#TheKBWedding: On Becoming Busola’s Husband
I have married Busola many times; more times in fact than I can count.
I first married her on a rainy day in 2010 when she asked my opinion on which one of two guys to date (I wasn’t one of the two). I married her again during a final year exam where I began listing pros and cons of being with her after I ran out of answers (I still managed an A). I married her in the mirror many times before I first asked her to date me in 2011. And I married her many more times since then — even when I was ranting to Oggie, my big sister, about our latest spat.
Those dreams come true for the second time today. When you read this, I will have married Busola traditionally and religiously — in addition to the legal marriage in February.
I am a hopeless jumble of aspirations and fears. I feel both confident and foolish. Years of reading an endless library of books and articles, and watching my parents resolve their differences and counsel others have bestowed me with a stellar understanding of the theory — its ultimate learning being that nothing completely prepares you for the practicals.
First is the obvious fact that marriage takes two individuals from different backgrounds and presses them into sharing the same physical space. I am the feeler, the emotionally expressive one who screams and cries; Busola is stoic on a “whole ‘nother level”. I need bouts of quiet time to recharge my batteries so that I can continue to dispense energy; Busola does not fancy ‘quiet’ all that much. I loved going home to my mother and I am opposed to boarding houses; Busola is probably already counting years till she can ship the children (amen!) off to boarding school.
Oh, and we even like our noodles cooked differently.
Second is that society continues to evolve in a direction that demystifies marriage, with more and more people seeking romantic love outside their homes and an increasing number of marriages ending in separation and divorce. It is sobering to realize many people whose marriages end in divorce once loved each other wholeheartedly — like we do today, and even more sobering when I realize we’re hurtling towards a union many people have tried and failed at.
There was a rising fad for “relationship essays” among churchgoers in Ile-Ife when I asked Busola out. You would articulate what attracted you to each other in writing, then retain a copy and submit one to a mentor — usually a Pastor — who would hold you accountable as time passed. While I characteristically did not write any such essay, I asked Busola out almost entirely in writing via Facebook Messenger — creating an enduring record of my thoughts and aspirations when we had those conversations.
When I started, in my melancholic way, to fixate on the many things that could go wrong — it helped to go back to those messages, and remind myself of the things we had going for us in the beginning.
Most fundamentally, Busola is my friend — my best friend. Whether I am happy or sad, excited or upset — I want to talk to Busola. In fact, I have been known to rant to Busola about Busola! When I developed cold feet a few months to the wedding, the first person I spoke to about it was — Busola! It definitely helped that we were best-friends for about two years before I breached the friend-zone. I am happy we have built on that foundation and I am excited at the opportunity to continue building our friendship.
Also very important are our shared values, based on our common belief in (the Christian) God. I have found that it helps for us both to be accountable to a moral code that supersedes our whims and caprices. Closely linked to this one is a strong belief in a higher purpose for our friendship and marriage, which partly results in a commitment to work through issues when they arise. We both believe we belong together.
Many roads have led up to this day. My mother started preparing me to be a husband since I was seven or eight, and ensuring Busola would not need to have the #WifeNotCook conversation. I learnt to sweep the house, fetch water, and burn noodles from time to time. My sister taught me how it felt for a woman to love you, and helped me learn to receive scathing rebukes without (eventually) resorting to physical violence. My father taught me to provide, to protect, and to defend. And Fehintolu taught me to love and to be loyal.
Our story is not complete without the amazing “cloud of witnesses” in our lives. Busola has really cool parents and siblings who raised her well and prepared her for this too. Ogochukwu and Deji Adesina have been there from before the beginning, starting while I worked through my list of pros and cons before asking Busola out. Busola and Deji Adebusoye, and Temilolu and Joseph Shuaibu provide an incredible inspiration and challenge us every time we listen to them. Wale and Detola Osideinde, Ope Awobotu and Bunmi Oduntan, and Joseph and Kemi Fayese have been at the core of our support system for years now.
Ehis, the Mentor and the Marriage Counsellor, and The Gang: asked, listened, and advised as the proposal rolled around and a somewhat tough ‘wedding-planning’ commenced. Mosala and Tumi inspire us to no end and helped me ‘reset my brain’ when I got cold feet. Shereen! Many one-ones over the past year started with an update on the wedding. Bola Akintewe, easily one of my favorite P&Gers, cut me lots of slack as I combined planning the wedding with work. And Fayoke never passes on a chance to talk to me about family…
I probably need a few more hundred words to list everyone who has touched our lives and helped our union along. Ibidun (Atups), Foluso Ajayi and family, Mofe and Ikepo, Deolu and MI, Victor Funbi Adebayo, Yemi Loynox, Mummy Anne, Walabama and Igwe, Korede, Sola Abiola, Detan Oyedele, Niyi Ogundipe, Segun Wemimo, Toye and Neyo, Malik, Oyebs, Korede, Nifemi and my other friends from UJCM who didn’t need a list or to pray before knowing I belonged with Busola, the men and women of Victorious Christian Life Center who helped raise me, Toyin Daodu and the other fine women of that room in Moremi, and the many other people I am thinking about this morning but who I cannot manage to fit their names in here.
Here’s to love, to friendship, and to happily ever after.