Gender Discourse,  Lifestyle,  Social Issues

When Will You Marry?

I am not here to interrogate anyone, neither do I want to make anyone feel guilty about not being married or ready for marriage. I am only here to voice out my observations and assumptions. Really, it is not more than this. I make this an assumption because my observation might not be generalizable. I also understand that individuals experience things differently.

Now to the conversation, I recently noticed a trend which is that parents, aunties, and uncles are often asking, “when are you getting married?” “Who is the sister or brother?” “Awon uncle nko?” (I guess I now notice these because I am getting older 😂😂.)  Everyone is quick to question a lady, especially when she is in her mid-twenties. Guys also get asked similar questions. Though society generally believes it is not so serious for the guys like it is for the ladies.

It is now a trend, and I must not lie, these words are hitting me like “straight bullets” (huh ooo, straight from the gun). There is nothing bad about these questions, but I think our parents and so-called well-wishers are good at asking these questions. Just that they fail to be realistic about the whole marriage thing.

Our parents want to see us get married but have never seriously discussed marriage and what its demands of us. I am not asking them to project their fears into us. But what tangible marital conversations have they had with us about the whole marriage “thingy.” (I am not talking of the one that would come on the eve of the wedding or on the wedding day.) Many people want us married but they fail to have a heart to heart conversation with us. No one tells you marriage is never a do or die thing. No one tells you what a good marriage entails. I am not talking about the relationship pastors. I am referring to our parents and the so-called family members who are giggling and happy to wear “aso-ebi” and eat rice. Is this all that matters in a  marriage?

Have these people shared their highs and lows in marriage with you? Most parents while their children are growing up hide their failures and weaknesses in marriage from their children and when the children are grown up and of marriage age, they still do not deem it fit to discuss pertinent issues of marriage with their children. Have these parents sat their children down to engage them in conversations about what helped their marriage to stand the test of time? Have divorced parents sat their children down to educate their children on why their marriage never worked? Has that aunty really sat you down to tell you about the truth behind the failure and success of her marriage? These interactions are necessary before you ask me when I am getting married.

Even when they call for these interactions, it comes with a bias. The bias of educating the female about marriage without educating the male. Is it because men got all things sorted out?

The worst part is that they talk less about financial planning in marriage. At the time of wedding planning, couples end up subjecting this important area to God. Yes, “baba God” will provide. After all, you are marrying a well to do man (or maybe vice-versa).

This is just me thinking out loud. Nothing much. I reiterate, these are only my thoughts, they are not facts or general summations of people’s experiences.

Above all, what do you think? Let’s get to talk more.

Meaning of Unfamiliar Saying

Aso-ebi (Yoruba language) – a Yoruba word for the family outfit. This is a common attire worn by family members during family occasions.

Thingy (informal English) – non-formal word for “thing”

Awon uncle nko? (Yoruba Language)- What about your boyfriends?

Baba God (code-mixing of Yoruba and English words) – God

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  • Tobi Oloyede

    I cannot agree less with you. There’s so much more we need to speak about when it comes to the issue of marriage. I guess we’re at that time of our lives when almost everyone asks about who the brother is🙄.
    There is more to this marriage thingy… preparedness and readiness.

  • Yosi

    Marriage is not a do or die affair. It’s better to take one’s time until you’re sure that you’re truly ready. Marriage is a lifetime something not a child’s play!!!

    Beautifully written!!

  • Seyi

    Very valid points you discussed here. African parents just assume that you understand something’s as you age, probably because that was the way they were brought up. I am not trying to make excuses for them, I am just stating my observation.

    M….and this thing with the wedding party hungry family members who haven’t poured into you but keep pressing you for marriage, because of aso-ebi and the ‘cheap profit’ they make from the ‘engagement list’ ….for those from the bride’s family… Insane stuff.

    Many parents seeking their children to get married now a days do so because the ceremony becomes theirs… It becomes their party and not exactly about the couple… They see it as a means of earning some sort of validation from their peers whose children probably have also gotten married and been celebrated… ‘Adulthood peer pressure’ lol. A lot to be said.

    Thank you for initiating the discuss.

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