The Women Before Me

Ozzy Etomi
Jun 6, 2016 · 4 min read
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June 6th

“No woman should ever marry for love. It is not important for you to love your husband, it is only important for him to love you”

“A woman will be worth nothing if she has no husband and if she has no children.”

“You have a very small window of opportunity in which a man will marry you. No man wants a woman over a certain age”

“You’re too picky.”

“It doesn’t matter, just marry him.”

“You learn to look the other way. What are you going to do?”

“Nobody wants a woman who already has children. Be smart”

“Nobody wants used goods”

“The next one will do it too, and might be even worse”

“Don’t drive him away. Don’t question him. Don’t challenge him”

“You know how it is. You have to make them feel like men. Apply wisdom”

“We have all endured it. You are not the first”

“Never let him know how much you have. Save for the rainy day”

“Learn the skill of domestic economics. It’s the only way you will get anything. If the money isn’t going on you, it’s going on other women”



“Don’t let your friends deceive you.”

“Don’t let the other woman win”

“…At least he is not beating you”

“He beat you… but what did you do?”

“…..What did you do?”

“It’s the devil”

“We must protect our men from evil spiritual forces”

“She put something in his food”

“It doesn’t matter. Focus on your children”

“At least you have your children.”

“Don’t tell anyone, just pray about it”




“keep praying”

Marriage has changed! Our parents stood the test of time! Strong foundation! Long marriages!

They won’t tell you,

That their mothers,

And their mothers before them

Lived the meaning of the word endurance.

About how they turned numerous blind eyes,

The sacrifices they made,

To keep a roof over your head, and food in your mouth.

How they learned to numb the beatings,

How they learned to fight back.

“He beat me once oh! Ehn! When me and my sisters rained abuses on him! He never tried it again!”

How their smiles no longer reached their eyes.

Sometimes, you see your mother sitting at the foot of the bed


They don’t cry.

The African Women.

They raise their daughters, teaching them to be strong.

They pass down the stories.

They are not preparing their children to be different

To them, there is no different.

They are preparing their daughters to endure, but do it better.

They cannot tell you what they do not know.

They can only teach you what they do know.

They know what reality is.

Be patient. Submit. Ignore. Be Wise. A good wife will cast out his demons.

You didn’t know Satan has a whole department of spiritual forces working overtime only in Nigeria?

Your father,

Your hero.

Her torturer.

What is it about age, that makes men so full of life and women so devoid of it?

I once asked a beautiful older lady “what is the secret?”

She laughed in the childlike way women do when they receive a compliment; “I have no husband!”

It is hard to imagine that she was once like you

Care-free like you.

She spends all her life taking care of everybody around her except herself.

All her life taking care of him.

Now he takes care of all the other women. She laughs.

A man who does not know himself will ruin everything that he touches.

She has moved from jail cell to jail cell, each one bigger and more expensive than the last.

It is harder and harder to imagine being left with nothing.

So she convinces herself that her truth is the truth.

She’s very religious.

Her pain can’t be for nothing. At least let it be for Jesus.

Your mother, your hero.

She dances with abandon, She has learned to live for herself

She does not need him, she has her children

She does not care about the other women

She hisses to herself…. Agbaya. Foolish old man.

She does not care about what she could have been,

The dreams she dreamed.

What she was told she could and could not do

Her God will give her victory.

She will teach you everything she knows,

Because she loves you, and she wants you to be ready.


It might be too late for her.

But its not too late for you.

Thank you for taking the time out to read this article. If you like what you read, please click the little green heart at the bottom of the screen :)

This is day 6 of my 30 day writing project. Please click on my stories if you would like to check out some of my other entries.

On Making Friends And Alienating People

Just One Of Those Days

To The She-women Feminist Haters Club

No, I am Not Taking My Husband’s Name

My 30 Day Writing Project

Some other stories by me:

Quitting Isn’t Giving Up

Nigerian Senate Fails on Women’s Rights Bill

On Gender Roles & Female Entitlement

Why Married Women Need Friends

Ozzy Etomi

Written by

I write about gender, culture, feminism and shared human experiences. Working on my first book. My personal website is

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