Marriage My Refuge

My marriage
Maria Abanga

I 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 leaving 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 leave 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? T

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 and 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!

Marie Abanga


  1. […] used marriage as a refuge from my mother’s house.  I was running away from a home where I felt so out of place as I […]

  2. […] Hm, I got married for all the wrong reasons and love wasn’t one of them.  All I was looking for was a refuge! […]

  3. […] got married actually because I was trying to run away from a similar path. Marriage was my Refuge, turned jail in which I all over again left even younger kids than when we were left […]

  4. Dearest Bibi,

    Thanks for stopping by here and leaving such a lengthy analysis.

    You are right when you say that nowadays many marriages have several reasons for their coming into being or even survival. Sadly, love between the two partners, keeps failing the lesson.

    I am an example of such a person and I really wish to inspire some to save themselves from committing such an error.

    Yet, I also wish to motivate those who like me find or found themselves in a jungle or deadlock marriage or relationship, not to give up and to keep faith.

    I wish you all the best in your endeavours

    Hugs, Marie

  5. Mama Ayo,

    Well done and dusted. I understand what you mean now and how you felt about your matrimonial difficulties. I must say that, you were not the first person to fall inside that kind of situation. Marrying for the above reason is very common nowadays.

    I think marriage is not a fantasy nor a cure-all for problems. If anything, it presents a set of new problems to deal with. Some people however 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 don’t know much about that person’s thoughts, hopes, fears, plans, habits, skills or abilities. He met only the 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 his personality by saying.” this is what i am, now you know me well”. I believe it takes time to get to know someone you are interested in. I think time allows one to examine his romantic interest in the light of the bible. Remember, love does not behave indecently, does not look for its own self interest. Was your companion for the success of your plans or only for his own?, Did he show respect for your view points or feelings?, Did he pressured 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. Her husband lost his romantic charm and became selfish. After being married for two years, she one day screamed that her husband 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 different things might have been had they better become acquainted to 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. I think one should get to know more than the person’s external image and give the relationship some time to blossom. Remember, infatuation reaches a fever pitch and fades off. But genuinely love grows stronger with time and becomes a perfect bond of union.

    Mama Ayo, make your ”mess” your message and your tests your testimony and touch the hearts of men and women who have so far been wooed by this unfortunate paradigm shift of lust, deceit and vaulting ambition.

  6. Thanks for sharing this. It’s true that family and other social factors force us to endure marriages and relationships while killing ourselves slowly. We are better off as single ladies than ending up in a stress-filled marriage. Thanks for this post!

  7. Dear June,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such kind words.

    Yes I share to heal and help and just that I will always do for that is a passion too.

    I would always tell you how you kept me going in my ‘blogaholic’ world with your posts and comments on almost each and every post of mine.

    Do stay tuned and the book release is soon.

    My newest article right here on the Divorce Magazine is as interesting too: Love is still in the air – yes even for ‘us’!

    Happy Val’s day!

  8. Marie, you are one of a kind and I’m not tired of telling you that you’re an inspiration to me and many others. Well done for sharing your intimate story with us.

    I’m sure your story will touch and encourage somebody somewhere who could be going through the same thing.

    You are indeed a strong woman full of courage. 🙂

  9. Courage and make sure you move on with your life. Moreover, do not neglect your children. They’ll always need their mum.

    • Dear Eunice,

      Thanks for your kind words. Yes I am much much better and I try to keep in touch with my boyfriends as often as possible.

      I can’t wait for the summer to be here so I go visit them.

      Lets stay happy and hopeful.

      Kind regards, Marie

  10. Marie,
    You make us proud, with your openness and willingness to tell your story so others can learn valuable life lessons from you.
    You story is a typical African woman story…a lot of people have found themselves in this position, and many are still in it because they don’t see a way out. Many girls are rushing to marry out of frustration and pressures not helping matters.
    Thank God you are an African sharing this..through our networks people especially our girls would read your story, and one day they would say; if Marie can do it I can do it too..and go on to live their greatest lives
    God bless you Marie.
    Your fan and partner in greatness

    Vincent Egoro

    • Dear Vincent,

      I am so happy with this comment of yours because it is the first one of this length that you leave on a post of mine.

      The reactions my post has brought in on the various social networks tells to what extent yes we women and especially African women sometimes suffer in silence.

      I am hoping that by the time my book is out and read, more will be healed than thse feeling spite.

      Kind regards, Marie your partner in Greatness indeed!

    • Dear Amber,

      Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by.

      I am actually sharing my story in all honesty so that as many could be helped and healed as possible.

      Cheers, Marie

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