Marriage in Africa especially is usually a union between two persons, but approved by many others in an awkward way that often hurts the parties involved.
For those looking for something to fight for their gender, this might not be the right place because this is an issue facing both genders.
Relationships are much easier between two persons until marriage is mentioned. At this point, parents and relatives are involved and everyone starts looking for faults in the person coming to take their daughter or son away.
What many people have not come out to say openly is that they were really hurt in the process, because we live in an “it is well” system. Saying you were hurt in the process will be seen as not being matured enough for marriage and as usual, everyone will refer to it as one of those things that happen in the process of marriage.
The necessary scrutiny
No matter how we see it, good or bad, it is often seen as a necessary thing to go through this scrutiny which both families carry out.
For the females, their families will want to know if the man is capable of taking care of her. In some extreme cases, they will want to know every single thing about his earnings as well as his family history. Some of these inquiries go on to demean families to the extent of hurting their egos.
One thing everyone says is ‘I’ve already started, no guts no glory”
Some families of the groom, ask if the lady is working; why she is still single at her age; how many people who previously came to marry her and why they failed and if they are all females, there might be claims she cannot bear a male child. This hurts right?
Mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law are other phenomena hated by women, they keep fighting the lady, to ensure she will be humble to them in the family and in some cases, a single disapproval could cause a big chaos in the marriage process.
When your partner does nothing
When the female is being suffered (interrogated and investigated) by her prospective in-laws and her man does nothing, it hurts. Men also go through a similar issue.
Sometimes people hide behind their parents and relatives to ask questions they could not ask under normal circumstances.
“You know I cannot disagree with my family” is usually the issue and even when the relationship belongs to two persons, one is left to fight for it, while the other person is unknowingly the chief opponent.
Most people get out of this battle differently. They are usually tougher, wiser and then understand the scents and stings characteristic to every perceived openonet in their new family.
And the hate is carried over
Some ladies automatically live to hate or just manage to tolerate their new in-laws for the sake of peace in the extended family, while some men would always make reference to “you still want to suffer me after everything you family put me through”.
Statements like that hurt family egos, should the bride tell them. In such cases there is always someone willing to confront the groom and just then, interfamily war has started. These wars never remember why it is being fought, it only concentrates on damaging more egos, one thing human beings can often sacrifice everything for.
A way out
I feel people should talk about these things as they happen, assuring each other that they are always there for them.
Siding your family in rubbishing your partner is like telling everyone ‘hey I’ve got trash at home”, one day someone who is aware of that will surely see him/her and say “hello trash” and that is when the betrayal that damages everything begins.
This piece is not about the numerous divorce cases we know, but it is about those that are to come because of some avoidable mistakes.
Always remember that the no matter the strict huddles your parents set for your partner to jump, the marriage will belong to just both of you and if they hand in a broken and exhausted partner over to you, you alone will live with him/her.
Family differences will always be there, but until we understand that the family set up by our grand parents and those by our parents were never the same, meaning ours will also be different from their, these hurtins will never end.
So no matter the huddles they set for your partner to jump, do the race with them , letting them do it alone simply means that at some points in the marriage, they will be on their own.
Two can play the game, but the two must have a common goal.