Marriage Doesn’t Impress Me

My dear friend Papa Kow Acquaye emailed me this piece of propagandist cr… sorry, I meant ‘article’ yesterday. He was being mischievious as he knows that my thoughts on marriage are… murky at best. I just don’t hold the marriage in as high regard as most people do.

Maybe it is because my parents divorced when I was seven, yet my mother did what I truly feel was a fantastic job in raising me and my brother right. She also made it a point not to make us bitter about it. Even as a child though, I could tell that my parents were not happy together. I remember asking my favourite aunt back in the day what divorce was. She sharply chided me and told me never to mention that word again but I did not have a problem when my parents divorced. I actually remember berating my mother at the age of eight for not having given me the good news for a year. She explained that she was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to handle it and apologized. Admittedly, I was a very strange child. I’ve never sympathized with those kids in the movies who start acting out when their parents divorce or are on the verge of divorce.

Wimps.

My mother has been very happily married to her third husband for years now. My father ended his third last year. Kasapoley and I have banned him from further marriages: he has rendered enough service to the institution. I got on with three out of my four step-parents and I’m very tight with my half-siblings. I don’t believe in halves. They are my blood and I love them.

Period.

So you see, I have as much a fear of divorce as I do respect for marriage.

Ghanaians on the other hand are marriage obsessed. Way more so than Westerners. Ghanaians get into long term relationships early. Even my younger brother Kobi has been in a relationship with his lovely girlfriend Sadia for what… eight years? My longest has been two and a half. By British standards, that’s not too bad. By Ghanaian standards though? It’s both woeful and depressing. I know what you’re thinking. Think bigger: I have been the dumpee as many times as I have been dumped.

I wasn’t impressed by the article Papa Kow passed my way. I found it biased and uncritical. Take this for example:

“Some researchers’ findings discussed in a Psychology Today series believed that marriage was actually toxic for women, but other researchers found that married women have a longer life span and less depression than single or divorced women.”

Then the article proceeds to ignore the pro-toxic camp and favour the pro-bridal, instead of treating the reader like an intelligent human being and laying out both arguments. I guess I was expecting too much from an article entitled ‘Why Do Women Want to Get Married’ from an institution I know (having worked there) is gearing up for Valentine’s and then the Bridal Fair.

Chi-ching.

The writer of the piece skimmed Psychology Today and picked what served his or her purposes. There are others on the same site that don’t. I read the piece, which was essentially a criticism of Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, Elisabeth Gilbert’s sequel to her best-seller, Eat, Pray, Love.

Speaking about the book SnarkDivorce observes that Gilbert starts out with the premise that marriage benefits men much more than it benefits women:

“Married men live longer than single men; married men accumulate more wealth than single men; married men excel at their careers above single men; married men are far less likely to die a violent death than single men; married men report themselves to be much happier than single men; and married men suffer less from alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression than do single men…

“There doesn’t seem to be anything, statistically speaking, that a man does not gain by getting married.

“Dishearteningly, the reverse is not true. Modern married women do not fare better in life than their single counterparts. Married women in America do not live longer than single women; married women do not accumulate as much wealth as single women…; married women do not thrive on their careers to the extent single women do… [blah blah] less healthy… [yadda yadda] depression… [yadda blah] violent death…statistically speaking, the most dangerous person in the average woman’s life is her own man.”

This is apparently called the Marriage Benefit Imbalance. It’s not all bad though.

“As the years go by and more women become autonomous, the Marriage Benefit Imbalance diminishes, and there are some factors that can narrow this inequity considerably. The more education a married woman has, the more money she earns, the later in life she marries, the fewer children she bears, and the more help her husband offers with household chores, the better quality of life in marriage will be.”

So these are the terms under which the skeptical Gilbert makes peace with marriage. I wonder whether they apply in Ghana (her study was American).

  • Are women becoming more educated?
  • Getting more money (independently of men)?
  • Marrying later in life?
  • Bearing fewer children?
  • Getting more help with household chores?

If not ladies, then maybe you’re being short-changed.

The funny thing is I am a man and so I stand to gain everything in marriage. Yet I remain unimpressed by it. I guess I want to be with someone I love but more importantly someone I respect enough to help make the above points real for.

Be with, I said. Not marry.

I think people confuse marriage with love. I worship love. Love is probably the closest thing to a religion to me. I have no problems at all with love.

Marriage on the other hand? Besides some tax breaks and perhaps the right to remove your spouse from a life-support machine, I don’t really see the point. Okay, it is the best environment within which to raise a kid. A stable marriage, that is. It is better to raise a child as a single parent than in an unstable home though. I am a testament to that myself.

People say ‘commitment’ but marriage doesn’t make you any more committed. Both Ghanaian men and women have amply demonstrated this to me. The amount of cheating that goes on and is condoned here – not even below the surface – is both shocking and depressing. Yet come Sunday, husband and wife will be all up in church clapping their hands, shouting ‘Yes Lord’ and bursting into acute cases of shabalalalalalalalism.

Mtcheeew.

I really sympathized with Ben Affleck’s character in He’s Just Not That into You (yeah, I saw it: sue me). Jennifer Aniston’s character dumped him after going out with him in a blissful relationship for years and realizing that he was serious when he told her at the beginning of the relationship that he wasn’t into marriage.

Chump.

She later saw her folly when she realized that she had had a much better relationship with him than her sisters and even her mother were having with their husbands. Great point, well made. Of course, Ben and Jen got married in the end. He said he loved her and if it was THAT important to her…

I get his point. But it was still a “mtcheeew” moment for me.

That said, I think I could be persuaded to marry. If I do, I will strive to have an atypical Ghanaian marriage, the type that doesn’t begin with the couple in debt from an expensive wedding (people love white weddings here but conveniently forget about the part of the practice where the wedding ceremony is a gift from the father of the bride to his daughter) and ends with her looking after the kids and tolerating his numerous affairs and lack of respect so long as he makes sure she and her children are financially well-kept and he doesn’t make it too blatant.

Oh, and if I do get married, I want a wedding incorporating ideas from the movie, Rachel Getting Married.

Yeah, I said it.

PS: if you are deeply pro-marriage, I sympathize with your predicament – I do – but please restrain yourself and refrain from commenting with anything I am likely to have heard before. It’s both annoying and insulting.

New thinking please.

About these ads

41 thoughts on “Marriage Doesn’t Impress Me

  1. Graham Knight

    Ah, what a wonderful breath of fresh air! You and I, my namesake, are yet again of one mind.

    Papa Kow’s article is embarrassingly uncritical whilst pertaining to be fair – “some researchers” is a great phrase to prove anything.

    I really do not understand the Ghanaian obsession with marriage beyond its functional use in a society where women lack power. When I ask about it, I usually get the junk answer, “because the bible / god /blahblah tells us so”. I agree with the quotes suggesting that the greater educational and financial independence of women will tip the balance our way.

    It seems that as long as the public face of “traditional family values” is maintained, privately everything is permitted.

    Interestingly a relative, now divorced with 3 kids and new girlfriend, and threatened with redundancy, has shown envy at my free life. A single life does not mean irresponsible as traditional culture would have us believe.

    It’s way passed the time when all these orthodoxies were seriously challenged. Some people revel in being sheep (as a recent FB friend implored us all to act). [Un]fortunately, I’m not that good at fitting in!

    Reply
    1. Papa Kow Acquaye

      Mr. Knight, the said article was not authored by me. As Mr. Graham was at pains to explain, i forwarded the article to him.

      Thank you. And keep the sharp views coming.

      Reply
      1. Graham Knight

        Oops sorry about that. I was confused by the sentence, “I wasn’t impressed by Papa Kow’s article.” It meant the one you emailed Kobby and I was confused. Sincere apologies.

    2. Kobby Post author

      “A single life does not mean irresponsible as traditional culture would have us believe.”

      In fact, I think the type of person who is indisciplined while single is likely to remain that way in marriage and the person who is faithful in marriage is likely to have been that kind of person before marriage.

      Reply
  2. pol159

    “Oh, and if I do get married, I want a wedding incorporating ideas from the movie, Rachel Getting Married.”

    Thought the same thing when I watched it. Are you sure we’re not blood related? I know asking this insults both our mothers but what the hell :-).

    Personally I can’t wait to get married but will do it when my bank is right. I want to have a sh@t load of kids who would give me all the wahala I gave to my parents(Dad had 5 of us and since all sons want to out do their fathers I want to beat him in that department) I want to see them grow up and start giving me attitude and then watch them leave one by one black eyes and all…Wait a minute I’m I saying I would get married for the kids and not companionship? Hmmm.

    But think about this, believe it or not I think the majority of us get married to the ones we love in one way or the other. Love is love. Now the question is whether that love is the kankpe one that can withstand all the temptations of infidelity and marital drama is another matter. This type is the rare kind. No wonder there are just a handful of people who stayed married for 30+years, even with Ghanaians.

    dUkE_

    Reply
  3. Ruddy

    KoGray, Masterful piece and don’t mind that Papa Kow, he only uses marriage and talk of it as a diversion to get attention to himself.

    So year am married and my 2nd Anniversary is this weekend…wheew I am a survivor hahahahaha…I think people forget the essence of marriage and its meaning. Its a UNION between 2 people period! Not necessarily a basis for procreation, Security, Societal PR or even companionship!….yes close your jaw!

    I love my wife and all her BS and she does same for me. Thats it! The biggest thing is finding a person who is true to their nature. So Kobby doesnt want to marry fine with me! But will Kobby be your all probably better than most men who wanna put a ring on it. (Seen the brother show attention and dedication!! Lover Boy!)

    Reply
  4. Nana

    Love it! love it! love it! Especially as a woman who at her core is anti the institution of marriage and occasionally has qualms as to whether at 60 I would regret not getting married again. I am all for living with someone so you can leave with no complications (which is of course impossible) if the relationship breaks down

    Reply
  5. Ms Y.

    A very well-written piece, Kobby. Well done!

    I’m a tad skeptical about the whole marriage thing too. I find it quite amusing how most Ghanaians see marriage as a must do. You know, get a degree, get a job, get your annual check up, get married…
    I have come to believe though that, especially in our society, marriage is not necessarily about love or even commitment. For some, marriage is a way of gaining respect/leverage in society, for others it’s about financial security. I say, to each their own.
    For me, there is just something so powerful about finding someone you click with and want to be with. I love the beauty of love. I just don’t believe you need the formalities of a marriage ceremony to demonstrate deep love for another.

    Reply
    1. Kobby Post author

      Exactly. It’s about love. Not marriage. Too many people place emphasis on one and not enough on the other. Or fail to see that it is possible for the former to exist without the latter and be just fine.

      Reply
  6. Edward

    I don’t know what to say. I could swear these were my thoughts in writing on a blog. Incidentally, today on JoyFm some revealing stats came up; Divorce rate in Ghana is going up like crazy.Reason? Simple, people just give in to societal pressure and get locked up in a relationship with the wrong person. Why can’t we just be friends for ever?

    Reply
  7. Bayuo

    I think the institution of marriage in itself is not bad but couples don’t get to understand each other before tying the knot. Growing up all my life, I have seen my parents live together all their lives and is something I admire and should be the ideal situation for me. May be people are influenced by what they experienced during their social upbringing. After all, these bitter experiences that our parents went through are the reasons why we are alive. I presuppose there will come a time when people will device new ways of procreating (e.g artificial insermination) else marriage is something that at every point should be about the friendship, love and mutual respect that can last all our lives. As much as I funcy marriage, I wouldn’t hesitate to get out of it if there is pain in my ass. By and large, I think true love if found among Ghanaian couples, will let the few marriages that we’ll have stand the test of time.

    Reply
  8. Barker.H. Vogues

    OK now wait a sec.
    This has gone on for way too long.
    I’m afraid i may to be the only voice of reason (seriosly reason? couldn’t i find a better word?) to salvage the little “i dont know what anymore” we who still believe in marriage have.

    Still, the charge is enormous as i tiptoe, exercise self “restraint” and seek to “refrain” from using reasons you mot definately must have heard before. But before you refuse to approve this comment becos i may have done the unpardonnable by annoying or better yet insulting the owner of this manor of a blog.

    Again the task is daunting, as the single mouse charged with belling the cat! It feels like i have the weight of the world on my shoulders.

    But i have been there, I have been granted a front row seats in all my old man’s countless failed marriages. I have questioned the institution of marriage to its core foundation till i feared i may be an unwanted figure in the vatican or worse yet the inevitable kingdom of heaven! ooooow, now i thread on forbidden grounds! The prennial warning flashes “ALL TRESSPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED”.

    True, marriage is not all that it is billed to be. Marriage does not provide the panacae to deep seated low self esteem and unworthiness.

    But i have come to believe, and this without the proverbial light that catches in its halo critics and cynics on the old damascus road, that marriage does have its won logic.

    Yes, half its advocates are in it cos of the societal pressure, half in it becomes it has become unreasonable imbedded in a seemily natural course of life.I mean ” Birth, cry, poop, pampers, more poop, suck breast for the milk, more poop, eat, kindergarten, pubic hair, touching boobs for the fun, sucking breasts and this tyme not for the milk, bj’s, job, granma yelling “so when are u getting married?”, get a ring, and kaboom(not the jerry boom).

    Yet, i hold that, marriage is still favored by the few species facing extinction because, and no its not cos according to some statistics, married men are that, or married men are this or blah blah, but because, its nice having someone there with you thru the thick and think (makes no difference that they are responsible for the thicks and thins anyway).

    Does it mean that, that is not possible outside marriage? My best moment in a relationship was when at 2 am i was holding ma girlfriends hand as she slept on me in the corridors of a hospital cos of an abortion that nearly went bad. We both cried thru it and it was refreshing. It cleansed our souls and pulled us together more.

    I’m i making any sense at all? I doubt so very much, becos i fear thats the essence of marriage. Its illogical, it cant be explained wit a pythagorem theory or wat not. It doesnt fix u up for a lifetyme of happiness.

    But we do all believe in that fairy tale we have been sold, to grow old together (even though that takes ur sex urge off), to do the hapilly eva afters.
    And truth is, we may all fail in that endeavour, but its putting urself out there, knowing u’ve tried and lost gallantly(ofcourse wit a huge alimony to pay and probably half ur wealth gone).

    But as the “I do” moment sneaks up on u in ur most sober moments u realise, how u took a leap of faith. It reminds you of a tyme when u were hopefull and believing u could anything u want. And when it does fail as it will, u will come out more sober and matured!

    I hope never try it though someday!!!!!

    Reply
  9. kajsa

    Good piece, there needs to be more that one way to live! I like your solution of “be with” and deciding on the terms in ways that suit you and your partner. As someone who is married, I would not advice anyone to get into it without having many and detailed discussions on the expectations…

    Reply
  10. Richmond

    Hello grahams
    I agree with you so much
    I am married for about 9 months now, and clearly there are arguments and disagreements on almost anything. That was not the case during dating.
    I will not go on to apportion blame, so I guess marriage is more of sacrificing what you like best just to please your partner.
    If the love gets fades, it becomes a waste of time and a painful coping just to save your face. So what is the point?
    I personally think that, as civilized people, we have been able to make laws to protect virtues in our community and society and guide our society to prosperity.
    I think we should go a step further to regularize the duties and responsibilities in a legal fair and transparent marriage, a civil union to be precise
    For example
    Contributions of a percentage factor of each other’s income to run the home.
    Ghanaian marriages are problematic from stage one
    In the olden days, the men were the main bread winners of the family, they acquire farming lands, till the land, cultivate and from their farm proceeds, they either build their home or may be rent one,
    They feed their family, and save to plan for future imbalances that may occur.
    The women help their husbands with house chores, and sometimes with farm works.
    These factors made the women “sacrifice” some of their rights and gave men a false patriarchy status
    But what do we see now.
    Parents take unnecessary dowries, and the young man right from the start is burdened with an expensive marriage.
    The women nowadays think that such burden should still be carried by men, whilst they fight for full rights in the marriage like the western marriages. A win win situation for them.
    Most educated women, earn almost the same as their husbands, yet they will not compromise on a 50/50 percent sharing of the financial burden of the house.
    And what do you think will results of such? I believe the whole structure of marriage should be reformed to suit the current times if it is to serve any meaningful purpose that it was designed for.

    Reply
  11. Richmond

    Hello grahams
    I agree with you so much
    I am married for about 9 months now, and clearly there are arguments and disagreements on almost anything. That was not the case during dating.
    I will not go on to apportion blame, so I guess marriage is more of sacrificing what you like best just to please your partner.
    If the love gets fades, it becomes a waste of time and a painful coping just to save your face. So what is the point?
    I personally think that, as civilized people, we have been able to make laws to protect virtues in our community and society and guide our society to prosperity.
    I think we should go a step further to regularize the duties and responsibilities in a legal fair and transparent marriage, a civil union to be precise
    For example
    Contributions of a percentage factor of each other’s income to run the home.
    Ghanaian marriages are problematic from stage one
    In the olden days, the men were the main bread winners of the family, they acquire farming lands, till the land, cultivate and from their farm proceeds, they either build their home or may be rent one,
    They feed their family, and save to plan for future imbalances that may occur.
    The women help their husbands with house chores, and sometimes with farm works.
    These factors made the women “sacrifice” some of their rights and gave men a patriarchy status
    But what do we see now.
    Parents take unnecessary dowries, and they young man right from the start is burdened with an expensive marriage.
    The women nowadays think that such burden should still be carried by men, whilst they fight for full rights in the marriage like the western marriages. A win win situation for them.
    Most educated women, earn almost the same as their educated husbands, yet they will not compromise on a 50/50 percent sharing of the finances of the house.
    And what do you think will results of such? I believe the whole structure of marriage should be reformed to suit the current times if it is to serve any meaningful purpose that it was designed for.

    Reply
    1. Kobby Post author

      Thanks Richmond. Really honest.

      As someone who is married, could you tell me how you think the structure could be changed to reflect our changing times? Very curious to hear an insider view on this.

      :o)

      Reply
  12. Kwame Pocho

    So (if I get the article right), in summary you’re saying marriage cannot be equated to love, but most people confuse the two?

    Question, so what is marriage? Are you defining it by what many Ghanaian couples have made it to be? (as by your experience). If so, then we ought to apply the same argument to love…So what is love in the Ghanaian context, or within the very context you have defined? I’m sure if we toll this line we will have all kinds of off definitions for love that might drive one to decide to not “love”, but to maybe ( I dunno) Like?

    My point? Like the guy you accuse, I think you have also presented a “single story” (yes I have been influenced by Chimamanda Adichie; punch me!) and drawn a conclusion based on that single story. Mind you, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what you’ve said; I think it’s on point (sadly so)…. but is that the full picture? If we accuse Papa Kow’s forwarded article for idealizing marriage, then can we not also in the same breathe accuse you of towing the other extreme, and bastardizing marriages (without considering the grays)?

    Look how you have (through excellent generalization) reduced marriages in Ghana to the level of hypocritical experiences. I’m sure you have a lot of stories to convince us that it is so too; But you neglect to mention that Mr and Mrs Soso, have had a truly fulfilling marriage for Forty-something years…how do they fit your defined framework? Or must we accept it’s rather the exception than the norm (because you think it so, and have the research to prove it)? Why can’t the same be said about Kow’s forwarded article? Why can’t we rather say most people are having good marriages, than bad, and the bad is the exceptions? I know you could argue and say the number of divorcing couples is proof that it’s not so great…(and you may be right), but should that give grounds for completely “bastardizing” the institution of marriage?

    I love your writing, Graham; I think it’s intelligent. But I don’t think I side with your presentation (sue me!, lol). It’s an antithesis, a shade of black to contrast the white in Papa Kow forwarded article; but life and personal experiences tend to be more complicated than what numbers, and researches can prove or ever show.

    My conclusion? I don’t think marriage is for everyone. I think it is an institution that requires sober reflection before entering into, and a strong desire to stay committed (Btw, I speak from a Christian context; that is what I know and can justify). There are people who have found it to be a wonderful institution, and will swear by it; there are those who have suffered unmentionable traumas and will absolutely denounce it. As a young man, I hope if I have to make that decision, I will do it soberly, and with the right intentions; I hope I will do it for love, and do it because I intend with all my heart to be with that one person forever (and she with me); anything less, and you are well on your way to adding to the statistic…5555555555 divorces + 1

    My two pesewas. :-)

    Reply
    1. Kobby Post author

      Thanks Kwame. That was a very well-presented two pesewas.

      I have no statistics. This is by no means a scientific study and I never claim it to be such. It is merely an opinion piece. That said, I am sure that parents and peers in Ghana put more pressure on people to marry rather than to be in love. Completely sure. Anyone who is to decide on love without marriage would receive judgement (especially from people whose religions tell them not to judge). I have no evidence for this. But I suspect that your own observations would find the same.

      My piece is a lot more balanced than you give me credit for. Don’t be fooled by the title. While I start out by saying that marriage doesn’t impress me, I reference Gilbert’s book (which is about how she came to be persuaded about marriage). I quoted her on the many benefits marriage holds for men… as well as her suggestions on how it can be made better for women. More importantly, I speak of my mother’s happy third marriage (and I assure you, it’s pretty damn happy) and I end by saying that I could be persuaded to marry and even imagine what my wedding should look like. I think that’s way more balanced than the piece I reacted to.

      Truth is even if my piece leans towards anti-marriage, it is one article against a multitude of articles in the other direction. In that sense, I think it was an important perspective to present. It is a dissenting view that is rarely heard here. People talk about the difficulties in marriage (sometimes) but no one kicks against it altogether. I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from getting married. I just wish that people would not make it seem like the be-all and end-all, which you cannot tell me (science or no science) is not the case. I wish people would lay out how gritty it is. I hear vague references to it, but not when everyone is jumping down my throat to get married. And the fact is that there are alternatives.

      The Sosu-type marriages you mention – where people are soul mates and best friends… I don’t see many of those. I do see a few (my former stepmother’s parents, for example: Mr. & Mrs. Ammissah-Arthur of Cape Coast and Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Eshun of Airport Res, for example) and they are truly, truly beautiful to observe. I even alllude to them in the end when I mention the untypical marriage I would be persuaded by. But I don’t think marriage is responsible for that kind of happiness.

      Love is.

      I agree with you in suspecting that most Ghanaian married couples are probably happily married. But I’ve personally observed that people have very different definitions of happiness in marriage. I’ve seen beaten wives who claim their husbands hit them because they care (extreme) and women who know of their husbands many affairs but don’t mind so long as a. he doesn’t bring any STDs to bed, b. he keeps it on the downlow and c. he makes sure she is well-kept (more common). Many marriages that seemed pretty rock solid to me, I’ve found to be this way to my great disappointment. And I’ve listened to too many informal conversations in which my fellow Ghanaian men have either spoken freely about their affairs or tried making passes at my sisters and female friends. I suspect that you have too. I am sure those men are quite happy and would describe their marriages as such. Their wives probably would too. Especially to the outside world. But how many of them have really found soul mates. I know so many women who settle.

      I don’t want that kind of marriage. And I don’t see why anyone else should.

      Ironically, I’m sure I saw a Myjoyonline headline pop up yesterday on rising divorce rates in Ghana.

      There should be less pressure on people to just get married already and more emphasis on finding love. Love is the glue that gets you through the bullshit. The motivation to stay together in spite of difficulty.

      Not marriage.
      Love.

      Reply
  13. Kwame Pocho

    @ Kobby, the perspective you just provided in the comment above lends a breathe of fresh air to the whole marriage rhetoric. And again, I think you have definitely raised those pertinent questions that all those aspiring to get married must consider and think through ( and see if they fall short, lol).

    Your discourse is a thoughtful one, and I’m glad I spent time to read and comment ( happy to see people not trading insults, but sharing views; dissenting or not.)

    Reply
    1. Kobby Post author

      “Happy to see people not trading insults, but sharing views; dissenting or not.”

      I couldn’t have said it better myself, bro. Now if we could only get the NDC and NPP to do the same…

      *SLAP* *Wakes up from dream*

      Reply
  14. awo norvisi

    In fact, I think the type of person who is indisciplined while single is likely to remain that way in marriage and the person who is faithful in marriage is likely to have been that kind of person before marriage…
    i agree very much with this line of thought,kobby, and ive been trying to force this down a couple of throats recently.i know a whole truckload of beautiful,intelligent and enlightened young women who stay with boyfriends who cheat(blatantly)and openly disrespect them at the same time.these intelligent girls,however,’forgive’ these guys and stay right there in those dysfunctional relationships because for them(aforementioned intelligent young women),the ultimate thing is,if they stay long enough,these ‘boyfriends’ would marry them.in the same way,there are some who accept themselves as the ‘SERIOUS GIRLFRIEND’ OR ‘WIFEY’(*rolling my eyes*) and their man’s other women as the booty call or slut!and for these people,that is their standard!
    what they fail to realize is that,a wedding band might not(and in most cases)transform an unfaithful man into a faithful one.truth is,we cant always blame these girls,most of whom have been socialized to accept this nonsense as the standard!even though i regret to admit that somewhere in my past,i had been like these girls,i still hold that i probably wouldnt have been able to appreciate my sweetheart of a boyfriend if i hadnt waddled in those waters and somehow,im secretly glad i did cos now i know the difference:-D …and somehow i still manage to be one of the cynical ones in matters of love and especially marriage!as a a matter of fact,i have so much to say about these two and i think my petite post on your blog wouldnt do much justice to it!
    …but above all,i believe that the ultimate thing is HAPPINESS and thus if a person finds it in love or in marriage(or both),for better and for worse,in sickness or in health..blahblahblah…..THE ULTIMATE IS STILL HAPPINESS donc if you are miserable and unhappy…youre in the wrong place

    ps:but kobby,ive seen you two together;hand in hand,starry eyed(hehehe) and it was proper cute(*wink wink*)!lol!
    i love reading what you write and i look forward to reading another one of your posts…bisous et a plus

    Reply
  15. Emang

    “Think bigger: I have been the dumpee as many times as I have been dumped.” So you have never been the dumper.

    Before I go on, may I just say that when I read your words, I imagine the words coming out of a person that is fe-male, not male. What a great expression of thought from a man, and men don’t impress me.

    Why do you talk about marriage as though it is a thing, rather than a life you live? You study it as though you have to make yours fit into a certain mould or set of statistics, are you too afriad to find out for yourself? And if marriage does not impress you (it’s ok, I have my own problems: men seldom impress me, but they are as real as reality itself, though they are not perfect, not ideal, just real).

    Also, I am not sure whether you have missed what’s happening in the gay-lesby community: marriage is the new black and they pursue it aggressively.

    Women are just learning to assert themselves a lot better than they used to. Whether it is due to education, economic independence, millenium dev goals, a shift in the spiritual realm where even the creator is coming out as a woman: I don’t know. But women just being comfortable in their own skins has been the most phenominal change of the past century.

    Thought you might be interested in another nation’s perspective.

    http://sirnige.com/2010/12/08/high-divorce-rates-amongst-the-zimbabwean-diaspora/

    Reply
    1. Kobby Post author

      “Think bigger: I have been the dumpee as many times as I have been dumped.” So you have never been the dumper.
      On the contrary. It means I have been the dumper and the dumpee an equal number of times

      Before I go on, may I just say that when I read your words, I imagine the words coming out of a person that is fe-male, not male. What a great expression of thought from a man, and men don’t impress me.
      Erm. I see. I will take that as a compliment. I am the son of a women’s rights campaigner so perhaps that influences my words. That said though, there are very intelligent men out there who aren’t.

      Why do you talk about marriage as though it is a thing, rather than a life you live? You study it as though you have to make yours fit into a certain mould or set of statistics, are you too afriad to find out for yourself? And if marriage does not impress you (it’s ok, I have my own problems: men seldom impress me, but they are as real as reality itself, though they are not perfect, not ideal, just real).
      Marriage IS a thing. Of course, it is a lifestyle decision too. I just prefer calculated risks instead of blind ones. It is not fear. It’s simply good sense

      Also, I am not sure whether you have missed what’s happening in the gay-lesby community: marriage is the new black and they pursue it aggressively.
      I think what’s going on there is different. It’s different when you don’t even have access to marriage. It automatically makes it mean more. And for gays and lesbians it does mean more because for example, a gay person is not given the right to make important life or death decisions regarding his or her partner’s health in case of an accident because they are not married. So besides the love angle, there is a legal angle that makes marriage very important to them.

      Women are just learning to assert themselves a lot better than they used to. Whether it is due to education, economic independence, millenium dev goals, a shift in the spiritual realm where even the creator is coming out as a woman: I don’t know. But women just being comfortable in their own skins has been the most phenominal change of the past century.
      Agreed. That change will be greatly helped if this over-emphasis on marriage changes and women (and men) are encouraged to focus on what really matters. Not this unhealthy “marriage by any means necessary to the first person who comes along” attitude society exerts. Or?

      Thought you might be interested in another nation’s perspective.

      Reply
  16. Lisa-Leigh

    I have never really been big on the whole marriage thing, you know, life is what it is, and it happens when it does, until recently, one of my best friends got married a couple of weeks ago. I saw it (marriage) for what I think it should be: acceptance of another person, whole hearted acceptance for all that they are and would be. From that moment I craved it, I want to be accepted, with my loose screws, shoe fetishes, mild case of turrets, odd mannerisms and all. Plus I want a huge swanky party that is a reflection of me. Is that too much to ask?

    By the way I am in your town.

    Reply
  17. Graham Knight

    Emang – just had to respond to your comment. I’m very curious why you were surprised that a man wrote this and have to categorise him as a fe-male. Perhaps you need to rethink your notion of masculinity and meet a different type of man! lol

    You quote some gay and lesbian people’s desire to conform as validation for your views. Maybe you are too young to have witnessed the debates in the 80s about whether Queer was about challenging and changing the mainstream or becoming part of it. As the radical groups died away the Gay conformists appear to be the loudest voices.

    Yes, marriage can be a life you live. But who says we all have to live it? Surely the whole point is there should not be one path for us all but diverse ways of living our lives. Ghana appears to enforce only one and then labels you useless or irresponsible if you refuse to follow the herd.

    Let’s not be afraid to defy the orthodoxies and try and find our own path through life not one ready mapped out by tradition.

    Reply
    1. Emang

      Hi, I re-read the article and at the start of it, I actually visualised the words coming out of a Joan Rivers look-alike, I kid you not. Towards the end, they come out of a bitter single black woman. I am not sure why, it must be the dominant reference to female influences: mom, aunt, Liz Gilbert, chick flicks. Having said that, through commentary with my blogger mates at africaontheblog (http://www.africaontheblog.com/i-grew-up/), we have realised that the many traditions and cultural practices, including religous culture, are actually enforced by none other than the very women that these practices do not serve or empower. Women have a lot to answer for.

      If I may ask the writer, how is your mom treated by other women around her because of her marriages/divorces?

      But back to the writer’s femininity, also the fact that the writer is willing to talk about issues men just won’t open their mouths about makes me visualise Kobi as a “she”. Regarding your quesion, “Who says we all have to live it?” Don’t get me wrong, not everyone has to get maried, I completely agree, and I will be the first person to tell a person they are living a lie by enduring a loveless marriage instead of ending things.

      Look at it this way, I have not gone out and written a piece entitled “single-dom doesn’t impress me!” so why invest so much time in criticising other people’s choices.

      Well written and very readable never the less. I respect your opinion.

      Reply
      1. Kobby Post author

        Erm. Thanks.

        Marriage isn’t some private thing that you hear about once in a while. It is something that society constantly rams down your throat. Offten without knowing it. Any young Ghanaian can testify to the number of times they are pestered about it. Anyone who has a dissenting view is considered strange, at the very least.

        In such circumstances, it is perhaps natural that a dissenting view will come off a little aggressive. Because, without knowing it, society is equally as aggressive about marriage. And maybe it is that aggression that makes me sound like a bitter woman (lol) but I assure you: I’m actually very calm and (I think) rational about it.

        Don’t be fooled by the header. That’s just a hook.

        As for my mother, she lives in Europe. Over there, while marriage is also an obssession, people aren’t judged so harshly for not marrying or for divorcing. So she’s okay.

        I completely agree with you about the chains that women bind around themselves. My mother campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation, where this is certainly the case.

        Many thanks for your perspectives. I’m not quite sure from your questions as to what your own views are around marriage though.

      2. Graham Knight

        In the UK, my boss and I believed we could spot the boys who were raised only by their mothers, perhaps for the things you have identified in Kobby’s writing.
        But feminism has allowed us not to supress our feelings and to challenge the notion they are in some way ‘feminine’.
        You don’t have to write the piece single-dom doesn’t impress me because we hear from the Culture everyday! lol

        Long live the Joan Rivers Men! Fight for the right to cry!

        PS like africaontheblog and don’t know why I haven’t come across it sooner.

      1. Emang

        “Don’t be fooled by the header. That’s just a hook.”

        You did exactly what I would have done, it is my style and it sparks passionate response. Drats! Now I am going to have to think of something better than “Marriage doesn’t impress me.”

        I am married to a man I am completely besotted about, am very deeply in love, deeper than I am willing or even able to express than to… just… I don’t know, cry, scream, moan.. who knows. But I have to admit, I have pondered about the thing called marriage ever since I got married, I am not able to put my finger on it. I am not able to truly define, not so much how to be married, but WHY we marry. If I did not have faith in God or a god, would marriage be of any relevance to me? My husband thinks we married for love, I think we married because of our faith. but…

        What is love without marriage? What is marriage without love? What is marriage without faith? What is it without God?

        Great conversation folks!

  18. Barker.H. Vogues

    I have recently being trying to catch on my readings on Socrates.
    And i realised, the man just might have anticipated this Kobby Graham moment!

    I leverage two of his most significant pronouncements on marriage

    1. As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent.

    2. By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.

    I leave the comments and the “philosopical” dissections to you!

    Reply
  19. Kizita

    Interesting article. Some of my siblings hold firm to your views on marriage. Sadly, i dont! A single man who sleeps about with different chics all year round cannot be called a cheat….cos obviously, he hasnt made a commitment the way that we know it to any particular girl. However, when a married man sleeps with another chic, it is called cheating. Now, i think men shall always be men…Its just in their nature to hunt a little. The difference in my opinion is that.. that little inkling within a man that tells him to go home even after a night of cheating with the most wonderful girl of his DREAMS….and at least to do stuff that is expected of him as a husband is what convinces me that there is a form of COMMITMENT somewhere otherwise, i suggest that the marriage go under the knife. Dont get me wrong, i am not suggesting that women should settle for less but c’est la vie! you cant change certain things. you know the saying, (SAME TUNE, DIFFFERENT RECORD) We just got to make lemonade out of available lemons. I do agree with the points you made above anyway, a woman should be able to hold her very own, have her ducks in a row. but if you ask me i am team marriage…..there is much more to gain in being married than living single.

    Reply
  20. nana

    Lovely piece. After hearing Okyeame Quame’s latest song “Faithful,” it dawned on me to write a piece like this. Do we even have faithful partners? It could be a yes or no but I bet the yes will be 1%. We seem to worry over nothing and that is very bad. The sad part is when your friends get married and they start asking questions like “when are you joining us?” as if its a team game. They don’t ask if you are emotionally, spiritually, mentally, financially and physically prepared. I believe marriage is good but I don’t think we should be obsessed about it like it is the world cup.

    Reply
  21. Edi

    Dont know how i landed on this blog; but i must say interesting article tho, and i love how interactive the blog is too… .WE ‘MUST ALL GET MARRIED’ yes! That’s how society say’s it should be so we are all in a hurry to fall in line. And whether we like it or not we will all at a point in our lives attempt to, or actually, embark on an adventure that we hope will evenually lead to the ultimate: marriage! True, some may be lucky and find true love and get married others will however not be so lucky. The brave among the unsuccessful will rather stay single and keep their peace of mind; whereas the not so intrepid would settle for the last option, which is a ‘marriage of convenience’ and boy, we all know what that means: endurance! endurance ! endurance! with So many marriages of convenience’s here in gh no wonder marriage has lost it’s allure. Concurring with kobby, i think if the emphasis is placed on love and love alone, as the prerequisite for marriage we will find the transition from ‘single to married’ rather smooth and easy. ‘Love Conquers All’… .By the way you are welcome to check out my single relating to this subject matter.. Chao! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    ” yet my mother did what I truly feel was a fantastic job in raising me and my brother right.” u think?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s