How I was captured, forced to marry Boko Haram terrorist – Cameroonian

It was a few minutes after midday, and the sun was already blazing at the Dalori-1 camp for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

At this time of the day, usually, only the trees can provide the much-needed cool to wade off dehydration.

The displaced children had to shift their play from the burning grounds to the cool shades of the cascading Neem trees. So was the case for the elderly inmates who had to also move out of their tarpaulin shelters.

Young men were spotted in various locations chatting away; some had already dozed off, apparently helped by the coolness of the trees.

Some women, mostly mothers, were seen from time to time bending out of their make shift homes to check on the foodstuff they had spread to dry in the perfect sun.

Most of the young girls, especially those in their teens and early 20s, also had their different spots under the foliage or at the common hall built by officials of the camp. The girls, usually, at this time of the day, would be busy chatting away their boring time.

Some of them with knack for making money, legitimately, were seen busy knitting designs on native caps, which they would sell off to merchants.

Very naturally, the atmosphere around the girls’ spot was more exciting and attractive. The young females could be heard interjecting their gossips and chitchats with occasional laughter, and teases.

 

Boko Haram new
                                                                      Boko Haram

But Fati Salilhu, one of the young women in the camp, was not a party to the hilarity of the girls’ company.

A reporter sighted her sitting in a withdrawn mode under a Neem tree outside the camp tent she shares with other females. Her mind seemed to have travelled far away from the noisy happenings around her.

She was not looking shabby, despite being an IDP. Her slightly made up face had really done a great job at beaming up her natural beauty.  But it had not hidden the telltale of a young woman who had passed through difficult times.

She was 22 years old and mother of a deceased child.

Fati was one of the females rescued from the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents by soldiers of the Nigerian army about two years ago. Though she speaks flawless Hausa, a major language in northern Nigeria, Fati said she is not a Nigerian.

“I am from Cameroon”, she told reporters.

She was brought to the IDP camp about a year ago, after she was rescued from the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents who had snatched her and many other women from Kolofata in the Republic of Cameroon.

“I am from Mozogore village in Cameroon. I am the last child of the 9 kids from my mother”, she told reporters in Hausa, a major Nigerian language also spoken in northern part of Cameroon near the Nigerian border.

Fati, was abducted in Kolofata town of Cameroon on July 28, 2014. It was the very day the wife of a deputy minister in Cameroon, Ali Amodu, was abducted by Boko Haram.

While the deputy minister’s wife (now freed) was taken from her home, Fati said she was flocked away, alongside other women, into the jungle from a hospital in Kolofata where she was watching over her sick aged mother.

It was the last time she knew freedom.

“I was abducted when I took my sick mother to the hospital in Kolofata”, she said with sobered voice.

“Boko Haram fighters came in and abducted some other women and me”.

Coming out of a forced marriage, after she was forced to abandon her secondary school education midway because her parents could not afford her fees, Fati became a wife at the age of 19.

The road to captivity

Like many others, Fati said the road to Boko Haram’s captivity was harrowing.

“After they had forced us to follow them at gun point, we were taken for a long walk through the jungles of Buni Yadi (in Yobe State) where we were camped”, she recalled.

“After some days, soldiers came and we had to flee to another location, which name I could not recall. From there, we were taken to a place called Tumbuktu, where we spent about five weeks. The soldiers came again, and they had to move us to a place called Kafela and we were kept there for about 7 months.

Painful loss of child

When Boko Haram captured her, the Cameroonian girl was nursing a baby – the product of her failed marriage. It was with that baby girl strapped to her back that she was made to traverse the jungles, mostly on foot.

Fati said she lost the baby while they were being forced by the Boko Haram members to flee during an attack on their location by soldiers.

“I lost my baby when we had to run towards Izza village”, she said.

“The attack on our location was massive, and as we were running with the Boko Haram people, we all feared for our lives; so we ran through the thick bushes. My little daughter, who was strapped to my back, fell off and was badly injured. She eventually died. Some men amongst our abductors collected the child and buried her somewhere in a shallow grave; I was not given a chance to mourn her, we had to move on.

The rescue

After about a year under the captivity of Boko Haram, a miraculous rescue came to them when the Nigerian soldiers eventually raided Izza, one of the largest camps of the Boko Haram, located somewhere between Gwoza and Bama local government areas of Borno state.

“We did not stay long in Izza, when the soldiers arrived attacking from the sky and on ground”, she said.

“We kept on running towards Izza amidst bombardment from air force jets.  Many of us, including some Boko Haram members were killed. We made it to Izza, a big village where many abducted girls were kept but we did not stay there for long before the soldiers raided the place and rescued some of us.

“The soldiers took us to Bama, and from there we were taken to Giwa barracks. We spent about two months in Giwa barracks before they brought us here to stay in Dalori-1 IDP camp. Now I have spent about a year here in the camp.

Forced Marriage

Like most of the females taken into captivity, Fati had to become a wife to one of her abductors. A situation she had to accept, lest she suffered more torture or abuse by those who appropriated her liberty.

“I was forced to marry a Boko Haram member, named Abba Kaka. He said he was from Benishek town of Borno State. But the marriage lasted only two months because soldiers killed him.

“I was actually forced to marry him. In fact, the Boko Haram members threw me in jail for weeks when I refused to accept Abba Kaka’s hand in marriage”, she said.

Like many other girls, Fati said she was left with limited but cruel options. She just had to give in.

“We were made to undergo several punishments and torture when we were resisting to abide by their ways of doing things; they said we must accept their creed and belief that any other person that is not an adherent of Izalatul Ahlil sunna liddawati wal jihad (Boko Haram) is an infidel whose blood was legitimate to be shed.

“We were not hungry because there was food in abundance, but we had to live in a very difficult condition in which we sometimes found it difficult to change clothes or wash properly; some of us that menstruate would sometimes go without sanitary pads; we only used them if the Boko Haram fighters returned with loots and we were lucky to find such things like sanitary pads, and diapers for children.

“They kept telling us that they wanted to make us true Muslims, and there was no way they would allow us to see our infidel parents or relatives again.

“You know we were abducted at Kolofata, on the same night the wife of Cameroon minister, Ali Amodu, was kidnapped. And I could recall when the deputy minister’s wife, who was kept in different way from ours, was rescued after a shootout. They came to tell us that ‘your people in Cameroon are killing our members, so you too would not be freed; you would rather die in our custody’”.

“They said they would rather continue to move about in the bush with us, and that we too had to taste the bitterness of the pains they suffered each time their members were killed by soldiers in Nigeria and Cameroon. They kept threatening us daily; sometimes we cried and called for help; but they kept on telling us that crying was a waste of time. We went on like that for weeks and months until we became tired of crying. Yes, it was useless crying, so we decided to take our plight as our fate and began to live with it”.

Lonely and stranded in IDP camp

Unlike most of the rescued abductees who are Nigerians, Fati had not been able to link up with her family in Cameroon for over a year since her rescue.

“We were many that were abducted; but they split us up in the jungles and those of us that were brought to Dalori-1 IDP camp were four in number; they had all been joined with their families; it was only me that was left behind because I could not link up with my family in Cameroon”, she mourned.

“I have not heard from my parents, including my sick mother. I am not happy; each time I worried about leaving, I was told that it was not safe going to Cameroon”.

 

cameroonian-girls
                                                                      Fati Salilhu

“Since my rescue and arrival to Maiduguri, I have been well taken care of by the Nigerian military and camp officials till date, we get enough medication, toiletries and apartment to lay our heads at night. But of late, things have begun to get difficult in terms of feeding. The foods are not enough; it hardly comes in square.”

Life after camp

For the first time during the interview, the Cameroonian girl’s eyes lit up when this reporter asked about her life before the abduction on July 28, 2014. She recalled her dream of being a working class lady. But she fears a future of stigma as a lady who had once been married to a “terrorist”.

“When I was a free girl back in our village in Cameroon, I used to sell soft drinks and cold water. I do not have much education; after my primary education, I enrolled into secondary school. But along the line, I had to drop out to get married on the orders of my parents who said they could no longer sustain my education.

“I wanted to be a government worker, just like some of my friends that were able to advance their studies and are now working as nurses; while some are currently employees of government. I wanted to be a nurse too.

“Even if I return home now, I have no concrete plans for the future, because I have no education to qualify me for employment. I have to embrace whatever God puts in my way. If another husband comes, I get married, that is if you don’t show my photograph as a woman who had once married a Boko Haram (smiles). If I have resources, I will continue with my petty trade.

Her ultimate desire

“All I want now is to be allowed to return home so that I can reunite with my family members. Most of my siblings are working; some are soldiers in the Cameroonian military; some are doing government work in Marwa, others are doing business there. But I have no relatives here on the side of Nigeria. I know my mother weeps every day for me. May be she may even be mourning, thinking I am no longer alive. I just need to go home.”

’61 captured Chibok girls married to Boko Haram fighters’ – Report

The 21 released Chibok girls recently released by Boko Haram terrorists have said they were not raped or abused during their stay in captivity, according to a source.

Their statement was contained in a confidential report based on their two-week debriefing prepared for President Muhammadu Buhari and seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The girls said the Boko Haram men always assured them that they would eventually go back home to their families, and were careful about what they said around the girls and how they treated them,” said the source.

“They had been fed well and regularly, until the military cut off Boko Haram supplies.”

The report also said the daily routine of the captured girls included personal time in the morning followed by Quranic teaching and cooking meals.

According to the girls, they were not forced into marriage by the terrorists.

“The girls said that those of them who did not agree to marry were used as house girls (servants),” the source said.

The report also stated that the released girls said 61 of the 142 girls had married Boko Haram militants, 8 died during air strikes, 3 during childbirth and one of an unknown cause.

Police Ask Married Katsina Minor To Return Home

The Katsina State Police Command has asked Habiba Isa, the 14-year-old girl who was allegedly coverted to Islam and forced into marriage, to return to her parents’ house.The command maintained that at her age, she was too young to take any decision on marriage and religion.

The state police commissioner, Usman Abdullahi, gave the advice at a press conference in Katsina on Monday, while explainig the police’s position on the development.

The commissioner also said the command was not aware of any marriage between Isa and her alleged abductor, Jamilu Lawal.

Abdullahi said the police became aware of the matter last month (September) after a petition was submitted at the command headquarters by a legal chamber, Bawa, Bawa &Partners, which accused Lawal of abduction and forced marriage.

The petition was said to have been written by the chamber on behalf of Isa’s parents.

The Commissioner of Police said the command thereafter invited Lawal, adding that investigation into the case absolved him of any criminal act.

He added that the command had no choice, but to release him on bail.

Abdullahi said,  “It was gathered that the girl was neither “kidnapped, abducted nor procured,” as she was the one who willingly left her parents’ house to the house of the Chairman of Hisbah, who took her to their village head and later to the district head of Kankara, where she explained that she had converted to Islam.

“This was contained in the statement she gave willingly to the police. It was on this note that the suspect (Lawal) was released since the case of alleged kidnapping and abduction could not be established against him.”

Read More:

http://punchng.com/police-ask-married-katsina-minor-return-home/

I Married A Thief, Husband Tells Court

A 42-year-old businessman, Livinus Uwa, has told an Igando Customary Court in Lagos that he married a thief.

Mr. Uwa made this known when he testified in his divorce petition against his wife, Chineye, on Wednesday in Lagos.

He urged the court to dissolve his four-year-old marriage to Chineye because of her penchant for stealing his money in the wardrobe.

“I married a thief,” he said. “On severally occasions, my wife stole my money from my wardrobe, rendering me broke. The last time she burgled my room and stole N350, 000.”

“I reported the theft at the police station and she confessed to the theft, but the money was not recovered.

“I have reported all her attitudes and stealing habits to both families, they called her but she refused to change,’’ he said.

The petitioner accused his wife, who failed to appear in court after several summonses of abandonment, adding that since they married, Chineye had been appearing and disappearing.

“When she was pregnant, she left the house to an unknown place and came back after she was delivered of the baby.

“She abandoned our baby when she was 10-month-old. I have to engage a baby sitter to take care of her. When the baby was two years, I enrolled her in school and my wife reappeared,” he said.

He described his estranged wife as a lazy and dirty woman, adding that “Chineye is lazy, she cannot cook, wash or sweep and I do the house chores.

Mr. Uwa pleaded with the court to dissolve the marriage, since he could no longer condone her stealing habits, adding that he was no longer in love with her.

In his judgment, President of the court, Adegboyega Omilola, dissolved the marriage.

Read More:

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/210903-i-married-thief-husband-tells-court.html

Read The Story Of 79 Year Old Virgin Planning To Get Married

Margaret* knew exactly how she wanted her wedding day to go and what she wanted to wear, which was definitely not the traditional white gown. In fact, there was no wedding dress shopping at all. She didn’t go to a bridal store with a group of her closest friends and family. There was no teary-eyed moment where she said yes to the dress. Instead, she bought her wedding attire from a catalog without even trying on the clothes first. She will be wearing a long white skirt with one ruffle at the bottom paired with a sky-blue crochet top and fresh flowers to contrast against her dark hair.

“I didn’t want to get a big white dress,” she says. “Maybe if I were younger, but I’m just too old.”

Margaret currently lives alone and plans for it to stay that way until after the wedding. And that’s in part because the couple takes the whole “no sex before marriage” thing very seriously — in fact, the bride is still a virgin.

The venue for the wedding is the Catholic Church that the bride has been going to regularly for nearly her entire life. While parts of her story may seem like your typical old-fashioned wedding, there is nothing conventional about it. Margaret, the bride is 79, and Henry*, her fiancé, is 85.

“My priest told me that I should write a book,” Margaret says. “He told me that he’s never heard a story like mine.”

Margaret and Henry met a little over 60 years ago. They both were born and raised in small neighboring farm towns along the Ohio River. Margaret was 17 years old and finishing up her senior year of high school when she met Henry, a 23-year-old working in the nearby steel mills.

“My mother didn’t like him because he was too old and wasn’t Catholic,” Margaret says. “But I didn’t really care.”

Margaret and Henry quickly fell in love, and “went together” for the next 4 1/2 years. Even though Margaret was away at college at Kent State University, she would visit Henry — who was still working in the steel mills — on the weekends and holiday breaks.

“You know, he really was and is the love of my life,” she says.

But like many great love stories, their relationship faced an enormous amount of backlash from their families and hometowns. When Margaret was home for Easter her senior year of college, her mother told her that she had to break up with Henry once and for all because the town had “started to talk.” While both were from poor rural families, Margaret’s family thought she was making something out of her life by going to college, and they felt like Henry was holding her back.

With all the pressure, Henry started to doubt their relationship and told Margaret that he could never provide her with the life she deserved because he was “just a poor steel mill worker.” The Saturday before Easter, Margaret, who was 21 at the time, reluctantly broke up with Henry. She didn’t want to do it, but felt as though she had no choice. She could no longer handle the outside scrutiny their relationship faced.

“He told me that he’d never forget me,” she says. Margaret immediately knew that she made a big mistake. She felt so bad about the breakup that she tried to call Henry the next day to apologize and beg him to take her back.

“I remember his sister answered the phone and said Henry never wanted to see me again because I broke his heart,” she says. “But my heart was broken too.” That was the last time Margaret ever tried to contact Henry. She never heard from him again. Even though Margaret was devastated, she returned to Kent State to finish her last year. She graduated with her bachelor’s in teaching and decided to pursue her master’s degree. She taught first grade for the majority of her life and about 30 years later, she retired in her early 60s. When asked why she never married nor had any children, Margaret says she was always very busy, and so she never had the chance to be lonely. Plus, she also took care of her sick mother, who lived with her, for nearly 20 years.

“She was married to teaching,” says her sister-in-law, Sarah*.

And while she dated a few men throughout the years, and had one other serious relationship, none were quite like Henry. “No one compared to him,” Margaret says. “There was something about him that was special.” It seemed as though Margaret and Henry were destined to be star-crossed lovers, until 10 months ago when out of the blue, her housekeeper — unaware of Margaret’s saga — flat-out grilled her about why she never got married.

“I told my housekeeper about Henry and how I was forced to breakup with him, but still love him.” she says. “I’ve had him in a piece of my heart my entire life.”

And with that tidbit of information, her housekeeper did some digging over the next few days and was able to find Henry’s phone number and address, thanks to Google.

“Somehow she was able to find his information on some type of square device,” Margaret says.

The “square device” Margaret is referring to is an iPhone.

Margaret says she never even thought about finding Henry’s contact information because the only phone she owns is still attached to the wall! Aka, no cell phone, no computer, no email.

“I remembered what his sister told me all the years ago about how he never wanted to see me again, so I didn’t want to bother him,” she says.

But though her housekeeper kept encouraging her to reach out to him, Margaret was reluctant at first.

“It took me 2 1/2 weeks to gather my thoughts and finally call him,” she says. “I dialed up his number and was shaking like a leaf.”

What Margaret intended to be a short and sweet brief chat turned into a three-hour long conversation. She learned that while Henry eventually married, he never had any children either and he was recently widowed.

“He told me that he never stopped loving me. He said he never forgot me and that I was always on his mind.” Henry has called Margaret every night since their first phone call 10 months ago.

“It’s like I never left him and he never left me,” she says.

After talking on the phone for a few weeks, they finally met in person. Henry made the hour and a half hour drive to Margaret’s house.

“He knocked on my door and when I opened it, I said ‘Wow you look old,’ and he responded with, ‘Well, you look old too,'” says Margaret.

After a few months of talking on the phone and regular visits, Henry looked at Margaret and said, “Let’s do this.” She responded with, “Let’s do what.” He said, “Get married.”

But Margaret said no. After 60 years apart, she felt they barely knew each other anymore. Henry wasn’t discouraged by Margaret’s answer. If anything, he continued to pursue her with even more fervor. He still called her every night and they had scheduled weekly visits with one another. A few months ago, Henry tried again and asked Margaret if she wanted an engagement ring.

This time, she said yes, but she wanted to know one thing first. She wanted to know why he didn’t come back for her 60 years ago. The answer is perhaps all the proof we need to rationalize grand gestures: “He said he didn’t want to interfere, that he wanted me to have a better life and he couldn’t provide it because he didn’t go to college. I told him that it didn’t matter,” Margaret explained.

Accepting his proposal the second time was easy, but she now had to tell her friends and family about her engagement, the majority of which didn’t even know she and Henry were dating again.

“I remember hearing Margaret talk about Henry all those years ago, but I never met him because I was away in the service during that time,” says Margaret’s older brother, Tom*. “I asked her why she even wants to get married at her age when she can just live with him.”

Though Tom was confused about the engagement at first, he is now supportive of his little sister and just wants her to be happy.

After the wedding, Henry will be moving into Margaret’s house. When asked about their wedding night, Margaret shyly insists they don’t have any “specific plans.” And when pressed on why she’s remained a virgin all of these years, Margaret says because of her religion and the fact that she never married.

“As a Catholic, you are supposed to have sex after marriage, not before,” says Sarah.

Margaret expects many people to not understand her decision to get married at her age, but this time she’s not going to let it stop her.

“I know people are going to talk. It’s weird. I’m 79,” she says. “But if you love each other, all of that stuff doesn’t matter.”

And with that, the wedding planning is well underway. The guest list has been finalized, the invitations are ready to be sent, and the date and venue are reserved. Margaret and Henry realize that they may not have much time together, but as Margaret says, “If I get two years with him, even just one month, I will die a happy woman.”

*Names have been changed

Credit: Cosmopolitan

20 Secrets Of Happily Married Couples

Never Go to Bed Angry
“When we were first married, somebody gave us this advice: Never go to bed angry. It’s an oldie but goodie, and we have passed it along to others. Whatever is bothering us, we talk it out before we go to sleep so each day, we wake up with a clean slate and a fresh perspective. Saying ‘yes dear’ a lot doesn’t hurt either!” –Johanna and Brian, married 11 years

Don’t Keep Score
“When you see that something is really important to your spouse, it’s not losing or giving in to let them have their way. It is caring enough about another’s feelings to support and honor what is important to them. You will find if you compromise some of the time and they compromise some of the time, everybody wins.” –Julie and Billy, married 10 years

Learn Each Other’s Argument Style
“We tend to approach conflict resolution differently. Steve is not a talker; whatever the issue, his healing process is simply the passage of time. For me, the more time that passes without discussion, the more whatever it is escalates. After 29 years, we have learned to meet somewhere in the middle by addressing the problem with conversation but not beating a dead horse. Don’t get me wrong. I can beat it to death, but once it is down for the count, we’re done. Enough said.” –Marcie and Steve, married 29 years

Forgive and Forget
“Learning how to fight has been key. Not holding a grudge makes for a happy marriage. When we argue, we duke it out verbally, then kiss and make up, usually with a shot of tequila — maybe two shots depending on the severity of the disagreement. Then we move on like nothing ever happened. It works every time! It’s important to keep moving forward and not dwell on garbage from the past. So the key to a long and happy married life: A bad memory!” –Donna and Jay, married 42 years

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind
“We live in a ‘free speech’ zone. When you trust that someone loves you and is committed to you, it gives you the freedom to speak your mind. Nobody is walking out the door simply because you have something to say that is difficult or unpleasant to hear. That said, we try to be truthful, not hurtful. Even in the heat of an argument, think before you speak. Never say anything you can’t take back!”–Susie and Jerry, married 30 years

Don’t Take It Personally 
“Though we share core values, we have such different personalities that Andy’s mother suggested we take the Myers-Briggs personality test early in our marriage to help us understand one another. The test helped us realize we are polar opposites about many things, and when we disagreed on issues, it was not that either one of us was trying to be difficult; we are just hardwired differently. We’ve had to learn to respect each other and be tolerant of our differences.” –Karen and Andy, married 31 years

Never Lose Your Sense of Humor
“Sense of humor is imperative — don’t leave the wedding venue without it. Apart from health and the welfare of our children, there is no situation that cannot be improved with a generous helping of laughter. It really is the best medicine. It’s okay to fight when you have to, but make sure you always leave ’em laughing!” –Susie and Jerry 30 years

Sometimes, Silence is Golden
“If you want to be happy for the rest of your marriage, never give your spouse advice on the golf course/tennis court/whatever sport or activity you are doing together. Never. Unless you want a really silent ride home.” –Jerry and Susie, married 30 years

Play by the Rules 
“In our house, there are rules. Some are silly — for example, there must always be walkways. Translation: Don’t put your stuff in my way. Shoes must find their way into the closet, or one day you might come home to find a masking tape arrow laid out on the floor pointing the way. There are other rules that are more serious. When something bothers you, speak up. There’s no loss of power in saying ‘I was wrong. I’m sorry.’ It’s hard to stay mad at someone who apologizes. Relationship before ego.” –Cindy and Terry, married 38 years

Stay True to Your Core Values
“What we’ve told the kids is that if you have shared core values, you’ll be approaching things from the same perspective. Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint and every marriage has its ups and downs. But when you have a meeting of the minds on the big issues, you know you will united in your approach to solutions. And he travels a lot, which helps!” –Karen and Andy 31 years

Equal Division of Labor
“We have an inside manager and an outside manager. The other serves as an apprentice in our respective domains. Whoever cooks doesn’t clean up. One grocery shops; the other does the laundry. We have learned over the years to never complain about the job the other does. Shrink my best sweater? No problem, I can buy a new one. Botch a recipe? No problem, we can order in. We tend to laugh at our mistakes. Attitude is everything.” –Cindy and Terry, married 38 years

“Me” Time for Everybody 
“We take our “me” time seriously, and though it may not work for everybody, it works for us. Absence makes our hearts grow fonder. Take a lot of vacations…separately. Develop a lot of hobbies and enjoy them….separately.” –Mary and Eric, married 42 years

Embrace Your Individuality
Don’t look to your spouse to save you or complete you. Be your own person, and be true to yourself. Never use the words “We think!” Don’t change who you are to accommodate another person. In the long run, it will only make you miserable.” –Cheryl and Mark, married 38 years

Friendship First, Last, and Always 
“You can’t have a successful marriage without friendship. Over 30 years ago, we became really good friends. We hung out with each other’s group of friends and we became really close. After about a year and a half, we started to add romance into the mix and became serious. 30 married years later, we are still best friends who are always honest with each other and loyal to each other.”–Max and Kathy, married 30 years

Unplug to Reconnect
“Listening to each other and really being present when you spend time together is essential. Be tuned in, not tuned out. If you are trying have a conversation, both parties need to put down the phone or ipad, turn off the TV, and really pay attention to each other.” –Julie and Billy, married 10 years

Keep the Sizzle Sizzling (or the Sizzle from Fizzling) 
While we were submerged in raising a family with all the pulls and tugs on the relationship that entails, it was easy to feel disconnected at times. So, we would create special moments to regroup and reboot the romance. We would take a fabulous vacation or a plan a mini getaway and if neither were possible, we would make sure to get a sitter and plan a date night just for the two of us. ” –Marsha and Alan, married 44 years

Just the Two of Us
“The secret for us was to start our life together away from all parents. We faced the marriage challenge on our own, carving our own space and growing into being our own family. We had no choice at the time, but the result was that it gave us a healthy foundation for the long term. If you live in a city with one or both sets of parents, make sure to set boundaries early on and don’t let either family interfere with your alone time or your decision making process as a couple.” –Beryl and Jack, married 45 years

For Every Love, There is a Season 
“It is so important to recognize and accept the changes in the cycle of love. ‘Passionate love’ for the just-marrieds. ‘Reality love’ when the marriage becomes routine. ‘Sharing and nurturing others love’ while raising children. ‘Reconnecting with mature love’ when the nest becomes empty. No relationship can remain static; change is inevitable. The secret to maintaining a fulfilling, happy marriage is for both parties to learn to adapt to those changes so that you can continue to grow together instead of apart. Otherwise, your marriage will become a dinosaur — doomed to extinction.” –Rita and Steve, married 48 years

Be Your Partner’s Biggest Cheerleader
“The biggest secret to any marriage is to care for your spouse more than you care for yourself. That’s how you take care of each other. You watch each other’s backs. You take his side and he takes yours. When you are a strong team and present a united front, you can handle anything. You are each other’s person.” –Shirleen and Sandy, married 62 years

Make Every Day Count
“We respect each other, love each other, care for each other every day of our lives, and cherish every day we have together.” –Max and Irene, married 65 years

Credit: HuffPost

Signs You Are Not Ready To Get Married Yet

You haven’t had a REAL fight, or faced any really big obstacles together

I know this seems a little bit counterintuitive to living in unadulterated bliss, but hear me out: If you’re past the honeymoon stage in your relationship and you haven’t had a disagreement with your partner that turned into something that made the situation at least moderately uncomfortable, you’re probably not ready for marriage. The quintessential marital vows do, after all, have “in sickness and in health” in there – and while sickness is not the same as a fight, it is a big challenge. And you should know how you handle big challenges jointly, including disagreements, before promising to spend forever together.

Also, having no fights can sometimes (though not always) mean that one person just always agrees with what the other wants. This can work for some couples, but usually only temporarily. One of the points of being in a relationship, and a marriage, is to grow together. And if one person is never pushing the other beyond their comfort zone to help them do just that, it will bug them one day, even if it doesn’t now. Having a partner who lifts you up is so important, but being a one-sided grower is no way to live.

Your goals (or dedication to those goals) just don’t line up

Have you always dreamed of being high up on the ladder in your career, having a big house, and traveling the world? Is your partner more low key, content to go to an OK job with less pressure but more time and emotional freedom and happy to take domestic road trips here and there? This type of situation can, and does, work – especially when the two individuals in a relationship are independent enough to be able to pursue their own interests outside of each other (which is always a healthy thing that I not only encourage, but insist upon).

But where it gets hairy is when one person feels like they are the one making everything happen and resentment starts to breed – or when A, B, or C pillar of either person’s life feels disrespected by X, Y, or Z pillar from the other’s. If one of the bricks that make up the foundation of the person you are at your core feels stunted by the other person’s or vice versa (even unintentionally), that is a big sign to me that it might not be time to really consider taking the marriage step.

You find yourself thinking more about a wedding than a marriage

The wedding industry (and Pinterest) can make it really easy to start planning your big day from even before the ring goes on your finger. But regardless of how much you’ve dreamed about this day, the reasons you should say “Yes” to spending the rest of your life by the side of another person should be 99.9% about how happy you are to live that life and .1% about flower arrangements and whatnot. Of course wedding planning can take up a lot of time, but if you’re spending way more time on that and a minuscule amount of time discussing what marriage means with your partner, something might be off.

So make sure, deep down, your priorities are in order – and then have that dream wedding, if you want it. What’s that saying about having your (wedding) cake and eating it too?

You don’t agree on the big things

While I don’t think that disagreeing on big household stuff like children – whether or not to have them, how many, schooling, etc. – religion, and rules about who gets the last Oreo (kidding!) are necessarily deal-breakers, especially early in a relationship, I do firmly believe that sweeping those things under the rug until “after we get married” is a huge no-no. When you sign your name onto a contract to take on life together as a team, it is crucial to ensure you are on the same page with stuff like this.

If you’re with someone you think you may want to marry, couples counseling could help you work through any discrepancies in your beliefs about the biggies. Counseling isn’t just for couples who fight all the time! In fact, the class my husband and I took before we got married was hugely beneficial, for the communication-skills-building aspect alone. I highly recommend it.

There’s someone else

This is kind of obvious, but for me it wasn’t, because the “someone else” was my best friend and we had a very complicated start to our relationship (and, consequently, very confused emotions). So listen up: If there’s someone else you have feelings for – strong feelings that keep creeping up – it’s a good sign you’re not with the right person. Even if the “other” person isn’t “the one,” strong feelings toward someone else is usually a sign that the one you’re with isn’t satisfying an integral need you have.

So while this isn’t necessarily a sign that you should never marry the person you’re with, listen to it anyway. Figure out what it means, and if you really want to be with the person you’re already with, be honest about your feelings and use it to work on your own relationship. What are you missing? Is it something you can live without, or that you and your partner can work on improving together? If so, that’s awesome; time could erase the feelings you have for that person outside your relationship.

But if not? Don’t get married – and let the other person know you’re out as soon as possible. Your future self (and eventually, your partner, even if not out loud) will look back and say, “Wow, we’d be divorced by now.” You know in your heart what you need, so listen to your instincts. You only live once, and you owe it to both you and your partner to make sure that life is the most fulfilling it can possibly be.

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5 Signs You’re Not Ready to Get Married

1. You’re selfish

A healthy marriage requires give and take. If you’re still hung up on your own needs and desires and don’t have room for anyone else in your life — other than you, yourself, and then you again — you might be better off alone. Why should someone spend their life only catering to you?

“From all social and economic backgrounds, across gender lines and cultural and religious groups, whether young or old, the most common obstacle to realizing the wonderful potential of our relationships comes from selfishness and self-absorption, which are, after all, two terms for the same thing: the out-of-control ego,” said Ted Dawson in Selfishness and Self-Absorption: How to Stop it from Ruining Your Relationships.

2. You have an unresolved past

Emotional baggage must be unpacked. One piece of luggage that must be handled: your ex. If you’re still not over a past love, it’s time to slow down. Also, if you have any ongoing issues like drug or alcohol addiction, or unresolved emotional wounds, it is imperative that you get help for this before asking someone to spend their life with you. While it is possible to work through these issues as a couple, it will likely add tremendous stress to a new marriage.

“Relationships where one or both people are affected by unresolved issues often tend to spiral down, so it’s best not to wait until there is so much anger and resentment that your relationship can’t be salvaged,” said Licensed Clinical Social Worker Josephine Ferraro.

 3. You like playing the field

If you’re hesitant to throw out your “Single and Ready to Mingle” T-Shirt from college, that may be a sign you’re not ready for a permanent tan line on your ring finger. Also, if your digital black book is so full that it crashes your smartphone, this should tell you something. There’s nothing wrong with having a full and active dating life, just remain transparent with everyone you’re being full and active with. Pretending to be exclusive with someone while sowing your wild oats with several other people isn’t the way to go. Come clean so that you can enjoy your freedom without the guilt.

4. You’re hiding a secret

If you’ve got an army of skeletons in your closet, you have two options: either fess up or keep your skeletons locked down and don’t get married. Your little secret will eventually turn into a big one. The white lies you tell today, if quietly snuck into a marriage, could transform into a messy divorce down the road.

5. You have doubts

The doubts could be about your partner or about the relationship in general. Either way, trust is an essential component of any relationship. If you don’t trust your partner, it will be difficult to maintain a lasting union.

Credit: cheatsheet

Kenya’s Central Bank Governor Nominee Grilled For Being Single At 54

When you get to a certain age and not married, people start to wonder. But when you’re 54, very successful and never been married…Kenyan lawmakers grill you mercilessly…lol. That’s what happened to the man nominated to head the country’s Central Bank. The lawmakers wondered, if you can’t find a woman, keep a woman and make a home, how can you keep our money? Lol.

54 year old University of Nairobi and Yale-educated economist Patrick Njoroge, who works as an adviser at the International Monetary Fund, is single. Never been married, doesn’t have children and when he appeared in front of Kenya’s parliament last week, telling them how he can move their economy forward as head of their Central Bank, they were like, really? lol. He was so grilled about his marital status that it caused debate online in Kenya with quite a few condemning the lawmakers

The lawmakers asked him about economic policy, why he doesn’t have assets in the country and why he isn’t married.

“I am single by choice and I am comfortable that way,” he told the lawmakers. “There is nothing sinister with that and I am sure this committee has done its due diligence on what sort of a person I am”. Kenya’s Daily Nation quoted him as saying

Why so much interest in his marital status? In Kenya and in most parts of Africa, it’s unusual to find a man over 40 who has never been married, so his status will definitely raise eyebrow in the country because the average age of first marriage in Kenya for men is about 30 years old.

Many condemned the line of questioning on twitter though, saying that Njoroge’s competence, rather than his personal life, that he should be tested by.

Men Besiege Kano Radio Station After A Girl On Air Promised To Buy A Car & House For Whoever Marries Her

According to the Kano-based OAP who shared the story, this incident happened in Kano today. A girl who came to Freedom FM Kano as a guest in Keke Napep, jokingly said she’ll give a car and a house to any man who marries her.

Men took her seriously because not long after she said this, they trooped to the radio station, saying they want to marry her. The men even wrote down their name so she can interview them on first come first serve basis. The police had to be called in to disperse the men after they refused to leave. Lol. Can you imagine this?

Adams Oshiomhole’s Mother Explains Why Her Son Married A Foreigner

Aishetu Oshiomhole, the mother of the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has stated that she backed her son’s marriage to Iara Fortes to avoid crisis in the governor’s immediate family.

Mr. Oshiomhole married Cape Verdean Iara Fortes at a private wedding attended by family members and friends including Nigeria’s President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on May 15 in Edo State; five years after his first wife, Clara, died of cancer.

In an interview with Vanguard Newspaper, the governor’s mother described Iara Fortes as a very good woman who behaves like the governor’s late wife.

“I supported him to marry a foreigner so that the relationship between my son and his children will remain cordial. Our Nigerian women will go and destroy the family just because they want property. That was the main reason I supported him to marry a foreigner when he told me about it.

So I am happy about it. Besides, the new wife is a very good woman,” she said.

Mrs. Oshiomhole also spoke of her late daughter-In-law, describing her as a peace loving person.

“Normally, people spend two years or less before they marry again but Comrade decided to wait for five years due to the love he had for his late wife. And Clara was a good person, very lovely and nice to all of us. So we supported Comrade for taking time to re-marry because we loved Clara.

“Comrade and the former wife lived very happily, there was no quarrel, nothing at all and that was why he mourned for five years. I am happy that he brought a wife that will bring him and the children together,” she stated.

Speaking on her son’s new wife, she described her as “very accommodating, understanding and hard working.”
“And you know my son travels a lot as a governor. He needs a woman who understands his work and that is the kind of wife he married. She is just like Clara,” she said.

Creditpremiumtimesng

Boko Haram says Chibok Girls “Married Off”, Denies Ceasefire

Boko Haram has claimed the 219 schoolgirls it kidnapped in Nigeria earlier this year have converted to Islam and been married off, according to a new video obtained by AFP on Friday.

The Islamist group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, also denied claims by Nigeria’s government that it had agreed to a ceasefire and apparently ruled out future talks.

The new video comes after a surprise announcement by the Nigerian military and presidency on October 17 that a deal had been reached with the militants to end hostilities and return the children.

There was immediate scepticism about both claims. Previous ceasefires have proved fruitless and there is little trust in the influence of the purported Boko Haram envoy, Danladi Ahmadu.

Nigeria’s government maintains that talks are ongoing in the Chadian capital, Ndjamena.

But Shekau, speaking in Hausa, dressed in military fatigues and boots with a black turban, and flanked by 15 armed fighters, said: “We have not made ceasefire with anyone.

“We did not negotiate with anyone… It’s a lie. It’s a lie. We will not negotiate. What is our business with negotiation? Allah said we should not.”

He also said he did not know Danladi.

There was no indication of when or where the video was shot but it was obtained through the same channels as previous communications from the group.

Then, the militant leader said many of the girls had converted to Islam but in the latest, he indicated that all of those held had become Muslims.

“Don’t you know the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls have converted to Islam? They have now memorised two chapters of the Koran,” he said.

Shekau previously threatened to sell the girls as slave brides and also suggested he would be prepared to release them in exchange for Boko Haram prisoners.

In the latest message, he said while laughing: “We have married them off. They are in their marital homes.

Read More: Yahoo News/ AFP