Posted in Marie's Garden

Marriage My Refuge

AMAI Know many would wonder at the awkwardness of such a title! Should Marriage be considered as a Refuge in any right thinking mind? Surely, I was out of my mind right?

Well, I think I am not the only one who at some point in her life preferred to be married at all cost than to stay single, and maybe with a child, and maybe still living at her mother’s, and maybe with no source of income, and maybe with her mind drifting towards hyper restlessness.

I was one of those someones and I share my story with you.

I had had a son in 2003 and that one is another story. Now, in Africa and Cameroon in particular, having a child out of wedlock is simply put, an abomination.

Next, I still lived at my mum’s, had no source of income although I had had a law degree and even a post graduate diploma. For a woman and probably for a man of my generation, still living at home when you are 25 and not having any source of income is frustrating.

To crown it all, I didn’t get along with my mother of course among st other reasons because of that b…… I had given birth to and now burdened her with.

So, how else was I to live without any income unless I asked someone to marry me or cornered someone to propose to me sooner than later?

As it happened, while travelling to another city for some petty business I was doing,  a guy who was to become my X, feigned interest in the products and took down my mobile number.

He told me like many had done before him that he admired my courage and figure and whatever. I told him I wasn’t interested in playing around anymore, that I had a son and that I thought I should be settling down at my age.

My X told me he was also not looking to play around, he had a 3 months old son and had intended to marry his girlfriend, but his mother (his father towed along) wouldn’t hear about it, and the girl and her mum were alleged to be witches and he was sick of it all.

I was like okay, we both need to settle down, we each come from far, so why don’t we get married?

Terrible reasons to get married I now admit. But that was how it happened that I got Married because I was looking for a Refuge from ‘home’ and my broke state.

We got to start trying to know each other well after our marriage, which took place on the 18th of March 2005 in my village, and my father who was the Lord Mayor by then, celebrated it. Lord, what honour with dishonour I was bringing to my dad – you alone could give him the grace thereafter and now.

I just wanted the whole marriage to take place so badly that I rejected all signals of incompatibility of personality and otherwise. Mr. X loved keeping late hours, he was disorganized, kept a lot of things to himself, could very well have been groomed at some point by my own father.

my marriageMy parents’ reservation revolved about his level of education, his apparent instability and my still dependent status; my mother remarked that I went to his mother’s too often before we got married, making it look like I was urging things, which in all honesty I was.

Nobody ever inquired about the ‘love’ factor.

By my 26th birthday, I was pregnant and so by the time we got married I was 2.5 months pregnant. Hmm, even if I wanted to back out, what option did I really have?

His mother also didn’t really like me after all. I didn’t want to go to the farm, I didn’t want to stay with her until her sisters and she officially accompany me to my husband’s, and I didn’t want to learn from her how to cook what she knew her son loved most.

Worst of all I was pressing for a small wedding after my family had ‘hijacked’ the administrative ceremony to our village where her all family couldn’t come.

We survived for six years, and by the time I was leaving, I had lost 2 children, had 2 others, had been physically, mentally and emotionally abused, had dirtied, hurt, almost killed myself, and at some point weighed 115 kgs.

I had done it all, and I always remembered how, when I wept bitterly at the loss of my daughter ‘Ange-Claire’ and asked my mother what I had not yet seen at my 30 years of existence, she said I had not yet seen anything. There was still much more I was going to see and go through, she said.

I could not blame any other person but myself and I was from the second year of that marriage, looking for yet some other refuge; this time around, a way out of there.

A gentle aunt of mine affirmed that marriage was supposed to be a 50-50% investment by both parties, but I dread calculating how much each of us actually put into the marriage. I can only speak on my behalf, and I think I put in something revolving around 30%.

It was crazy I never thought of the cute, loving, sincere friend stuff when marriage ‘hovered’; but even if I had, to what good would it have been, as if I were also still that cute and worthy and all.

All this said, you can easily imagine the woman I was when I got married and how further despicable of myself I felt when I left. To make matters worst, I left my sons behind (3) in total. It was and still is hard. I will be writing on this in subsequent posts.

I know marriage is supposed to be out of love, but I hoped the love was going to grow as we did.

Yes, love is and should always be the foundation of any relationship.

Yet, if that love should fade out because it is not nurtured or diverted to other avenues or partners, then even the ‘refuge’ we think we can make out of marriages, become emotional jungles and jails.

Well, I am much better today than I was when I left in 2011, and I able to share my hurtful past and learn from others too. I have discovered several networks and bloggers since coming to Belgium and I know, that the current relationship I am trying to build, is not considered a Refuge!

A poem I read on my friend Dennis blog, also hastened my publications because it was about a refuge too.

“As featured on the Divorce Magazine“.

And you my gentle followers, what say ye about such a saga?


Marie Abanga aka MAG likes to describe herself as a “Jacqueline of several trades”. She is an everyday woman and mother with a zigzag profile. Let’s give it a try! She is an Activist, an Author, a Coach, a Consultant, a Feminist, a Lawyer, a Lecturer, a Prince 2 Project Manager, a Psychotherapist, a Philanthropist, a minister of the Word of God and...! She just loves to sum it up by saying she is a person of passions and a tale of talents. Her life’s journey has filled over 6 books already and her three musketeers keep her busy at home. MAG is also the founder and CEO of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, and the Country Director of the Gabriel Bebonbechem Foundation for Epilepsy & Mental wellbeing. The plethora of life's experiences and shenanigans she has lived through and learned from in near 4 decades of existence, have equipped her with such an arsenal to coach, train and motivate just any and everyone. She is so charismatic, dynamic and full of life, going by her designed mantra of 3Ds: Determination; Discipline and Dedication. These sum her+her quest to be the best version of herself and impact others perfectly. She attributes all her wealth of knowledge to her conscientious attendance of both informal and formal school.

18 thoughts on “Marriage My Refuge

      1. Hi girl, way to go. I appreciate your candor. You have further confirmed what my mother has always told me. Life is not a neatly tied package, it is what you make of it and that includes the ups and downs one will encounter on this journey called life. So kudos again. I know you will have a much happier relationship this time around. I wish you much luck. Remain blessed.
        Bih Atia


  1. Wow my dear Marie, I was hoping to finally settle down from a LONNNNNG day of running around, new job, personal jobs, appointments, ……before commenting. I couldnt comment on the go. What an ordeal you have been through, my dear you are a strong woman. So strong to tell your ordeal honestly and with no need to cover up your responsibility and that of others, this is a gift I wish to copy and emulate. Your story is compelling but what moves me even more is your strength to pick up the pieces and make something so beautiful of your life, a work in progress you are as all of us are, but a great example of how to get up and move on. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.


  2. Dear Mah,

    You did reblog this post which meant a great deal. I could feel it and I know my stories are going to help and heal more than they will hurt.

    You see, it took me years be it 1,2 or 3 to get ready to start writing them down.

    But, now that I have started and now that I get all these responses, it is no longer just my therapy but ours.

    Thank you once more and all the best in your endeavours.

    Marie 🙂


  3. Marie
    whoa! sorry to read about all these. and having the courage to share so others don’t fall in the same pit. it takes a gracious heart like yours to share and save others. To be a support system for those who likely are might make the same mistake. God bless you!


    1. Thanks JM,

      It is with all modesty and humility that l do so. I know many of my sisters can’t express themselves or that they don’t have as many people like me to read and maybe talk or learn from.

      I also want to by baring myself show that no matter how messy, we could by faith make it.

      Stay tuned for the book and all the best.

      Cheers, Marie


  4. Mama Ayo,

    I read the post and i really understood what you meant and how you felt about your matrimonial difficulties. I must say that you are not the first person to fall inside that kind of situation. Marrying for the above reason is very common nowadays. You are the most courageous woman i have known.

    Marriage is neither a fantasy nor a cure-all for problems. If anything, it presents a new set of problems to deal with. Some people often have a very childish view of what they want in a marriage mate. Making good looks a priority. ”Charm may be false and prettiness may be in vain”. The glittering wrappings of a gift tells you nothing of what is inside. In fact even the most elegant wrappings may cover the most useless gift. It is hard to see a person’s personality. Granted physical attractiveness is what makes two people notice each other in the first place. Really, you didn’t know much about that person’s thoughts, hopes, fears, plans, habits, skills or abilities. You met an outer shell and not the secret part of the heart.

    True love is therefore not hurt by time. A person doesn’t just hand out to you his personality by saying, ”this is what i am, now you know me well”. No. It takes time to know someone you are interested in. Time allows you to examine your romantic interests in the light of the bible. Remember, love does not behave indecently, love does not look for its own self interest. Was your companion eager for the success of your plans or for his own? Did he show respect for your view points or your feelings? Did he pressure you to do things that are indecent in order to satisfy selfish passions? Did he tend to build you up or put you down in front of others? Asking such questions would have helped to appraise your feelings more objectively.

    Rushing romance invites disaster. She just fell in love fast and deep. After a whirl wind romance of two months, she got married. Suddenly, concealed faults began to emerge. She began to display some of her insecurity and self-centeredness or if such a word exist. Her husband lost his romantic charm and became selfish. After two years of marriage, she one day screamed at her husband that he was cheap, lazy and a flop as a husband. He responded by striking her in the face with his fist. In tears, she dashed out of the house and out of marriage.

    But how things would have been different if they had better become acquainted with each other before marriage. Their love would have been not of an image but of a real personality, one with flaws and strengths.

    But how can one know true love? One’s heart may speak, but trust your bible trained mind. One must get to know more of the person’s external image and give the relationship some time to blossom. Remember, infatuation reaches fever-pitch and then fades off in a short time. But genuine love goes stronger with time and becomes a perfect bond of union.

    Please, notice that i am not trying to correct your mistakes or to tell you what you had to do to remain with your X. You are in a relationship and me too. I wish your new relationship the best.

    May your ”mess” be your message and your tests be your testimony. And may it touch the hearts of men and women who have so far been wooed by this unfortunate paradigm shift of lust, deceit and vaulting ambition.

    Love, Bibi


  5. Dear Ayo,
    Your story is so inspirational. I see in it a triumphant you. A person who went so low and yet has found the strength through God’s grace to rise above the waters and claim your rightful place as God’s child for whom all things are possible. I like the way you made the decision to move on. Some people find it very challenging to get to that stage. Thank you for sharing your story. After reading it, I read the other comments and I am so happy that there is an audience out there ready to learn from others’ success stories like this one. God bless you dear!
    T. Ntemgwa Patience


    1. Thank you so much Patience for stopping by.

      I am sure many who read my book will be helped more than they would be disappointed. I mean disappointed at some discoveries but not at me I suppose.

      Whatever, I am glad I move on and I am much happier and doing better and better.

      All the best to you

      Hugs, Ayo


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