Who came up with these words? Are they really in the Bible? Maybe someone should enlighten me on where. I’ve recently in the past few months interacted with quite a number of friends going through divorces, are already divorced or are separated. And I’ve really questioned or thought about the issue of remarriage for divorcees. Do the words Till Death Do Us Part mean that they should remain single for the rest of their lives?? If I divorce at 30 years old, should I remain single till death because I have a living spouse? Is God really that rigid about this? I have many questions on this. Today I will reserve my answers and let the questions be rhetoric.

So, my views on Part 5 are PURELY based on hearsay and borrowed from lessons I’ve learnt from other people’s experiences. First, I will say there are far too many separations/divorces happening on a daily basis. I never thought this was the case until I started talking to a few married friends. I was shocked to learn that even some of those that I had looked up to and had thought were happily married, are either currently physically separated or are living under the same roof but have separate lives. Even Born Again friends. My heart breaks. What happened to happily ever after?? Of course there are still those who are together and have happy marriages, but they are few and very far between. It gives little motivation for people like myself to settle down. What I have found interesting in the cases of at least 3 of those I have spoken with, is that very many women are not pulling their weight in marriages. This is not specific to women brought up in the cities btw, even those from upcountry. The question in my head is, why is this the case?? In ALL these cases I found that the man is/was attending to the children’s needs that would normally be the woman’s or at least shared eg. Taking the kids to the hospital and nursing them back to health, school functions, doing homework, and others. And this is singlehandedly by the way. It’s been quite shocking to discover this. Whereas we are aware that times have changed and roles have overlapped, I do believe that everyone should pull their weight in marriage especially where the children are concerned. I do recognize though, that many times women are the ones who do everything, they’re the breadwinners, they’re the father and mother due to absentee fathers. Infact, this is the majority, but what I’m finding alarming is the rate at which absentee mothers is increasing and this is what I’m highlighting.

Which brings me then to the reasons behind absentee mothers. Again, there’s been a lot of discussion and debate regarding career women vs stay-at-home mothers. Many women are in the rat-race and working hard to get to the top of the corporate ladder. Sometimes they have to work twice as hard especially in male-dominated fields. This more often than not clashes with their work-life balance and their role as mother and wife. Many would like to argue that this is not the case, but sadly, the truth is, you cannot put in late hours, work weekends, carry your work home, and still be an effective mother and wife. Family requires TIME, your time. The more time you spend with your family, the more you get to know what’s going on with them. Some women have very understanding husbands, who then step in, but even then, there are some things that you just have to be there to see, hear and do for yourself. I have found that children also just want to see you around them, you don’t have to entertain them, infact, often they’re playing outside but as long as you are there, they are happy campers.
On the flip side of the career women vs stay-at-home mums discussion, there’s the ladies who opt to quit their jobs and stay at home. This is usually very good for the children and for a little while, the husband. But in this day and age, it is unfair to expect the man to foot all the bills, and from what I’ve seen, financial strain begins to show in the marriage. The lady also starts getting frustrated because she stays at home with the child and house-help and has nothing else that feeds her social needs except when her husband comes home. She also feels that her peers have left her behind and may after a while resent her husband especially if he’s the one who suggested she stay at home. I’ve found that at some point she will rebel and become that absentee mother. So the balance here is very tricky. My take is this, there’s every good reason to get a job, but let it be a job that allows you to cater for your family’s needs especially when you are needed to get off work, for example during emergencies, or child needs nursing or attend school events or just to spend the school holidays with the kids/husband.

So back to the marriage issues that have me wondering what’s wrong with us. I have found that in majority of the people I talked to, both parties were not communicating, are not willing to see their partner’s view of things, are not willing to give benefit of doubt or to quickly forgive and forget. In all the cases, their wives had gone nil by mouth. Not saying what the issue is and/or when they eventually speak, everything becomes a fight. The fights are numerous, and never get resolved. I read somewhere that sex will cure a bad argument, but it will not cure a bad relationship. How often do we smooth over arguments this way rather than sitting down and talking about the real issues. Now I’ve really been thinking and wondering, are these arguments due to expectations not set at the beginning of the relationship? Is it that people change and are no longer the person that initially got married? I’ve concluded, people change and expectations change. How do we adjust? How do you keep track of your partner’s changes? My take is mutual respect, friendship, communication, benefit of doubt and forgiveness. And doing this is not easy, but through prayer, anything and everything is possible. People can change, even you…and by doing this you give God the chance to do the all the hard work for you.
Again, I’m talking out of inexperience, I’m still trying to figure this one out. There could be more that I’m missing out. A survey that was recently done revealed that men leave their marriages or cheat on their wives due to lack of respect from their women. Women are now empowered (educated and financially independent) and speak to their men how they want. They do what they want, how they want, when they want. I thought this was an exaggeration but surprise surprise, my male friends have this at the very top of their lists. When did women stop being polite and all-bearing? I don’t ever remember my Mum, or my Grandmum shouting at their husbands EVER!! Perhaps in other households but even when we visited, I never heard such stories from relas and family friends. Where have we learned to do this? Why do we expect our marriages to work when we are not respecting our husbands. Ok, they are not perfect, probably very far from it, but we made the choice ne? A woman is the one who holds the home together but with her own hands/tongue destroys the home. Again, I know many women complain that their men are emotionally and sometimes physically abusive, they are selfish, unfaithful, etc. There’s no excuse for such men, but today I’m talking to my girls. If you have a good man, like those I spoke of earlier who are taking care of their kids, let’s respect them and do everything we can to hold the family together. My take.

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10 thoughts on “Am I ready for love? Part 5 – Till death do us part by @SueBuku

  1. I also hope you will follow up / or already have a post about men abdicating their responsibilities. There are many women providing for their families as their men become “entrepreneurs”. Their businesses are NOT working and they refuse to take jobs as they are “pursuing their dreams”. These “dreams”, which sadly, are not providing for their families.

    In such a scenario, expect the man to start taking care of the kids and doing the other things she “should” be doing seeing she’s out all day working hard to ensure the family has a roof over their heads and a meal for nourishment.

    1. Thanks Nyambura for that. do you suppose it is by choice that the man does not support the family? Or could there be another issue there as well? You know the saying, behind every successful man is? yes… his woman

  2. Yes, I know that saying but I also hope you have heard of mwanamke ni standards na mwanaume ni EFFORT! Remember that God gave Adam the garden to till not only to dream! He also has to put his share of effort. The Bible also says that he who doesn’t provide for his family is WORSE than an infidel. Dreams that do not bring the bacon home shouldn’t be pursued. A man should get a means of livelihood that takes care of the family’s needs. His dreams should be run on the side as a bonus. Dreams don’t pay bills, feed hungry children and pay school fees! Only jobs do that.

    I get the sense that some men chase dreams as their wives work their heads off. Doesn’t a man get embarrassed when for over 1 year, his wife is paying rent, school fees, medical, food, house helps, utilities, entertainment and some of his own bills as he “follows his dreams”?

    And by the way, behind every successful man is a SURPRISED woman!

  3. I so hear you Nyambura. And to add insult to injury there are other factors like ego (read physical and emotional abuse), alcholism, cheating, etc. The kind of situation you describe is what I call ‘The Worse’ part in the ‘For Better or For Worse’ vow. Very honestly I have no answer for this one. And if there was an answer out there, we wouldn’t have so many of these cases ending in separation and/or animosity.

    I will say this: The outcome of this situation is solely dependent on the woman. Is she willing to stick it out or will she leave (btw, knowing for a fact that leaving means she will thrive without him)? If she stays, is she still going to be the respectful, loving wife who will enable him achieve ‘His’ dream? Does she believe in him or not? What will help him achieve his dream? Criticism or Support? Is she willing to wait until the time he finally breaks through? Or will she take chances and make it on her own out there? At the end of the day, what she does will determine how this goes. It is indeed all upto her. There’s no straight jacket answer.

    To add a different dimension…did she always know that these were his dreams or did he spring them on her during marriage? Check out Part 2 regarding asking questions and listening to your partner’s expectations.

  4. very long post. Alot of the dialogue is unnecessarily repeated. Would have been good to hyperlink the survey you are talking about.
    “When did women stop being polite and all-bearing?” .. #allbearing ?! a straw will soon break the camels back.
    That said, interesting article.. i gather this state of affairs worries you alot.

  5. Human beings are dreamers… He has his dreams and so does she. But she puts her dreams on hold because if they both start dreaming, it is the children who suffer.

    There’s no woman in her right mind who will refuse to support her man’s dreams. If anything, she is his biggest supporter. But when those dreams are NOT materializing (not as soon as he expected anyway), the primary provider has to decide whether he will keep chasing dreams alone or make a plan B that allows him to take some of the burden off his spouse (via a job) while making adjustments that will still keep his dream alive.

    Johnnie Carson told Kenyans that choices have consequences and men should remember that. There are consequences to chasing your dreams… Just make sure that they are beneficial — in the short, medium and long term — to your family’s overall sustainability. If they are not working, then make a call that still keeps your dreams intact but meets the demands of your family’s current reality.

    Women are not superhuman. They have limits…. If you both decide she should be the main breadwinner then by all means, let her be. But your choice will have consequences including taking care of kids, taking them for clinic and going for school meetings…

    Just saying

  6. And by the way, just like you say that “in this day and age, it is unfair to expect the man to foot all the bills, and from what I’ve seen, financial strain begins to show in the marriage..”, it is equally unfair to expect a woman to foot all the bills… The strain WILL show!

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