By Silas Nyanchwani
When we marry, we should marry for love and friendship. You want a partner who will be with you at your worst and at your best.
I don’t know where this obsession with money and material things came from. But money is only a means to an end, not an end itself. Money takes to a vacation when you can enjoy the vacation, not when you fight everyday back home.
Where there is love and friendship, there will be trust, honesty, responsibility and even when either party trips, there will always be understanding. Good times are to be enjoyed in marriage and bad times are to test the resilience of a marriage.
And nothing is straightforward. Or black and white.
But I have seen most millennials have this overblown sense of self, that makes them blind to their personal inadequacies. I have been on dates where the girl said some real dumb shit it scares me. I am sure I have also said some crazy and stupid things in a date that made a woman I am quoting question her sanity.
Over the last two weeks I have seen some things on social media that scared the hell out of me.
First was the girl from South Africa who said she can’t date a broke man. And then she went ahead to justify her hypergamous inclinations with some feminist stuff like “heteronormative patriarchy”, “emotional labour” when dealing with a broke man, who still wants to be a man et cetera get cetera. She claimed to have her money (but won’t mind if a man gave her money), some property in Jo’burg and such. Of course men camped in her wall to remind her she is not too attractive to have such standards but that was also to miss the point.
Second case was two feminists, not married, never been married arguing how they want house chores to be divided between man and woman. No shade, but their arguments were pretty dumb. First of all, assuming that you are middle-class, you will probably afford a servant for chores. Any man who has married a woman who went to school knows her nails are sacred, can’t wash his jeans and will invest in a mama was kufua. Besides save for extreme folk, it is wrong to assume that men don’t participate in house hold chores. This is an extremely Dil and dumb view of men.
Also, among the things that will trouble your marriage, house chores should be the least. And if such will trouble you then you were raised badly, you are too childish for marriage. No man refuses to enter the kitchen or help with the kids. We do this and it is not like we want to be thanked or not. Plus, this is what courtship is all about. Sort these shenanigans before you move in.
Also, there is an extremely dangerous notion many young women have developed. That marriage is all about taking care of a man. That there is a lot of emotional labour to be done to men who are ‘underdeveloped emotionally’.
True some men may be needy. But to be human is to understand that we are here to help each other and it is never an equal arrangement. Many a time you may have to help your man through some tough patches. But trust you me, you will have your moments when you will want to be lifted. Be it sickness, a death, low morale and if your man is your friend he will be your rock.
As human beings we are weak, we are messy, we are vulnerable. And in marriage if you find a true partner, you become a source of strength for each other.
But lately, we have inherited a very American approach to life. Where we focus on beauty, material things and such…
Beauty and youth work for women. Money works for men. But up to a shallow end. I know very men beautiful women with horrible love life just as I know many rich men who can’t seem to get he right partner.
We are a shallow generation that focusses on the ephemeral. Very short-lived goals. We look at life as black and white.
Most of us, go for a spring, when marriage is a marathon, beset with many mountains to climb, rivers to cross, valleys to walk on and sometimes nowhere to go.
Women, maybe in their wish to have it different from their mothers are decidedly hostile to men. And they want to have it all, but rarely ready to deal with the consequences of ALL.
Men on the other end are pretty stuck where our fathers were but lack the resources that our fathers had. Men can’t improve in their attitude and women can’t compromise some of their personal standards.
Now, we have a deadlock.
But kids listen. Marriage is not something to be played with. First of all, you need God in your marriage for it to work. With God a lot of stuff that troubles your heart rarely matters. I am not saying that you have to be religious or go to church and such. I am saying that each party in marriage needs God in their life. To offer direction.
If you are married or about to marry, know this. Marriage is a lot of hardwork. There will be tripping. There will be hard times. But there will be as many good times and happy times. Just know your standards. The lines your partner can’t cross. But know they will cross them and from time to time, you have to adjust.
There are the first five years. Layba good foundation. Then come the next ten years when things tend to go wrong. Work hard in this phase as you already know each other well. There is also a lot of boredom and pressure around this this time. Then there is the intervening period in your mid-40s before you full settle into your 50s and die.
Each phase needs a shift in gears, focus, and energy. Don’t drain your partner. At best, try and cultivate friendship that is everlasting. Lately it is impossible for many people, but if you do it will be the best thing.