It’s not enough that you want to marry her

In November, 2016, my friend Joe (not real name) told, yes told, his girlfriend that their wedding would be in May, 2017. The final semester for her Master’s Degree was ending in June, 2017.

She told him she wouldn’t be able to balance work, school and the preparations required for the ceremonies. He told her, matter-of-factly, that she could always finish school later.

She told him the wedding could wait a few months after June. He gave her an ultimatum; to choose between the wedding and school. She chose school. He was shocked and has talked about it for the past couple of months.

“But what do women want? I am financially stable. I was willing to marry her. But she feels that she can do better than me. Wait and see. She is going to come back when it’s too late.”

This is a recurring snide remark from some of my male friends and acquaintances. That they made their intention to marry a woman known and she dragged her feet. Or she outrightly said no.

Apparently, in a couple of years, the woman then older and yet still single will come crawling back, regretful of initially not jumping at the chance to be Mrs. someone.

Essentially, what this means is that in their minds it is still 1918 so every woman aspires to nothing more than being a wife and a mother. So any time is a good time for her to get married.

She is ready as long as a man, any man is. In fact, she lives her adult life holding her breath, always ready to drop anything that stands in the way of getting a ring on her finger.

But this is not 1918. Women are not seated at their fathers’ homes waiting to be whisked away in a carriage. They are working. Now they have the freedom to require more from a potential spouse.

It’s not enough that you want to marry her. Your character, values, aspirations and needs ought to be aligned with hers.

So no, Joe, it wasn’t enough that you wanted to marry that woman. By deciding that school shouldn’t matter to her, you made it clear that her aspirations were unimportant to you. And for a career-driven woman, nothing would be more exasperating than an unsupportive spouse.

This is no longer the age when men were beyond reproach; when it was perfectly acceptable for husbands to be dictatorial and abusive in any way that suited them while their wives had to provide unquestioning obedience.

And yet I have a friend who is a serial cheat and drunk, but he wants a ‘good’ educated woman who goes to church, prays for him, raises their kids well, and basically does all the donkey work while he has an eternal fiesta.

He is always shocked when the ‘good’ women don’t give him a time of day or don’t stick around for long. He says their standards are too high.

Women now want more out of relationships. They want, friends, companions and life partners.

So the assumption that no matter who asks, a woman should always get excited at being presented with ‘the opportunity’ to get married would be amusing if it wasn’t so arrogant.