I Married Early Against Everyone’s Advice And This Is How It Turned Out

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My dad who was so instrumental in my education and loved to see me become a nurse in the future sadly passed on when I was in JHS. Nothing hit me harder than that! I was his last born and he named me after himself, although I am a girl. He himself did not further his education beyond middle school.

However, he constantly promised to do everything within his means to ensure that I attain higher education. “Even if I have to sell the last piece of cloth in my closet, I will do it,” he would say. It is just sad that death took him away before any of those dreams became a reality.

I knew I only had myself to rely on after he passed. Yes, my mother is alive but at the time I completed high school, she was weak and unable to work. I have older siblings but money was a problem for them as well. “If I don’t go out and look for a job and save money toward nursing school, I won’t achieve my daddy’s dream for my life,” I told myself. I got a few jobs here and there but most of the employers kept making sexual advances at me. I knew I wouldn’t give them whatever they were asking for so I resorted to quitting when the pressure got too intense.

In my quest to find a job that didn’t have male employers, I chanced on a woman who had both a provision store and a drinking bar (pub) in Kumawu and was looking for a sales girl. Moving from Kumasi to work in Kumawu gifted me Seth. He had just come to Kumawu to start his teaching career as a high school Literature in English Language teacher. As a young bachelor, he used to accompany the older teachers to town every evening to buy his supper.

These old teachers always passed by our pub to buy drinks for appetite before getting to town. Seth, who didn’t want to indulge in alcohol always stood across our pub to wait for them. One day one of these teachers asked Seth to come and wait for them inside the bar. That was the first time I saw him. I saw the way he looked at me and it annoyed me. I thought he was like the other teachers who liked to grope me whenever they got the chance.

So even though he didn’t try anything, I treated him as if he would. ”I will marry this girl someday,” he later told me this was what he promised himself that very night I was busily ignoring him. After that first night, he started following the other gentlemen to the pub. All those times, he tried to talk to me but I always kept things professional with him. At some point, he expressed romantic interest in me, but I had this resolve that I was there to work, not fall in love. On 14th February 2009, Seth came to the pub. This time around he was alone. He wasn’t one to drink but that day he did.

I became concerned when he was drinking too much. So I went to him and asked, “Are you okay? Why are you drinking like that” There and then this guy broke down in heavy sobs; “Don’t you see that I love you? Please accept my proposal, Nao. I am serious about marrying you.” I was touched. I said some comforting words to him until the tears ceased.

That was the day I agreed to be his girlfriend. When my Madam got a hint of our relationship, I thought she would be happy for me but she wasn’t. “This small boy who is just starting his life cannot do anything for you. He will just use and dump you,” she remarked. I was certain that I knew my man better than she did so I didn’t listen to her. When my WASSCE results were released, I was disappointed to find that I could not get all the grades I needed to enroll in nursing school for a diploma course. I wondered if Seth who was a degree holder would still marry a woman who couldn’t even pass her WASSCE.

When I showed him my results slip, he encouraged me to rewrite the papers I failed. I had planned to use the results to apply for a certificate nursing course like some of my colleagues were doing, so it was difficult for me to heed Seth’s advice. However, he is someone I look up to. In the end, I did as he suggested. He tutored me in one of the elective subjects.

And when the results were released, I got a B in the subject, which boosted my results and gave me a shot at chasing my dreams. While all this was going on, my boss was trying to pimp me out to some of her big men clients. She would push me to serve them, and they would use the opportunity to manhandle me. When I resisted, they acted surprised. Later, I found out my Madam took money from them with the assurance that I would consent to whatever they were looking for.

I told Seth about the harassment and he promised to find me another job. After a few months, I was able to secure a government teaching appointment as a Pupils’ Teacher through Seth’s connections. Talk about my own knight in shining armour. I was twenty by then. I was so happy to work a job that afforded me the financial independence I needed to save for school. I taught for a year and then applied for nursing school. I gained admission to a school in the Upper East Region. I feared what the distance would do to our relationship but I had a dream to catch.

So I took the opportunity to better myself and comforted myself with the statement, “What is mine will remain mine even if I am a million miles away. If this relationship is meant to be, then we will survive the long distance.” One afternoon, I was on campus when I received a call from Seth. I thought it was one of our regular check-ins until he said, “Nao, we need to talk about something very important. Is this a good time?” My heart skipped a beat in panic as I urged him to go ahead and talk.

There was a heavy silence between us for a few seconds before he finally said; “If you are ready, then I am ready to marry you.” I was only twenty-two and still in school. My first reaction was to laugh, “This is a joke, right?” I said this because he had attempted to travel to the UK the previous year but was duped by a connection man. He lost almost all his savings. Marriage, I thought, should be the least on his list of priorities. However, Seth was sure he was ready for marriage. I didn’t ask for time to think about it. He is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.

So I said yes there and then. Later that night on my student bed, a lot of things raced through my mind. “Am I not too young to be getting married? Most women I know wait till they are in their late twenties or early thirties.” But I also thought about how supportive Seth had been for the three years I had known him. He had proven to be mature, supportive, selfless, kind, dependable, and loving. Also, he had been helping me financially throughout all these years. Many people, including my schoolmates, family, and friends, counselled me against marrying at a young age.

Even my campus pastor was not pleased that I was getting married. Once again, these people didn’t know my man like I did. So I prayed to God about my choice and stuck to it. We got married a few months after his proposal. A few months after our marriage, the travelling opportunity door that seemed to have been closed to Seth for a very long time was opened. He was going to the UK at last! Once again, I was concerned about the long distance, considering we were newly married. I could not even have a baby to tie us together, considering I was still in my first year in school and we were not permitted to get pregnant while pursuing a nursing program at that time.

So I found myself in a happy-sad situation after his visa was granted. I had a good reason for this fear because he was going to be hosted by his old friend who had married a white British lady and gotten his resident permit as a result. “Is this guy going to arrange one of these white ladies for Seth too?” This was my concern. The entire time my husband was abroad, this thought consumed my mind day and night. However, God being God, my husband returned home to me before his Visa expired. He wanted us to start a family as soon as possible but we waited for me to complete school first. After I got pregnant, he got another opportunity to go to the UK again.

This time he got a visa that expired after two years, longer than the previous one. He went to the UK but returned to me again. He said, “If I am meant to live in the U.K., it will happen. For now, let’s build our lives together and have all the three kids we plan to have.

So we continued to stay together and work in Ghana for some years.Seth encouraged me to upgrade myself and get a degree after our second child arrived. That’s the kind of man he is. He isn’t selfish with his success. His goal is for both of us to do well in life. At the time I was getting my degree, I was pregnant with our third child. It wasn’t easy to combine pregnancy, motherhood, and being a wife with school but with a husband like Seth pushing me on and sharing in the responsibilities, I could not afford to give up.

I have been in the UK for some time now while Seth and our three girls are in Ghana. When the UK government called for foreign nurses and care workers, my husband encouraged me to apply. I believe my degree certificate gave me a push to get the job I applied for. Once again, where would I be if not for Seth and his selfless love for me?

Now, I look back at my life and all the choices I made despite the possibilities of things going wrong. There were many odds along the path, but I am glad I made those choices. I am glad I chose a good man even though he didn’t have the world to offer me. I am glad I married him although everyone talked about the disadvantages of marrying young. I know for the life of me that I have no regrets so far. Life is all about decisions and choices and I took the risks fully ready to embrace whatever would come of it.

It’s not easy to carve your own path in a world where people question you when you don’t conform to the norm. I believe that while it is good to listen to counsel, you don’t have to live your life based on fear and uncertainties.

Sometimes, you have to decide for yourself what you truly want and go for it. If all things go as planned, my family and I will soon be together here in Scotland where I’m sharing our marriage journey with you. May the odds continue to be in our favour, and above all, may God perfect what He has begun. 

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