Middle class couples have beautiful weddings that are worth being televised. They spend alot of time and money planning a memorable wedding. However, a beautiful wedding and a happy marriage are two different things. Most middle class couples do not seem to realize that just it took alot of time and energy to have a great wedding, more time and energy needs to be invested in building a happy marriage. This misconception between a wedding and a marriage causes alot of middle class marriagesin Kenya to fail. Here are the reasons:Women Socialized in the Wrong way
middle class marriages fail
Women in modern society are socialized to be men. We have been brought up to think, act and behave like men and yet we are not men. This necessitated the writing of a book, ‘Think like a man, act like a lady by Steve Harvey.
As a result of this confusion, we find that women lost their femininity and have been nurtured to be the providers and protectors, to be the heads of homes and this reversal of roles confuses the natural world order and so middle class marriagesin Kenya fail.
Undermining the Role of a Father
Now that women work in jobs or professions that were previously set aside for men and now that women are economically independent, the role of a father in a home is diminished. Fathers are looked down upon. This will be evident when parents are not getting along, a mother will always try to set her kids against their father.
I remember, a Popular woman Pastor publicly told her Children to denounce their Father. In the spiritual order of things, a Father is a very sacred person in the scheme of things and to deny him that role could injure his ego and when a man’s ego is harmed, there is no telling how he could react and affect the whole family.
Performance based Work
The current world order depends on the middle class to sustain it. It ensures that the middle class couple is kept busy and put under alot of pressure to perform. They are made to believe the more you work, the quicker the promotion, the quicker you rise up the corporate ladder. This lie keeps you more and more away from your family and leaves you very little time to make an impact in your family.
Your family structure becomes weak and one day you are not performing as best as would be expected of you and you are fired only to go back home to a dysfunctional family. Or you retire only to find you do not have a cohesive family but egotistical individuals that are related to each other. Weak middle class marriagesin Kenya mean a weak family and consequently a weak society.
Lies of the Current World Order
The current world order is full of lies that just make middle class marriages in Kenya difficult to work. For example, It is an order that emphasises that financial well being is of more value than family, relationships, ones health or spirituality. Every aspect of the wheel of Life is important and one needs to balance it. Women have been made to believe that because they now can afford to have great jobs and be financial stable she does not need a man. That is a lie. Women need men whether we like it or not. Women are created that way. Why? A man is a cover for a woman and a woman is more productive when married than when not.
Equality of the Sexes
Due to the Women’s Liberation movement, most women think that it fought for us to be equal with men. That is not the case. It fought for equal opportunities at work and in society as a whole. Women and men can never be equal because that would defeat the whole purpose of creating male and female. It is because we are different that we are created that way and can function differently and think differently that makes Life beautiful. So to think we are equal and so husbands should do the same things we do in the home is unrealistic to say the least.
I was brought up by a single mother and she never taught me that we are different from men. So I always thought we are equal with men. Shock on me, only to realize in my forties that we are not equal with men. This false belief is what made me not have a successful relationship with men. Women are not equal to men and am sorry to break it to you, hard as it is for you as it was for me, they are superior to us. Your relationship with your boyfriend or husband will be more fruitful if you just accepted this attitude and acted that way.
Invest in Your Marriage
Because most middle class couples are busy trying to get to the top of the Corporate ladder, they are too busy to invest in their marriages. They do not talk much about their relationship or their children, they do not attend marriage seminars because they are a waste of time really or for failures ( until things are really bad and there is no option) or even read a book on how to build a strong marriage. Due to this lack of time, they do not have enough time to study each other and decipher the needs of each other leave alone having the time to meet the said needs.
Middle class couples do not have alot of time on their hands to be patient and so they want each want things to happen their own way. So they always experience Power struggles. This power struggles are brought about by a belief by each that their way of doing things is right. So there is no one to bow down to the other, they are both hoping to change the other forgetting that one can never change another.
I understand women get married praying that their husbands will change to someone better but they don’t, whilst men get married praying their partner never changes but they do.
Middle class couples are normally professionals in their respective fields and every party wants to do their best so that they can be respected by their peers. In any case to be respected by others is the third common human need on the Marslows triangle of needs hierarchy. Each party in these relationship feels a right to pursue their career at the expense of the relationship.
Women in the olden days knew that a woman is meant to give up their career for the sake of the husbands because he was meant to be the sole breadwinner. But with the new millennium and culture whereby a woman’s career is equally important because most middle class homes cannot be sustained by one income as their standard of living is above average and relationships take second place to financial stability selfishness continues to abide in middle class marriages in Kenya.
Conflict resolution Strategies
Most middle class couples are those who believe in love as in the Hollywood movies. They believe in ‘living happily ever after’. Even though they have family members or friends whose marriages do not work they think theirs will be different, theirs will be the one out of that works. They are optimistic about their marriage.
As a result they overlook a very important fact that wherever there are more than one human being there is bound to be conflict. This oversight makes them not come up with means and ways of solving conflict should it arise as it normally will. And in the heat of a heated argument, people say things that they should not have said and people get hurt and things can never get back to normal.
For middle class marriages in Kneya to work in the fast moving professional world of the 21st Century is an uphill task however, it is possible. Both parties must make some very difficult decisions at the beginning of the marriage. Do you need both parties to work and how much? Is your family life important and how much? Are you willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the family and how much? Be honest at the very beginning and come up with a family vision and mission statement that you can always go back to when things are not working as they should.
The interesting thing about any relationship, including middle class marriages in Kenya, is that the solution to any problem you may face is in the parties facing the challenge. However, you might need a third party to help you do a self analysis of the relationship and find the solution hidden in both of you by talking about the issues.