Pre-Engagement Counseling

That’s right, I said Pre-Engagement Counseling. Not  pre-marital counseling. Why? Well…

Given today's rate of divorce, counseling should be mandatory

Given today’s rate of divorce, counseling should be mandatory

Given the stats of divorce….we’d be foolish not to.  It was either that or we sign a pre-nup (so funny how we actually discussed such. Don’t know what that woman was thinking when she asked if I’d sign one. As if we have two kobo to rub together, talkless of millions at stake)

This counseling idea was a tough sell at first. I thought we didn’t need to go and talk to any stranger just to get married. The wife disagreed. I didn’t want any body setting rules for how we should live. The wife disagreed.

The fact that we couldn’t agree was warning sign number one.

As a typical guy, I suppose I just didn’t like the idea of sitting on someone’s sofa, regardless of whether it was our church or not, and telling them our problems. My wife (then-girlfriend), felt that we needed to understand what marriage really was, before we even got engaged.  In her opinion, once we were engaged, we’d be too focused on other issues like fighting with our parents over the venue and menu, or looking for an apartment we could afford, to fix any looming problems with our future married life.

Since she usually gets what she wants, we signed up. In hindsight, we were lucky the church allowed us to do the counseling program even though we weren’t even engaged. I suppose they saw how serious we were about our commitment to each other (but I suspect my wife just begged them behind my back).  Either way, we sat through 8 weeks of one-one-one and group counseling sessions where they covered every topic from sex, to child rearing to chores. They challenged us to ask ourselves “Do I really want to marry this person? Even if they lose a limb or lose their figure or lose their job?” “What does through thick and thin really mean?”

Now I’ve never been a good student, and prefer to remain quiet in class, even if I don’t understand anything. But my wife is the opposite. A real “Oooh oooh oooh me me me! Pick meeee teacher!” Miss Efiko, I.T.K. She had her hand up to ask questions after every sentence uttered by the group leaders. She would shout a resounding “AMEN!” everytime the leader advised that men share in the chores or learn to cook as well and proceed to eye me in front of the whole class. She would nudge me boldly with her sharp elbows if she thought I was snoozing in class ( I wasn’t. I was just reflecting with my eyes closed).

She’d strike up conversations with the other couples in our counseling sessions, then come and drag me over to each new friend she made. “Darling, meet Ronke and Bayo, they’re having their honeymoon in Bora Bora, I tooooooold you I wanted to have one in Bora, Bora, maybe they can convince you!”

Ah and the homework. It never stopped. I bet she was one of those students in secondary school that would write down the names of noise-makers and collect everyone’s assignment for the teacher.  The way this woman used to call me every night to remind me to do our “homework”, had me positively certain that she would not spare our future children any slack at all.  “Darling”, she’d purr “You’re supposed to write down 10 things you envision for our future. Why haven’t you written anything yet? Why did you only put down one sentence for the things you like about me? Do you like only one thing?! Don’t I merit a paragraph?”

Despite it all, I learned more than I expected to at our counseling sessions. The communication techniques they gave us really came in handy and we rarely fight now as a result (unless of course she’s in the mood to just pick for my wahala for no reason. What is it with women and unnecessary sparking? Is it just to keep us on our toes?)

She learned that we just communicate differently. My silence doesn’t signify that I’m bored with her presence. I just like being quiet. I can zone out with a TV on and not even know what I’m watching, but it’s not a reflection on her. It’s just a male brain issue (and at this lesson I for once was the one to shout AMEN!)

I learned that I was dealing with a  firecracker woman. While that meant we’d have a spicy marriage, it also meant that she communicated loudly and quickly.  Her mind moves a mile a minute.  Mine doesn’t. But that’s ok.

Once we understood each other better, we felt more comfortable about deciding to get married…and I felt clear minded about proposing.  More on the proposal later.


Welcome to the musings of the “not so typical” Naijahusband and his lovely Naijawife. Follow us on Twitter: NaijaHusband and NaijaWife


  1. I really like your blog… Lots of humour and realness. Lol. I’m a girl though and i dnt even have a relationship. I gotta ask though. How did you know she was “The One” and does she know about this blog??

    • Glad you like it Cherie! The wife is the biggest fan of the blog and she follows my musings as @naijahusband on twitter. Her name is @naijawife. You ask a very good question about how to know if someone is “the one” …hmm…you’ve given me inspiration for my next post.

  2. I’m in love with this blog ohhhhhhhhhhh..just discovered it and loving it. You hardly find men who write this way most especially about their relationship. I hope u sure know i’m bookmarking it. *winks*

  3. This is totally fab. Very welcome information indeed; different from all the wedding day fantasies that various media are constantly shoving down our throats these days. Glad to see someone speaking opening about the need to prepare for marriage. Nice blog.

    P.s: You might want to add a LIKE button to ur posts 🙂

  4. It’s a pity that many don’t ‘prepare’ for marriage before entering into it. We need to be schooled about marriage otherwise the tendency is for us to live out the marriages we observed while growing up and watch in shock as our marriages become those horrible marriages we swore to never imitate.

    Kudos to you and Naijawife!

    • Thank you livelytwist. That was exactly what we wanted to avoid, and there’s too many of those “bad precedent” marriages in Nigeria. We all should try to take advantage of the resources our generation has to prepare ourselves with that our parents did not.

  5. Read two posts and in live with your blog already. Very funny down to earth and real.
    Thanks for stopping by the soul sista blog. Need to go dust the cobwebs off that blog. Lol

  6. Oh my god!! If not dat my husband would rather gorge out his eyes than blog, I would have wondered if you are him!!! U and ur wife are so similar to d way MM and I are. Well done! Marriage is lovely when you’ve got it right.

    • Thank you. If your husband ever decides not to gouge his eyes out, please tell him to contribute to the blog o. I can’t be the only one out there in this uphill climb to improve the nigerian husband’s image!

  7. Came over here from Myne’s blog. I like you already!!! I havent seen that many men around here (Nigerians) so it is refreshing to see this.
    Per the picking on your wahala thing…*cheesing almost maniacally*….I can bet that it is majorly to keep you on your toes….*cheesing some more*

    Oh, and thank you for that post on the “one”. I have always maintained that there are in fact several possible “ones”….one just has to do a cost/benefit analysis of some sort on each and make a choice!
    I am glad to know that I am not alone in this line of thought….*phew*

    • Welcome! I keep hearing from my wife that there aren’t too many men like me. Hence why I started the blog. I’m hoping to attract some fellow husbands to contribute to the blog so we can combat our bad image! You’re right – she does it to keep me on my toes…just when I think I’ve figured her out….

  8. iLike… More ideas I shall be incorporating.. I think getting books and resources and working on it together before the formal counselling helps also! Thanks.. Lovely to have a healthy male perspective!

    • Yes you’re right. I should have mentioned that we also read all the major books. “Love Languages”, “things I wish I’d known before I got engaged” etc etc.

  9. your post is on point!!!!!…. People get so caught up with the wedding that they forget that the wedding is for a day but the marriage is for a lifetime

  10. Love this.
    I sooo do love this. Love the fact that you both took time to really prepare for your marriage. May God continually bless you and yours and your home!

  11. wow.. insightful n humorous.. definitely would stop by here more often… btw- what church did u do your counselling, sounds like the sessions were worth it and your wife-bless her heart!

  12. I already follow @Naijawife on twitter and even though I have read quite a few of your blog posts, I am not quite sure I have eve mentioned just how much I love your blog!

    The humour is contagious and you still manage to pass accross your message. Kudos!

  13. Real issues in marriage being discussed on this blog and of course I’m learning a thing or two. If u ever get called into d marriage counselling department pls hola. Good work

  14. I’ve learnt so much here. I’m considering naming u my favourite writer (at least for now)

  15. A friend just told me about this today and I’ve spent the better part of my day reading all your posts, laughing myself to hot tears and nodding at deep truths. This is truly amazing with every bit of humour to keep even lazy people reading. God bless your marriage and keep you two happy together till the Lord comes

  16. im still very young but im learning a whole lot on here….thanks NC…God bless you both

  17. Really interesting. I’m learning a lot here and I’m definitely adding this to my favorites.Could you write on how to stop being scared of marriage? Cuz I am and no one talks about that.

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