Marriage and the Woman in the Video

By: Deji Yesufu

A few years ago, when I wrote “Marriage is Difficult”, a few people felt I was being overly dramatic and had again embarked on my quest for attention – writing on topics that would bring traffic to my blog. While I do not mind traffic coming to my blog, I am also very mindful of the fact that most marriages are hurting. Recently Facebook began to suggest clips from “The Bill Cosby Show” to me. I watch all of them. There is nothing like a home like theirs: where man loves wife, wife loves husband, and the house is fun and hilarious. But the truth is that that show is what it is: make-believe. The real home is something akin to war – and it does not matter whether the house is situated in Africa or a prosperous Western country. One day I stepped out of my house and I observed all the homes around ours. It was either the house had a single mother, or the men had wisely relocated to another part of the country to work – while they visited the wife and children occasionally. It became clear to me that one way many men handle the difficulties in their marriages is simply to step out of it – however cunningly. Many employ the services of a side-chic, so that the moment their wives start her trouble, they move to the house of the other lady. They do not marry her. They just keep her as a viable option. The moment the side-chic also starts her trouble, they return to the wife – who by this time has learnt her lessons, and would behave herself for the time being.

What has occasioned this article is this viral video. For those who have not seen it, the scene is one of those of a Nigerian-Yoruba couple in a Western country. The woman is on the floor holding onto her husband’s leg – preventing him from leaving the house. The man is making for the door. The conversation goes like this:

Lady: “… husband and wife fight… but this is not what you told me when I was moving here… you didn’t tell me you were going to abandon me… I uprooted myself from that place…. And I didn’t want to come…”

Man: “… I told you for a fact… I will support you… I will continue to pay the house bill, I will pay child support for my child… if you want assistance, ask me, and I will do it… living together with you has not brought me any happiness or joy…”

Lady: “…we can work it out…”

Man: “…How? By calling the police all the time on me… Do you want to destroy my career? … Both what happened and what has not happened, you tell the world… you want to send my mother to jail…?”

Lady: “No… that’s not what happened… the police will tell you what I said…”

Those who are married do not need any more information on this situation –you understand immediately what is going on in that marriage. We are not told whether that marriage is still together or torn apart; but what is almost clear is that for that video to enter the public space, the man recording it may have released it to show that he is done with the woman. I would not be wasting time talking about the intricacies of this particular situation because the fact is that just as there are different faces in our world, so you have different facets of trouble in marriages. Most marriages are hurting and many couples are strangers in their houses. They remain together because of the need to care for the children, and when the children are grown and gone, they remain together because they do not want the world to know that their union is finished. In this essay, I want to suggest a few ideas that I think will make for a working marriage in our day and time. The fact is that no one is an authority on this subject, because as the times change – as prosperity increases in the nations, so also do strains in marriages increase. I think a few things could make marriages work though.

The first challenge in marriages today is what I would call a worldview problem. In many marriages, there is no working worldview. Either the man believes nothing, and spends all his day working and earning money – thus teaching his family nothing; or, the couple have incompatible worldviews. The man believes one thing, while the woman believes another. Ideally, where there had been thorough courtship and proper marriage counselling, the two worldviews ought to have been reconciled. But there is nothing worse than one spouse, for example, being thoroughly leftist and progressive in ideas, while the other is conservative and traditional. My worldview is a Christian one – I am thoroughly conservative, but I am also very progressive in my thinking. So, this is the worldview I would propose as the foundation of this article: a Christian-conservative worldview, but also a progressive one – open to workable ideas within the confines of God’s laws in the Bible. I think that our forefathers had the same challenges that we are having in our marriages today, but they were able to handle those challenges with the conservative worldviews they had then. The only problem with their marriages may have been that our fathers were not open to new ideas within those conservative ideologies. 

In this light, I make the following suggestions as a worldview for all marriages: husbands love your wives; wives respect your husbands. Those who know their Bibles know that I am quoting from Ephesians 5:22-29. When marriages fail, it is because husbands have ceased loving their wives, and wives no longer respect their husbands. As long as one party among the two is doing his or her duty, the marriage has the potential to remain together. And where both parties are endeavouring to obey this biblical admonition, the marriage will only get stronger. If that man in the video loved his wife, he would not have captured her in that vulnerable moment. If that woman respects her husband, she would not use “eh” on him, where she should have used “yin”. Now, only those who speak Yoruba know this distinction. In the Yoruba language, we use certain words that are meant as plural as a sign of respect and honour for someone. So, you call an elderly person “eh” not “oh” – the same “eh” that you would use in a plural context. Unfortunately, the modern home tells the woman to call the man whatever she likes. Even some foolish men encourage their wives to do this in the days when love is steaming between them. When things go cold, they begin to regret it.

Here is the reality of marriage: a man is bringing a woman under his care. He is going to be providing for her needs; he is going to be protecting her; and he is going to do everything to make things better for her. It is not an easy job; it is an onerous one – especially in our world where the economy is not smiling. The least the woman can do for that man is to honour him in return. Woman, when you were courting your husband it might have been ok to call him by name, but the moment you enter his house, he becomes your lord. You must accord him due respect. You cannot call him by his name again: he is now your Lord. I made a video on this subject. And when we talk about husbands loving wives, and wives respecting their husbands, it starts with the wife. The woman must stoop to conquer. There is no other way to solve this growing menace of bad marriages. Wives must submit to, respect, and honour their husbands. While the husband must love, provide for, and protect his wife. Where the two parties are labouring to do their sides of the contract, most marriages will work. But where one party fails and continues to fail, in retaliation the other party tends to do otherwise.

Second, Japa will strain your marriage. I am convinced that most Nigerian marriages will thrive better in Nigeria. Whatever else we may not have; this country still has some traditional and conservative values that will preserve your marriage. If you are a husband and you understand that your wife does not respect you in the manner she should, don’t follow her to a foreign country all because you both have the resources and opportunity to relocate there. If you, as a wife, realize that your husband tends to look outside, don’t encourage relocation. The marriage tradition in the West is in the gutters. As Western nations stray away from biblical norms, so also do their commitment to the marriage institution reduce. Marriages that would originally survive the test of time in Nigeria, with couples faking it, will come crashing in the West because there are no preying eyes on the home; most homes are broken over there, and yours will not be the first or the last; and, there is no mother or father somewhere coming to breath down your neck, advising you to whether the storm of a bad marriage. Most marriages that leave the shores of Nigeria in the name of japa will fail, because the signs of a strained marriage were already present in those unions. Japa will simply exacerbate it.

Third, stop the celebrations at weddings. I am not saying do not conduct weddings, I am only saying cut down on the fanfare. If possible, conduct your wedding on a Sunday, after church service. Stop the drinking, the eating, the dancing… stop it! Invest more in marriage counselling than in wedding parties. I am now of the opinion that rather than weddings being a joyous occasion, they should be occasions for deep thinking and in some cases, mourning. Perhaps that is the reason why the bride cries. The wedding is a process of stepping out of the security of a parent’s love and care into the uncertainty of a marriage union. It is not something that should be done lightly. It is a union that is meant to last a lifetime. Many have entered into it and have lost their lives. Many destinies and potentials have been destroyed because of bad marriages. There is no reason why anyone should be celebrating that day. At best, it should be an occasion for deep introspection. The married should be using the time to think about how to make their marriages better. The unmarried should be praying and thinking through what kind of spouse they wish to enter into union with in the future. And the couple being wedded should be praying. Marriage is a world of the unknown; many have entered into it and have come out better. Many have entered into and have been destroyed. Potentials at the beginning of a marriage do not matter; all of those potentials can fizzle out in one minute. A marriage should be conducted under the careful oversight of a seasoned minister of the gospel, who will bring godly counsel to the couple, and who will very likely guide them both through the institution, offering counsel to them as the vicissitudes of life hit the couples’ home.

I write this article because I wish and pray that the otherwise happened in that video. I pray the man never walked out; I pray that the video was released by someone other than him; I pray the woman has learnt to keep her husband happy by respecting him; I pray the man provides for his family as he has promised and remains with the woman. All marriages can work. They only need to know the right things and do the right things. And when difficulty hits, may it be that they have such authority over them both that will be able to offer them counsel that they both will listen to. Where this is absent, most marriages will fail.

Deji Yesufu is the Pastor of Providence Reformed Baptist Church Ibadan. He is the author of HUMANITY.

Posted by Deji Yesufu


  1. Tayo Alayande May 23, 2024 at 8:27 pm

    A beautiful informative and inspiring right up.The most serious problem in marriage is wives
    NOT RESPECTING their husbands.Most wives address their husbands as if they are addressing their children.A wife can only win/have her husbands love by showing respect to him at all times.Thank you.


    1. Thank you very much for reading and for the comment


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