[dropcap font=”” size=”1″ background=”” color=”” circle=”0″ transparent=”0″]M[/dropcap]arital peace of mind was a novel thing for 28- year- old Comfort Idongesit Effiong, a mother of four children and petty trader- until now. In about 10 years of marriage, two things happened to be a constant decimal in her relationship: giving birth and conflict with her husband Effiong.

The cause of the conflict was well known to the couple and neither of them could do much to resolve it for a long time or, so it seemed. “It wasn’t easy at all managing with my husband,” Comfort said clapping her youngest baby, Faith into her open laps. “I have four children, the first two, I spaced them four years apart, the third one was two years and this last one didn’t stay long before coming,” she said pointing to Faith who had begun to cry.

For many years, Comfort did not hear about the modern family planning methods; since her entry into puberty, she had been taught about the natural family planning method using the cycle. “I was calculating my circle to know when I would be safe,” Comfort volunteered and then added, “it was not easy at all, my mind was never at rest until I see my menstrual circle. I was always thinking; could I have made a mistake? And if the menstrual period delayed for any reason, I would have almost killed myself with worry.”

It wasn’t only Comfort that was having a difficult time calculating her menstrual cycle, her husband was not having the best of times too. “It was quarrel every time,” she said a tinge of sadness creeping into a corner of her eyes.

[blockquote author=”” link=”” target=”_blank”][highlight background=”” color=””]It was not easy at all, my mind was never at rest until I see my menstrual circle. I was always thinking; could I have made a mistake? And if the menstrual period delayed for any reason, I would have almost killed myself with worry.[/highlight][/blockquote]

But the situation was to change in 2017 when Community Volunteers from Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) and Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) came to Ikot-Ikpan Itu Local Government Area.

Moving from house to house, they began to tell the women-and sometimes the men- about the safe and effective modern family planning methods. The first time Comfort saw, them, it was in her neighbour’s house.  “I saw them coming to this community talking about family planning, even though I heard about it sometimes ago, I never thought I could do it. Listening to them made me know that the modern method is what can bring peace back to my marriage, so I chose to do an implant.”

Her husband has been supportive all the way and now, Comfort joins the ambassadors to spread the gospel of modern family planning to other women in her community. “Now, I am able to enjoy my husband and there has been peace since then because I can meet him anytime I like. That is why I am telling the women in the community now,” she said with a smile.

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