Betty Irabor on Marriage - It takes Two


Being the Editor-in-chief of one of the 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.

Funnily 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.

Marriage 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 sighted him.

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.

I have 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!”

He 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 anything in.

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.

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I first featured Betty and Soni Irabor in the Nigeria Power Couples piece.

Source - www.genevieveng.com

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