Why I Think Some Marriages Fail Despite All Good Efforts To make Them Work - Part 14


I want you to read the following statement and do a soul searching long enough. ‘You can’t both be right but continue to have a problem between yourselves. Or you cannot have a problem yet both of you claim to be right, not unless the meaning of right has changed or you have a new and a different definition of right’. One sad thing I have seen with this generation is they lack the ability to know right from wrong. For example I have come across a lot of young married couples who “want their space” or “need a break”. And when we speak to them we discover that had they been honest with themselves from the beginning they would have never reached the point where they are at presently. I mean needing your space is definitely not for the married. Most of you confuse where you met with where you’re heading to. The fact that you met at a social club does not mean that you are going to build a social family.
I met Joyce at a bottle store she came to buy and I was the teller. But look where we are today. Many young people don’t realize that a single person’s life has too many things that cannot be taken with into a married person’s life. So it is totally wrong to expect your spouse to inherit your singlehood baggage. What you are before marriage and what you will be after marriage are always two worlds apart. It’s a true migration so to say. The Bible makes it quite clear that the two shall become one, and some black families even emphasize this by saying to the young girl who get’s married: ‘you no longer have a home, go and make a home for yourself’. These statements simply imply that be prepared for a change. Now the extent to which the change shall take place should be fairly imaginable to both parties. The most obvious are the career of one you getting married to. Their social life; their future plans, their present health challenges. Etc

I came across a lot of young people who wanted out of their marriages because their spouse cannot afford to be of financial help in the marriage, and yet even when they married the person was not employed. They were basing their future financial survival merely using projections which never materialized. When you plan and ultimately decide to marry someone imagine them just without a single change ten years down the line just in case it happens. You would actually be doing yourself a favour by even decreasing your expectations by a further ten percent. I am serious. I once heard someone say that life offers no guarantees only prospects. For the first 20 years of our marriage Joyce was not formally employed and this did not come as a surprise to me because I never imagined her working as we agreed that she will bring up the kids whilst I provided for them. Every income bringing venture she did was done from home, and she did fairly well.

Another is the issue of one becoming a husband or wife and no longer just a partner. You must do a lot of homework around this issue. There is no way you can get married and never transform into someone’s husband or wife. And as soon as this takes place it requires that you should be ready for it. Cooking for the family doing washing and looking after the kids may take a good part of your marriage life. Coming back home early being responsible and having to be responsible to someone for every move or decision you make always makes part of the package. Joyce and I used to have a problem with our baby daughter. She used to literally cry at least 16 hours per day. I would go to work and come back and she would still be crying. But as much as I was willing to help Joyce with the baby I could not do it all night long as I had to be up at 4 in the morning and leave home by 4:30. Back then Joyce felt that I was being unfair by wanting to go to bed at 12 at least, so I had to sit up and help her until around 2 in the morning. As much as I felt that she was being unrealistic I got her point. These are some of the things we never make room for when saying yes to marriage.

I could not hang around with my old friends anymore because those friends were not part of my new status as a married man. They were still single and the few married ones were not doing well at all in their marriages. There are so many conveniences today that make marriage look more like courtship at a higher level that it really is, yet the problems that this generation face are more grievous than those of our era. Today the nappies are disposable; babies are forced not to breast feed; the housekeeper sleeps at home; she does the washing, the cooking and the cleaning of the house but the madam of the house insists that she and the husband must take turns in making the bed. Come Saturday morning the garden gentleman comes to do the yard and the lady of the house must ask him to repair the bed’s broken leg because the hubby does not even know where to start. Can you see how eerie this generation is?

One other thing you need to take into consideration when getting married is the upbringing of your partner. I grew up doing almost everything for myself. From cooking to the general upkeep of the house and these things never just leave me because I’m married. I still alter my trouser’s length; iron my shirts; put my washing into the machine and do many other house chores including cooking. But others grew up in families where everything was done for them and they too will not easily change. Most girls who were the last born of the family are problematic when it comes to housekeeping. Also those who attended model C schools living in the townships, because they left home at 5 and came back at five and had to do homework etc. Saturdays were sports days and on Sundays they had to rest. They too can’t do much house work. Please note that there are exceptions to both these cases and the same goes for the males.

What I have been trying to say here all this time is that when you get into marriage expect a reasonable need for a change and be prepared, put some efforts into it and be reasonable. Above all else let maturity and understanding rule. Otherwise you will never be able to enjoy your marriage and this might end up in separation or abuse. MVK

This entry was posted on Monday, June 28, 2010 . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


Pastoor the marriage articles please don't stop them. We need them in this generation, you are right regarging learned behaviour as we grow up can be taken into marriage. Thank God for the christian women i am married to, her patiance and willingness to build some of the unlearned skills when i grew up, its helping. Arthur


This is a very well written piece. Never once did I not understand the message that you are trying to relay or rather the message that you are relaying. It is sad that most of the situations you touched on actually end up breaking couples, like house chores. Our generation seems to have lost the basics of solid relationships and yet we claim to be know it all, sad, very sad indeed.

You have hit the cow's horn (O opile kgomo lenaka). This generation is too liberated, even from things we should not be liberated in. I just dont think it is fair for the married couple to take turns with things like making the bed, especially when the woman is staying at home. Even though I grew up in a dysfunctional family, I look at other functional families and they are more appealing when the woman knows her place. She knows she must make tea for her husband when he gets home, cook and do the dishes. Men want to live in a clean house and be taken care of, by the woman they thought would be capable of doing so when they asked for their hand in marriage. I had also been of the idea of mutual duties in the house until I read a book called 'FASCINATING WOMANHOOD' and it put things into perspective. I recommend it to all women. Men were not created for such chores, hence they dread doing it. As much as we were not cut out for gardening and washing cars. So couples can spoil each other in that way. The man can be washing the cars outside while the woman is cleaning or preparing lunch. There is a burden taken off from each by each. If there is a helper in the house, praise God(especially since these days both parties work)but there will still be things left to be done by either party. The key is doing it out of love and out of wanting a happy and successful marriage.

Thanx P,these topics really helped me.I really thank God as His timimg was perfect.By the time you started with part 1 i had regrets of why did i get married.I didn't see my marriage going farer than it is,I had challenges in my marriage exactly the challenges you spoke about in part 1-14.Everytime after reading a part of the topics i would see where the problem was in my marriage and would even find the solution right there on the topic.I decide to changed first as my eyes were opened regarding some issues and the change worked wonders.I was one stuborn lady a kind of person who didn't want to take anything from anybody my husband as well and that created problems in my marriage.Things have changed now and i have no more regrets.I hope you have a lot to say on the topics because i am waiting eagerly.May God grant you more and wisdom.ANON


Hi All, I am actually looking forward to the next article, we can also touch on the in-laws and extended families as well. May God grant you wisdom Moruti, to teach us more.


Thanks Moruti, please touch on the matters of the in-laws and extended families.

Sure Pastoor I have to say the marriage articles have and are helping us a lot. We thank God for you and your family we love you guys...Thank-you sir.