By Alvin Agaba
Is it a crime to be 30 and unmarried? Well, there is a despicable perception in society that a girl should be married as soon as she graduates from university.
Statements such as: “We are now waiting for a special friend,” are common at graduation ceremonies.
But one would wonder whether there those unmarried by age 30 deserve to be punished or continuously reminded that time is up for them!
It is no doubt that at this age, your biological clock begins to tick so loudly. Coupled with such reminders, one find themselves sick or even end up depression.
How time flies! Especially for career-oriented women. One day, you are 24 years old. But before you blink twice, you are already 30.
Even when you happen to be lucky enough to have some achievements by that age, all such are disregarded by society as long as you are not yet married.
Society makes it appear as though it were your fault to not find a suitable marriage partner by that age.
I know of a friend who was pressurised into marrying because her family needed to seal ties with her husband’s family.
As you tend to give excuses for your delay, there come offers to help you find a suitor.
This particular one had a family friend’s son pushed to her face as a husband.
Like I mentioned, such pressure can only be handled by the hard-hearted. This friend of mine was not that type. So, she had to bow.
Some wealthy families normally pressurerize their children into marriages for protection of family wealth.
In some cases, tables turn as girls seek financial security and try so hard to get taken by wealthy men.
One will tell you: “This world is hard and I am not doing well myself. So, I must get a wealthy man to marry me.”
A man who has property or wealth is seen to be one who will take care of his wife and children. But is this what marriage is?
Marriages that result from pressure normally affect women and girls.
Sometimes, the girls are still too young to manage a marriage life, let alone being able to successfully carry pregnancies and bear children.
Often times, these are exposed to violence and abuse because culturally, women in most societies do not have the power to agree, reason, or even argue with men.
Some girls are taken out of school just because the parents need money. Hence, denying them the right to choose the path of their lives.
The pressure a woman gets when all her friends and age mates are unmatched.
You might have some comfort when your closest circles are all or most are unmarried. But when the circle starts reducing, you start asking questions: “Am I cursed? Do I look bad? Is there a problem with me?”
And honestly, the answer might be none of the above. Perhaps it is just not the time!
This is not just about women by the way! Men too, suffer the same.
The pressure could be from their girlfriends who ask questions such as: “If you love me, what are you waiting for?”
This is a big mistake. For many who have used this trick, the end has turned out sour, leading to breakups or unhappy marriages because either one partner or both were not ready.
Also, the pressure will not allow those in abusive marriages to leave.
Even if one is being abused, the parents literally cannot do anything about it. The question they always ask is: “What will people say?”
Besides, because the dowry cannot be paid back, many women are left vulnerable, with nowhere to turn. This is devastating.
My strong take
We need to believe in God’s timing. God can never bow to human pressure. He says in Isaiah 60:22: “When the time is right, the Lord will make it happen.”
Also, people are allowed to court first to see if they are compatible because marriage is a lifetime decision.
So, I believe it is worth taking your time to consider.
Spending your entire life with someone who does not reciprocate the love and affection you have towards them could turn out to be hell on Earth for you.
As we grow, everyone has the right to choose the path of their lives. One should make their own choices regarding marriage.
I have also come to understand that marriage is not meant for everyone. But either way, the Lord says: “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing” (Proverbs 18: 22).
The writer is an inspirational writer.