(I got the title from a comment a friend made while discussing the issue below):
We started our talk…that down the isle with a protuding tummy is now the fad and the next-big thing in the world of brides and bride-grooms, as far as the Nigerian marriage scene is concerned.
The truth is i’m is fed up with the sights and sounds. In fact, im tired. Its now more like a celebration of I-don’t-know-what-to-call-it-anymore. In fact, I have refused to attend the last 4-weddings for which I had received invitations, just because I knew / had information that an unborn child was to be part of the marriage ceremony.
See, I grew up with the orientation that ‘uneducated, cheap, and street girls’ are the ones who usually end up pregnant-on-the-isle, on their wedding day: girls who didn’t have values; girls without good home-training or who had become wayward; girls with no standard, no self-control; “girls who didn’t know where they are going” – as my mother would say.
I viewed guys involved in such affairs as being tied down and forced into the marriage, because of the work of their hands – the pregnant lady. I always thought: ‘what another big mistake’. I viewed the pregnant girls as just saying ‘I do’ because they had no other choice, they had gotten themselves into what they couldn’t get themselves out of. It was more like everybody on the wedding day knew that the couple were getting married just to cover-up what was so visible – the result of their fornication.
I remember the days of ‘Bible Knowledge (BK)’ classes in Secondary school. I remember my teacher, talking of ‘values’. I remember her telling the girls in my class that their husbands won’t respect them(wives) especially if they weren’t ‘pure’ before their marriage. Even though I didn’t have it all cleared out then, I just knew it was all wrong-preggy on the wedding day.
Now, the tables are turned, the ball is on the other court, its another story. Like a friend of mine called it the other day: test driving, and the wedding of fornication. I completely agree.
A topic on the radio last weekend(28th july) brought back these thoughts again. The commentator mentioned something quite new to me, she said that there are now some ‘New Generation churches and Mosques’ in Nigeria who don’t marry couples except the bride is visibly pregnant’. I was like…what da!!!! Talk about ‘New generation Mosques’, I don’t know much about the Muslim faith, so let them be, but I wonder which kind of Bible these ‘New Generation churches’ are reading. I would really like to know details of such churches doctrines, and where they got their ‘Jesus’ from.
Another of the commentators mentioned ‘present-day cases’ he knew about where families of the groom demand from the bride that she get pregnant before marrying their son. According to them(groom’s family), they wanted to be sure if the lady was fertile or not. I wonder if such cases could also be vice-versa…..as in the family of the bride making the demand from the family of the groom. Won’t this would be another interesting dimension?
Yes, I know that such a cultural practice isn’t knew in Africa, but I’ve always thought the practice was dying off as education, civilization, awareness etc., are increasing, and people are getting enlightened. Besides, these are the days of computer and GSM.
I just find it sickening that a lady will agree to such a demand: have sex with her ‘to be’ because father-in-law(to be) said so? I ask myself: who is she marrying? – her father-in-law or his son?, and how will the father-in-law be informed that the sex is over? – she’ll say?: ‘yes daddy, your son and I had sex last night’? or? he’ll say: ‘daddy, we slept together her last night, what do we do next?’, then the groom’s father will say to her: ok, whether you have had sex or not, I can only verify when I see her bulging stomach….then both guy and gal go into mode ‘wait-for-the-bulging-stomach’.
At this point, is she(awaiting pregnancy lady) a girl-friend, fiance, half-wife, or wife? Fine, lets just call her a ‘bride’ for the purpose of this discussion.
My question is:
- what if theres a miscarriage after the bulging stomach and before the wedding? would the bride allow, approve of and be made to agree to another ‘test-drive’, perhaps the groom didn’t know how to do it right the first time?
- what if theres a miscarriage even after the wedding or the child is born and it dies? and bride doesn’t get pregnant again? who will be blamed? daddy-in-law or husband.
- what if the marriage goes on, and the lady dies at child-birth? will the father-in-law assume a comforting ‘position’? and what of the next lady his son is interested in, would the same demands entertained all-over?
- what if the lady doesn’t even get pregnant, after one, two, three ‘test-driving’ attempts?
Considering the Nigerian/African ‘marriage and no-pregnancy/child-birth’ dilema, the lady(bride or wife or whatever) is always on the loosing end? Now, what of when both are just ‘test-driving’, who will tell who to go for a medical test(for the sake of Love?)? – groom family or bride family?
Would the groom wait or will he test-drive again and again until she gets pregnant? If she still doesn’t get pregnant, can the guy ‘move-on’? if he goes for another fish in the water and ‘test-drives again’, won’t the first lady feel used abused and dumped? what if its the guy who has medical issues? who has the louder voice? – groom’s family or bride’s family? can a new guy develop interest in her and be allowed to test-drive from scratch, all-over? with the daddy-of-the-bride agree? me thinks, shes becoming a prostitute.
- should the lady(bride) get pregnant and the marriage concluded, what is the guarantee that the marriage would last anyway?, considering that the major requirement ‘love’ was not allowed to have its way.
- what if during the pregnancy and the guy calls it quits? who looses?
I wonder if such brides think of the above before giving a go ahead.
I’m talking about preserving the purity of marriage. When did pregnancy/children became the test of a lasting and blissful marriage? when did pregnancy become the definition of Love between husband and wife? Correct me if im wrong, but as much as children are important for the marriage and for the nation, marriage is ‘the’ institution between husband and wife alone, recognized by God and the Nation. I believe that the husband is meant for his wife and the wife, for her husband. Kids or no kids, marriage is between husband and wife. A child/children are only a result of love-and-enjoyment between married couples. Besides, armed robbers, arial boys etc., have parents and if children were a guarantee that things would be all-right at home, these peeps shouldn’t be on the streets.
Kindly note that my specifics is about the parents insisting that there must be a pregnancy before the marriage. This is quite different from those boys and girls who got ‘carried away’ in their lustfullness, and just wanted to ‘save their faces’ at the altar. My grouch is with the Christian assemblies/Pastors, Mosques/Immams that have brought such error into their congregations. I believe such clerics are contributing to the moral decay in the society.
let me stray a little: I know a couple in Abuja, and my mouth was aghast the day I heard they had no kids. I had known them for 2-years. I had always thought they had grown up kids, that maybe the younger ones were in secondary school(boarding house) somewhere. These were the sweetest couple I had seen in years. Always happy and jolly, their ‘closeness’ was extra-visible. There was no how both could stand together without the woman adjusting something in her husbands clothes, looking him from head to toe, wiping his face with a hanky, and the husband was all over her, holding her hands/covering hers with his, his arms always around her waist, here and there. This is one Nigerian couple i’ve seen to kiss in public. The 48-year old man could hardly say 2-sentences without ‘my wife’, neither could the 43-year old wife say something without referring to her husband. They couldn’t take decisions without each others consent, these guys were obviously sweet and always ‘in-love’ was in no doubt. Visiting them a couple of times, I was more-than surprised.
back to my talk: as much as I believe parents should be involved in the marital affairs of their children, I do not support such extra-terrestial ‘pregnancy-before-wedding/marriage’ family demands – if we assume all pregnant-on-the-isle cases are because of such demands. Definitely not.
Considering that a couple will later in life be left alone(by the time kids are all grown and settled), the more important it is that they know each other well-enough apart from their children, even and especially before the children start coming.
Worse, it really breaks my heart when I hear of educated women(especially those who finished University) agreeing to such demands. I sometimes wonder what their education really achieved. I thought that such(brides) should be able to educate their parents, as well, the groom educate his own parents. Our forefathers who didn’t know much didn’t test-drive here and there before hitting the spot. They had a house-full of kids, and even in some polygamous scenarios, there was love and happiness. How much more in the present day.
A week ago, I put the above scenario to a lady who jumped in on a conversation I was having on this issue. I asked her what she would do if shes in such a fix(agree to get pregnant as a requirement, before marriage). She thinks for 3minutes and says: hhhmmmm, ‘it depends’. Note: this lady is a young-professional in her own field.
So here, to the ladies of the nigerian blogsphere, assuming you are in the same fix(agree/not to get pregnant as a requirement, before marriage), would you have the same ‘it depends’ answer? what if it was your daughter?
Guys, what would you make of the above? if your parents make such a demand, would you agree? what if it was your daughter? Yes / No.
Between the ‘practical-fertility-testing’, if we assume that medical doctors give ‘theoretical-results’, is there any other advantage to this practice?