The secret to a happy union

Happy couple

Friendship is the glue that binds the bond of marriage.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • Your potential partner has a decent job like you and is ready to settle.
  • You make sure when the potential partner finds you, you are squeaky clean.

There is a clear unwritten script on this marriage story. This is how it goes, you graduate from college, get a decent job, buy household stuff, join a Sacco, take a loan then buy your first car.

And life starts on a good note...

Next are wedding plans. Your potential partner has a decent job like you and is ready to settle.

If you are a woman, you look for a decent man — solid and God-fearing. Equally, if you are a man, you want a quality woman.

But here is the interesting part. You make sure you ‘sanitise’ your image so that when the potential partner finds you, you are “squeaky clean”.

You stop your reckless nightlife of drinking and partying and turn into a faithful church person. Then the paths for this “good” man and “godly” woman meet and marriage happens.

That is how Kenyan men and women prepare for marriage.

And there is more...

The ruracio lost its cultural significance and what is left is a display of a facade and exploitation to milk as much money as possible from the groom’s side.

Extravagant wedding

The groom then feels exploited and in turn, treats his wife like one of his possessions. After all, he paid dearly for her. 

You start life on that wrong foundation. Baby number one checks in after that extravagant wedding that left you so broke you will need a decade to recover.

By the time the third baby is checking in, you have lost yourselves in the script. You fight a lot, are disillusioned and have no shared values or purpose.

As a coping mechanism, one of you starts to have an affair — the man, simply because he can lead the Bible study and still get away with adultery. But society will judge an adulterous woman harshly. 

Slowly, betrayal sets in and the marriage starts to collapse.

If you are Christians, divorce is not an option and you may not warm up to counselling. And that is how many marriages end because they started on a wrong footing. 

The script left out the most important secret ingredient of a joyous marriage — friendship.

And my readers agree with this:

“You are supposed to marry your friend, someone you connect with and whose company you enjoy. Love grows from there,” Josiah K, a reader says. 

Emotional connection

Friendship, he notes, is the glue that binds the bond of marriage.

“Friendship is what strengthens emotional connection and intimacy.” 

After two decades of marriage, Josiah says he is more in love with his wife because they were first friends.

“We were friends, then fell in love. Our friendship has continued to grow over the years, which has strengthened our love.”

Grace Mueni dishes out a brutal truth.

“Stop jumping into sex before marriage as it closes the door to emotional connection and does not give you time to know the other person. Friendship is what makes a marriage worth it,” Grace says.

She gives an example of an elderly couple who are friends and have grown closer over the years.

They have gone through the rough patches of life together and still laugh about it. They immensely enjoy each other’s company.

Indeed, meeting someone, growing a beautiful friendship together through the highs and lows of life, is what will set a solid foundation for a marriage that will stand the test of time.