anniversary. Traditionally the wife receives gifts of pearls in particular
pearl jewelry. In a modern 30th anniversary wedding, the gifts have a
theme of Diamond Jewelry and flowers given out are Sweet pea.
largest selling magazines in Nigeria isn’t Betty’s greatest achievement;
nabbing one of the best men in the world, giving him children and keeping her
family together is.
On her Wedding Day: My
wedding day was the happiest day of my life! All my sisters and friends were
around to assist me in planning; it was a lot of fun. Thinking about it now, I
remember feeling a bit of the wedding jitters, mostly because I was told one of
Soni’s ex girls was planning to ‘storm’ the wedding; she ended up not showing
up and it turned out to be the very perfect day.
enough, my wedding dress gave me a headache because the blouse just did not sit
right. It had a funny shape and people kept adjusting it for me but I kept
telling them it was the style. It cost me less than N30,000 which included
shoes, bag and other extras. I no longer have it, but Sonia my daughter, would
not have appreciated it if I passed it to her anyway.
so Far: There’s
still a lot of sparks although I didn’t like him much when I first met him. I
really wasn’t impressed by the fact that he came across as a ladies’ man; he
always had girls dripping from his arms (even though I was never short of
suitors myself), but I figured it had to be because he was a TV personality.
The very first time I saw him, he had on a white suit and had bushy hair and I
remember thinking, “really?” But again I thought, “not bad…” because he had a
warm smile although I didn’t get to know him until a few years after I first
A Husband as a Cheerleader: He
is kind, self-giving and tolerates my excesses. Honestly, only a tolerant man
like him could have married me; I am too stubborn. I always tend to want things
my way. If I hadn’t married Soni, my destiny perhaps would probably have been
diverted; he got me interested in the media. When I met him, I was a rookie PR
girl who was totally clueless about an assignment I needed to deliver. He just
happened to have saved the day for me and it was like payback time when he
asked me out. He was in a relationship but I charmed my way into his heart.
That was the beginning of a relationship that ended in a marriage 9 months
after that first date.
to say this: I don’t know many men who believe in their wives’ abilities like
Soni. He is my biggest cheerleader and my children of course. When I decided to
go into publishing, he gave me all the support I needed even though neither of
us knew what it entailed. When I feel I am hitting rock bottom, he would
sweet-talk me into my strength. I am always amused when he goes: “Do you know
who you are? You are Betty Irabor!”
would then begin to roll out my list of achievements until I am good to go
again. Soni is not easily fazed by challenges; he is an optimist and I am
learning to tap into his optimism. Recounting my story, I feel lucky and
blessed; I’m always grateful for the way my life has turned out with my husband
and my children. We had some anxious moments when we had to wait six years on
that ‘street called hope’ for our daughter, after the birth of our son, Ruyi,
but we never got to the stage of trading blames. I have a great relationship
with my husband and it’s only getting better.
When the Love Bank is on red: We
do have our roforofo moments but we work it out. A marriage where couples don’t
communicate and bear grudges is likely to be an unhappy one. Talk it over and
don’t keep digging up the past. Forgive…forgive…forgive. What I know for sure
is that Christ is the foundation of a good marriage. Having said that, I would
like to add that when the time comes for anyone to choose a life partner,
choose a partner who is not embarrassed to say “I am sorry” when he is wrong
and never makes you feel small so he can appear taller. Marry for all the
right reasons and never for what you can get out of it when you haven’t put
Marriage takes Two: They
say the future of a marriage lies in the hands of the woman but I say it takes
two. Marriage is one of the world’s biggest collabs between two strangers. It
has no manual; you learn on the job. It’s no surprise that given the chance I
would choose my husband all over again; I already did with the renewal of our
vows 12 years after our first wedding. We have our differences but after 28
years, you find a formula that works.