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Love, marriage and other realities

hispanic woman showing love with hands in heart shape expressing healthy and marriage symbol near window and green plant at home

Love! Some consider it to be the worst drug of all time. It gets you high without warning, and then when you least expect it, but most need it, you may need to be sober. Some people believe that love is blind. Some say it perceives it all, but it doesn’t mind.

Divorce rates in Rwanda have risen alarmingly in the last year. Divorce cases filed in court nationwide increased by 1900% in 2018, from 69 in 2017 to 1311 in 2018.

Does this imply that love is rapidly decreasing? Does this imply that love hears in its ‘blindness’? What is going on in the marriage institution? Where are people getting it wrong?

After some conversations with young people over the holiday season, they pointed out that we borrowed foreign marriage principles, which has rendered modern marriages unsustainable. With even more concern about how dowry payments are being reconsidered.

However, this is not enough of a reason, so after a little more digging, I discovered some reasons why this institution built on love occasionally falls apart. Here are some of the things discovered:

Young people are getting married for the wrong reasons

Yes, you have a friendship squad, all your mates are getting engaged, married, and some even have kids.

However, in as much as this sounds and looks beautiful, is this something that you are ready for? Are you getting married because you are now ready for the union or you are doing it to fit in your friendship group? Ask yourself.

Skipping stages in love

After holding the dictionary, I discovered that dating does not automatically mean that people are exclusive.

Dating actually is a phase of trying to see if you are compatible with someone to build a sustainable future together.

However, young people get so excited about love that they skip stages of checking the sustainability and mostly head for intimacy.

The next thing you know, people are married. But do you know your partner? Do you know what you are about to wake up to each morning? Remember, that is the person you are to spend the rest of your life with.

Financial stability

We would be lying to each other if we say love is enough. Remember when you are now an established couple, you do not eat love. You do not drink love. I have heard ‘love does not pay the bills a couple of times; it is so true!

Yes, the feelings are there but remember, money is the lubricant to the engine of love. Money makes things tick. Do not try to figure it out later. You both have to be stable and clear on finances because money has broken many marriages.

Striking a balance has always been a tricky task. This task has led to divorce in many cases. Maybe the man feels the wife’s career is getting in the way of their bond.

At times it is about lifestyle

How do you strike a balance when hubby still wants to have the ‘life of the party’ but wifey now isn’t feeling it when she is no longer ‘outside’?

She wants to be home in ‘Netflix and Chill’ style. Failing to strike a balance between such small issues has led to a crash landing in some marriages.

Lastly, we have trauma and pain from the past

At times people often ignore the phase of heartbrokenness and pain. We are quick to move on and at times young people are getting married before they heal. After healing, many then realise that they do not want the marriage and it cooks up a disaster.

So what can be done?

What can be done to ensure that the love institution does not continue to collapse? What can young people do to make sure when they get married, they stay married? Here are a few things that might be of aid.

Firstly know yourself. Know your value as a human being and most importantly, love yourself. I know you have heard the term self-love enough to know that if you do not love yourself, it is difficult for someone else to love you.

Secondly, establish yourself. Do not wait for someone to be termed the ‘breadwinner’ in the relationship. Realistically, in the 21st century, both men and women have to go out there and win the bread for the family. After all, teamwork makes the dream work.

Thirdly, take things slow. When you meet someone, give yourself time to know them. Know how they operate, how they prefer things done and who they really are.

Remember, those sleepovers are not even close to the real image of marriage. Sleepovers are scripted. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Just as a disclaimer, I am not a love doctor, just another young person witnessing life and deciding to share what I am witnessing with the KURA Krew!

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