In Rwandan and other societies, we see marriage as another step one must take in life. When one grows up and builds oneself, many people wonder when they are going to be tied down or why they do not want to tie the knot.
Our Society views someone who doesn’t want to get married yet or who doesn’t want to get married at all, as someone with a sort of issue or someone who is busy in questionable behaviors. So, people are always asking questions like "when will you marry?", "when are we partying?" or "when are we seeing a missus?"
I asked one of my male friends the same questions and his answer surprised me. He told me "It’s better that I marry late than marry wrong just to please a bunch of people at a party."
He said that when a person is in a hurry to get married because of family pressure or some other external pressure, they too often regret it later.
He referenced a Kinyarwanda proverb that says ‘ntawiruka nk’uwayobye’ meaning only the lost are in such a hurry.
"Take enough time to know exactly what you want and what you do no want," he said
He went on to tell me why he was so cautious about marriage. He said that too many marriages in this generation end up in divorce or some just decide to stick together and suffer for the rest of their lives..
"Nowadays, those who are in a hurry to get married are the same ones who are in a hurry to get divorced. Practically, many marriages now are a disaster. So, why should I be in a hurry to get a wife?"
Some of the reasons behind the increase in divorce cases include adultery, leaving home more than 12 months and domestic violence.
In addition to those who ask for separation or divorce, there are also issues in families that are more likely to be tolerated than filing for divorce since it is considered a disgrace in our society and a sin in many religions.
Apart from that, he told me taking a harsh decision and having a bad wife is one of the things he dreads the most.
"Having a bad wife is not something I wish to my worst enemy, it is difficult to find a good one these days, many women out here have questionable characters, so I have to wait and see who I am happy with, time and age does not matter to me," he said
Because he is a strong believer, he used the bible to explain to me how not marrying at all is better than marrying wrong.
Even married men and women advise young people to be careful about getting married. They say that marriage is full of challenges and troubles. Therefore, it is better to face them with the right person with whom you share mutual love and respect or you face them alone because you have different directions.
I talked to different married people who advised me to be careful. They all agreed that bad marriage can ruin your whole life and the lives of your children too because they are also affected.
“You have to be careful about getting married if you want to build a lasting marriage,” one said
"Rushing into marriage is like building a house on sand. You have to be careful and know exactly who you want to get married and their family, because in Rwandan culture, when you get married, you also get married to the family. You are stuck for life," he said
Another person told me that the effects of a bad marriage are not only on the individual or on the spouse but also on the children.
"When parents don’t get along, their children are affected because they live in a household void of love, peace and tranquility,” he said
From these men’s perspective, it is better to go around marriage with patience and delicacy, to do things at your own time and on your own pace.