When The Pendulum Swings

by Vera Ezimora

I would like to take all the credit for this piece, but truth be told, I had some help.Though I had been thinking about this piece, it was not until Dammy Odetola of Michigan came up with the title that I started giving it some serious thought.

As usual, I’m concentrating on Nigerians because I am one, and they are really the ones I know.We as women are quick to talk about all the bad and wrong things men do; especially Nigerian men.Nigerian men are not romantic, Nigerian men are not sensitive, Nigerian men are flirts and cheats, Nigerian men are heart breakers and liars….blah blah blah.Yes, they are all these things (and even much more), but ladies, we have to give it to them, it’s not easy dealing with us.With our hormones constantly going on roller coasters, it’s not easy keeping up with us.

We are as uncomplicated as a two legged table (and you know a two legged table is damn near impossible); just when you think you have gotten it stabilized, it topples and falls. Are Nigerian men unromantic? Well, it depends on whose eyes are looking at it. A typical Nigerian man’s idea of romance will be taking his woman out to the store (not a grocery store, please) and spending a lot of money on her. An American man however will write his woman love poems (that do not include her being the only sugar in his tea or cockroach in his cupboard), buy her flowers, and take her out for romantic dinners, so you see, it all depends.

We as Nigerian women tend to forget the culture differences between us and the American women.Expecting a Nigerian man to be as romantic as the American man is as redundant as a Nigerian man expecting us to be as “sexually open” as the American woman; it’s possible on both sides, but what are the odds? I’m not saying that there are no Nigerian men who are very romantic, or Nigerian women who are sexually uninhibited. We as Nigerian women tend to read in between the lines of what our Nigerian men say; the problem is that sometimes, there aren’t even any lines.

But speaking of looking for greener pastures, I am beginning to agree with men that we (women) really do not know what we want.I mean, when you ask a woman what type of man she wants, you would be surprised at the speed that the words would roll off her tongue. But what will actually happen when this ideal man shows up in our life? I’ll tell you what will happen. Most of us will be excited for the first few months about the little things he will do like call us every morning to say ‘good morning, love’, or buy us flowers, but as soon as he stops, we get angry that he has changed. We will talk with our girlfriends and come to the conclusion that all men suck, and they are all the same.

The problem is that another guy would come by and buy us flowers, then without thinking, we would say “this one is different”. Like hell, he is! If every man is the same, why do we always think the next one will be different? If truly we know what we want in a man, then why can’t we recognize it when it comes in a man? Why do we always get excited over the most insignificant things, and leave the more important things yearning for our attention? Why do we always chase after that which is not after us in any shape or form? Why do we want a man to be in love with us and yet complain about him being ‘too in love’ with us? Why do we always leave one guy for the other? What makes us think that the angel we do not know is better than the devil we know?

I met a girl who has a boyfriend that any other woman would be dying to have.He buys her flowers and whisks her away to romantic settings (and yes, he is Nigerian). She went on a four-day trip with her friend and got mad that her single friend was getting all the attention.Well, duh! She was single, was she not? Anyway, she is now drooling over a man who cannot give her even a quarter of what her boyfriend is giving her.I simply do not understand this. What the hell is wrong with us? Do we say what we want but mean the exact opposite?

I know a girl who had a boyfriend that loved her from here to there. He would do just about anything to make her feel better. She said she wanted to be married by 2008, and her boyfriend was more than happy at the news. But how do I begin to explain to you that she temporarily fell out of love with him, and fell in love with someone who already had a girlfriend and said he will not be getting married till at least 2014? She fell for someone who had absolutely nothing but bullshit to offer her.Do we have veils of stupidity hovering over our heads that make us unable to reason rationally? Needless to say, her veil of stupidity has fallen off, and she has come back to her good senses. Can I get an Amen?

I’m not trying to make excuses for indecent behavior(s) on the part of our men, but sometimes I wonder if our men cheat because they want to or because we expect them too. We obsess so much over our men cheating that we do not have the time to celebrate their fidelity. Calling every woman that talks to our man a whore or a bitch will not stop him from cheating if he so desires; the only thing the name calling will do is expose our insecurity. Endlessly slandering an ex-boyfriend/lover/husband and comparing his ill-mannered attitude to every other man (especially our current man) is the best way to say “I’ve got some serious baggage”, and trust me honey, there is nothing attractive about that. Unfortunately, confidence is not a genetic factor; it’s something we learn as we grow, so I suggest you better learn quickly and pass it on to your children.

When the pendulum swings, we realize that the problems we have in relationships do not all rest on the shoulders of the men (even though we may want to believe they do). We are also huge contributors to the trouble, and sadly, we are also benefactors of the disastrous end result(s). It will be in the best interest of everyone involved if we realize what we want and actually mean it; or else, each of us would become “the bride that wasn’t”. A fifty year old man can still find a woman to marry, but a fifty year old woman is considered “shagged out”, and unfortunately, simply considered to be expired.Hey, don’t blame me; I did not make the rules. I’m simply ‘shagging’ them.

You may also like


udoma nwachukwu December 16, 2009 - 4:16 pm

let the truth be told

lajean iyekpabor December 20, 2007 - 4:03 am

my sister, u are spectacular…. u handled your business on this article… excellent

Ade May 19, 2007 - 7:28 pm

First off, I kind of like the article that we as women should stick our guns in terms of what it is first we want from men and when an unfortunate situation arises that the man is not providing what we want. We should have the courage and move on. No doubt you may have to wait a while, but you may be glad you did. Here's why hanging around with someone who has shown that they are not willing to respect your feelings is wrong, just plain. wrong. So if you are blessed to meet someone of which you two can get along, then you guys deserve to stay together. I was recently disappointed by a Nigerian man. He did not bother to tell me about his girlfriend, I happen to find out by being in the same gala. I was very hurt and I find I am doing better by moving on. Here's wishing everyone all the best by taking my challenge when things do not go right in your love relationship. Just give yourself another chance. My love, ADE.

Godwin Kwushue April 11, 2007 - 8:39 pm

Hey Vera,

I can not thank you enough for those 's h a g g y' truth

Anna April 11, 2007 - 2:45 pm

As in every write-up, this cannot be generalized, as you pointed out. There are horrible men as there are women. But on my own personal experience with my Nigerian boyfriend (I'm Hispanic), your write-up brought up an essential point; its not all roses and sweet with romance, but I think your explanation to why some woman act the way they do is off. With my hubby, the first few months he was sweet, wrote poetry, sent texts during his busy work day, sent flowers and always said he loved me. That changed drastically 2 months ago, I was convinced it was me. So I was patient and waited for the ball to drop, I finally asked….what is going on? Is it me? He didn’t want to talk and asked me to be patient with him, and so I waited. Finally he was himself again, and apologized and explained he was stressed out, tired and down on himself. Men (naturally) can be down on themselves and are not as open with feelings as women are as society has instructed them to be so. Which leads me to believe that the reason woman maybe looking at other men is not because woman don’t know what they want or are just plain selfish and hurtful, but because women are (naturally) insecure and like the constant attention and admiration. Have you never found yourself thinking you are undesirable to your guy, just because he hasn’t been as sweet as he was the 1st months? I think what we should be advocating is for us woman to love ourselves first before looking for someone to love us.

tina January 24, 2007 - 12:53 pm

i just looked at your opions on nigerian men cheating, i tend to agree with you. i have had a nigerian boyfriend now for 5 months and im often getting trouble with him flirting with girls etc, hes 35 im 36 and would say attractive. i cant understand why they do this he says he loves me and i do everything possible to make him happy and comfortable in life, i also think they are great liars too. its his mobile phone that lets him down im more clever its just so hard to understand them and why they do it when they have everything beauty and a loyal women????? and when u catch them they cry beg and plead to never do it again which is lies too.

prince May 29, 2006 - 5:19 am

thank you for a well writen article

BIGFEST May 14, 2006 - 8:32 am

To me, marriage or relationship is never a bed of roses.Always expect the worse from it and you will enjoy it.

Tee May 6, 2006 - 7:38 pm

The article was very imformative.. Im 15 years older than my Nigerian boyfreind and Im also American..I keep telling him NOW is my time.. I printed the article and im going give it to him in his hand and say.."PLEASE READ.. theres 2 sides to every story."

Anonymous May 6, 2006 - 12:02 am

Your writeup is fantastic and very candid. I hope all the women on NIA can learn from it.

smokeysmokey48238@yahoo.com May 5, 2006 - 2:42 pm

Ola, don't be afraid to love again. There are good women and there are bad men. Next time, keep your eyes open.

HEATHER May 5, 2006 - 12:22 pm

Thanks for taking out time to but into words what a lot of us think in our heads. Your article really blessed me especially as i'm going through a trying time in a 'relationship'. You've made a lot of things clearer and I believe I have a lot of work to do on myself before I expect another human being to change. Keep this up. Thanks and God bless

somadina ezeobinwa njemanze May 5, 2006 - 12:21 pm

take it easy ola, it's not every american woman that is evil. you just got screwed, but pray hard, it'll be alright. actually my present fiancee is an american woman , although i've been postponing this marriage because of fear, something in me is telling me to go sign the damn papers.

ms vera, good one!, you are a model and the real prototype of the quintessential nigerian woman. although Nigerian men sometimes get on my nerves, our women are following suit. the best phrase in your article is about cultural integration, i dont know why our women always want us to act 'american' and all that? have they forgotten that we are the mandingo siblings, our sexuality and interests are parallell to the american man's interests. The american man first comes too hard, while the african first comes sloppy; the american man will get you down babywise twice and come up with the phrase 'i gotta do what i gotta do' later to sneak out of your life for a younger halle berry, and all those flowers,dinners,candles will disappear in a flash while he will only leave you with stretch marks. pls vera, tell our women that nigerian men like it slow but steady and forever!

enitanmason@gmail.com May 4, 2006 - 7:44 pm

The uncomplimentary adjectives seem to suit more Nigerian men than I care to admit to. The men we speak of are self centered philanderers whose exploits and abuse of women is largely applauded by other Nigerian men and unfriendly in-laws in Nigerian society.

I find it rather interesting when we decry Nigerian women who follow in their brothers footsteps. Should we applaud these women? I think not. However, to condemn them seems a little self righteous. To consider women who do not fit into the typical pure female mode the reason why Nigerian women get what they deserve i.e. the insensitive guy whose main form of recreation is sex and whose main way of showing affection is giving money, is to say that women who are molested deserve it because some of them dress provocatively!

Should Nigerian women (even the ones described as confused) want more? or should they simply settle for any kind of Nigerian man available because some people believe that it is a man's world where a Nigerian woman without her Nigerian man is doomed to a world with no options except the black hole of loneliness?

In my opinion, matters of the heart are best left to the individuals involved.

Women—There are an awful lot of wonderful men on the universe. Get together with the one who fulfills your fantasies or at least makes you happy for a while. He does not have to be Nigerian. Women, like men should not limit their options. Each person creates his own fate.

Men—Being a sensitive, caring male is not a favor to any woman. You have to be who you really are, even if the other guys do not cheer you on and the woman you desire does not value you. Just because you are a vegan does not mean you will not get attacked by a bull. Relationships are hard work! Think out of the box.

OLA ANJOHRIN May 3, 2006 - 8:56 am

You actually nailed the problems of women around the world in the head, and bold to do it too, because you may not realised how much you had actually talked about yourself as a woman in past experiences with the opposite sex.

Women, in my views, knows what they want. But, the main problem of a typical woman in a relationship is COMPETITION. A woman is not jealous about her spouse, but jealous about any other woman around her spouse.

I was a single gentleman from western Nigeria. When it was time for me to settle down, I was told to just marry any woman you love. I was married to a beautiful American virgin. I did everything in the book as a Christian to satisfy this woman. But, what did I get from her as a lasting reward? We had two children within a four year marriage, and one of this children happens NOT to be my biological child. She cheated with the lowest man on earth, who had just been divorced by his wife for cheating, and with three other kids by other women, excluding my wife's son for this looser. My wife wants to keep her marriage with me. And, I wonder if I can ever date or trust any woman any more. I had given it all I had. Woman…Woman…a substance of a necessary evil deeds, and a torn in every man's flesh. If I can find a decent Yoruba woman without having to ship her over from abroad, I would never had married any woman from this demon pocessed gods own country.

Anonymous May 2, 2006 - 11:16 am

Excellent ..as always


Leave a Comment