Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Victor, 31, and Wendy, 29, have been married for three years, and they’ve been friends since they were kids. For today’s Love Life, they talk about finding their way back to each other amidst exes, distance and bad decisions.
What’s your earliest memory of your partner?
Victor: I think I was 11 in JSS 2, and she was in primary school. We had some joint events, so I used to see her around. She was tiny, quiet and had big eyes. I thought she was cute.
Wendy: I saw him around the school too. I was in Primary 6, and his class was a floor above the primary school at the time.
Do you remember the first time you interacted?
Victor: I’m not sure when the first time was exactly, but I figure it was during one of the joint events. I know I definitely saw her at one of the Christmas parties and we spoke, or at the very least, I spoke to her sister.
Wendy: LMAO. It was definitely through my sister. She used to come to pick me up, so she became friends with some of the guys in the secondary school. Victor was one of them, and that’s how I knew his name.
LMAO. Just friends?
Wendy: LMAO. Yeah, just friends. I think Victor had a crush on her, but she’s five years older than him. He was in JSS 2, and she had already finished secondary school. I think she just thought he was cute, and he really was.
How did things go after you started interacting?
Victor: The relationship was pretty much non-existent for the first few years. I used to smile and say hi whenever I saw her around, but we never really talked. I think we started properly talking when I was in university, and it was on Facebook.
Wendy: From Facebook, we moved to Twitter. Then I came back to Nigeria during my first year of university and we hung out for the first time in the cinema. He had a girlfriend then, and I was talking to someone, so we were just hanging out as friends.
That didn’t stop it from being weird when his girlfriend saw us together in the cinema. To be fair, he wasn’t answering her calls. He used to be very toxic, so I think he was tired of the relationship and was trying to get her to break up with him by frustrating her.
Victor: Wait. It’s not like I’m saying I wasn’t toxic then, but she’s definitely embellishing the story. I had originally tried to make plans with my girlfriend earlier in the day, and she had said she was unavailable.
I told her I’d make other plans, and I think she misread it as me being upset and then started overtalking the issue. It ended up pissing me off, so I went out with Wendy. I wasn’t even ignoring her; I was watching a movie and couldn’t answer her calls.
I tried to text her instead, but she kept trying to call me. It was annoying. Then she came to the cinema and tried to make it a big deal that I had gone with someone else. Anyway, that relationship had run its course, and I was just reluctant to end it.
Ah. I’m not touching that. When did you realise feelings had been caught?
This is for Wendy, please. You’ve clearly been in love since.
Victor: Omo. This is actually a big lie. I fell in love with her one week before our wedding. I didn’t know this babe. She was just sitting on the bench, waiting for her turn, and I was like, “Oya! Let’s see what you can do.”
Wendy: LMAO. Don’t mind him. Victor definitely liked me first. While I was in Nigeria, I got into a relationship for a bit, and when I went back to England, Victor started telling me, “I fancy ya” and “I want to be with ya”. I was like, “I have a boyfriend. Fuck off.”
The guy and I eventually broke up because the relationship was a sham. The next time I visited Nigeria, Victor was already in a relationship, but he still almost got into a fight with my ex at a barbecue.
Wendy: I had stupidly told him that Victor liked me, so there was just this weird energy between them. Anyway, I don’t think I actually started liking Victor until a few years later, when I fully moved back to Nigeria after university.
I was single and ready to mingle. So one night, I said I wanted to go clubbing and Victor said he’d come meet me at the club. We made out for the first time, and that’s when I knew I liked him too.
Victor: Omo. See lies. Just lies, lies and lies.
Wendy: LMAO. Are you mad?
LMAO. Where did she lie now?
Victor: See, I knew she was a fine girl, but I didn’t give it much thought because the circumstances didn’t make sense. We were rarely in the same country for any proper stretch of time, and even when we were, one or both of us were in relationships.
I do remember telling her that I thought she was fine and cool, but it wasn’t in an “I love you” or “I want to be with you” kind of way. To be honest, we still didn’t really know ourselves like that.
What about her ex you almost fought?
Victor: LMAO. I was unavailable at the time, so she went to find a lite version of me — Victor lite — and that’s how she ended up in a relationship. She now went to tell him that I liked her, and even though I wasn’t trying to move to her, he was jealous.
I actually can’t remember which barbecue she is talking about, but I was a very aggressive youth so that probably happened. Anyway, when I became single again, I finally decided to make my move because I could see a lot of men circling.
I threw my hat into the ring, and it was pretty straightforward from there.
Wendy: Wow. Now, who is lying? This guy ghosted me after our first makeout session in the club. He wasn’t picking up my calls or responding to my messages. I even called his roommate, but that one didn’t give him the phone. I just freed it.
We eventually had a conversation, and he said he was trying to get back with his ex. I was like, “Cool,” but I was obviously mad. Then about a month later, he came back and said it didn’t work with his ex. They had tried for a week, but he wasn’t into it anymore.
LMAO. Wow. Victor, what the hell?
Victor: Ok. Fine. It wasn’t so straightforward. I was still hung up on my ex at the time, and I really wanted to give that relationship one more chance. I wasn’t optimistic, but I don’t think I would have been able to go into this relationship still thinking, “What if?”
It was while I was trying to make it work with my ex that I realised how foolish I was. The issues that caused us to break up in the first place were still there, and I became more sure of what I wanted from a relationship. So, I ran back begging. I went all out.
Wendy: He practically asked me to marry him.
Victor: She is a detty liar. I sha told her I was finally ready, and I was willing to wait for her to be ready too. In her mind, it took her like three weeks to agree, but in reality, I knew I had washed her. She was in love again.
LMAO. Wendy, how exactly did he wash you?
Wendy: My birthday came up around that time, and he got me a huge old school iPod and put Drake’s “Own It” on it. He got me a lovely necklace that I still have, even though he always wears it now. He also got me headphones.
So, Victor does this thing where if he buys you a gift, he makes sure you have everything to enjoy that gift. Like, if he gets you an iPhone, he’ll also get you Apple Music subscription for a year. It’s so thoughtful.
I was also about to go to NYSC camp, so he went to Balogun Market by himself and bought every single thing I needed — from the white T-shirts to the fanny pack. I was like, “OK. Fine. You’ve won.” Once I came back from camp, we became official.
How was the relationship at the beginning?
Victor: I think we were very lucky. We were at similar stages in our life in the sense that we were both still growing. We had the most fights in our relationship very early on, and we also had the most arguments. We talked about everything.
She was very vocal about her feminist ideals, and I didn’t always get it. I wouldn’t say I was the most toxic nigga around, but I remember us having this argument about making decisions in the household.
I was still very Christian then, so it didn’t make any sense to me that the man of the house would not have at least 51% of the say. Thankfully, she was very patient with me, and I was able to unlearn and grow.
How long did you guys date before you got married?
Victor: We started dating end of 2013, got engaged at the beginning of 2017 and got married in December 2017. I remember us having conversations about marriage two years into the relationship, and I was concerned because I thought she was too young.
It’s funny because she’s just two years younger than me, but I always feel old. For me, it was very important that she didn’t blindly rush into a lifetime commitment. I was already willing to die there, and thankfully, she convinced me she wanted the same thing.
Wendy, how did getting married change the dynamic of your relationship?
Wendy: Honestly, I think we were acting married before we got married. My friends would call me Abokoku (in Yoruba, it means someone who wants to die with their husband) and they still do. Victor always gave me that same energy.
He made it okay for us to unapologetically simp over each other. I’m the kind of person that is happy to form for you if you’re forming for me. With Victor, he never formed. Early stages of the relationship, he was already pooping and farting in front of me.
We were friends first, so that kind of carried on into the relationship. The only thing that has changed is that we now live together and are on each other’s necks all the time. We’ve also become a lot more mature in terms of communication.
So, no more fights?
Wendy: The last time we had a shouting argument was probably 2018. We had the worst round of fights in 2017 when we were planning our wedding. Since then, we made a decision to never have those kinds of fights again.
Now, it’s very common for us to be mad at each other, and each person will go into their room to calm down. Then we have a conversation right after. That way we don’t get to heightened levels of anger.
That sounds great.
Wendy: Yeah. Then in terms of expectations for marriage, we don’t have any regarding the way a wife or husband is supposed to behave, and that has definitely helped. We also don’t have kids, and we don’t plan to have them this year or the next.
So, we are basically just best friends who live together and have sex.
Victor: LMAO. That’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted my own person that I could do life with and build my family with. I’m not even talking about kids when I think of a family. I just wanted my own unit, and Wendy has given me that.
I think we are very good together and very good for each other.
That’s so sweet. What do you love the most about each other?
Wendy: I know it sounds extremely cliche, but it’s difficult to pick just one thing I love about Victor. We’ve been together for 8 years now, and I still can’t get over how kind and thoughtful he is.
He is extremely friendly, very funny and very beautiful. He is my big teddy bear. We also work together a lot, and I like seeing the contrast between how professional and assertive he is at work and how goofy he is with me.
I love that I get to experience every aspect and facet of him.
Victor: I love that she thinks of me. A lot of times, I feel like I get so focused on doing right by everyone else that I forget to look out for myself. So, it’s reassuring to know that there’s someone always looking out for me.
She’s fantastic. She’s very kind, and she teaches me every day to be more empathetic. She says I’m very thoughtful, but that’s really just her rubbing off on me. I love that her inner beauty matches the very evident beauty on the outside as well.
It’s very easy to fall in love with Wendy. You can ask all her hoes and office people.
I’ll take your word for it. What do you see when you think of your future together?
Victor: When I imagine us in the future, all I see is enjoyment. I see us flourishing and thriving side by side. Do I see kids? Maybe. Maybe one. Maybe two. Maybe none. I sha see her, and that’s the most important thing. Everything else is jara.
Wendy: We haven’t decided if we’re gonna have kids, but if we are, it’s going to be when we leave this country. We’ll probably have two or three. . .
Victor: THREE? From where?
Wendy: We always say two or three now.
Victor: Ah. I’ve been saying one or two all my life.
Wendy: LMAO. Fine. Two. I’ll push one out and decide what is happening with the other one.
LMAO. You guys are killing me.
Wendy: With or without kids, I see us living our lives as unapologetically as possible. I see us evolving together and as individuals. I also see a lot of wealth. I’m saying it now oh.
Victor: You’re manifesting it?
Wendy: YES! I see a lot of wealth and enjoyment. I see us continuing to live our lives in a way that is not dictated by what society says we should be doing. We did away with religion since. Thank God!
Victor: LMAO. Thank who?
Wendy: LMAO. That was a Freudian slip. Anyway, we did away with religion and I think we are better for it. I’d also like to note that Victor and I are not intentional about our relationship in the way that many couples are.
Like, we don’t do quarterly assessments and all of that. It’s just vibes.
Victor: LMAO. I mean, we are intentional about some things, like loving each other and respecting each other.
Wendy: Yeah, the basics, but it’s mostly vibes.
LMAO. How would you rate this relationship on a scale of 1 to 10?
Wendy: 10 out of 10.
Victor: A solid 9 out of 10. Gotta leave room for more.
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