Marital Infidelity, Divorce, And The Untold Story Of Nigerians Abroad

The rate of divorce among African immigrants, of which Nigerians are a sizable portion, is climbing to astronomical proportions. According to statistics, women are more prone to seeking divorce from their husband. In a recent survey by Fairfax, more and more women are getting divorced from their spouses because of infidelity and financial problems. However, statistics from the Fertility and Family Health branch of the Census Bureau reveals that about 60% of marriages that eventually end up in divorce do so within the first 10 years of the marriage. While this statistics bear little or no relevance to the high rate of divorce or separation among Nigerian immigrants to the United States. It can be deduced that immigrants who find themselves in a different society like the United States begins their test of the first 10 years over again as they face the challenges of starting a new life in a new country with a different value system.

Dr. Laura Aborishade ascribes the development to problem with cultural re-adaptation. According to her, the system creates a situation where each member of the family begins to question their cultural upbringing in relation with their new environment. The result of the new assimilation, which might be more profound in one of the spouses, creates tension between the old and the new culture. Thus, the drastic aftermaths that might occur.

Until a few years ago most Nigerians in the United States were living in relative peace and calm. The notoriety that heralded the presence of Nigerians today was absent, as there were fewer Nigerians around; most of who make legitimate income. Now comes the era of internet and financial crimes. More and more Nigerians are getting involved in this get-rich–quick scam and using their ill-gotten wealth to entice Nigerian women who feels getting stuck with a man who struggles to pay his bills might not be their portion after all. There were reported cases of women who left their husbands for the neighbor next door. A recent case involved a lady named Aina (real name withheld), who was brought into the country by his fiancé with the sole purpose of marriage and a future together in America. Barely two months after living in their Kenmore Street, Chicago apartment had trouble struck. Chris, a native of the eastern part of Nigerian, and a prominent figure in the Chicago taxi industry, suddenly came home unannounced. He discovered to his chagrin that his neighbor was having sex with his bride-to-be right in the comfort of his apartment. He had a cardiac arrest and was immediately rushed to the hospital.

He was lucky to survive!

Soon after his return, he discovered his fiance had moved next door, with his neighbor. “I went crazy, and for the first time in my life, I felt justified to commit murder in the first degree,” Chris said, shaking his head, trying hard to fight back the tears that loom large in his eyes. “It really hurts to have someone take your wife away, it really hurts,” Chris muttered. Apparently, Chris, like most Nigerian Chicago Taxi drivers, had been working so hard to keep up with the bills and even sending money home to both of their parents.

As pathetic as this may be, the wife-defection cum wife-snatching trend has been a regular feature in the Nigerian community in northern CHICAGO. Elders within the community are fond of warning potential husbands to steer clear of notorious Chicago north side neighborhood the moment they get married or bring their fiancés from Nigeria.

Written by
Ebenezer Akin
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