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Read Letter

Technical Disqualification

I’m worried about the technical disqualification of your intended. And I call it technical disqualification because that’s what it is. Did you say your mum is asking you not to marry her just because she’s from another part of the country? Just because she belongs to another tribe, that’s the basis of the disqualification?! Most interesting! As it is, your matrimonial choice is geographically restricted. You’re disqualified from taking a wife from 90% of the ethnic landmass of your country. And of the remaining 10%, only 6% is matrimonially arable. Essentially what your mum is saying is, you can’t look farther than your state of origin for wife.
Now, here’s the thing. You said when you were in trouble, this young lady stood by you, throughout. Not even your family stood by you, and now they turn around to hand down a decree on your matrimonial choice. A friend is born for adversity. You know your friends when you’re in trouble. When all is rosy, rosy everyone can be your friend, but when you’re in trouble, that’s when you know your true friends. To the extent that this lady stood by you throughout your travail, she’s your friend. And it’s best to marry your friend than a stranger unconnected with your person and situation. Friendship is important in marriage.

Now, I understand what it is to be young and looking forward to marriage. There’s all the thinking about sex. But after marriage it’s the friendship that’s critical, and once you’re married you’ll see the sex thing is lessened. I wish your mum had more cogent reasons for disqualifying this lady. Perhaps if she were ill-mannered, temperamental, irresponsible, has a fidelity issue, one can understand. But to technically knock out someone perfectly suited for you just because of her tribe…?

Your mum doesn’t know this lady, can’t know her, at least not the way you know her. She’s working in the dark on assumptions and suppositions. Her decision is based on typification of this lady’s tribe. And she’s coming from a historical perspective- the fear of hegemony of one tribe over the other. I’m just saying the issues are coming from a history of over half a century ago when ethnic jingoism was rife. She’s being punished as it were for things that happened decades before she was born. The prejudices and biases of old are being transplanted wholesale into the present, without an import waiver. But here’s the danger for you. If you don’t marry this woman you stand a chance of having a life of regret. Your alternative choice of marriage partner, the one being chosen for you through the power of suggestion… I hope that works out well, because if it doesn’t you will keep wondering about this other lady. And your mum may be gone by then so you’re left to live alone with the consequences of her choice.

Everything you said about this young lady sounds wonderful. She’s proven her worth over a period of years, when there was no marriage on the menu. In other words, she was not being nice to you with a view. She did all she did out of genuine care. Are you going to kowtow to the uninformed dictates of your mum, or are you going to go for what you know is good for you? That said you have a lot of convincing to do, but I assume firm steadiness will make a way. Even though you disagree with your mum on this issue I still expect you to do it with reverence. You must honour your father and your mum. It’s the first commandment with promise. If you honour your parents you will live long the good book says. But all said I genuinely think you’ll be making a huge mistake not marrying this lady. From your own words she’s everything you can possibly want in a wife.

You may need to send emissaries to your mum, to persuade her. She’s not the first parent who passionately objected to her son’s wedding. Sometimes such objections are well intended. History will eventually judge and so you owe yourself a duty to make the marriage work. And if it works and you’re happy your mum will eventually turn around, even if grudgingly and sparingly. History is some sort of adjudicator of intents and purposes. But other things being equal your union should work, but there’s a catch to this narrative of yours: If you can’t stand resolute against your family for what you know is good for you then maybe you should let this lady be. You’ll feed her to the wolves through abdication of defense of your choice. And you’ll come off as a weakling to her, unable to stand up for what you know is right for you. That will make you an unable defender of your home in her estimation, though the home is not yet. She will be disappointed you can’t stand up for what you believe in, that you can’t stand up for “us”. So make up your mind: Do you want this lady or not? And are you willing to fight for her or not? Are you going to fight? You can’t go into such a fight without an economic base. You’re susceptible to financial blackmail.

And you know your mum. She’s as tough as they come. Why your dad will not entangle with her. He’ll rather submit to her whims and dictates. She’s governor-general of the house. But you also know the danger of her ways. I’ll advice you pray for God to change her mind on this issue. At the end of the day you may get a grudging approval, but that’s more than enough in the circumstances. Maybe history will vindicate your choice. However you look at it, prejudice is a ponderous display of ignorance.

Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Marriage, choosing a spouse

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