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Exclusive: What I Saw In My Marriage Was Not What I Expected… Vanessa’s Story

Source: Dionne Peace/

These days in many relationships, couples always have this fear of how their relationships will look like after wedding with many having the thoughts of how they will deal with some friends and family members especially the husband, if he will not change the way he has been showering her with love while dating but for Vanessa, her love story is one that will sure make woman want to settle down in no time.

Read her excerpts below;
Hahaha alright…
A good friend mentioned once to me that he was attracted to a certain lady in our class; then we were freshmen at the University. He pointed her out to me, and truth be told I was instantly drawn to her too! But, I decided not to make a deal out of it.

Coincidentally or as God will have it, someone introduced me to her; that was a good ground to lay a foundation of friendship, I thought. Later that week, I got her number from a friend of hers and called her up. She sounded very harsh but I later found out that it was just a facade; she actually liked me too! Hahaha! However, the first time I asked her out she didn’t give me a ‘yes’ and she told me never to bring up the subject again. But here we are today…MARRIED!

See the humor I have to deal with…?
I have the same story from another perspective.
It was on March 10, 2006 precisely, I was talking with a group of friends when he walked towards us with another friend and he introduced himself to us. He was in black pant trousers, a white shirt and a tie. I can still remember clearly! From then on, he joined our group of friends and with time our friendship became more personal. I initially thought he liked my close friend until she told me that he was actually interested in me and was only close to her because of me. What a strategy…?

When he asked me out, I initially didn’t consent but after some months of proving his sincerity, I called him and told him I would give it a try.

What was the attraction for you both?
What attracted me to her among others is her simplicity. She never wore any make-up, yet she always looked beautiful. The first and last time I ever saw her on make-up was on our wedding day. To me that meant she had a good self-esteem. Also, she is someone who was very principled. No guy would just walk up to her and say ‘hello babe, I want to date you’. She would just lambaste him. At that point, I was drawn to her because she appeared to know what she wanted. She was also very intelligent and serious with her academics. There was no way I could let her escape. *Winks*

What attracted me to him was his confidence from the onset. He was always bold and confident with a sense of ‘I know what I want’. He was also very funny and still is…! Clearly. When we became friends, he seemed very sincere, loyal and protective. Honestly, he was very dependable and I could always talk to him and he would allay all my fears. He had the ability to make me want to be a better person. And when I observed him closely, he did not have his focus on taking my body; that was what scared me the most about relationships before I met him. I could also be myself around him without the fear of being judged. I even had some serious health issues during that period, issues that even I would have withdrawn from, but he never withdrew from me.

What has your relationship being like?
It’s been awesome! Honestly, I’m blessed and highly favored. Each day has been better than the previous day. We enjoy each other’s company so much and even when we aren’t talking to each other, just being together is the best thing ever. Before we got married, we would have Bible studies, fasting programs together; so it wasn’t all just roses and chocolates. We made God our foundation; hence it was easier to resolve conflicts. We are both changing as we move from phase to phase in life, but whatever she becomes in each new phase automatically becomes what I want.

It has been like a dream. I remember praying to God in High school that the first person I ever date would lead to the altar in marriage; and He answered my prayers. There are times when I just think about how blessed I am to have a kind of man that others pray to have: very humble, loyal, kind, considerate and faithful. Very wise too, always has an answer. It’s been a pleasure to be led by him and it’s been beautiful. Never have I reconsidered my decision, there has never been a dry, dull moment. I never thought that was possible!

Were there any challenges?
At the initial stages of our relationship, we had so many disagreements. We kept breaking up and making up. Both of us were very proud and stubborn. There was also a time when many of her friends discouraged her and one claimed I was interested in her! Vanessa confronted me but thankfully, we resolved it.

Another major challenge we had was when I had to travel to the UK in 2013 for my Master’s degree program. I had never stayed without seeing her for more than a month since we met. But for my studies, I had to be away for more than a year. It really tested us and I almost got distracted by my friendship with one or two female friends.

When we started off together, I kept comparing my relationship with what I saw in the movies. I was influenced by the world’s idea of how a relationship should be and I really destabilized the relationship with unrealistic expectations. However, I finally realized that the movies lied and one actually has to put serious effort into their relationship to make it work; but most importantly relying on God’s wisdom.

The biggest challenge was the resistance he met with my family when he came to ask for my hand in marriage. I think some people had their own ideas of the type of person they wanted me to be married to. Tribalism issues sprang up; he’s from the south and I am from the east, and other factors relating to family backgrounds and beliefs. Indeed, if I were to have played by their script, I wouldn’t be Mrs. Igbinosun today.

At one point in 2008, there was so much pressure on me to put an end to the relationship due to certain influence of people. I told her that we should put the relationship on hold and she felt very hurt. One day, Pastor Maxwell Akuyoma (who is now my spiritual father and mentor) called me privately with a message from God. He said ‘God said I should tell you not to throw away the gold which He has placed in your hands. He is referring to that girl who you have separated yourself from. That’s all I will say.’ I immediately went back to her and explained everything. Thank God we came back together.

Is life after the ‘wedding ceremony’ what you imagined?

Oh yes! It’s better than I expected. Because we were already best friends before the wedding, it’s been serious fun. No awkward moment. I thought it would be boring sometimes; after being together every day but so far it’s been the opposite. I think she also respects me more, just like I expected. That’s because the word ‘husband’ is now attached to ME hahaha!

Furthermore, she is more hardworking as a wife than I expected; sometimes she works so hard I feel guilty. Honestly, sometimes when I stare at her as she moves around the house, I feel so grateful to God. I am confident that I made the right choice.

It hasn’t been exactly what I expected.
Yes. I was expecting him to start behaving too serious, like many married men do. I felt that his new responsibilities would make him become less humorous and uptight. However, he’s even more playful and fun than before! He has serious moments though; when he becomes serious, you’ll wonder if it’s the same person. I still don’t have to do much to impress him and he still loves being with me even when I’m in my most disorganized state.

You know, I was warned that the way he was always doting on me would change after marriage but it has even intensified. I thank God because it can only get better.

Our advice to couples and intending couples is…

When you get married, don’t let outsiders influence your marriage unnecessarily. That is a major marriage breaker. Any advice that is given to you but sounds opposite to what God would want you to enjoy in marriage, reject it. Even if every couple in the world is doing or experiencing a particular negative thing, don’t let them make you see it as normal. Divorce is not normal, boring marriages aren’t normal, unfaithfulness in relationship and marriage isn’t normal, going through repeated betrayals and heartbreaks is not normal, lack of joy, lack of fulfillment and lack of romance in marriage is never normal! Keeping secret bank accounts, buying lands secretly and building houses without your spouse knowing is not normal. You will definitely get negative results if you accept these things as normal in your life. God’s Word should guide your definition of ‘normal’.

Be very prayerful always. The devil hates beautiful unions. He hates anything that will give you joy. While my husband was in the UK, a high-level attack was launched against our relationship, to truncate it. The enemy considered that period of physical distance between us as the best opportunity to ruin everything; we saw certain signs and we had to become more vigilant and retrace certain steps. We thank God for grace and prayerful friends who also stood with us. Friends, stay close to Jesus. When you stray far from Him, you will cheat, compromise, betray, be distracted and much more. I pray that God’s grace will be available for your victory in marriage. Amen.

Anthony & Vanessa.