If you ask me, I'll say separation, while it is not encouraged, is not uncommon in Nigeria. Scores of people I know live separate lives with their spouses mostly in different homes and sometimes even in different countries. A few times, they even live in the same house and still do their own business. What is more frowned upon is going the legal route of getting a divorce, I put this down to our religious and traditional backgrounds.
On my part, I'll never support marriage for marriage sake, but only when it is healthy and beneficial to the couple and any children they have. Recently, Joseph Benjamin - Nigerian actor and presenter - got the full weight of public disapproval when it came to light that he was separated from his ex-wife and mother of his two children. There were other rumors surrounding the announcement some of which he has addressed in this press release below.
“I was married for 8 years. It was a rather odd situation at that time. She got pregnant and I didn’t want to have a child out of wedlock and so I married her so we could build a home together for the unborn child. Things weren’t rosy then, but I believed it was the right thing to do for the sake of the child.
I overlooked my own personal desires, I just wanted to do right. Our second child came and I stood by my family like I always have; but no one is perfect, we had our issues – the crisis persisted but we stayed because of the kids. But you never make that kind of decision because if the parents are not happy together then the children suffer.
I’ll also like to correct a misconception – she is not older than me, and she wasn’t taking care of my financial needs as people have insinuated. We were both starting off in life on the same grounds – no one was exploited.”
“I’ve been separated for a year now but we still keep a good relationship, and our separation was a mutual agreement. She is a good woman but I could not go on with the union anymore seeing the foundation it was built on was untrue.
I have two wonderful children – a ten year old daughter and a seven year old son. They are an integral part of my life; their mum and I have a very good arrangement on how to balance their lives and make sure that psychologically they are stable and unaffected by our separation.”
Source - Bellanaija.com
No matter the reasons any one goes into marriage for, I doubt they pray for separation or divorce for themselves. However, at the end of the day you have to do what works best for you and your family. I wish Joseph Benjamin the wisdom required as he and his family goes through this period.