By Frank Isabirye
When I married my husband, he was so poor and we used to sleep on empty stomachs. The mud-and-wattle hut that we lived in was given to us by a kind friend. But despite all these trying times, I endured and stood by him like the loyal wife, who swore in church before God to stand by my husband through thick and thin,” Teopista says.
Teopista’s agony is almost tangible as she narrates how her husband broke his marriage vows.
“I never, for once, turned my back on my husband despite the trying times I encountered.
The least I expected from him was to honour his marriage vows. But when money finally came his way, he started sleeping around with other women before shamelessly chasing me away so he could settle down with another woman,” she says.
Teopista’s painful experience is not isolated and represents hundreds of couples who profess undying love for one another, go an extra mile to make vows in church and eventually flout them.
Looking at the bigger picture though, it is clear that the age old marital vows that used to be considered sacred have been reduced to mere obligatory utterances that spouses make in church. “Married people do not keep their vows. To some of them, what matters is that they are living together.
They fight, sleep around and do all sorts of things, but at the end of it all, what counts is that they rise above all that by staying together,” Frank Kivumbi, a businessman, says.
Alluding to Kivumbi’s statement, the fact that people no longer honour marital vows comes out strongly. It is, therefore, no wonder that some people throw “sophisticated” weddings and fly their spouses in choppers on their wedding day, only to sleep around with other partners.
Consequently, a few months down the road, the newlyweds who vowed to stay together till death do them part, go their separate ways because their wedding was never about fulfilling marriage vows, but rather about showboating.
Ruth Narachi, a mother, agrees: “Marriages are no longer about vows. Nowadays, the motive behind marriages is not really love. Some men are marrying to prove to everyone that they have got what it takes to throw a big wedding, while girls are marrying not out of love but because they want wealth.
Right from the beginning, it is never about love. So when they start cheating on each other, it is not unusual because only spouses who married out of true love go on to honour their marital vows.”
To which Kivumbi says: “The truth is that the matrimonial vocation is not a straight one. There are ups and downs. And what makes it very difficult is the fact that it is a lifetime vocation, where temptations are so many. Yes, as a husband I may slip-up, but that does not mean that I do not keep my vows.”
Joyce Kabanyoro, a housewife, says: “Very few married people honour their vows. People have different characters and change overtime, spouses inclusive. Your husband stops doing the things he used to do, before eventually breaking the vows he made.
He starts coming back home very late from his encounters with other women and starts battering you. Consequently, as a wife, you are forced to look at other men resulting in dishonouring of your vows too.”