A wedding day that was supposed to be memorable and full of pleasant surprises was filled with bad memories, thanks to the bride’s aunt who spilled the beans.
Mayeso Chimasula and Beatrice Kalonga (not real names) tied the knot after courting for quite a long time and believing they had known each other well enough to share eternity.
It was only during the mwambo (after marriage counselling) that Beatrice’s skeletons were let out of the closet. Her aunt, with a K10 coin in hand, advised: “Chonde Beatrice mwana wanga, momwe wakwatiwamu usasiye kumukonda ndi kumadzamuona mwana wako kumudzi. Ambuye wamupatsa mwana uja ababa, dzina lake lilemekezeke. Achimwene mwapeza omutuma mwapata mwana okulakula.”
The aunt was simply reminding Beatrice about the need to continue supporting her previous love child, a secret she never bothered to tell Mayeso at any point in their relationship.
With the aunt’s unprecedented revelation, shock and embarrassment followed, prompting Beatrice to claim that she was planning to spill the beans soon after marrying Mayeso.
So, when is the right time to tell your partner about those secrets or life experiences?
Marriage counsellor and family life educator Justice Esmy Tembenu advises people in relationships to share secrets before they seriously commit.
“One must know all the secrets, weaknesses and strengths of a person before they enter into marriage. It is good to taste tempers, emotions and know all necessary health issues in advance, including going for HIV testing.
She further advised those with children from previous affairs to introduce them to their loved ones early in relationships.
“It is important that the partner gets acquainted with the children and vice-versa before he/she marries the parent. This not only strengthens their relationship, but also reduces chances of unnecessary quarrels in future.” She added.
Agreeing with Tembenu is sociologist Sarudzai Chirambo who believes those about to start a romantic relationship must make their secrets known to the other party well in advance.
“Let the other party get into the relationship fully knowing who their mate is and accept them accordingly. No one must be surprised later to allow informed choices,” Chirambo said.
She dismissed fears of lovers fleeing upon secrets revelations, saying people should stand for the truth regardless of the consequences.
Pastor Charles Thangalimodzi, however, said there is no definite time for telling life‘s secrets as timing is dependent on the gravity of the issue.
“Not all secrets can be told before people begin a relationship, similarly not all issues can wait until later in the relationship. There are some things that are to be known by the other party as early as possible while others have to wait until the relationship is stable,” he said.
Thangalimodzi further advised those with secrets to be tactical in breaking the news for fear of scaring away their partners.
“It is unfortunate that we don’t consider booking appointments when we want to discuss serious issues with others. Avoid bringing up such topics during celebrations,” Thangalimodzi said.
He hinted that when breaking the news , people must first explain the circumstances behind a situation to ease the burden on the one digesting the news.