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A man should not marry early

23 March 2015, 17:10 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi - The worst thing you can do to yourself is marry someone that a year down the line you cannot stand. I guess that is why I am not in a rush trying to get myself down the aisle or rushing to the registry to get myself hitched onto some man’s backbone.

I woke up this morning and the first thing on my Facebook is a friend of mine was getting married. When it is a woman friend of mine, that is not too shocking for me. Let us be realistic, as much as we talk about women being bread winners and supporting the household it can be different especially if it is a young couple. It is never 100% the woman. If a woman is getting married, she is being taken in by the man and his family. The only thing that may change in her life may be her productivity coming sooner and at times stalling her career as she settles into married life.

Now the man on the other hand, the burden has become twofold even if they are yet to have children, the burden doubles. He now has a wife to support. He has to make more money than before because chances are the living situation will have to change. If they are not careful the children then come in and the burden is now triple. He has to fast track his career because now it is not just about him, God forbid he gets fired or is in-between jobs that is when love is tested.

The friend that is getting married is a man, I am even having trouble with seeing him as such because he might be younger than I am. We just graduated last year and he is already trying to get married. Congratulations are in order but I am really worried for him. I think he has had an intoxicating case of coming into manhood after completing school and ‘being’ in love at the same time. That is the worst combination because that is when bad decisions are made. The engagement rings look really expensive, so either he has those high end minting jobs that I do not know about or his PARENTS did the buying.

I am looking at this whole situation in one way. Majority of men get married at an older age as compared to their female counterparts for a reason. They need to build their careers because this is Africa, the man will always be a supporter no matter what century he chooses to support. Their careers have to come first before family because in order to have that family you need to have a good career going. This guy has me worried because he has yet to have those.

Love can only take you so far, because when the going gets tough that is when people start asking themselves questions at night. Whether they made the right decision? If that is the right person you are with? Why you rushed? This after you have spent all that money, or your parents spent, on a wedding. After stalling a career, you now regret. This guy will not be staying late at work doing overtime to get promoted. He will also not be out there doing outside business deals. He will be rushing home to take care of a wife as compared to the counterparts. That is what marriage does to a young man. It divides your loyalties, you cannot have both. If you are guided by ‘love’ you will choose the wife at the expense of your career and business.

Another reason, I am not trying to multiply myself and contribute to population; I have only lived an odd 20-something years. Technically all of that was under the parents, I am yet to be by myself before adding other people in my life. I have to be an authority in my life before I get to be under my husband’s authority. Getting married young is tricky, I do not want to be forty and start wondering who I really am because while I was in my prime I was changing ruling powers and dictatorships. That is another reason I am worried for my friend. As a woman, I know how our mind works. We can get over intoxicated in a situation, but after it passes, self-doubt comes in and it can make us do dumb things. Right now she may be in it, but in a few years if she feels that they rushed, she will not blame herself but him. It may build resentment, especially if she does not have anything to show about herself other than a man and children.  Divorce is all good, but before that, you have pledged an entire lifetime to one person without experiencing who you really are. What if you live to 100, and your life is just work-home-children. Day in day out. You can never take a break from family. You can go for a vacation but they will be there when you come back.

People like to think only about the tidy bits when it comes to marriage. They forget that is a lifetime commitment to another entity that breeds another generation under them. Rushing into it without clear mature thought and planning then it is doomed to fail.

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