They looked like a decent couple; colour coordinated their clothes even. They had two lovely children between them, and an enviable lifestyle, but nothing is as it seems between them.
The basic fact is Bolu and Toyin’s marriage is one of convenience, and nothing more. They have just been at it long enough that they have the entire couple-y act down to pat. Neither of them had wanted a boring marriage, they craved passion in their lives. At least, from Toyin’s side of the story, which I know. She hadn’t set out to go into a marriage of convenience.
Age and the longing to be a mother had been the deciding factor for her. As a young lady, Toyin had found herself on the fast track in her career, flying all over the world, closing deals and business opportunities. She was living her life, but also were the years going by.
By the time, she was 32 years old, she was in a serious relationship, which led to an engagement. Sometime around the time she got engaged to her long term boyfriend, she discovered she was pregnant. It was an inconvenience, but with her wedding coming up soon, it was relatively okay.
Unfortunately, she miscarried. Well, it turned out her fiancé wasn’t such a good guy after all, as he broke off their engagement the same week she had that miscarriage, so she was nursing a heart broken in two places; one by her lost baby and the other by her fiancé and father of the baby.
That loss also stirred a hunger for a baby in her, one she didn’t know she had. It was so strong, she saw babies every time she opened her eyes. This craving made her see so many men as potential mates, but thank God for her, they often showed their true colours way before she put too much stock in them.
For six years, Toyin was single, not because she did not want to date, but because the men weren’t coming along, and then she got desperate. She started asking friends to organise dates for her. Toyin even approached a doctor to inquire about sperm donors, but didn’t follow up, as she wondered what friends and family would say.
Toyin got lucky, or maybe not, as one of those dates that was organised for her was Bolu. He looked decent, even if he was a bit distant and uncommunicative. Toyin was absolutely sold when at their first date, he cut to the chase and said he was interested in a relationship and that he would love to have kids too.
You can bet Toyin’s antenna was on full alert when he mentioned babies. They had a bit of an issue, when both divulged their real age and stopped going with all that late 40 something-ish talk.
They got married and even though Toyin was already staring 40 in the face, she got pregnant four months later, and everything else paled into insignificance. The thought that she was pregnant, that she was going to have a baby after all, was the only thing that registered in her brain, before the fear of miscarriage crept up again.
By this time, she and Bolu were pretty much leading separate lives, even though they were now married. None of those lovey-dovey things that would have been expected of newly-weds. He went with her for her first scan, and that was it. He was at the hospital for the birth of the baby but kept falling asleep while she was in labour. Getting Bolu to set up the cot and drawers of the baby was an exercise in endurance; it was filled with so much complaints of how he did not have that much time…short of calling in her younger ones who would be bound to ask why Bolu wasn’t doing it. Toyin set to work, putting the cot together, and did such a great job that she mentally patted herself on the back.
Meanwhile, when the baby came, another Bolu emerged; he was a doting father to the core. He did not mind the sleepless nights or having to change diapers or soothing his baby. In fact, from the moment he walked into the house from work, the baby would be in his arms till it got to sleep.
There were times Toyin wondered why he couldn’t even give her a tiny portion of the attention he gave their child. But she always consoled herself with the fact that, at least, she was finally a mom, regardless of whether her husband was in love with her or not.
Some two years down the line, Toyin got pregnant again and had another baby. This time, her doctor advised her against trying again, even her husband said he was done. As for Toyin, two children were even more than she had asked for; one would have been perfectly fine for her.
Toyin and Bolu have two human beings in common, whom they love dearly. The vows they made before God and man, families and friends, have become blended by their marriage and little else. He does his thing, she does hers. He shows no compassion for her when she is ill or just needs to take a break. He provides well for his family and expects her to do the rest.
They go out on a date, four times every year; his birthday, her birthday, Valentine’s day and their anniversary, and that is because everyone around them expects them to. It would cause needless talk not to.
This situation is snuffing the light out of Toyin’s life, hence she is speaking out, trying to find a love that did not exist from the beginning for her husband, on the premise that, perhaps, if she showed him love, he would reciprocate. And there are times, she wished she had waited for that Mr. Right, but her biological clock says she would have been too late.
Toyin’s story is a sobering one, and there are so many instances like that out there; people marrying for other reasons than love. A marriage without children can survive but one with kids but without love is monkey business, not worth the heartache it brings.
May God help us all to make the right decisions at each stage of our lives. Amen!.
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here