Well, marriages nowadays seem to be like a dating game. When things are tough, it’s simply a case of “it’s not working, let get a divorce.” What happened to the bond between two people donkey years ago compared to marriages of recent years? Wasn’t that bond between two people unbreakable? What happened? Where did it all go wrong? What are these so-called irreconcilable differences? What happened to marriages built to last? Answer. Modern Society.
It is true that today’s world is a lot more complex than it was many years ago. But just because it became more complex, doesn’t mean our relationships and marriages have to become more complex to the state of being irreconcilable. If it is a complex problem, find a complex solution and that begins with the bond that brought two people together. For now, let us focus on the marriages in Kenya.
It started with flirting, then dating, then wedding, then honeymoon, then life together then life “together and apart.”
Flirting season – This is the time for the “ooh I kinda like you.” And you make every effort to look and behave your best in the presence of your flirty friend.
Dating season – The flirty season continues but as you get to know each other, you get to see the true character of the person. This is test time because arguments can make or break you as a couple.
Marriage – Honeymoon months are fantastic until you really get to realise that you have new responsibilities and commitments. Life is good until you start getting “bored” of each other and start doing your own plans with friends and spending less time together. Drinking is also a major contributing factor to problems. A gap is created and a third wheeler comes in. Now, you’re truly tested on the survival of your marriage. Here you can find yourselves “together” because you’re married and “apart” because you’re not dealing with issues, avoiding each other through spending time with other people.
Before weddings take place in Kenya, there are several traditional ceremonies. Other pre-wedding events include bridal showers, hen nights, stag nights etc. Women have bridal showers where lady friends, family and elder women get together for a session to advice the bride on marriage. This is very important as it gives guidance on marriage expectations and how to deal with some situations from the perspective of different single and married women. This is good because your mother cannot tell you everything as you need different perspectives. We are mostly Christian, so there is biblical guidance as well. On the other hand, men do not have something similar or the sessions they have are not as guiding as those of women. It is no wonder that men fall apart or are main cause of marriage problems nowadays because they have never been given such guidance. Yes, there is a little guidance from their father and some uncles but the depth of the discussions is not as much as that of women. Men do not appreciate their women as much they do in older days. There are too many distractions that are keeping their eyes off their wife (and vice versa with some women) and people are not honouring their marriage vows.
In a society where marriage is losing its meaning, I beg men out there to seek guidance and give guidance to those getting married. Women, heed the advice given during your bridal showers. Having said this, there is only so much advice that you can take from them as the relationship/marriage is between two people. Follow your heart and use prayer. At the same time, people should not broadcast all their marriage problems to everyone as some people may take advantage of anyone who may be vulnerable.
Both men & women need to respect each other and the institution of marriage. It is the most important decision of anyone’s life so it must receive the respect it deserves. This starts with total honesty, friendship, encouragement and clear communication which all build trust and respect among two people. We should not allow external influences to break us – these could be in the form of friends, family, drinking or trends in modern society. It applies to relationships as well. Let’s think about how our actions have an impact on our relationships and marriages. Is it worth it? Is it worth hurting the person you love and yourself?