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Why you should get married

02 June 2015, 14:47 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi -  In a marriage there is much more security to be found as compared to cohabiting.


But I am also human enough to realize the importance of testing the waters first with my foot before I dip the whole body in that freezing or boiling water. That is how most ‘marriages’ start. You move in together to see how well suited you are. One year down the line you already know the answer but still you think just not yet. Two, three years later; a baby situation arrives and you just settle into a routine.


Then both parents ask when is the big day going to be but you have no answer now because you are trying to make enough to take care of the family and save enough for emergencies. African parents do not pay for weddings-they just attend! Their work was done after paying the fees. After baby number two, no one wants to pay all that money for people to come and eat at your expense yet you will still have fees to pay next Monday.


So why get married when we are comfortable as we are. We also do not put too much stock in going to some magistrate’s office. If we did not have the whole shenanigans then we can just as well do without the judge.


What most couple never realize is that marriage gives you much more security than a come we stay will ever be able to afford you. Let me explain in a Kenyan mindset!


Your in-laws never respect you on both sides: as a husband and as the wife


Say what you want about dowry and it being outdated. I might be new school-new generation but I do know how tradition works and how important it is. We all know that in all cultures, all forty two tribes in Kenya- a marriage was only as good as a sit down between elders from both sides of the family. Not the Njuri Nchekes and what not- but the men from both sides. Grandfather, uncle to your grandfather and his uncles (if they were all still alive), your father and his brothers and all their extended male relations and same applies to the other side as well. They sat down and agreed that this girl was handed over to the other family and the cows that went with it.

So when you are busy popping children and this never happened, I have witnessed how a not so good welcome will always greet you. It will make for unhappy holidays, cold family gatherings or in some cases no gatherings because none of the families recognize the other.

You have heard of mothers-in-law bringing their son a good wholesome daughter from the village to his house. Why does it happen? She has never recognized the ‘wife’ to the son just because someone was not equated to the number of cows she was worth.



It is much harder for a Kenyan to walk away from something they paid for as compared to something they were acquired with little hustle.


If not for the fact that some of you paid a couple of millions for their wedding and made it event of the year for your circles no marriages could have survived past that first year. You know those arguments that people have in the first year of marriage, it is easier to call it quits if the wedding was a simple reception at some cheap restaurant as compared to the one you had a Harambee for.


Same applies to a come we stay, it is so much easier when you have no legal ties or costs to think about as compared to when you drained your account for a big wedding. You have that blow up and just when your go pack that suitcase, you remember that big cheque you cut. So you stay in order to not make it easier for either one of you and that is how a lot of you work harder at your marriages. Love went out of the window a long time ago and reality set in. Every time you want to quit, you remember other places you could have poured all that money and you work harder at making it work because the idea of that money going down the drain is just too hard to take.


Lack of commitment breeds insecurity


Come we stays are only as good as the children you have. They are what keeps most couples together. Take that away and you have no commitment to that other person.

There is a lot of insecurity that you have when you know that there is no document that actually forces that other person to take their vows seriously. What vows? No one stood at any alter and confessed that they will be honorable, ’till death do you part’, you being one nor them being faithful.

Both of you just found yourselves in a situation and decided to roll with that tide. That is the same way either one of you can find themselves in a situation with someone else and easily give an explanation for it nest time.

Do not talk about that bill that our Honorable MPs passed about come we stays being legal after some period of time. They are the same ones that passed a Bill allowing Kenyan men to marry as many women as they can afford. Talk about making it easier for a man not to honor that Situationship type of situation you call marriage that you have going on.

That is why a lot of women who are in come we stays still fight for a wedding even after the children are in high school because they know they can be easily unseated from that living room they bought new curtains for.

Not because they have nothing to do with money but because she knows she is just a ‘girlfriend’ and the wife is not yet there in the house.

Come we stays are cheap in the short term, we can all agree on that. In the long run on the other hand, they cost you a lot. Emotionally, especially for the women. From the squabbles with the mother-in-law, his aunties and female relations, your mother and your father never respects you especially if he did all the rights for your mother. Your husband’s come back will always be, ‘but we are not married, so we can walk away!’

They cost you socially- as stated above. You will never have piece in your home. Even your pastor will always remind you of living in sin when your husband dares to marry someone’s house help.

Cost you financially, as long as you do not have a legal marriage certificate, picture all the women that crop up after some man dies and they all start quarreling over the wealth. Yes, you might have been the reason his empire is what it is but if all over you have children by him, everything gets split equally. From you, the educated, career having first ‘wife’, the second wife who was a former house help who now lives in the village and to the twenty year old third wife who now has a first born. It all gets split right down the middle just because you never certified your marriage. You are in the same boat as they are.

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