Can we meet you?
Mr. O: I am Emmanuel Olujobi, husband of Deborah, and writer and lover of pun.
Mrs O: My name is Deborah Olujobi, I am a knitwear fashion designer, I run Faidez Wears a knitwear fashion brand and I am the founder of DOBI Teenage Foundation. I am an alumnus of FATE Foundation and Enterprise Development Center of Lagos Business School. I am also a French speaker and translator.
How long have you been married? How did you know your spouse was the one?
Mr O: I have been married for 9 months. For me two of the verified ways God speaks to me are through peace of mind and the time test confirmation. After we met through one of our Young Professionals’ Forum events, Deborah would reach out to get my opinion on certain issues, I also worked with her on a few of her projects between 2016 and 2018, but we remained friends without intentions until I began to plan and pray towards getting married. I had a few friends around but with Deborah, I had almost no doubts, she stood out, and I had peace of mind, that was further confirmed with the time test.
Mrs O: I have been married for nine months. I knew he was the one because God confirmed his name to me through His word as a promise after prayerfully seeking the face of God for His will in marriage. My husband’s name is Emmanuel and it means ‘God with us’. He also had qualities I desired in a husband.
How do you see marriage in our world today? With the high rate of divorce, separations, domestic violence, what’s the hope for those coming behind?
Mr O: I personally think this is an important question. I wouldn’t say marriage is overrated, but our generation has created complexities and lot of drama around making the right choice and leading a happy home. Today, people try to impress the next person from where and how they make their proposal to the wedding ceremony to how they manage their homes etc. Lot of young people are intimated by what they see on the internet, as expected this comes with a lot of pressure and distorted understanding on what marriage and a home should look like–. So, what happens is a lot of young people (not all though) want to get hooked by all means. For them marriage is everything good from the thrill of honeymoon to the excitement of having your own spouse, to expectations around plenty fun and laughter and shopping and the vacation trips, and amazing sex experiences (especially for those who had been celibate) etc, yes, these experiences are possible but truth is it takes more than these to grow a happy home. You’d realize that a leading cause of divorce, attrition at the home front and increased domestic violence can be traced to the point where expectations of one of the partners along one of those areas I listed is not met contrary to his/her expectation from what our society promotes.
Mrs O: I believe the reason for the high rate of divorce, separation, domestic violence etc is because a lot of people do not see marriage as God has defined it/institutionalized it to be. Many people see marriage as defined by the society and traditions, this has caused some to decide against it or go into it with a wrong mindset and reasons. There is indeed hope for those coming if they choose to view marriage and live in it from God’s perspective. What He had and still has in mind for marriage is perfect. Marriage is indeed sweet and very interesting if you marry right and with the right mindset *smiles*. It’s very important to know why you’re getting married because it guides your choice of partner, value system you build personally and the kind of prayers you make to God. You should not marry because of money, fame, pressure or because your friends are getting married etc. This helped me a lot in the qualities I desired in my husband, the value system I created for myself and also in my personal development.
What do you miss about your single days most and how did you cope with ‘losing’ your independence?
Mr O: (Smiles). I think I miss the fact that I could manage my time myself. After wedding you think of your home first, which makes you more responsible though.
Mrs O: I can’t even think of one now. I would have said being able to quickly make a decision on my own but I value the privilege I have to always share any decision I have to make with my husband because his input brings so much value and I never regret sharing with him.
So let’s say whatever it is enjoyed doing while I was single, I enjoy doing it better now that I am married *laughs*
If there was a next world, and you had a chance to start all over, would you re-marry that person you’re married to again? How do you and your partner stay as friends?
Mr O: I tell Deborah that lot of times. I’d marry her over and over again.
We agreed from courtship to enjoy the moments. We talk about courtship days and tease ourselves about how we reacted to each other during those early love days. Remember that we became friends from working together, so we make it a point of duty to keep supporting each other. Of course every day we gist about what happened during the day, regardless of how tired we are of course we pray together. No better way to keep a relationship than communication.
Mrs O: I would choose him over and over again. When I look at all that has happened in the last few months of our marriage, I say to myself that I am really blessed. Sometimes I just wonder how God singled me out to bless me with a man like my husband. He is all I asked for and more. We gist a lot and laugh a lot too. I also show my husband public display of affection though he shies away (laughs).
How do you handle your partner’s pet peeves? How can you tell when your spouse is angry, particularly when they hide their feelings?
Mr O: What are pet peeves? Okay, thanks to Google, I think I understand. Honestly, this is not as easy as we think, lot of times it happens that we do something the other party feels irritated about, so what we do is open up, call him/her to order, from there we try to adjust. This is one learning point that never ends, just like the previous question. What we do is observe moods and responses. For us guys, our responses are straight forward.
Mrs O: There is nothing like anger in our home oo because during courtship we declared and named our home a powerful slogan that anger can’t deal. Yes we can be displeased about something but it doesn’t go past that. My husband is the most optimistic person I have seen so when he shares his displeasure about anything, we deal with it and vice versa.
Do you ever discuss about your flaws and how one negatively affects the other? If yes, when do you bring up such a topic? Has it ever proven worth treading such a slippery slope? How do you go about it so that the discussion ends successfully? Does it strengthen or weaken your union? Would you recommend it to another couple?
Mr O: Yes, we do. So this discussion happens most of the time immediately the incident happens except we’re in public or both of us are unhappy. In such cases we wait for the best time. This is why courtship is important.
Absolutely. Like they say, it’s a learning curve. One thing Deborah and I have agreed to do is celebrate our beautiful moments over those little downtimes. We ensure not to talk at the same time, and try to reduce whatever it is, to become a small deal. There are many other beautiful things we enjoy together that would easy eclipse what ever momentary disagreement we have. It strengthens us absolutely. Communication always does. Every couple should understand their partner and suit their homes to stay happy always. Life is too short to have an unhappy home.
Mrs O: Yes we discuss our flaws but very minimally because we have chosen to focus on our strengths and feed them. We try to work on our weaknesses and help each other out where necessary.
As a wife, did the thoughts of your responsibilities of being a partner, mother, working class individual, leader in the church, counsellor etc.. weigh you down? As a man, how did you handle the thoughts of the responsibility awaiting you?
Mr O: Well, marriage made me more responsible. I had always been up to some tasks or roles. Marriage enhanced this.
Mrs O: No it never weighed me down. I have always seen it as a privilege and has helped me to position myself for the responsibilities by developing myself and preparing ahead.
Any word of advice for the yet to be married?
Mr O: Enjoy your singlehood, but remember that two are better than one. You’d be forever pleased with yourself when you make the right decision of whom to marry. And has been said severally, trust God to guide you, while you also work on improving yourself, because you attract the kind of spouse you deserve.
Mrs O: My words of advice. Develop yourself! Develop yourself!! Develop yourself!!! Have a value system. Don’t just be an ordinary person passing through this life. Paint a picture of how you want your future home to be, ensure it’s in tune with God’s word and prayerfully seek the face of God to bring it to pass, but still subject your picture to God’s will for you. Reorientate your mind about marriage from God’s perspective. Don’t enter empty-handed, either spiritually or intellectually or emotionally or financially. Be prepared for the responsibilities and be ready to learn and grow. If you decide to start God’s way, ensure to continue God’s way in the journey of marriage. Starting with God and continuing your way or vice versa won’t work and you won’t get the best. When you get married, you start a new generation entirely together with your husband. You must position yourself to raise that generation in the right way and that positioning is achieved in the place of preparation especially spiritually before marriage.
Marriage is sweet and a platform for exponential growth and impact, I pray God’s speed for you all and I wish you the best in the journey of marriage.