There are quite a number of things no one tells you about getting married and you probably wouldn’t have guessed either.
No one tells you about the emotional and mental shock/changes that comes with being married. We watch movies and see photos of newly weds and it always seem so glamorous and perfect.
Regardless of how perfect photos may appear and how glamorous movies make it seem, it can sometimes be an overwhelming experience.
One of the many things that you don’t see in pictures is the rollercoaster of emotions that will envelope you as a newly wed. I think these emotions are normal and I believe that being aware of them helps you prepare for what is to come.
So let me share a bit of the emotional train ride I had to navigate the day I got married.
I think I’m one of the lucky ones when it comes to the “culture shock” that usually comes with being married.
Well, I got married to someone I have known for almost a decade. I also got a chance to get to know his family well before we got hitched so in some ways the assimilation process happened very gradually for me. But sadly, not everyone gets a chance at gradual assimilation.
Sometimes I tend to be slow on the uptake so it often takes me a minute to come to terms with certain realities. In some ways, being married was one of that. I never had a “do you know what this really means” moment in the times leading up to the event.
I was too busy planning the wedding and like I said, I have known him almost all my adult life, we’ve known we were gonna be married for a while now, it was just a matter of when.
But then on the day of our wedding, as my father handed me the cup of palm wine and asked me to show everyone my husband, I took the cup from him, took a couple of steps and froze. In my head, a voice “you realize what’s happening now right?”
I felt a weird mix of joy and terror. I was marrying the love of my life and best friend but boy was I terrified.
Did I even really want to become anybody’s wife? Was I really ready to put up with his snoring for the rest of my life? His calm and overly tolerant approach to everything? His avid lateness and complete disregard for time? Had I really thought about that part?
Taking a deep breath, I looked up and saw my older sister, she signaled me to where he was hiding, I spotted him and a calm washed over me. I realized that I couldn’t imagine being married to anyone else in the entire universe.
Except maybe Jason Momoa (Jason if you are reading this, I just want you to know I’m still waiting for you❤️)
So I started towards him, the lump in my throat gradually fading away. I started to smile as I walked. I was feeling more confident with every step.
Besides, I reminded myself “you spent your entire teen & adult life watching crime and investigation shows. You know how to properly dispose a body if need be.”
I walked over to him, gave him the drink and the deed was done. Joy and happiness filled my heart, I was happy. The happiness carried me through the remainder of the day.
Until it was time to leave my home….
I have very found fond memories of our little settlement in the village. My grandpa and his brothers had had the foresight to settle in one giant piece of land so we had our own little community in the village.
Going back home every year was always the highlight of my year as a child and teenager. I loved everything about being home. To put it quite simply, I’m a proper village girl and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Once more panic started to steal into the pack back of my mind. As I threw clothes into a box and prepared to go to my “husband’s house”. The dreaded lump returned and my throat started to close up once more.
I heard my uncle’s voice in my head. He had teased me earlier saying that my name would now be transferred to Umunnachi and I no longer belonged here.
I told myself that it was a joke.
I reminded myself that all our lives were changing. That all my cousins were grown, getting married and moving on with their lives. That there wouldn’t be much to miss anyway.
Throwing in the remainder of my things, I zipped my box and headed downstairs and into the car. We had stayed till late and now everyone was in a bit of a rush. The rush helped still the rising lump in my throat momentarily. Gathering people, making sure everyone was accounted for and inside a vehicle took over.
But after that was done, I sat in the car and the journey began. With every minute that took me further away from the house. I felt the lump in my throat getting bigger till I was suddenly nauseous and in need of air.
I closed my eyes and tried to control my breathing while also trying to ignore the million and one thoughts that ravaged through my mind.
Thankfully, it was a short ride and in no time we had arrived my husband’s family home.
My new home.
There was a little welcome party, smiling, waving and small talk. I carried through all of it as much as I could, as well as I could.
Then finally, I sat down.
I sat down and in that moment all the panic and all the anxiety from before came charging through me.
Looking around at this strange place with no memories and no familiar spots and comforts, I longed for my home. Where I knew every inch of the compound by heart. Every corner had a special memory attached to it. Where I always felt comforted and connected by the earth under my feet. By the sight of all my people who had come before me in trees and in the things they had built and left behind.
I blinked rapidly to hide the tears that were starting to gather in my eyes. I wanted my mummy so bad. Grabbing the arm rest with my eyes closed was all I could do to still myself. To stop from bolting out of the door.
In that moment it finally hit me; my life had changed and even though it was the kind of change I had wanted, I hadn’t really thought about all of it before now.
Taking deep breaths I reminded myself that I was no stranger to the family. I had known my husband almost a decade now and had watched him grow from a young, brown eyed bushy-tailed youth to a responsible, level-headed man over the years.
Closing my eyes, I tried to vanquish the fear and uncertainty that threatened to overcome me.
I didn’t know what the future held, a part of me was excited and a part of me was terrified.
In the end I let the excitement take over. I had married my best friend. Even though I didn’t know what tomorrow held, in this moment I was happy.
I opened my eyes
Deciding once more to stand my ground against fear and uncertainty and to enjoy the joys that each moment brings.