Blame it on Kenyan Women!

Dr. Ng’ang’a gives a talk on marriage

My last blog post has sparked various reactions sent to me on my mail box and on my facebook page. Men have made it clear that Kenyan women have taken the wrong dosage as far as marriage is concerned.

“Patience, the modern women like you are to blame when you claim that marriage has become a dying institution in Kenya. Many do not know what this empowerment struggle is all about. Women want to dominate in the offices and at home. The more women leaders we have in Kenya, the higher the chances that marriage will never make sense in Kenya.” Wrote Oduor.

Akwiri and Faith in Mombasa

Attending my friend’s wedding at Milele Beach Hotel in Mombasa last weekend, I couldn’t stop admiring the two, Akwiri and Faith as they said their vows, promising before God and (us) as witnesses that they will love each other till death separates them. These are not easy words to say if you do not mean them. But, how many people live to fulfill these words? “You know, marriage is the only prison where enemies share a bed,” said a Kenyan friend.

I still don’t seem to understand what happens until lovers become such great enemies? If it is not working, let each other move out peacefully. As much as I do not believe in exit doors as far as marriage is concerned, I love how Norwegians do it, as long as it is not working, they get divorced, but many still maintain friendships, attend family gathering together and of course share children responsibilities with meekness. The toxicity of a relationship should never be the reason as to why we should kill our spouses, batter them and leave them with marks all over their bodies, no no no, it’s a shame! This shouldn’t happen if love is what brings us together in the first place.

Know your Partner

Kenyans sampling wedding rings

“Marriage is a critical stage in life and many people seem to be getting into marriage without a plan. Many are in love with being in love and imagine they are ready for marriage. Know your partner well, know their weaknesses and their strengths, in a nutshell, take time to date, to understand each other well before you say I do,” Advised Pastor Mureithi of Mavuno Church in Nairobi.

So why are women to blame? Listening keenly to a discussion with my friends in Mombasa, many were convinced that women have forgotten their role in marriage. Many are not available when they need to be. Many are busy fighting for promotion opportunities at their work place and have no time for their husbands and children. The pressures of this world and the competition that comes with it,  are reasons that have been sighted as courses of marriage failures.

Akwiri & Faith at their wedding in Mombasa.

“Nairobi women do not know how to cook, are bad house managers and have no time for their children. Some of these, you will find them partying all night long with their single girls at the expense of their families. Many have left their key responsibilities to house managers (house helps). I have stopped looking for a wife in Nairobi, they are good for nothing and they are not wife material. When I am ready to get a wife, I will go back to my rural village, such girls make good wives,” said one of my friend brought up in Nairobi.

Talking to a married couple with over 25 years experience, they were quick to give me a long lecture on this. “Marriage is not heaven bliss as many imagine. You should be able to sacrifice and compromise for the sake of your relationship. Both the husband and the wife need to be very supportive. Spend time talking on how to make your marriage better.” Said a lady friend.

Worldly Pressures

Wedding exhibition at Sarit Center, Nairobi

They were quick to point out that many couples are usually not ready to support each other as they are both running up and down to meet the pressures of the immediate family and the extended families. Both women and men need to realize that they ought to be able to sacrifice so much especially with the coming of babies. “Women are wired to make good house managers and neglecting this important role will have an effect on what kind of children they bring up. However, husbands too need to be very supportive.He should be ready to cater for the entire family should the wife decide to take parenthood as a fulltime job, which it is anyway,” Said Sheila.

Cake Stand at the Wedding Fair in Sarit.

But how many women are ready to sacrifice their jobs for their families?  How many men are ready to be house managers? How many men are ready to solely provide for their immediate families and their extended families? We are in Africa and you realize extended families hugely depend on us, especially our ailing parents who with age, constantly need our support, emotionally and financially.

While our government provides for only three months maternity leave and supposedly 10 days paternity leave, Norwegian parents have the right to a paid leave of absence during the first year of a child’s life. To encourage more men to assume a greater share of care-giving responsibilities, 10 weeks of parental leave are reserved for fathers. This gives both parents a chance to fully participate in parenthood.

Dr. Ng’ang’a gives a talk on Marriage

This gives a chance for the men to appreciate the hard task women have when it comes to raising children, a job that is considered by many as women’s job.So while we sit down and blame the modern women as the course for marriage failures especially in Kenya, it’s important to know, marriage is partnership that requires combined efforts of each of the partners.

When a man marries a woman, they become one–the trouble starts when they try to decide which one.Croft M. Pentz


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10 thoughts on “Blame it on Kenyan Women!

  1. Patience, I do believe that the current wave of marriage problems are from the foundation of it from the start.
    Men tend to look for a partner who’s timid and can manage the house issues with ease. Thus the many times you’ll hear of a man who slept hungry or has his clothes dirty say, “and am going to look for a wife”.
    The same applies to our women. Many are times when you’ll hear its either to get a baby or the are finding it hard to meet there financial need and so, a man should come in handy.
    We dont get married to people that we genuinely love but to people that we see those other factors that we are looking for.
    Others get married from a one night of great sex. With one’s need of it happening again, we move in together with ease only for phrases like, “I dont know how i got married” coming up.
    But all said and done, when we find ourselves in this “situation” how we act really determines if or not the marriage will last.
    My honest opinion, people should avoid marriage untill a time when they are in love. And we all know what love is if we read our bible well.

    1. Hey Mike,

      Good to read from you and your feedback on this blog post. I see your varied opinions on marriage and the reasons as to why get married. My question to you, how can we tell that we are trully in love? How, because most of us get married thinking we are in love, but what happens along the way? Let me hear from you, thank you!

  2. Patience, lets start with the God’s given meaning of love.
    1 Cor 13:4. If yo’all read it, it clearly says that love (true love) does not look for its own interest, does not become provoked, does not keep account of the injury, it rejoices with the truth…..
    Just picked a few. Based on them pointers, its so clear that what we got in the world is just anything else but love.
    So if we claim to be in love with our partner yet we expect from them, them that aint true love. Honestly Patience, we should love whether or not we are receiving it back cause then our love is not conditioned. Love is a feeling but not an attribute of it.

  3. Dear Patience,

    Once again, I am impressed by your insightful article. I never know so clear about the marriage situation in your country. Yes, men and women are equally responsible for dying marriages. The world is changing while traditional value of gender roles remain. That can be a new source of prejudice and arrogance.

    Like the piece a lot!

    Cheers!

  4. Hey Xiangyang,

    Thank you for your feedback. I agree that both men and women are equally responsible for the dying marriages in the world. Both the wife and the husband need to participate fully when it comes to making a marriage relationship work.

    Thank you for reading my blog!

  5. Hey Mike, thank you for your feedback. I read this and it summarizes it all-Honestly Patience, we should love whether or not we are receiving it back cause then our love is not conditioned. Love is a feeling but not an attribute of it.

    Thank you!

  6. Very insightful! As an African myself, I hear that kind of reasoning all too often, even from young men who grow up in the west – yet trapped in cavemen mentality. Men will just have to catch up with the times, they need to ‘modernize’ and who knows how long that will take…

    1. Hey Runitjojo,
      Thank you for reading my blog. I absolutely agree with you that- Men will just have to catch up with the times, they need to ‘modernize’ . There is a complete new wave of modern women but this cannot be used as a reason for marriage failures in our continent. Thank you!

  7. Very insightful, love (true love) is unconditional, its pure, and if that forms the foundation before marriage, then i believe the marriage can and will succeed even through turmoil..for better or for worse, those vows are sacred.

  8. Hey Patience,
    To be honest, I haven’t gone through your blog to get the gist of things. But I’ve enjoyed reading this article.
    First, I agree with you in that Kenyan men have to modernize. Normally men are intimidated by their partner’s success, and I believe this is one of the challenges facing modern-day marriages. I really don’t know how an ideal marriage in this day and age ought to be like, considering that women have dual roles… You have to go to work, and get your own money and still play the role of housewife. Traditionally, women would just be home-makers, but if history has taught us anything is that as women we can’t afford to rely on our husbands financially.

    Secondly, I disagree with statements such as “we claim to be in love with our partner yet we expect from them, them that aint true love.” Marriage needs more than love to work. Marriage is not charity. At the end of the day, everyone has to bring something to the table.

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