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I’m sure you are wondering why I dragged Mrs. Omotola into this (I have utmost respect for her and she is one of the people I look up to).

First let me explain to you. Omotola is a legend in the Nigerian entertainment industry, with a successful career as an actress, humanitarian, reality television star, she has left her mark as one of the most celebrated women around the world. In addition to this, she was named the most watched actress in Africa, included in Time list of the most influential people (Men or women) in the world in 2013 along with people like Michelle Obama, Beyonce amongst other, her catalogue is overwhelming when it comes to the success she has acclaimed in her career.
Now let’s look at her personal life, Omotola got married to Capt. Ekehinde in the year 1996, just a year after her breakthrough into the Nigerian entertainment industry and she has been married for twenty two years, with four wonderful children, a fit many of her colleagues in the industry have not been able to attain. In case you don’t know, Capt. Ekehinde is a pilot which means they both have a very successful career but then they are still together, then you start to ask how? “No don’t ask me how” say. Why are you asking me when they are meant to be together, that’s what marriage does, keep people together. But then ask yourself, if marriage is meant to keep together, why are marriages breaking up, how come many successful women like Omotola would not be able to boast of the life that she has outside of her work, how has she been able to remain married with the level of success she has attained even though the algorithm isn’t suppose to be the same in this era?

Understand, this is in no way a disrespect to any of her colleagues who has suffered a heartbreak at one point or another, in fact this is not aimed at any of them but a simple way to examine how she has been able to do it and you learning one or two things from her (from my own perspective).
So now let’s talk about being in a courtship or marriage, of course they are two different level of relationships entirely but like I was telling one of my clients few weeks back, being in a marriage is an advance level of being in a courtship in the sense that they are the same thing just that a lot of thing are now involved that were not an issue when you were in a relationship. It looks very complex when you think about it or when you are experiencing it but when you really think about it, they are more or less the same just that with marriage, you are now eligible to do thing with your partner which would have been frowned on if you were in a courtship, also with marriage, families are involved, not that they weren’t involved in relationships but the level of expectations from families increases. Also parties in courtship can call it quit at anytime but marriage is meant to be a lifetime agreement, is it still a lifetime agreement?
Yes some people encounter new problems in marriage that were not there during their courtship, problems like sexual compatibility, household burden, children bearing and raising, change in behavioural patterns, higher responsibilities to name a few but you would agree that partners who have indulged in sex before marriage would know each other’s sexual compatibility, partners who have lived together before marriage have learnt few things about themselves and so on. This is why I think that courtship teaches a lot about marriage and it is the foundation on which marriage is built so how can we totally disregard the foundation?

However, some people have courted for few years, many ranging from 4-8 or 9 years of relationship and then they get married and boom, everyone changes from what they used to be? What could be the reason for the sudden change in attitude? A girl who would indulge you in your marathon of sex begins to avoid you, a man who never raised his voice at you begin to shout at you and that gentle innocent girl has now turned to a nag, why are this things happening? These are some of the reasons why people change from when they were in a relationship and now they are married to you.


Can you believe that some people didn’t change after marriage? Like things still remain they way they used to be while they were dating, it felt to them like marriage just made them legal with a paperwork and their lives still remain the same. However, reverse is the case for a lot of other couples out there. It felt like they were living in a dream and suddenly marriage woke them up, I mean some people only courted for few weeks before getting marriage while some spent years courting but still end up with a shorter marriage than those who courted for few weeks, let’s examine some of the reasons people change after marriage.

§  They realise work is a lot more important and now it becomes difficult to balance their work and their marriage. When y’all dating, there is high possibility that you understand that your man or woman has to work to make ends meet, I mean everyone wants to be independent now but what most couples fail to understand is how important it is to work. Money doesn’t grow on tree and love is sweet but with money, it becomes sweeter. So while y’all dating and not really comprehending how or what your partners have to do to make money, marriage opens your eyes to it. Even though they don’t want you to feel like you come after their work, you still have to come after work. If not no one would leave home as early as 5am in the morning to return by 10pm at night especially if you live in Lagos. Calculate the number of hours you have spent trying to chase money and the numbers of hours you have spent with your partners and then you’ll realise a harsh truth. So how do you try to balance this? Because as much as it is true, you have to be able to do something about it, every one prays for an understanding partner but do not beg for understanding if you would not understand when the case is reversed.
§  Choosing between the satisfaction of marriage and satisfactions of a career. You might be wondering if this is why I brought Omotola into my discussion. Not exactly, we still have a lot to discuss later on. But look around you and point at how many extremely or mildly successful women you know in your neighbourhood who are happily married. It is tradition to keep women in the house while the men hunt for food but now women are hunting too. When couples are courting, there is less need to control what a woman or man does because at this stage, you are allowed to do anything you want so far it is not hurting your relationship in anyway, but in marriage, the little thing will hurt both of you. The craziest thing about this is that many fail to realise this while still dating. How can you be successful and not hurt your marriage? It sounds stupid right? Well, we will see.

§  No more competition and need to impress your partner. This is pretty self explanatory, men stop buying those beautiful gifts for their wives or girlfriends, those random surprises that move your girl to mountains automatically disappear, those little romantic visits, calls, checking up on each other stops. The woman is now the queen with the sole crown until it starts to fidget and someone knocks it off and then questions start to rush in on where they went wrong. Do you think marriage should make you stop trying to impress your man or woman? Do you think marriage should make you stop with the things that made her fall in love with you in the first place, or those things that have kept him/her in love during your period of courtship no longer matter to you?

§  Marriage changes people. This is still a mystery people in marriage have kept from the single people because if it’s not a secret then young people aspiring to get married should have learnt by now how marriage changes people. It feels like once that title comes in, your personality immediately changes, your lifestyle changes and your way of thinking changes. I do feel like marriage is meant to elevate you, compliment you, satisfy you and teach you instead of it defining who you are as a person. Why does your opinion about your partner change after marriage? Are they not the same people you’ve been with all these years? These are troubling questions you will understand after marriage.

§  You start to see things you didn’t see before. This is quite funny when you think about it, like literally, I am telling you love is blind. You won’t see the main things that would define your marriage, they seem very trivial to you that even when you catch a glimpse, you brush it away or you hope for a change. Many even pray to God for a change. So if you keep praying for a change while in a relationship, what makes you think that marriage is the answer to your problem? There are certain issues you might be comfortable living with for just a day or a week and never for a life time, why not uproot the tree if you can’t cut the branch? Because if you give a tree the chance to grow; it will uproot your foundation.

§  Responsibilities become tiring. Before marriage, she was oaky with a random gift once in a blue moon, or you can get up and cook your meal whenever you want. No one expects you to be the maid of your house; you don’t have to have sex after a long day at work. The freedom you enjoy during courtship diminishes after marriage. Christian grey is a fiction, welcome to real life.

§  Hopes and expectations are crushed. If you see marriage as your meal ticket, a form of shield, a means of running away from responsibilities, a step to social order and many of the wrong reasons people get married. Like I stated earlier, marriage should not define you, it should compliment you, so when people realise their aim could not be achieved from marriage, gradually hell begins to break loose, their partner become incompetent and they will not be able to say this to anyone’s face and you start to wonder why this person changed so much.

§  Never expecting your partner to change after marriage. We all know that change is a constant thing until it has to do with marriage and then people pray that their partners never change. Everyone will change, if not due to frustrations from work, family, dreams, sacrifices among many others, definitely, you can’t expect a girl of thirty to act as she was when she was fifteen. Change is very natural to humans but nature never changes, love doesn’t change. Be ready for that change except you work together at every step, communicating no matter how difficult it is. Check up on how each other are doing in life except there is never a dream to talk about in the first place.

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