Ibinabo Fiberesima is a strong woman, she has what many divorced Nigerian women/single mothers wish for – beautiful children, successful career, beautiful body, massive goodwill and a chance to love and be loved, again.
Here are four lessons I have learned from her and I wish to share with divorced/separated Nigerian women and single mothers;
1. You don’t have to be ‘married’ to your children or even to Jesus
People can be so quick to judge divorced/separated women with children who want to date or get married again, they say things like “after having xxx number of children, what are you looking for again, just face your children”.
The truth is, the love of your children is different from the love of a man, if you want it go for it, don’t use your children as excuse because really one does not have to disturb the other. Your children will be grown and gone one day, but you will have your loneliness forever. If you want it, if you need it, go for it!
2. Stop defining yourself by your failed marriage
I see so many divorced/separated women today that all they ever talk about is what went wrong in their marriage. As painful as a marriage break-up can be, if you have survived it and have gotten out of it alive, you should learn to move on. And if the fault was all yours then you should learn to forgive yourself.
Stop talking about it all the time on social media, or to everyone who cares to listen. Stop defining your existence by what happened in your failed marriage. Live your life, celebrate what you have left and stop defining yourself by those pity party stories! Stop being the victim, be the winner! When you limit yourselves by the story of what your husband did to you, you do not have the freedom to be anything else.
3. You deserve to be happy, divorce/separation is not the end of your life
I love that Ibinabo celebrates her achievements and even her new relationship openly, I love that she had a beautiful wedding. The society sometimes treats the divorced/separate woman like she doesn’t deserve some happiness, like she has lost her opportunity and should bury her head in shame for the rest of her life.
You don’t have to hide your life or your new found happiness because of what people will say. If it feels right and makes you happy, embrace it and enjoy it. Don’t let the fear of the unknown or the mistakes you have made in the past paralyse you from taking in the joys of today.
4. If you don’t mind your age, it doesn’t matter
Being in your middle age does not automatically cut you off the dating scene. No matter how old you are you can still find a healthy relationship if you want it.
Life will not automatically compensate you with a fabulous relationship/marriage just because your first marriage failed, you need to use the life experiences and self-discovery that have come with your age to your advantage in finding a new partner and in your new relationship/marriage.
Writer – Shola Okubote is the Founder of Woman.NG