I have noticed that some men have been relocating their families abroad due to increased and increasing hardship and insecurity in Nigeria. It is important for them to also know the implications of such dangerous decision.
When I was appointed the managing director of the Orient Bank of Uganda in 2013, I couldn’t wait to return home to break the news to my wife.
The appointment, I reckoned would improve my earnings, career and was in line with my set objectives.
“That means that I’m resigning from my own job right away”, was my wife’s instant response to my announcement of the appointment.
She was not yet done. “The children will also go with us. I shall make enquires about good schools in Uganda to ensure that our children don’t lose a session”.
For my wife, she would not sacrifice her marital harmony for economic benefits or her career. She was a branch manager of a topmost bank in Nigeria.
I was shocked.
I pleaded, “please give me some time to go to Uganda, settle down, familiarize with the new country, say for one year and I shall come for you and the kids”.
I was talking to a statue. She wouldn’t take that.
My wife insisted that she and kids would join me within three months of my travel aside from the fact that she would accompany me on my first travel and return a week after.
I was not surprised at my wife’s philosophy of marriage and her belief in the pre-eminence of cohabitation of a married couple.
I initially deemed her stand too suffocating until I started looking around me, comparing notes, to see the effects of career or economic induced separation on marriages and family harmony.
The case of Mr. Oyiboka Akidi was very eye-opening.
Mr Akidi’s case is pathetic. He had relocated his family to Calgary in Canada in search of better life opportunities. He wanted his children to get better education and the wife to further her education and also work.
Akidi, an assistant general manager in a Nigerian bank, had saved and paid for the trip, initial accommodation and one year school fees for the kids. He also gave the wife some money to meet their needs pending when she secured a job.
The plan was that Akidi would travel to Canada once in a year during his annual vacation to visit his family.
Everything was going on fine until two years after when Akidi noticed that the wife was no longer looking forward to his calls or enthused by his announcement of the date of his visit to Canada.
He had asked his close friend to find out what was happening but the friend declined. The friend knew what was happening but would not want to be quoted. He would rather connect Akidi to a private detective who did a good job.
Mr. Akidi’s worst fear was confirmed when the paid agent sent him a dossier on how his wife rocked younger Nigerian men in Canada. He introduced the men to her kids as their distant uncles.
When confronted with the facts, Mrs Akidi filed for divorce. The children believed their mother and the rest is history.
In the calculations of a better life for his family, Mr. Akidi forgot to factor in the fact that Calgary is very cold and that excessive cold could trigger off certain needs like cuddling and sex. Hence, Mrs Akidi cannot be blamed alone. It was a joint decision that backfired.
So many men that left their families in Nigeria in search of Golden Fleece in the UK, USA and Canada have committed worse marital crimes. Theirs are even more heart-rendering.
The men, usually escorted to the airports’ departure halls by their loving wives and kids, would immediately re-marry upon arrival in their new countries in the name of route to citizenship. Many others have completely abandoned their wives and kids and had married more fascinating or updated women in their new places of residence. Some no longer pick calls from home.
Let nobody raise the issue of trust and infallibility of their spouses here, considering that Adam and Eve were manufactured by God himself with his own hands, still they failed.
Which man would be loved by God more than David still he was overwhelmed by the allure of Bathsheba?
Which man would be wiser than Solomon yet he was mesmerized by Queen of Sheeba?
As couples plan economic improvement or migration for a better life, they should factor in the fact that staying apart for too long could be dangerous. There could be a system failure.
A man or woman who lives in Lagos while his/her family lives in Enugu or Kano and who rarely visits home faces similar risks as those abroad.
I must reckon with the fact that some couples have exceptionally weathered the storm or successfully kept their secrets.
There is no doubt that staying apart creates a room for temptation or change of taste. While some people can hold on, many humans react positively to a better offer.
Only God knows how long and how far Adam was when the serpent arrived and had enough time to tempt and convince his wife to eat the fruit that changed not only their destinies by that of all human race.
Let no man fool himself. For any good husband, there is a better man out there and for any fantastic wife, there is a better woman somewhere. All it takes to get displaced as a husband or a wife is time and chance.
Therefore, let no spouse be too confident.
Stay or move with your family.
If you must move or let your family relocate, please don’t stay away for too long.
By Anayo M. Nwosu