Feb 1, 2012

Worst reasons to get married

There are untold reasons why people marry; some are lonely, some want children, some want to strike it rich, and some just want the feeling of family and not to be alone in old age. The ones who make the right decisions, take their time to assess a relationship, pay attention to what his partner is saying are not mentioned here.

What follows is a list of reasons why most people get married.

·                    The woman is pregnant and wants to legitimize her child. She wants the child to have the father’s name, and she wants support. She might even have been planning the pregnancy secretly in the hope that the two of them will marry. This kind of deception never ends in happiness.
·                     A gentleman in his sixties or seventies might be interested in a young bird of twenty he knows is after his money, but he is lonely and will pay for it and also well-versed with the ways of the world and has a will. The woman will strut her stuff for a bit and then he will pass away and the family will interfere.
·                    Marrying because you are heading for forty and have no man in your life. You are needy and desperate and are afraid you will end up holding someone else’s baby instead of your own.
·                    Marrying someone to obtain citizenship is surely one of the worst reasons to get married as it involves deception and is also illegal. These marriages seldom last and most of the time the person is either found out and pays a fine or is sent back to his or her country. The relationship deteriorates because it was not based on honesty.
·                    Marrying for wealth or prestige. This will surely end in disaster as the relationship is based on the need for material possessions and wealth rather than love.
·                    Being in your sixties and marrying a woman in her twenties for her extraordinary long legs and glossy hair only to find that after watching three episodes of Two and a Half Men, the two of you have nothing to talk about. You try to help the situation with some books, but alas, you got what you paid for. She is only good in the bedroom and you long for that real sharp cookie you dated briefly in New York who gave you a run with her wit.

The best reason of course to marry is because you love someone and want to spend time together, and that opens a whole new chapter on what it means to love – a great buddy who enjoys watching a movie with you, but also likes to throw a ball around, or cook a new meal, and definitely one who irons his own shirts.

Read my earlier posts

Walking away from emotional abuse

If  you have ever found yourself in the situation where there is abuse in the home, your life and that of your kids are in danger and you want to leave but are afraid to because he has threatened to harm you or the kids, take the threat seriously and call the police as soon as he has left the house and tell them what he has threatened to do. This is not a time to hang around or ponder on whether he means it or not. You can’t take the chance and you don’t have the right to expose your kids to further danger – especially as you are familiar with his temper and know that he flies easily off the handle.

Emotional abuse is insidious

The problem with emotional abuse is that it is insidious and creeps up on you slowly over the years. You get used to the insults. You live with the put-downs. You hear the word stupid so many times you start to believe that you really are stupid and that there is something wrong with you. You question your self-esteem. And then you question your sanity. You ask why you are still there, but you know why. It is just too inconvenient to move and start all over again. You would rather be in a boxing ring with your partner and subject your kids to untold damage than have the inconvenience of walking away from a toxic relationship.

Getting out of the relationship

Being roughed up and punched around by a man is physical abuse, and no woman should stand for it or accept it. If she stays around knowing the danger to her children, she is selfish to expose them to danger as these situations frequently end in disaster and the kids get hurt. Here is an escape plan which includes the following:

·                    Pack your clothes in plastic bags and leave them at a friend’s house,
·                    Mention nothing to your children who might be feeling guilty,
·                    Leave no suspicious items lying around,
·                    Phone your parents and tell them your plan,
·                    Go to the police station and tell them that you and your kids have been abused and you need shelter file a restraining order,
·                    Make sure the police are with you when you go to your parents’ house,
·                    Sit your kids down and explain to them that mommy and daddy can no longer live together in the same house; you don’t want to turn them against their father
·                    Ask social services if you can all have counseling.

When children bully, who is to blame?

It would be easy to say just the parents, but there are too many factors involved. Raising children today is different than when children were raised in the fifties and sixties. Children did not back chat parents, and if they did would soon be told to behave. On the other hand one cannot blame it all on the times and the environment; the parents do play a big part when their children continually misbehave and they do nothing about it. Children know how to push your buttons. A child knows from an early age that if he hollers and makes a fuss, that he gets what he wants as the parent is just too worn out from household duties and makes the same threats every day without doing anything. What you might think is cute when your four-year-old purposely shoves his plate off the table, is not cute to others who have to listen to his screaming – and it is not pretty at all watching a four-year-old bullying his siblings to get what he wants and control the family.

Setting standards for a child

Your child’s behavior in any circumstances is as good as you have allowed it to be. A child who is reprimanded with kind words and without shouting, has a better outcome in the real world than one who is obnoxious and a bully. Teaching your children how to behave at home, at school, and with others is important and you should start as soon as your children understand what you are saying.  If he is with you at the supermarket and kicks the cans from the shelves, you should tell him immediately that you will deal with him when you get home. Don’t make a scene in public, but let the child know that he has misbehaved. Your punishment for this might be a ten-minute time-out. If this turns out to be a joy rather than a punishment, give him a chore that he can handle or take his computer game away for half an hour. Pick the right time. You can’t punish a child at bedtime for something he did wrong in the morning. He won’t know what he’s done to upset you.

In the good old South African handbook of acceptable behavior are things such as:

*          greeting people when you first see them, and asking them how they are,
*          not interrupting adults when they are talking, but waiting for a break in the conversation,
*          washing your hands before sitting down for a meal,
*          not talking with food in your mouth,
*          not taking more than one biscuit or sweet, if offered,
*          not arguing back with your parents,
*          not asking for anything in other people’s home,
*          not swearing, not being obnoxious, and not being rude.

Something that my old-fashioned grandmother always used to tell us kids when we were pre-teens is that you can be how beautiful and how pretty, but if you are rude and don’t have good manners, no one will like you. Children who are rude to parents, teachers and other people in positions of authority act out in public and more often than not land into trouble when they are teens.

Read The Playground of the Prophets and other posts