Tammy let out a deep breath then started narrating her story: “I am based in Jos, the Plateau state capital. A while ago, I had to attend a programme in church (name of church withheld) in Lagos state, where I met Mike.” “Mike, is a good looking dude plus it didn’t hurt that he was a church boy, who was into music and also doubled as a food vendor. We hit it off well and about two months into our relationship, Mike came to Jos for a music recording and guess what?” Tammy paused for effect and then continued: “Mike popped the question ‘Will you marry me?’ I gladly accepted, of course I was elated.” Tammy continued. “…But, given the miles between us and coupled with Mike’s communication deficiency, things started taking a nose dive in our relationship.” Tammy paused then took a deep breath and continued “…His lack of communication made me feel like he didn’t care for me as much as he said he did, I mean we had discussed his lack of communication at length on several occasions and he promised to improve, which of course, he didn’t! Some of my friends suggested I go to Lagos and spend some time with him, I thought it was a good idea and I decided to pay him a surprise visit, just to see if I could, maybe, spice things up a bit between us.” Tammy sighed, “You won’t believe what I discovered upon my arrival at Lagos.” “My fiancé whom I thought was the epitome of everything good, was deep into drugs!! I mean who would have thought that my supposedly God-fearing Mike was into drugs?” Tammy let out a little hysterical laughter before she continued. “The whole thing seemed unreal to me, It’s like a routine; he comes back from work and sits in the bathroom smoking weeds, drinking codeine and boom, uncle falls asleep! I mean, really?” Tammy’s voice went a little higher at this point. “Of course! It’s now clear why I don’t hear from him… I mean how can I when he is wasted and passed out half of the day?” Tammy paused as her voice started shaking. “Who would have thought that the seemingly innocent well-talked-about ‘Mike’ whom everyone in church loved, was a drug user?” Tammy continued. “I mean, he is so addicted, that everytime I bring up the issue of drugs we end up in a huge fight, but then a little while later he comes back begging me and promises me he is dropping the habit but doesn’t.” Tammy started sobbing and in between sobs she continued. “…and what hurts even more is that I still love him so much, but I don’t see how I can continue with him now. It hurts!” Tammy cried out.
Counsel (After a while of sobbing and pacifying Tammy, we began talking with her on the issue at hand)
We then sought her consent to give our honest opinion and she agreed saying she was open and then listened attentively. “So Tammy, we think the engagement was way too early… You see, if all it took was one visit for you to discover his drug habit, imagine what else you could find out about this man you had plans to spend the rest of your life with? And of course, the long distance didn’t help matters either.” We paused for a second or two then went on: “You really can’t know a person purely based on what they say, you need to spend time with them, that way you get to know more about them both the spoken and unspoken.” At this point Tammy let out a heavy sigh! When she said nothing we went on: “So, moving forward, to the first thing: Mike needs help breaking away from his addiction and you might have to push him to get professional help. In the meantime, put a hold on the whole engagement. When Mike is clean and better both of you should focus on building a strong friendship and rebuilding your trust for each other. Please we must add,” we said emphatically, “On no condition should you continue your relationship except he deals with this habit, if not you will have that issue to contend with for as long you two are together.” Then we said calmly “But, please remember it’s a process and it might take a while, so you need to be patient with him, and people in situations like this who have a good support system do a whole lot better than those who don’t have one.” We could barely hear her breathing so we wondered if the line had gone dead, “Hello! Tammy are you there?” “Yes I am.” Tammy said, so we went on; “This way you are sure that your relationship with Mike has a fighting chance of survival” Tammy let out a little giggle then a sigh of relief then said “Everything you’ve said is right and its exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you, thank you!! I appreciate you!!! Oh, by the way, what’s your name? We are The One Habitat!!!