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When your family and friends reject her

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th April 2010 03:00 AM

The search has been long, many a time it has actually been tough, sometimes you have been heartbroken, other times you have been disappointed and a couple of times you have been let down.

By Michael Kanaabi
The search has been long, many a time it has actually been tough, sometimes you have been heartbroken, other times you have been disappointed and a couple of times you have been let down.

In your illustrious search, you have come across people with sinister motives and some terrible characters.

But you weathered the storm and your patience has paid off. You have landed the woman of your dreams.

However, what seems to be the beginning of a life-long celebration and fulfillment of your dream comes to a crashing halt when your miss right is dismissed by your family as a miss wrong.

While most of them keep quiet and wait for you to ‘discover’ the other side of her yourself, one or two bold ones will put you aside and tell you exactly what is going on.

The information puts you in a spot of bother: You are torn between conflicting loyalties pitting your family against your new sweetheart.

James vividly recalls how he lost the love of his life a few years ago. He had met his girlfriend on campus while pursuing his masters degree.

When the two tried to make things official by introducing his girlfriend to his parents, James’ parents were not amused by his choice.

He was thoroughly grilled and questioned about her level of education and which tribe she was from. She was a beautiful Langi lady pursuing a diploma in human resource management, according to James.

Unfortunately James’ parents had concluded his girlfriend’s fate before he could even defend her.

“They told me that I would not marry a Langi girl and neither were they going to let me marry a diploma holder,” he narrates. “I was so devastated because I loved her, but they are my parents.”
That is the harsh reality of marriage politics.

One of the biggest fears, especially among the parents here, is the culture shock and clash they anticipate when they think about their child marrying someone from another tribe.

They believe this creates unstable marriages and leads to divorce in some cases, said Rita Buyinza, a grandmother of five who took some time before allowing her only son to marry a Nubian girl.

“Parents fear that their child’s marriage might not last long especially when they start to live together and realise their cultures and traditions are incompatible,” she explains. It is because of that fear that some parents reject their sons’ spouses if they are from other tribes.

She concluded that it takes time for the parents to adjust, so if the couple is patient, the elders will eventually allow them to tie the knot.

With a metropolitan lifestyle slowly picking up especially in Kampala and other major towns around the country, Joseph Kibirige a recently married IT specialist, thinks the issue of tribe and culture should not raise dust any more.

“Traditions, culture and local languages are steadily becoming a thing of the past as young families now communicate in English and are taking on an urban culture of sorts.”

But Dr. Moses Muntu, a behavioral psychologist and counsellor, thinks it is really a clash of tradition and modern day liberalism. Parents used to chose spouses for their children in the past, so parents now want to do the same for their children.

Muntu also adds that one of the reasons parents reject their children’s fiancées is they think the children are moving too fast.

“It is common for children nowadays to start dating and planning marriage when they are still in university or are done with school but have no jobs or source of income.

“These children cannot be ready for marriage and its consequences because they are still dependants who have no homes of their own and an income to support them.”

There are cases where families want to protect family legacies and names by ensuring their sons marry into families as known and respected as their own.

Peter, a senior banker, suffered this as his fiancée was rejected by his family because she was not from a family as famous and respected as his, on top of being unemployed.

“My dad made a statement I didn’t like by referring to my fiancée as a hanger on who was just looking for financial solutions to her problems.

He also added that she was going to consume all the money I earned because she had no job, then I would start borrowing from him and other relatives to sustain us.”

The other reason his dad did not want anything to do with the girl is his grandfather had created a great name and respect for the family which he maintained and was not ready to let his son ruin it by marrying from a family that is not of their class.

“Under immense pressure but ready to stick to the love of my life, I chose to stay with her without the blessing of my parents.

Five years down the road I have established for her one of the most successful grocery stores in my neighborhood and my parents are beginning to slowly accept the relationship, since they are running short on options,” said Peter.

One of the key challenges to men whose ladies are rejected by their families is the financial obligation of formalising their relationship, since the family usually pays the biggest part of the bill.

Peter was lucky to mobilise the money to get it done minus the help of his parents and family.

He cautions parents to avoid setting very high standards for their sons’ spouses as this can ruin what would otherwise be successful marriages and it creates rifts between them and their children.

Advice from the counsellor
Dr. Moses Muntu says the first thing here is for the parents to understand that their children are different from them and try to appreciate the different environment in which the children have grown up plus its influence on the decisions they make.

“Parents should appreciate the changing demands their children face and should come to terms with the fact that some things can no longer be done the way they were done in their times.”

Parents ought to start getting detached from their children progressively which is known as ‘positive detachment’ in counselling. This will help the parents appreciate the fact their children are now old enough to make their own decisions.

Parents should also give their children all the information they think is important and trust them to make the right choices.

The children, in this case boys, should also listen carefully to their parents as they sometimes offer crucial advice that can save one’s life considering that they have experience.

You also have to know that you will always need your parents in case anything goes wrong so you should work towards getting them to appreciate your chosen partner.

As the man in this situation, you have to reassure your lady that you are in control and try to convince your parents that you have made the best decision.
Before you decide on whether to let go or stick to your lady, listen to your inner self.

However, the people involved, especially the ones trying to harass the lady, should note that if their son has chosen her and they end up together, she will influence his future decisions.

“If you have been negative towards her she will ensure all the decisions her man takes about you are negative as well in future,” Muntu concludes.

When your family and friends reject her

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