost never in human history has idleness ever being a good omen: I’ve heard of cases where a father protests the marriage of his young daughter soon after university because he feels she should enjoy her liberty a little longer in form of work or traveling before resigning herself completely to the duties of marriage. I think there is some sense in that. I know also that there are a few exceptions to the rule, but then again, this post isn’t for the exception. This post is for the girl who believes that when it comes to marriage, one can simply wing it, and that life goes on as normal, fair weather and all. And somehow expects that the man will give her what she wants. Well, that isn’t entirely true. If you are going to be happy in marriage, you will first have to be happy with work. Work gives you a sense of responsibility, improves your thinking faculties and above all keeps you busy. You are often likely to be found by your ideal man when you are busy than when you are idle. When you’re busy you have the liberty to choose and be certain of your choice because you’re not pressured. When you’re idle, you’re constantly pressured by wants and needs and your thoughts are usually one of escape other than a wise, well thought-out decision for the next level.

2.    Work that you love doing is one door away from work you were created to do: We were each created for a purpose and the earlier you discover what yours is the better and brighter your future — whether single or married. It is only when you realize that you are here for a reason that you begin to appreciate your life better. When you discover something you love, you soon begin to discover the greater potential that lies within your work and within yourself. You begin to see possibilities and life is a lot more exciting as you begin pursuing these possibilities. When you become appreciative of the life you have, you will seldom make silly mistakes like condescending to a relationship that doesn’t compliment you. The most exciting and successful relationships are usually founded on platforms of similarities where both partners enormously compliment each other mainly because they serve in the same field. Life is usually easier and sweeter when you discover a spouse in the line of duty so to speak. Allow yourself the liberty of discovering yourself first before you allow another human being into the equation. If you don not have a clue of what you are about why expect that your significant other would?

3.    When you begin to solve problems through your work, you increase your level of awareness, your worth and your relevance: Imagine that you begin to do very serious work as a youth, like running an NGO for instance. Such selfless work has tremendous spiral effect on your self-development as a person. I know a former schoolmate of mine who over 14 years ago, in her early 20s, began a health based NGO after her youth service. Today that NGO is recognized by respectable bodies such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and has been a succor to several communities in Northern Nigeria. She is also happily married with kids and she’s still a part and parcel of the beautiful work she founded. You can have it both ways and be happy. Well, some people will say my friend is the exception; well in this case you can aim to be that exception, you can have it both ways; you can begin a booming career, get married and continue your booming career. Yes, it is possible. I really do not see the sense in throwing away passion, and the pursuit of purpose in the name of marriage. It has caused more hearts to break than it has mended or molded any. Our life essence flows from our ability to become channels of this essence and your work, your mission in life, is one of such channels. Wake up and live! The only reason why anyone would continue to nurture a dream even after they are married is because they believe that their lives is worth much more and that there is so much more to life than a mere status.

The thing women have yet to learn is that nobody gives you power. You just take it. Roseanne Barr

4.    When your life is stirred by purpose, you make better choices: From the moment you begin to appreciate life as a journey of purpose and a meaningful transition you will begin to make intelligent and wise decisions. You begin to think in terms of service, and on a longterm basis than on self-gratifying short-term pleasures. You will become wiser than your peers. Your heart is set on the future and the thought of marriage and starting a family begins to flow from a place of maturity other than a place of childlike fantasy. Your years of work and experience during or after school has helped to exercise your mental muscles and toughen your emotions so you do not have a fragile grip on reality.

5.    The contentment that comes from service that gives deep fulfillment also gives you self-confidence and self-assurance: Nothing entraps a girl more than being desperate to marry. Nine out of ten she ends up with the wrong guy. Anxiety is not the place to make any kind of decision, worse still marriage decisions. You need to be exceptionally or decidedly self-assured when you about to marry and begin a new life with your partner. Otherwise you will end up with a half-baked future and a routinely sad life. On the other hand, if you would rather not be desperate or insecure at the point when you make that life-time decision of choosing a partner, you must first find deep fulfillment in yourself. One way of achieving that is by finding contentment in your life through work and service that gives you deep fulfillment.

6.     Extremely positive and evolving work exposes you to learning and growth: The process of immersing one’s self in work is a transformational procession in its own. Work exposes you to new ideas, new possibilities and new challenges. These in turn cause you to explore your mind more by thinking a lot more and a lot deeper. You begin to discover possibilities about your capabilities that you never knew existed and this improves your self-esteem. A girl who is proud of herself is a girl who doesn’t need anybody’s approval to feel good about herself. And one way to begin to appreciate your amazing self is by standing up to solve more problems and being more relevant in your field of expertise. A simply vocation as being a school teacher who loves and understands children and is well versed in the subject she teaches her pupils can expose the young teacher to greater levels of growth within a year than she could ever have imagined. The key is to desire work that you love and to evolve with your work because work that is meaningful is never static, it is always in motion. The lessons you learn along the way, when you barely have responsibilities as choking as child rearing, will come handy when you finally decide to raise a family.

7.    Once you become self-assured and self-assertive of your purpose and invaluable potentials, you will inevitably attract suitors like yourself: There is a difference between being self-assured and self-assertiveness. The first is to be confident in your abilities or character, the latter is the confident and forceful expression of oneself, views and desires. When you become these two combined, you create around yourself a force field that attracts to you, your ideal man, who is equally confident in his skin and fearless about his confidence. It takes an insecure and fearful human being to impose upon another human being and constantly bully their right to live bravely. However, a person who is self-assured and self-assertive in his or her own skin will have no reason to want to control or put out the light of the other individual. That is the kind of man you deserve and to have such a man, you must become such a person. Like attract like.

There are probably a number of girls who do not consider work a serious piece of the puzzle that makes up our lives, you don’t have to agree with their school of thought. They probably think that purpose is secondary to finding the right suitor or getting settled, you don’t have to be one of them. You can be different. You can choose to see reason with the reasons listed above and become to take your life as a single girl a lot more serious. You can love work and do work you love because now you know it is only one door away from the life you were created to live.

Why is it men are permitted to be obsessed about their work, but women are only permitted to be obsessed about men? Barbara Streisand

barbra-streisand

Fighting my battles

I find myself in a dark place. I’m taking slow baby steps with my two kids by my side and a crumbling marriage on my mind. I can’t see what is ahead and I cannot wait to make a fire. I do not know how to make one even if I tried. These are strange territories, there is thick darkness all around me, my heart is sinking beneath the weight of the past 6 years, and my mind is screaming all kinds of menace at me. I can barely think!

My body shudders for terror and my hands clench with fear, my kids moan with fright. They grab my hands, each on one side. I can feel their bodies tremble as well, even in this darkness I could feel how the tremor of the horror I felt, crept through my veins into their tiny hands. I drag my two kids closer to myself, I try to take quicker baby steps, but I must go slowly still. I’m feeling the grounds around me for pitfalls; I do not want to end up in some booby trap, not with my babies.

I know I have to make a fire, I need to, so I can see my way in this dark place but the screaming in my head will not stop. It would not let me think. I can hear all the voices of accusation from the last six years, they are growing louder and angrier. How did I get here? How did I find myself at this unfortunate bend? How is it possible, that I am here now, with two toddlers and a fractured marriage, walking blindly through a dark, dark, dark place?

Have I made the right decision to leave? Is this the right thing to do at this stage of my life? To be without a husband and a home? Should my kids be a part of this now at this point of their development? Should I have stayed for their sakes? Should I have bore it all; the verbal abuse, the mental degradation of my self-pride, my self-esteem and my beliefs? Should I have stayed to receive the constant battering of my mind, bore the loss of my self-dependence and self-containment? Should I have let him suck out the life from me so long as he didn’t lift a hand to physically overpower me? Should I have bore it all in silence?

Where does one draw the line between verbal abuse and physical battering? How does one determine the PH value for abuse? When does it cross from alkalinity to acidity? How long before verbal abuse morphs into physical battering? What are the parameters for determining how and when physical battering can lead to maiming or death? When do you take precaution? What is precaution? Is it the loss of faith and belief in the vows that you’ve hung unto for as long as you can remember? How does one condone abuse? Do you shot your ears from without or from within? Without I can hear him call me all these names; he has given me an identity that is tantamount to useless and worthless. Within I can hear the indictment, of self-abasement and self-accusation. So tell me, how do I shut out the accuser? Who is the accuser? Is it my self-absorbing husband or my guilt stricken self?

Daily I am becoming this monster, this monster that he has brandished me, this monster that I have remorsefully nurtured, like a werewolf, I have become this being, and I cannot recognize who I am becoming. My head is swelling with regret and anger and with confusion. My heart pounding with fear and with terror, and frustration, for I became a prisoner in my own home. I thought a woman’s home was meant to be her castle, her palace, her fortress. I thought it was meant to be her citadel, her stronghold, not her jailhouse.

Woman in the mirror
When I look in the mirror, I do so, not to examine the shadow I have become, but to find the girl I once was; that rich, zesty, and centered girl. She held her own and had this strong presence about her. Her voice rang out with gusto and with pride. Her strides, long and assertive with strong athletic feet that bounced with exuberance. Her vision sharp like that of an archer, her bow in one hand, arrows in the other, she had a dream, she had a plan. This marriage was meant to be part of that plan. I stare into this marred image, searching, hoping, weeping. Where has that girl gone? Is she asleep? Did she fall off a cliff and break a limb? Is she badly injured or is she on a journey? Will she be back? Will I still be here when she returns? If she returns, will she find a home or a wasteland? Will she recognize this body to be encapsulated by it? Will she recognize this battered mind to embody it?

After much pondering, I chose liberty above detention. When it came to it, I had to choose my humanity above being a werewolf. I chose my sanity above mental torture and deficiency. I chose this temporal darkness and I reject the artificial lighting of my glorified prison. Permit me to say that I chose life above death; death of who I am — really and truly — my worth, my beliefs, my dreams, my values. I chose my invaluable self. Hence my new creed and statement of belief; I choose my true authentic self even though now, I am only a shadow of that girl.  I choose my strong, beautiful, and ambitious self, even though now, all that is left are shards and pieces of what she used to be. I chose my strength, my resolve, my dreams and my pursuit of happiness, even though there is barely a trace of such left.

My heart is wrenching in two places as I walk away from the one whom my soul loves. I can barely contain this feeling, for it is gruesome as well as liberating. I feel pain and I feel joy. How is this even possible? Why does following my dreams have to be so grisly? How can love suddenly transmute to abhorrence? My heart is wrenching, and I feel bloody lumps of flesh fall off and splatter around me as I walk away with a broken heart. Which brings me to the question; am I walking away from love? Am I walking away from what could have been? Or am I walking away from abuse; am I walking away to find safety? Am I walking away for dear life?

One minute I was contemplating jumping off the balcony of my home, the next minute I am scrambling with my kids in one hand and in the other, a dozen fragments of what was meant to be my luggage. I am desperate for life. So I chose to leave through the front gate and not the balcony. I chose a flight to safety by plane, not a leap off the terrace with despondency. After much running, I find myself here, in this dark but safe place. It maybe dark now, but soon, would light up with brightness, and with sunshine from within, like the rising of a phoenix. I know I will find myself again. It may take a while, but look out for me like you would the rising dawn. It is not too long from now.

I do not know where the road ahead is going to bend, but first, I must fight my battles and overcome my demons. I must overpower each of these growling voices within; monsters fighting for my soul, I am certain they will not win. I will yet rise. First I must heal, I must believe again, I must hope again. I must awaken the girl within, I must find my strength. I must choose my life again. I must love my self yet again. I must nurture my dreams again. I must get back on the race. I must run to win. I was born to win.

I don’t know how to fill this hole in my heart but with each step I take towards the light, I remind myself that this walk is not going to last forever. Nothing is cast in stone. Everything is but clay in my hands. I smile. I’m hopeful. I can now see the light ahead. It is like a tiny dot on a thick black blanket. Like a sparkle at the end of a tunnel. If I can hold that image long enough, I know it would emerge anytime now and the light will flood my being again…

…but first, I must fight my battles…

Tell me when, the time we had slipped away,
Tomorrow turned to yesterday,
And I don’t know how…
Tell me what can stop this river of tears,
It’s been building up for years,
For this moment now…

Tell me how the road ahead is going to bend,
And how to harness up the wind,
And how to say goodbye?
Tell me how to fill this space you left behind,
And how to laugh instead of cry,
And how to say good bye?
– Michael W. Smith

“For Vanessa and all the women who suffer abuse in silence. XOXO”

Keeping strong