There is a lot of debate on whether it is safe to talk to your family about marriage problems. Chances are that the family will give you the best or worst advice. Mwereti Kanjo spoke to a marriage counsellor and a man from MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commercial city, Blantyre, on their views.
Women have often been criticised for taking marriage issues and sharing them with the outside world, especially family. Marriage is when two people become one. Whatever happens in that marriage is expected to remain between them. But there are times when things like abuse, either physical or emotional reach the extreme that you just need someone to talk to.
Marriage counsellor Effie Somanje advises against taking marriage problems to your family. She says, your family will always remain biased in their views. As such, telling them will only lead to bringing hatred between your husband and the family.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When you are married, you move out of your family home and stay elsewhere with your husband. You sort of become independent from your family. This should similarly be the case when you start to face problems in that marriage. The best is for you to sit down with your husband and talk about things.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“For the parents, when your child comes to complain about the things they are going through in their marriage and you decide to take her side and over react, at the end of the day you look foolish when she goes running back to him against your advice. Of course, they are your children and there is no way you would ignore them. Try to remain independent and direct them to ankhoswe,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Somanje.
However, this does not mean that you should keep things bottled up. When talking to him has failed, take the matter to a third party outside the family. She says, church pastors are in a better position to listen and give advice because they will not take side.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The difference between marriages today and those in the past is that in the old days, people were good at hiding problems. Only the neighbour would know that you fought last night. When they asked, the best response was that it was just a minor issue. But today this cannot be done. You kids today will kill each other if you choose to keep quiet. That is why it is up to you as a woman to judge if it is safe for you to remain in that marriage,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Somanje.Ã‚Â
George Beula Maida, Blantyre-based man says when a wife takes your family problems to her family it just shows lack of respect for the marriage. He says chances are that her family will mislead her by exaggerating the whole issue. A very small incident that could have been worked out between the two will be made even bigger and when the husband comes to know of her actions, he too will get angrier.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The family will not even think of confirming whether what their daughter is saying is true. They will just listen to what she says and believe everything. You will not find any man that will talk outside marriage. This is because your wife is your mother and you respect her. We believe in addressing issues within and when that fails consider ankhoswe because that is tradition and not immediate family,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Maida.
The thing about marriage is no one must force you to remain or leave. You are the one person that knows your husband best, what he is capable of. Make your own decisions because at the end of the day, it is your life.