Forget my personal feelings about the phrase marriage material. I have a lot of feelings about that but that’s not my issue today. Many times I have heard people speak of a marriage material woman, rarely have I heard them speak of a ‘marriage material man‘. I have also heard people say marry for love, but I have heard others tell single men in their mid 30’s or 40’s happily doing their own laundry and cooking to “get a wife.” It’s that easy for them: just decide to marry and boom, a wife is there. According to my culture, it appears men are born ready for marriage while women have to be ‘programmed, prepared, and trained’ for it.
Apparently men are single because they decide to be single. Women are single because no one wants to marry them or they’re too delusional with the standards they set for themselves. That’s why they’re single. However, men are single by choice. Their decisions are usually based on: he was once heart broken so he is taking his time to know someone. Or he is simply stingy and doesn’t wish to share his wealth with anyone.
The possibility that women might not find this man attractive enough to want to be married to him rarely crosses people’s minds. Or that she might not be in such a hurry or ashamed of her singleness. That just because she gets lonely sometimes does not mean she is miserable and willing to settle for less. I don’t suppose that ever occurs to some people. And maybe people are justified to have minds structured like that because the world does not hold men to the same standards they hold women when it comes to marriage, especially in my culture. All it takes for a man to be ready for marriage are his X and Y chromosomes.
A woman is lucky to find a rich man. If she finds a poor one she is materialistic if she doesn’t give him a chance and see his potential. If he is a playa it’s her duty to help turn him into a better man. If he has a bad character, oh that’s not an issue, men change when they really fall in love!! So really, how can we speak of a marriage material in a man when there is really no such thing?
The same cannot be said of women. No matter how successful or great in character a woman is, if she is unmarried, whether she is only 20 years old or 50, something is wrong with her. So much power has been placed in the identity of a married woman, so much so that some have come to think themselves wise and worthy by mere virtue of being Mrs Someone. If you’re a single woman, it means no man has found you worthy to be a wife. That means you need to work on yourself first if you’re to find a good man. Other narratives that will follow you are; she’s single because she’s too picky. She keeps ignoring the Hi’s and hello, and the waves in her inbox. She thinks she’s all that now look at her, still single. How shameful!
No one listens to the woman when she says she can’t find, meet, or bump into the right man for her. No one has impressed her enough to want to pursue a lifelong relationship with. She can’t find that husband material. Why can’t anyone believe her when she says this?
I have some news for the crowd in the back: There is a special population of women out there that hold the men they wish to bring into their lives to a certain standard. The marriage material type so to speak. Just because a man shows interest in you and goes ahead to ask for your hand in marriage does not mean he is automatically marriage material. He might not be IT.
There are a lot of badly raised men out there ready to settle down with good women made of the finest marriage material. And yet they’re jerks, rude, arrogant, stingy, disrespectful, Casanovas, pathological liars, manipulators, unromantic, abusive emotionally or physically (maybe even both), dirty, smelly, poor financial planners, broke, rich, drunkards, childish, etc.Anisha Namutowe
A man whose house smells like pig’s vomit because the maid didn’t show up for work for 2 days. Sink filled with dirty plates, toilet soaked in his urine from top to bottom, bed unmade, socks and clothes lying all over the floor, his boxers smell like cow dung, but he is a doctor, or an accountant. Maybe even a teacher or an engineer so he’s ready for marriage. How can a man unable to take care of himself be trusted to take care of another human being? Worse, you expect him to have kids with you? Guaranteed, you will be a single mother in your own marriage, raising your kids, and your very childish husband. Yet still, there is that fella that can take care of himself pretty well but he doesn’t want to anymore so guess what, he goes in search, not for a maid, but a wife!
Marriage is not a reward for good behavior. If it was, there would be no divorces. I have seen both good and bad men and women get married. And I know good and bad men and women that aren’t married. While the men are pressured to get married because ‘it’s the right thing to do and the right time to do so’, women are pressured because it is shameful not to be married. If they want to be respected, then they better get married. This is why most women have ended up getting married to men that aren’t worthy of them.
My prayer is that society changes this narrative that seems to paint women in dark shades simply because they have chosen to hold men accountable to the same standards that society holds them to.
She is single, not because you don’t find her worthy, but because she finds you unworthy of her time, love, and commitment.Anisha Namutowe