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Courting Trouble

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Dear Jil, now you see why I said courtship should be long and deep enough. I reiterate that marriage is a knowledge enterprise. The more you know, the more you hedge against the risk of failure. If you’re considering marriage to someone commonsense dictates you know enough to make a good decision. You can’t take a marriage decision outside of knowledge. It’s unwise to do so. A marriage built on assumptions and suppositions will eventually crash under the weight of ignorance.
And why shouldn’t you discuss salient issues? You’re going to be yoked to him. Why dance around topics? Marriage is so powerful. It’s going to affect your life to a level of significance you can’t even contemplate. Whatever the outcome of marriage you can never remain the same. It’s a powerful processor. If you want to marry someone you should discuss the issue of children. And the discussion should be as detailed as how many children do you want to have. Don’t assume everyone wants children. There are people who don’t like kids and there are people who don’t want children.

And if you do decide on children find out how many he wants, and you lay out how many you want. Reach consensus. Brad and Angelina are agreed on their brood. Agree on yours. Brad grew up in a brood, but not everyone is Brad. The sex of children has been known to break marriages. Lay on the table that he determines the sex not you. There are many possible permutations in procreation. There’s the all boys scenario, there’s all girls and there’s mixed, and the mix comes in ratios. How ready is he to accept results that don’t conform to his ideal of family. What if you have all girls, or all boys? What if you can’t produce more than a child? Will the pursuit of an elusive sex lead to six, seven, eight children? Can you AGREE on when to stop! What is the magic number? Procreation is biologically and economically costly.

What if you can’t have children? Would he still love you and be faithful to you? Would he blame your past if children are elusive? Can he handle your past? Has he reconciled himself to it? These are pertinent issues for discussion. The discussions should take place. In Africa the issue of children has often been appropriated by extended families as invitations into a marriage. And you can see the disastrous consequences. The pressure alone can break a marriage. Can he stand against family pressure if the kids don’t come as envisaged? What you refuse to discuss now will become a referendum on your marriage later. Always discuss.

It’s important you understand how men reason. It’s sometimes the critical gap in marriage. Same goes for men as per women. I remember the story of a man who complained his wife doesn’t cook, wouldn’t cook and doesn’t want to cook. When you hear such you ask yourself, didn’t he know that about her from the period of courtship? She on the other hand stated that all through courtship he did all the cooking. So she assumed he’ll continue in marriage. And anyway she wasn’t into cooking, doesn’t like to cook, doesn’t want to cook!

But here’s the problem: she failed to realize that many times when men cook during courtship, it’s a treat. He’s just trying to impress her he’s a liberated man, to score romantic points. He’s fueling fantasy… you know the idea of serving a woman breakfast in bed… the hopeless romantic narrative. So both of them are coming from cross-purposes based on the same facts. The woman has expectations of his continuing culinary dutifulness. He sees his cooking as just a romantic intervention. Suddenly she no longer sees him as a liberated man, and she no longer fits his notion of a wife. Trouble. You see how suppositions can result in matrimonial discord. Don’t make suppositions when it comes to marriage.

Discuss the details of your impending union. Details like where you’ll live, even which town – if you live in different towns… These things ought to be discussed. When there are too many surprises in marriage the conjugal union degenerates into obtuse wonderment.

How long should courtship be? The answer is simple: long enough! A marriage courtship that lasts just a month is a huge gamble. Don’t marry a man you hardly know. You must like surprises if you do. Courtship must be honest and sincere. Without sincerity parties in a relationship end up manipulating each other with rearranged, timed and omitted facts. Omitted critical facts tend to be stubborn. They find a way of showing up later. And that’s when the guy begins to talk of deceit. Don’t conceal the fact you have a baby. If he loves you he’s got to accept your reality. He’s dating a single mum.

There’s something about a genuine uncontrived love that’s so wholesome. There’s something about sincere affection. Sometimes we’re so bent on marriage we gag every other information pointing to caution. The caution we fail to heed will often go into a tiff to sulk in the corner. Then it sticks out its tongue at us in the future. When a relationship is right you just know. Things just fit, without duplicitous exertion and cunning artfulness.

Marriage in concept is a selfless proposition. It’s two people learning to put each other first. It’s two people being very considerate of each other, two people being mindful of each other’s feelings. Sincerity makes marriage forgiving. You know he couldn’t do it on purpose, just because he loves you. But when there’s no sincerity in marriage motives will be subjected to speculative interrogation. A marriage without sincerity engenders trust issues. The more you know about your partner the more you can reinforce the trust factor in your marriage. There’s nothing like a beautiful marriage. A marriage where both parties want each other, trust each other, care deeply for one another… that’s a marriage we want.

Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

 

Tags : Love, Marriage, Courtship
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