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Marriage commitment - Signs that your spouse may not be committed
The legal union between a man and a woman is intended to last a lifetime as a holy matrimony that is sanctioned by god. But this is increasing not the case. In parts of the world today, marriages seem to be like a dating session that has been extended for several years. It is claimed that up to 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. In Kenya, the percentage is lower but increasing at an alarming rate. I suppose marriages in India perform better by comparison due to strong family ties. However, Globalisation will soon take its toll on the strongest of family traditions so it will help if one can notice signs of poor commitment early enough to save the marriage. After pondering on this issue for many years, I have come up with tel-tale signs that I believe are a pointer to poor commitment.
Before we look at the points detail, I wish to point out a fact - marriage will do well if the couple are ‘in love’ or at least make an effort ‘to love’ each other. Where there is love, trust will follow. With love and trust, it is easy to be committed to the marriage. Without trust, love will surely wane but so will Commitment. In my opinion, the willingness to be committed to the marriage or not is an attitude that may be grounded on deep seated psychological issues that have not been resolved since childhood. If for example a girl grew up hearing from her mother that one should always have a ‘plan B’ in case the marriage does not work, she may find it difficult to be committed to the man she marries. She will always be on the look out for signs of trouble. Worse still she might even put some meausures in place, quite early in the marriage, just in case things do not work out. Yet, she may be having the most loving, trustworthy and committed man in the universe. Of course this is also true about men. So what are some of the signs that a spouse is not committed to the marriage? Below are 6 points, but before you read them, I wish to give a word of caution:
On no account should you use this information to cause a scene or otherwise strain your relationship. Rather use them to seek clarification or a change in behaviour.
What if the situation is polygamous?
This information applys also to a poygamous marriage (very common in Kenya) where all the 'wives' have accepted each other as members of one family. If the man strays to another woman who is not part of the arrangement, he commits an unfaithful act to all the wives. There was a story in the newspaper not too long ago where three women married to the same man stormed a hotel room and physically removed him from the clutches of another woman. Apparently the man had been spending too much time and money with a woman that was not part of his polygamous marriage. His three wives would not not take it lying down. That said, let us confine ourselves to a monogamous marriage.
For purposes of Illustration, We shall call the man Mr. Oryx and the woman Miss Gazzelle.
Six Signs of trouble
1. Miss Gazzelle does not want to be called Mrs. Oryx
Some liberated women do not like to lose their maiden name. Others do not consider it appropriate to be hitched to their husbands with the Mrs. Tag. On the overall, thoroughly committed women take great pride in having the prefix a sign that they are married and settled.
2. One of the spouses frequently removes the wedding ring
Removing the wedding ring is a signal to other hunters that ‘I am available.’ Why would a committed spouse want to send such a signal? Clearly this is a sign of trouble to come.
3. Mr Oryx is registered at his place of work as ‘Single’ (Which Mrs. Gazelle Oryx could reciprocate at her place of work)
If this is a carry-over from the days when that spouse was single, it may only be an oversight that can be corrected. But if the offending spouse got employed after the union, this is a sign of deep trouble. It is an obvious sign of little or no commitment to the marriage and it may interfere with issues such as – who is the next of kin? Who gets covered in a medical insurance scheme?
Clearly the partner who is not recognised by other partner’s employer cannot be the next of kin in case of an emergency and it might be useful to know who the priveleged person is (the mother?). Needless to say, this disadvantages spouse will lose out on health insurance and other frinnge benefits at the spouses firm. There are companies that pay the wife of a senior executive an allowance to facilitate the hosting of company guests for luncheons and cocktails so if her husband is listed as ‘single’ at the Human Resource department, poor Mrs. Gazelle Oryx loses out.
4. Mr Oryx reports marital problems to friends and relatives before a discussion with Gazelle at home (or perhaps it is Mrs. Gazelle Oryx doing that).
If you believe that your spouse has wronged you, he/she should be the first person to know. Telling it to others before it is discussed is a naked sign of cowardice and of course lack of committement to a lasting union. Eventually the spouse who has been reported to outsiders will get to know and be deeply hurt. These are seeds of discord that will only shorten the life of the marriage.
5. The employer organises trips, parties and other functions for families but Mr Oryx decides not to take Mrs Gazelle Oryx (or vice versa).
If this happened only once, it can be excused. Perhaps the couple had disagreed and were temporarily not talking to each other. Need I say here that the spouse who leaves the better half behind to go and have fun where others have their spouses has no conscience? How does one even justify it in their minds? No commitment if you ask me.
6. The spouse who bought the most expensive item (s) in the house wants the whole world to know.
Watch out, otherwise this could be a sure sign of a break up if not checked. The one who keeps harping about what they bought is preparing the ground for leaving with the property when the time comes. Couples are supposed to own assets jointly regardless of who among them did the purchasing - unless of course there was a prenuptial agreemement. I tend to think that pre-nuptial agreements are another sign of below average commitment.
There you have it. Hopefully some partners are innocently doing all of the above and yet they are fully committed. I hope that the awareness that this article brings will cause them to change. Couples are the basic unit in any stable nation so they should remain united in order to raise well adjusted citizens.