Should Relationships Be A Family Affair?

Should relationships be a family affair?
Should Relationships Be A Family Affair? My Thoughts Below.

When you’re dating someone should you date their whole family too? This is one of the most common questions in couples therapy and counseling because family plays a major role in the success or failure of a relationship.

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I must also state that there is no fixed solution or approach towards this question or phenomenon. Should you date your boyfriend or girlfriend’s family too? This is because it is relative i.e families differ, personalities differ, societal frameworks differ, so there is no generalized solution but only a situational solution.

This being said, some people today, guys or ladies date their girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s family including extended family, they develop an intimate relationship with their boyfriend’s family members, attend all family functions, add all family members on Blackberry Message, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever social media channels you can think of. They go to their boyfriend’s house to do chores. They go and help their boyfriend’s mom and sisters tie Gele (A cultural head tie common in western Nigeria) and cook for them, travel to Ogun, Ondo, or Imo State for a distant uncles 50th birthday party. They may even go as far as calling their boyfriend’s cousin to dish out relationship advice and such.

One has to wonder if all these acts are beneficial to the growth and prosperity of a relationship? Are these acts necessary? Are you giving people the right to interfere in your relationship?

In my opinion, I believe you should not date your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s family too, of course have a cordial relationship with them but don’t involve them in the day to day activities of your relationship because they are going to bring their own experiences, expectations and requirements into your relationship and sometimes even tell you how to manage your life or affairs.

Extraneous variables in psychology always needs to be reduced or controlled to get an objective result. Besides a relationship should be between two people not three, four, or five people. It is best to make your own mistakes so that you learn first hand from them rather than having an external source (i.e your significant other’s family) telling you how to run your affairs.


A Clear Mind

Leave your baggage of the past out of your new relationship.

Don’t bring baggage from your last relationship into a new or potential relationship

Baggage in this text refers to past emotional experiences, various cognitive archetypes and your mindset after your last relationship.
Most people today both gentlemen and ladies still carry on their backs all the hurt and pain that was caused by their ex. They allow these negative past experiences to dictate their lives and who they are dating next.

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Some ladies have developed a predetermined mindset about men. They think everyone is like their ex and they don’t even give new guys a chance to prove themselves. These ladies say things like “All guys are the same”, “I’ve signed off from guys”, “I’m done with dating”, “No more Yoruba guys for me”, “No more Nigerian men”, “My ex was Christian so no more Christian guys”.

All these thoughts act as a loop hole or a bridge between some ladies and their dream man or happiness. What these ladies don’t know is that they are indirectly still dating their ex if the thought of him still dictates who they should date or give chances. It is very beneficial to go into any relationship with a clear mind and clean slate (Tabular Rasa).

Most ladies are scared of getting hurt again that’s why they hold on to the past. The ideal and smart thing to do is to embrace your past, learn from it and use that knowledge as a guide in your new relationship so you don’t make the same mistakes and you can identify early red flags. May our Emotional baggage not hinder us from our happiness and self actualization. Amen!


Aso Ebi Syndrome

Aso Ebi
Image courtesy

If your wedding is the biggest on the planet and yet the foundations of your marriage are weak then you are headed for trouble. At the same time, your wedding may be the smallest in Nigeria but if the foundations of your marriage are solid then you are headed for a successful marriage.

Aso-Ebi Syndrome

Aso-Ebi is a traditional attire chosen by a side of the family either the bride or groom for their guests. Aso-Ebi syndrome has ended a lot of people’s relationships or marriages because some women spend all their earnings and savings on these garbs and forget to cater to important things at home such as children’s school fees and meals at home.

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Some of these garbs cost as much as 150,000 Naira (471.00 USD at the time of this post) per wedding, and the norm is not to repeat them once worn. So let’s imagine you are invited to seven weddings, this means you will have to multiply 150,000 Naira by seven weddings, I am not a mathematician but by my calculations, we arrive at a cost of over one million Naira. Hence, by the time you have attended just seven weddings you have spent over one million Naira on attending weddings.

One Million Naira, if invested well, can generate amazing returns that can be put towards more worthwhile endeavors. Some Nigerian women are so prolific at subscribing to the idea of buying Aso Ebi for weddings that they might as well be called the Honorable Ministers of Aso Ebi Affairs. The sad thing is that Aso-Ebi syndrome is a huge epidemic in our beloved country.

Wedding vs Marriage

No one talks about how to make marriages work anymore instead most of the focus is placed on the wedding itself which is superficial and shallow at best. In Nigeria, we have become so caught up with celebrating weddings and the glamour associated with weddings that the intricacies of what makes a marriage successful are completely ignored.

In the time of our parents, things were much different and less superficial. There was no Instagram, twitter or any other social media outlet to judge or rate weddings.

So I hereby declare; “If your wedding is the biggest in Nigeria and yet the foundations of your marriage are weak then you are headed for trouble. At the same time, your wedding may be the smallest in Nigeria but if the foundations of your marriage are solid then you are headed for a successful marriage.”


Some brides, as a result of their social status and the status of their husband, change and act “brand new” towards their old friends. They make crazy demands towards the planning of their wedding. Some brides rent bridesmaids or screen their old friends who can’t afford the wedding plans.

Wedding based on debt

As a result of the pressure to have a fairy tale wedding or “wedding of the year” some couples exceed their budget, sometimes get into debt from owing wedding planners, caterers or artist who performed at the wedding. Real life cases in Nigeria have seen couples owing between 10 and 15 million Naira after a wedding ceremony.

My advice to young Nigerians making their way to the altar is to do what makes you and your family happy and to make sure you don’t fall into the trappings of impressing other people. Lest you’ll forget as many of us have, that a wedding lasts a day, while a good marriage lasts a lifetime.

*Read More when my book is out* God willing Summer 2015.


The Male Ego

The Male Ego
My Musings On The Male Ego.

A Defining Characteristic Of Man & Yet A Major Reason For Breakups & Relationships Issues

According to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, the ego is one of the components of the human mental apparatus which is mainly governed by the “Reality Principle”.

Ego Is The Enemy By Ryan Holiday courtesy:The Journey

This being said, the male go is one of the most popular psychological terms used in describing a man and his affairs.

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The male ego is responsible for a man’s success, it molds his drive, his resilience, attitude to work, his perception of the world, his response to threats, response to his wife, friends and family, it consists of a man’s sense of belonging and well being.

Despite all the good and prolific qualities associated with the male ego, it plays a major role in affecting and impeding a man’s relationship with his wife or girlfriend. Here are a few examples of a man’s ego at work.

  1. Some Nigerian men expect their wives to kneel down while presenting their meals to them.
  2. After a fight with their wife or girlfriends, men find it hard to apologize or just say “ I’m sorry” even when they are at fault.
  3. Most men always wait for their girlfriend’s or wives to call them first after a dispute, they would never pick up the phone to call first.
  4. Some men feel threatened when they meet a successful woman or if their wife makes more money than they do, this most times leads to breakups.
  5. Some Nigerian men request three freshly cooked meals a day from their wives without a care of her work schedule and without the assistance of a maid.
  6. The male ego gives no room for second chances in a case of infidelity.
  7. The male ego doesn’t like to be corrected, he is the “alpha” in every situation.
  8. Studies have shown that some of these examples have strained and ended a lot of marriages and relationships.

    So What Is The Solution?

    My advice to the ladies is that you study your man, know what makes him tick, make him feel like he’s the “King of England”, although you know the real power lies with you. Most importantly be diplomatic and pick your battles.

    For the fellas, simply leave your ego at work and focus on being the man she married not the CEO or Boss you have become. Our wives or girlfriends are our partners not our subordinates or slaves.


The Nigerian Wedding

A Lovely Nigerian Couple On Their Wedding Day.
A Lovely Nigerian Couple On Their Wedding Day.

The Nigerian Wedding encompasses the pressures and cultural framework that make up a Nigerian wedding and the idea of marriage in Nigeria. I have enumerated the framework and some of these pressures below.

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1. Paternal pressure

Nigerian parents exerting pressure on their children to get hitched. They say things like: “I wanted to be a Grandparent by 60 !!!”; “See your friend Tola! She’s married and pregnant”; “Pastor said you should fast for 3 months so husband will come.”

2. Social media frenzy

If your wedding isn’t in Bella Naija, Wedding Digest or Nigerian wedding verified are you really married? Some brides put financial, mental and emotional strain on their partners just to out do their friends or have the biggest wedding of the year. Sometimes this causes friction between husband and wife before they even leave the wedding hall.

3. Expensive jewelry and wedding attires

I have overheard some Ladies say “if my gown isn’t Vera Wang I’m not getting married, or if I’m not wearing Red bottoms (Christian Louboutins) I’m not getting married. Red bottoms are now the official wedding shoes in Nigeria.

4. Destination weddings

The new “it” thing. There’s been some controversy over destination weddings. Some people are of the opinion that it’s a waste of money, others think its unnecessary stress since you’re Nigerian, why fly abroad when all your friends and family are in Nigeria? This is subjective, as the choice for some people is not about impressing others but doing what makes them happy and what they can afford.

5. Makeup and makeup artists

A wedding in Nigeria is such an institution and cultural staple that more than 50% of aspiring brides believe they will meet their future groom at a wedding so they don’t take their appearance lightly. This has lead to a boom in young ladies making careers out of applying make up on brides and their guests on the wedding day. As Nigerians we sometimes take things to the extreme, especially when we judge a bride by the makeup artist she used or didn’t use. You hear snide remarks like “That bride was random”.

What do you think of my analysis of Nigerian weddings? Please let me know in the comments section below.


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