Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who is 1st? Who is 2nd?

This post was inspired by this one.

When I was younger, my older cousin introduced me to a friend of hers. Let’s call the friend Patience. Patience had an interesting story. Apparently she was a second wife. I had never seen one of those up close (LOL!) and I was curious to know what would make someone who was such a knock-out become a 2nd wife.

Patience dated Ade (another pseudonym) for about 8 years. They started dating when they were in Uni and kept dating after they both left and started working. Naturally they started talking about getting married and that was when the problem started.

You see, Ade was from a noveau riche home and his family was a lot richer than Patience’s old money, aristocratic one. His mother was a dedicated social climber. The sort of woman who on meeting you would ask you who your parents were. She had grand dreams of marrying off her children to only those that were fantastically richer than they were. Think Christopher Getty and Pia Miller. Clearly, Patience did not cut it so Mother dearest refused to sanction the union. She did not just stop there, she started fixing Ade up with other more suitable brides.

Ade struggled against this and swore to stick by Patience. The struggle lasted about 3years and then Ade married one of the “suitable” brides and started a family with her. He did not however stop dating Patience and he ensured that everyone (including his new wife) knew this.

3 years after that wedding, his mother died. Less than 2 months later, Ade married Patience and started a family with her as well. He did not get a divorce from his other wife. I do not know what the state of that marriage was, but at the time of this story, he had gotten a house with Patience and was living there with her and going to his other house from time to time.

In this case, who really is the first wife and who is the second? Was Patience wrong for marrying a married man? Are there really only black and white areas to this story? No grays?


  1. Ha, this is a tough one, but really why cant he just get a divorce? And I do not think one can do two court/church marriages in Nigeria without first getting a divorce. Bigamy is a crime. So certainly one wife has only her tradinational wedding pics, and the other a marriage certificate.
    I'm amazed though that Patience stayed with him even after he married first wife, I have seen it happen many times and I just simply don't understand it. If he loved you that much, why did he marry someone else?

  2. I see no reason why they can't share's 7 women to 1 man aiint it?so one gets to go to church the other gets the family's blessings.....everyone is happy...

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  5. I hate weak men especially the ones that can't stand up to their mums. If he is that weak, he is not worth that sort of love or loyalty.

    I was in love with a man like that... and his mum died too... seven years after we parted - he'd married someone else by then. But I never looked back. There was no point. I totally agree with 'For the Love of Me'. IF a man really loves you, he'll marry you no matter how many hurdles stand in his way.

    Re: who's first, I suppose it's Patience since the love has always been there and at least he honoured that love eventually. Wife #2 is just a weak man's decision, nothing more. See.... I'm still a romantic even after all that.

    I don't feel sorry for #2. Women that go on to marry men whose heart they know belongs to someone else are only asking for trouble. They'll always be insecure... looking over their shoulder because they know... they're not numero uno.

    The 'greys' here are 'cos of wife #2's children. Weak man has to maintain both homes because he's responsible for #2's kids.

    *BTW thanks for the kudos, babes.

    xxx Naijalines.

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  8. hmmm, as far as I am concerned the woman he took to the altar first is the first wife. First does not always mean preferred and well, thats up to them.

    All three of them are adults and therefore deemed capable of making their own choices.

    The first wife could have asked for a divorce if she didnt want to share her husband. Bobo himself could have chosen to be a man instead of letting his Mom decide for him and the second wife knew she was going to marry a married man, I mean what was stopping her from moving on? All three participants of the circus have made their choices and are obviously okay with it so, let the law decide cases where there are disputes and leave the well alone.

    I personally would have made the man choose but, we are all different, some really do enjoy sharing.

  9. patience is wife # 2, but she was not wrong to marry him as she went in with her eyes open knowing he was already married. to each their own

  10. Patience is wife no 2, whatever we say...i would say she should not have married a man who has no balls enough to stand up to his mother! I see no grey lines there!

  11. Wow, that's a really tricky one. She must really love the guy to have stuck it out. What if the mother did not die? Technically, she's still the 2nd wife.

  12. agree wholeheartedly with naijalines, if he loves you, he'll stick it out.

    Aas for who's first, i have to go with chronological, and therefore legal. Are 2nd marriages legally recognized in Nigeria?

  13. It amazes me. I would have thought Patience would want to call it quits after Ade got married to a different person. ;-)

  14. To be honest, if I were Patience, I would never have married Ade. The truth is, there is probably no denying that he loved her. But he didnt love her enough to stand up to his mum. So when other trials come up, will he stand up for her and be there for her? That doesnt cut it for me at all. But hey, its so much easier to make judgements when your not the one in a situation. Love they say, is a form of insanity.

  15. Wow...parents shouldn't let their children ever get to this point naw. Na wa o!!!!

    Now the "suitable" bride and her children will suffer somn that they were forced into...

    Patience is obviously the one he wanted...there must be gray areas in this story which I cannot fathom. It's just a sad state regardless...ouch!

  16. Love makes us do stupid things that actually might not be stupid at al, as much as i would want to take sides with the 2nd woman, she and the man are wrong according to Christian principles. Painful but its reality

  17. hmm.i plead the fifth on this one.

    but all the comments have an element of truth...

  18. could not shut my hand 4 long
    Patience knew wat she was gettin into
    Ade was weak not to have stood up to his mum.
    Wife on one is just an innocent pawn in this whole game
    patience aacc Christian principles was wrong to marry ade but Love knows no religion
    Ade shld have cut all ties wit Patience since he decided to listen to his mum...easier said than done...

  19. you peeps have forgotten that although you cannot marry more than 1 person at a time in the church, we had traditional marriage before the colonialists came. so thats how he can marry without divorcing. all he has to do is traditional marriage.

  20. he loved patience, but was to weak to say no to mummy.

    It's not the first wife's fault, but come on you do not marry another man's wife. So now he's neglecting his kids.

    Patience is the second wife, I have so much I have to say, but hmmmm.

  21. I have been reading your blog for a while, but this actually one of my first time commenting because this story really hits home.
    This suitation you just summed up is actually very common bck home especialy among the rich and elite, It just makes it easier that way. as long as all party agree to it.. i have a friend thats actually about to marry into the exact suitation, they are actually having a big wedding... he first wife knew that she was actually just to please the boys family... SO really the girl is not wrong, that was her place in the beginning.. And trust i don't think it was that easy for the guy either...

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  23. Love is a dangerous tin at times. But I'll av to say my mind. I tink its sad wat patience went thru. I tink its wrong wat Ade's mother put dem thru . BUT I TINK IT IS WRONGER WAT ADE DID AND THEN WRONGEST WAT PATIENCE FINALLY DID. If he was not man enuf to stand up to his moda den patience shd av cried her fill n not want anytin to do with a man who put his tail btwn his leg n did wat "Mummy said". Put wat a coward he was. For patience to stay as d great luv of his life dat he couldnt fight for during his marriage n finally raise a family with him......i say wrong wrong. D heart is a fragile tin but we must be wise. If he hasnt got d balls to even divorce d oda lady n do it right by patience.....den i tink u need to sit patience infront of a mirror so she sees wat she looks like and d conical hat dat reads "JACKASS/DUNCE". He is still afraid of his mom after death and cant even tink he should do it right by patience or Make an honest woman of her or Treat her as d no 1.
    In my point she is not 1st nor 2nd she is NOWHERE like his mother placed her in d begining. In a court of law - d one ade married is d ONLY recognised wife and she is just some oda woman with kids.

    Help ur friend out here. Love/shame/hurt has blinded her reason. Help her plssss!!!

  24. dis is pretty strange o. not @ all d typical 'second wife' tales one hears of a gold-digger coming 2 reap where she ddnt sow.

    anyways, shit happens. i try not 2 judge pple 4 wot they did or ddnt do. i remember how i was so upset wit pple who were rooting 4 'paloma' in When U Were Mine. As far as i was concerned, Diego is married, leave him d hell alone. but she kept saying 'i knew him b4 dis lady came along'. I don't know sha.

    like u said, like is beyond white & black. there r grays o. different shades of grays at dat

  25. lots & lots of gray...i'm not 2 quick 2 say the guy wasn't man enuff or sufficiently in love wit patrice. relationships r not always so clear cut.I can think of valid situations where duty, family honor ati be be lo should trump eros (romance) An example, which most of us know iz in d bible - Jacob, Rachel, Leah.
    At d end of d day i doubt it matters who is first.1 will be definitely be prefered over d other and they will just have to leave wit it.
    i tink what's more important iz dat everyone in d relationship has their eyes open and determine from the onset what they need from d relationship; knowing dat their decision has the potential for huge collateral damage.

  26. let me go n think who is the 1st wife

  27. nawa o...nawa o ..nawa o...
    i dont even know what to say..not sure i want to answer the question cuz issues like these just really really really upset me...

    i guess its a case of different strokes for different folks but personally i think both women are really dumb and Ade is a looser and should not be called a man!

  28. forgot to add-
    sorry to say but Ade is a silly what if his mother did not die would he still have married Patience?? ...Patience sef, in short i will keep quiet

  29. @ For the Love: I think it is because there are already children involved. I didn't know Bigamy was a crime in Nigeria. Have they arrested even one person for it?

    @ IBILUV: When the statistics are on the table, it makes it kind of easier to understand...LOL!

    @ Kunle S: Not sure he is a man...

    @ naijalines: Thanks for inspiring this. You are so right about marrying someone else's man. I don't know what she (other wife) was thinking. Everyone in this story is responsible for some of the craziness going on.

    AWww, you're welcome.

    @ For the love: Already been. It was good of you to think this through.

    @ Mojisola: I suspect in Patience's mind she was not sharing. She must have convieniently blocked out the other woman especially as Ade hardly left her side. Wife no 1 had been sharing her husband from Day 1. A bit late to ask for a divorce. You are right, the whole thing is a circus...

    @ Jinta: Great analysis!

    @ Write-freak: A black and white girl!

    @ Sting: Good question. I guess they would have carried on until someone else came along for Patience.

    @ The AfroBeat: Sometimes things are not so straightforward. I know another couple with the same story and the guy is so conflicted that my heart actually goes out to him ( and to think that in this case the Patience is my friend). In his case, he involves his own Patience in everything. Even in the rearing of his kids. Their situation is made a bit more understandable by the fact that his wife is a difficult person.

    @ Azuka: Hey you! Now we see you, now we don't. I hope you are doing okay.

    The heart, the heart....If she was using her head, she would have left a long time ago.

    @ NDQ: I have asked this same questions. If something bigger comes up, will he stand by her?

    @ Jaycee: Parents are just children grown up. They do not necessarily know better.

  30. Biga what?in Nigeria,its a dead law and who has ever enforce that.Wheher Patience likes it or not,she is second fiddle and no matter the amount of love and attention Ade lavish on her,she is not recognise in the presence of God-what God has joined together,let no patience put assunder.I will continue to say it,its a man's world and society will always accept any nonsense from a man but lets see how he will get that peace at the end of the day.

  31. if his 'true love' was willing to deal with it, then who are the rest of us to judge?
    the best we can do is say we'll never stand for it, but you never know how much u can take till ure in the same situation

  32. Patience is the second wife. I can't judge Ade but I don't think he did right by Patience; he could at least let go of the first wife.

    Both women are the ones I have issues with actually. Why is it that women can't see themselves as worth more than just the man/family they marry. The first wife surely knew that Ade's mother was the one that married her(not Ade himself) and Ade's heart belongs to someone else. Why couldn't she(1st wife) walk away when he was openly disrespecting her by still going out with Patience after their marriage.

    As for Patience, what if the mother didn't die? Would she have continued waiting? Ade's mother might have been the one who was most outspoken in her opposition to their marriage but I'm sure she's not the only one opposed to it. Why marry into a family where u're not wanted? As a woman, I can't imagine ever hurting another woman by going out with her husband.

    All in all, the children will lose out the most. It's a shame that these adults drag innocent children into their drama.

  33. I have learnt not to judge because you never know till you walk in a person's shoes

  34. Patience is really patient.

    She is definitely wife no.2 and I do agree with Mojisola, although feel a bit sorry for the first wife.

  35. Ade has no Back bone. i guess his mother ruled his life. I guess Patience must really have love him because i dont think i can ever stick around for someone to grow a spine.

    It took the death of his mother to do that, what if she lived to be a 100?

    I also feel sorry for the first wife.

  36. the first wife is the first wife now. joined together to the man in the presence of God and men.

    well, as their story went, i dont know what to say. she followed her happiness is all i can say, though others will say it is wrong to marry a married man

  37. The guy is a goat and too weak to be called a man....


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