We all have fears that run through our minds. We all think of how we would face different transitions or phases of life like getting new work or a new work shift, becoming a parent, becoming a designated leader, etc. One such transition is from singlehood to marriage. A few young adults from Nairobi had different perspectives on their fears of the single-to-marriage transition. They said:
Sandra from Kileleshwa says, “The part of losing interest. Maybe you’ll be interested the first few months or one year then all of a sudden you are seeing things that you didn’t sign up for so now you lose interest.”
Marriage is indeed a step that changes the setup of your personal life in both big and small ways. With this in mind Kevin, a young professional feels that his personal space is important to him if he were to get into marriage “My greatest fear is space. And how to adapt the two personalities into one, I have my own space and my routine. Then, with the high rate of divorce and infidelity issues that also makes you question a lot of things in the society.”
The question of identity is another fear that has come up before in the minds of many unmarried folk. Women tend to think about this more than men. “Losing my own identity, my freedom, my space. And then let’s say you have been independent for such a long time, learning and re-adjusting how to be not just you as an individual but you plus someone else how do you now stop focusing on yourself to us.” – Sheila from South C
Joe from Nairobi says, “The transition of having to live with someone else other than yourself. The fear of seeing the same face every day, and getting bored.”
The young person with hopes and dreams of getting married mostly struggles with having to give up what they know to be their ‘own little world’. Self-awareness is something the new generation seems to hold dear, and this trickles into their fears or expectations of marriage.
But one thing that stands out is values. When moving into anything new, if the things that are most important to you are not given the priority it would be hard to see through the change and new thing that one is getting into. But there is also the shift in your social life that is sometimes affected when you get married.
Some questions and fears that went through Nelly a wife and mother of one when she was getting married were, “You have to move sometimes like I had to move from Embakasi to Rongai. So who are going to be my friends? I’m leaving what I know. He does not have to move, I am the one who has to go to where he is. So will his friends appreciate me for who I am instead of having to pretend so that they can like me?”
One thing that holds is that marriage included two people and Joel from Nairobi thinks the same, and says “For me, it’s the value that the other person is going to find in you for the long-term as the days and years go by. That shared value between you and your partner has always been one of those things that I have always asked myself, is it something that will be lasting for years?”
Because marriage was designed as an eternal agreement, yet the participants are mortal, finding the balance of compromise, individuality, and oneness in purpose are the major aspects that stand out, especially if the goal is ’till death do us part.’