I like to focus on real issues as it affects marriages, while some of these realities may not go down well with some people, it doesn’t change the fact that it is happening around us everyday. One of those realities is that a high percentage of the young women out there were exposed to dating older men before they finally settled in their matrimonial homes, and many more will tow the same line. I am not here to judge anyone, I will however try to highlight some of the negative implications and In addition suggest ways to ensure it doesn’t affect your marriage now or in future when you finally get married.

This relationship with the older man if not properly ended and forgotten before marriage or while married will definitely affect the woman in her matrimonial home. In a relationship like this, especially if the man treats her with love respect and does the proverbial “spoiling”, she will use him as a yard stick to measure all men. He will become the standards by which subsequent relationships are measured. Sadly, one of these subsequent relationships will be her husband.

Imagine this scenario, a young girl in her 20s or older starts a relationship with a man in his 40s or older. This man spoils her with expensive gifts and gadgets, she travels first class and wines and dines in the best restaurants, she is exposed to adult intellectual discussions, she often listens to the man and his friends talk about business, pleasure and life in general. As a result of the age difference and his marital status, the man overlooks a lot of her flaws.

Then this same girl meets a man in his 30’s, who may also be doing well financially, he equally manages to maintain an expensive lifestyle, drives an expensive car, manages to fly her first class; this young lady, believing she has found a younger more permanent replacement for her sugar daddy agrees to marry him. Few months after, because the young husband does not have a solid financial foundation, the first class lifestyle begins to affect his finances, his ability to provide the good life begins to wane, trouble starts, in comparison with her sugar daddy, his attitude becomes childish to her, she begins to notice how shallow his arguments are, irritation turns to hatred, unable to cope, she leaves him in search of her former life. This sadly is the case with most marriages today.

To the wife: it is totally unfair for you to judge your husband using an older man as a parameter. You must realise that the man who is probably twice his age has had a lot of time to get to where he is today. Since he has no real vested interest in you, he probably ignored a lot of things, this is why you were able to get away with those misdemeanours. That will definitely not be the case in your marriage, you are answerable to your husband and he will not overlook issues, he has vested interest in you and will complain when you don’t behave well.

Your husband may not spoil you that much because compared to the short relationship with the older man, you have a lifetime together, to plan and to build. In order to ensure that your marriage works, you must learn to leave that lavish and affluent life behind, saving and planning for a stable home should be your priority. When you decide to get married, you must step into the world and the level of the man who you decide to marry. You must recognise the fact that he is a young man starting life and it is expected that you will help him build and grow. It is understandable that you may have been exposed to a more matured man, do not judge his intellect using the older man as a yardstick, they are not ages mates. He will sound and behave his age and in order to understand him, you must activate your own youthfulness.

To the husband: Do not let your new wife dictate the level at which you operate, do things according to your income. Even if you met her as a high flier, be wise and learn how to walk properly before you attempt to fly high. You are not in competition with her ex, he is older, in most cases more financially stable, it is an unfair match, you cannot win. You are just starting you journey through life, provide only things your income can carry comfortably. If she makes you borrow, you may begin to resent her when your debtors come calling.

A lot of young men like you who started well have been ruined because they tried to finance a life they couldn’t afford for their wives. Be sure to truthfully declare your worth and level to her, do not because she drives a better car or lives in a better neighbourhood begin to lie about your net worth. Your lies may be the reason why she has agreed to marry you, when she finds out you lied the marriage may be over because her reason for saying yes was a lie.

To the couple: Aspire to marry your friend, it makes everything easier. Ensure you talk about everything including finances, your jobs, where you will live, things you hate and things you like, how to handle siblings, parents and even friends. Write your own rule book or manual before you agree to settle down. Do not accept today what you know you won’t accept tomorrow. Courtship is a negotiation, once you have accepted something, your spouse records it, any attempt to change it in future will be regarded as a breach of contract and betrayal of trust. Do not be driven by desperation, open your eyes, open your ears, open your mouth and ask questions. It is better to break a relationship or even an engagement, breaking a marriage is on another level, it is not a good experience.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a very prosperous, happy and healthy 2018. May God’s favour continue to follow your marriages, May the blessed assurance pacify us in times of marital issues and may God almighty continue to grant us all a blissful marriage. To the singles, May God’s perfect choice for you locate you in his own perfect time, May He give you the wisdom to recognise his choice for you when the person comes and May he protect you from unserious people In Jesus Name -aAmen. God bless you all – Sir Stanley Ekezie