Putting a ring on it: Are today’s couples fixated more on holding expensive introductions, weddings and not planning for the lifetime commitment of marriage? Are there any reasons behind this? Esther Oluka spoke to six individuals to sample their thoughts of this issue at hand.
James Peterson, Radio personality
A wedding is different from a marriage
“There is a difference between a wedding and a marriage. A marriage starts with your mindset and not that ring or bride price taken to your parents. There are times when a man is dating a woman, and, suddenly she starts talking about marriage.
You barely know this woman, and she is talking marriage. And, in your mind, you are like ‘what’? She becomes fixated with the idea of taking bride price to their home.
‘Take me to church and marry me,” she emphasises. So, let’s say this guy succumbs to the pressure and marries you, then what? A number of today’s married men have actually been pushed to wed their partners, yet actually, they are not really up to that marriage.
You demand that the guy weds you, which he does, and then after the marriage, you begin complaining of how the guy is not behaving like a married man. But the thing is, you pushed him to that direction.
You asked for a wedding, right? I gave it you, and, an expensive one at that, so, what more do you want? You may have the wedding and the marriage that just does not work out. Individuals who genuinely love each other do not need a wedding to prove affection and commitment.
Marriage is not rosy. There will be really difficult times. You need to have the energy, strength and the nerve to actually make it work.”
Pius Suuna, Advocate for tobacco control
Competition among women
There is this competition aspect among women. Just because her female friend had a glamorous wedding, she also feels the need to have one. This is why you find some women putting their men under tonnes of pressure to marry them in a lavish ceremony.
And, you find that the guy does not even have the resources to pull off such an event. These are men you find marrying women just for the sake of it and do not even behave like they are married. The other problem today is that some women are under intense pressure to get married by their families.
Many times, such families want to prove a point that their daughter is also married and if it was to a rich man, the parents will even brag about it. Also, there is the issue of couples dating for a short while, even for only six months, and, it is that excitement of a new love that sometimes makes them rush to organise lavish ceremonies just to prove a point to others that they are in love.
Couples are failing to understand that there is more to marriage than just the ring. Imagine rushing into marriage without fully knowing how your partner reacts when they are either angry or stressed, only realise their true colours after tying the knot, causing you to regret why you married them.
Phionah Hope Nampeera, Assistant auditor
Parents love rich men more
A number of couples are rushing to wed partly because of the pressure from the church. Religious leaders constantly emphasise that couples first wed before starting a family of their own. So, you will find incidents where a woman, for example, will go ahead and marry any man willing to not only marry her but also fully fund the marital union.
And, in many cases, you will find that this woman does not even love the man. The problem is also some parents. Some parents are only interested in seeing their daughters settle down with only rich men. For such parents, if you took a poor man or one with minimum education qualifications, they may not even approve the union.
The fixation of marrying a rich or well-educated man is definitely affecting many of today’s marriages. In order to curb some of these issues, it is important that parents do not mount pressure on their daughters to find rich suitors.
Women should be left to settle down with men they love regardless of his family or education background.”
Grace Nakimera, Artiste
The pressure from family
“I feel like today, women in particular, are fixated on fulfilling their heart’s desires by a certain age. Many times, you find women saying by a certain age, they should have had a white wedding and married a certain kind of man.
Well, let’s say they fulfil this wish and have that expensive introduction or wedding, then they get in there and do not find what they expected. It is why there are many cases of infidelity and divorce in homes.
Also, the pressure families mount on their daughters to get married by a certain age is too much. I have heard of cases where parents get so worried when their daughter is not married by a certain age, and, in the end, they begin demanding that she settles for any man.
Not forgetting, most of today’s women are into trends. There is a fascination about wearing white gowns and I think sometimes this obsession is what is driving women to rush into having expensive marriage ceremonies.
You know, sometimes you do not even need an expensive wedding. You can do something very simple and focus your energy more on making the marriage work. My advice to young women out there is not to rush into some of these things. Take your time because marriage is a lifetime commitment.
But also, I urge women to pray over some of these things. If you are in the process of searching, pray that God gives you a loving, caring and understanding man. In the end, it is what matters.
Miria Katiti Nambalirwa, Accountant
If you have money, splash away
If the couple has their money, what should stop them from holding an introduction or wedding of their dreams? If they have their money, they can invest whatever amount they want in their function.
Sometimes people, especially outsiders, think the couple is spending a lot of money on the event, yet, in fact, it is only two per cent of their joint earnings. On the other hand, I believe couples who do not have resources, including funds, should not stress themselves by organising lavish ceremonies on debts.
These functions are just for one day, yet marriage is a lifetime commitment. I think couples ought to worry more about their marriages rather than the introduction ceremony or wedding. In addition, I want to emphasise that partners should stop looking at physical attributes and wallet size.
That beauty or handsomeness one has will fade as they grow. Wealth is also not permanent as well. It can vanish within a blink of an eye. Rather, when you make up your mind to marry someone, you should know them very well and tolerate their weaknesses. It is these little important things that make marriages work and not the money or wedding.”
Ivan Bwowe, Lawyer
Today’s weddings are exaggerated
Undoubtedly, a number of today’s introductions and wedding ceremonies are exaggerated, yet the longevity of either a relationship or marriage is not dependent on funds.
Rather, for any relationship to stand the test of time, the couple should have spent time trying to learn each other and learnt how to handle the day-to-day challenges in their relationship.
It does not make any sense to have a flashy ceremony, yet the couple is already struggling in their relationship. In fact, such ceremonies put unnecessary pressure on a couple and that is why sometimes in the end, they separate.
These things of throwing lavish marital ceremonies is not necessary. Over-the-top ceremonies have a tendency of making couples end up in tears. What matters, rather, is the affection and care the couple has for one another.”