Dear Counsellor, the mother of my four children and I have been living together for eight years now. The first time we slept together, she conceived. This prompted her to move in for fear of family repercussions. We then had the traditional kwanjula ceremony after the first child was born. Now, however, her mother keeps calling and asking her when she will get married in church. Honestly, I believe what we have is already good enough and there is no need for her to wear a white gown after four children. What should I do?
Marriage is a decision between two consenting adults. However by the mere fact that marriage affects even the families that we hail from it is common for parents, elders, and leaders of faith to wish their children a safe union.
Usually, it is not in bad faith but it could be the way the message is delivered and also perceived that makes it appear negative.
The Ugandan law recognises customary (kwanjula) marriage and in fact, encourages people to register and start right from the district level.
At the same time, a customary marriage can be converted into a civil, church, or Moslem wedding depending on the faith of the couple.
That aside the choice of type of marriage has a lot to do with what you perceive to be binding. According to you, having children and being married customarily is good enough and you are right to think like so.
Have you found out if your wife is as contented as you are?
If she is contented with this then she might not be affected by the demands of your mother-in-law. However, if she feels it is better to convert your marriage to a church marriage, then sit and discuss with her what you think and how best you can adjust to each other’s needs.
Most people would prefer to have both a customary and church or civil marriage since these are regulated and have structure.
A Christian who is married in the church will also find it comfortable to see their child doing the same.
So it is important to understand that even when the union is between the two of you, parents might have a particular wish for the type of marriage which they consider secure.
Take time to notice how you feel about the fact that your mother-in-law has a particular wish for your marriage. Click to read more…