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Marriage has evolved, change with the times

27 January 2015, 15:01 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi - Most of the marriages I have come across are very old school with rules and regulations that the current generation can never adhere to.

When our parents were getting married; there was no internet that you could use to go through someone’s social media to find out about them or Google them. Right now you can even find out if your partner really has a job thanks to LinkedIn. If he is lying about a relationship you can Google that too as long as he has a keyboard you will find the information that you want.

In the 90s there were few if none existent African lifestyle magazines for women just to talk to women and advice them. So wha5t you needed to know you were either told by your female folk, your peers or had to experience it firsthand. Which was quite unfortunate because for most women they went to their marriages with their eyes literally closed with no idea on what to expect. The attitude was as long as it was better than your parents’ or counterparts’ marriage then it was good.

One of the older women that has been married or let’s call it a relationship (because at one point they divorced then got back together but never officialized it again) has been married for close to 25 years. Thing is she has regrets and is always bickering about one thing or the other that has gone wrong with the man that she ended up with. So she was talking to me the other day and after all these years she now wants  to make a change; I am not sure if the whole conversation was brought on by menopause because she is at that point.

When you have lived with someone for close to 25years, have built a life with them, you are now in a good place but they are not financially you start to think how you can do so much better without them. You feel like you are the victim when a marriage is a give and take, what you plant is what you harvest. So this lady wants to chase the man out of the house because he does nothing for her currently.

Asking her what the main issue is, she says that he has never shown a modicum of appreciation or even apologized for any wrong that he did her. I am a big advocate for negotiation so for me I normally take the route to diffuse a situation before it escalates.

In such a place, you obviously cannot put yourself in her shoe, but you are also thinking of all the irrational things and reasons that you can come up with, those are the only ones you have? You live in Kenya, you hear about spouses hacking their families; at least yours is not a murderer. You hear about cheaters who expose their families to all kinds of STDs/Is; he has not done that. The list is endless but I had to sit her down being the bigger person that I am, no pun intended as I am decades younger than her and try to make her see that she cannot compare the marriages that are now to when she got married.

Not to create an excuse for some of these men but long ago, it was unheard of for men to even be in the kitchen or help in house chores but it is done now, so to her she would like the now kind of marriage where the man is buying roses and helping clean the house and cooking which will never happen. Because the man was brought up by a father who had more than four wives and was taught the woman’s place is secondary to the man. Thus it would be a cold day before he humbly crawled on his knees to beg her for anything or apologize for slights that I am sure he is not even aware of.

The discussion made me realize we have a lot more to be appreciative to the internet for other than social media. The availability of knowledge, feminism and cultural borrowing enables you to make an informed decision about the partner that you eventually end up with. The only way you can end up in a wrong decision is from your own choosing rather than from circumstances alone.

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- MyNews24

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