It’s easy to get swamped with life and its intricacies once you take the leap to share your life with someone. More often than not I find myself staring at the mirror wondering if I recognize the person staring back. Other times I cannot get over how I have changed, from the individual who thought on linear basis , ” What are the repercussions to me?” (Most times I did it anyway) to someone who considers her partner, my life isn’t mine to gamble with, decisions not only impact me but my partner too.
Some decisions I hate but it’s what’s right for the ‘team’, and in all sincerity the ‘team’ should come first. Some I cannot make alone because I could be none the wiser and others are so obvious its amazing!
It is easy to disregard consciously or unconsciously what your every day routine reflects on your spouse. You can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to do in the absence of their spouse. Sure, walk around naked ever so often, sing off tune in the shower , dance with the girls or ride with the boys….keep doing you to bring out the best in both of you. Let it not be for show that you hold hands, laugh heartly or talk to each other kindly. Let it be who you people are on and off the camera.
Your life does not seize being yours just because you choose to say ‘Yes/ I do’ it does however reflect on your better half. Relationships can be happy and marriage beautiful just choose to be…..
The dictionary defines “Ours” as A form of the possessive case of WE.
With this in mind it is not unusual to assume that “our money” simply means joint custody or joint ownership. Everything that pertains to “Our money” should clearly fall under full disclosure ( I figure as much). Like a child ,said money needs nurturing, tendering and when let out to play the owners must be careful what kind of friends it makes lest it gets submerged in bad company or worse lost for good. It takes all parties to ensure that the do’s and don’ts as pertains to the money are adhered to. As enticing as it is to show off the money in terms of designer clothes, posh cars, cool gadgets,happening hang out places, someone has to remember to leave some for the family home,children’s education and general necessities that sustain human life. Duh!
It is often misconstrued that “Our money “is a string to pull every time one party needs the other to tow the line, amour every time there is a conflict , argument or discourse. The one bullet in the barrel that one is sure will cripple and maim. Now, all the goodies about “Our money” have been turned to a bull’s eye. One where the aim is predetermined and the cause and effect earth shuttering.
One second plans of grandeur are not so absurd the next second visuals of withering and dying from hunger and homelessness are eminent. It sounds almost ridiculous but most couples reality. The bread winner goes out and wins the hell out of the breads, in efforts to “ grow my family”, only within the confines of their walls it becomes gateway to “My way or the high way”.
It is said that even the loyal, hardworking donkey tires at some time. The bullet in the barrel could as easily become another case of “shooting yourself in the foot”. Money comes and money goes, once one realizes no one individual owns all the money in the world, disarming the armed becomes a possibility.
“Our money” remains ours even when we are using separate pillows, it does not become a hangman noose . It’s ours or it was never ours to begin with.
So recently I had the pleasure,-maybe not so much-, of taking part in the preparation of a dowry/bride price visit. I am yet to recover from the shock!!!!!!! At what point did a young couple’s intention to get married become a get rich scheme for the bride’s clan and a crippling endeavor for the other family (read groom). How do the so called elders sit around in a circle and come up with this things!!!! Perhaps my experience was one sided, maybe there is a rational and reasonable criteria that they apply to come up with their list of demands. All I ask is if by any chance, however slim, such a criteria exists, let someone share it with me!!!!
I acknowledge that you value your daughter. I also acknowledge that you may have an urge to value your daughter equivalently to a small island in the Caribbean, but get this; the fine young man that your daughter brought home to all-so-proudly introduce comes from a family, much like yours that probably places way more value on him than you can muster for your daughter.
What makes this even more saddening is that none of these outrageous sums of money (always put across as heads of cattle or goats) goes to the couple. This leaves the new couple waist deep in dowry debt and with a wedding to plan that will bury what’s left of them in about 3-5years of debt if they are lucky.
I am okay with dowry, but not as a payment, or as a debt to settle. Call me crazy but I think it should only be a token of appreciation for allowing your daughter to join her husband’s family and hey, He Who Finds a Wife Finds A Good Thing, if I could quote the good book. I just didn’t know the going rate for a daughter changes more dynamically than the shilling fluctuates to the dollar. Human trafficking might be illegal, but sit through one of these dowry shindigs and you will realize they got sleek with it.
Gone are the days we gave birth to kids to get cheap manual labor or be regarded as wealthy. The same way you struggled to educate your girl is the same way someone else did for their son. The young man wouldn’t even be eligible in your daughter’s eyes were it not for someone’s struggle. So, when this someone accord’s you the respect of visiting your home, to ask you to allow his son to marry your daughter, the least you can do is respect their struggle and be freaking realistic.
The greatest gift you can receive from and for your children is gratitude and appreciation, and these are things that are shown in many ways and often come with sincerity and a kind heart. You will not get the same if you demand and solicit for undeserved goodies only because your daughter fell in love. So kindly resist all urges of plunging your child’s matrimonial life in the drain even before it starts.
Last but not least,
Dear almost married lady, you have all the power to speak your peace and get your folks in order because if you can’t and they decide to make it their retirement fund, it can only end in two ways;
He decides you are not worth the drama and the cost and walks
Or he bares the weight and you start marriage with a list of debts longer than the voters register…..