Marriage is a distant idea to men but for women, it is something they long and hope for every day. Lately, more and more women are welcoming the idea of getting married in their twenties. At this age, the dating pool for most if not all women is the largest. This is because most Kenyans regard 30 as an ‘expiry date’.
Any reasonable person would therefore ask themselves why any woman would choose to commit at ‘her prime’ especially bearing in mind the fact that marriage, pregnancy and motherhood has a way of adding a year or two to a woman’s real age.
I sought to understand and explore this enigmatic scenario. I had a candid discussion with my fellow ladies and this is what they had to say.
1. Fear of bearing their kids late
“I would like to have had all my kids by the time I hit 30,” Pauline says. “I am well aware of risks associated with late childbearing. In addition to that, girls who got pregnant when we were in college have gotten back to shape and if you see them now, you would not tell if they have a child. Besides getting back to shape easily, I want to be able to run around with my kids when they are playing. I can only have such energy when I’m in my 20s or early 30s.”
Medical researchers say late pregnancy carries more risks for the mother and the baby. The risks are miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, abnormalities in the foetus, hemorrhage, premature rupture of membranes, obesity and heart diseases
2.Fear that they will not get husbands
They say beauty is skin deep. However, we cannot deny the fact that physical beauty is an integral part of attraction. Most men would tell you that before they fell in love with their partners, they first noticed their looks. A woman loses her potential of getting a husband as she ages because at a glance, not many men can see beyond the physical appearance.
Anyango says, “Obviously at 30s, I will not be looking as good as I did when I was in my 20s. That means I will not be noticed as much. Even if I’m a great person, not many men would be willing to pursue a woman who is in her thirties simply because the society expect her to have gotten married. This poses a threat to my chances of getting a husband. On the other hand, most men marry younger women. If I get married in my thirties that would mean that I’m getting married to a man who is in his late 30s, 40s or even 50s. Such a man is either divorced, widowed or has a kid. I would not want that and that is why am pressuring my boyfriend to marry me.”
3. To enjoy sex
Not many women enjoy casual sex as men do. Women want to feel secure being with a man and marriage is the one thing that can assure them of that. Margaret, a 26-year -old banker says, “Can you imagine the agony of having to move from one pharmacy to another asking for Panadol instead of the morning after pill because you are too embarrassed to ask for it? This happens to me once in a while when my boyfriend and I blunder.
I must admit that buying this thing is very uncomfortable. The problem does not end there, since the morning after pill is not a guarantee that you will not get pregnant.
In that case, my mind remains unsettled till my next menstrual period. I am honestly tired of this and as a Christian, I would like to enjoy sex in marriage because I know that, it is marriage that love is consummated. I also know that when I’m married, I would neither feel guilty nor fearful of anything.”
When are you getting married? Any woman in her mid or late twenties will tell you that this is a question she has been asked on several occasions.
The society has its expectations and it also has its way of making you conform to these expectations. Mary knows this to well, she says; “My parents are worried that they cannot see my wedding in sight. All my agemates are either getting married, pregnant or with kids and I’m still single with no serious boyfriend and no child. This makes me feel depressed. When I go to social gatherings, I feel out of place when I see couples even younger than me holding hands. I am tired of having to listen to friends talking about their husbands and children.”
5.Hope that marriage will change things
There are women who know from the onset that their relationship is not meant to be. They carry on with it and even push it to marriage hoping the man will change. This is the most stupid and desperate move a woman can ever take in her life. Learn from Wanjiru, who says,
“I knew my boyfriend at that time was in love with a certain lady. I knew he liked me but I also knew he would choose her. I decided to get pregnant with him because I knew that lady would not forgive him for playing with her emotions. I got pregnant and yes, I married him. However he started treating me like trash and eventually he left me and went to start a new life with another woman. I should have read the writing on the wall. I hope I will one day get a good husband who will be willing to accept me and my baby.”
In conclusion, I would say that the age at which you get a marriage partner does not depend with some calendar; however it is good to seize an opportunity when it comes.