I’m in my 30s and I’m not married. I don’t have a serious boyfriend or a child. Many think that I’m not okay because of this. In fact, my family claim that I have a generational curse because my mother was not married and now, I’m not married. However, marriage isn’t my priority. It never was and it will never be.
My hate for marriage started in childhood. I saw many of the same aunties who claim that I’m cursed go through horrible experiences in their marriages. My mother is a therapist so they used to come to her for advice and emotional support. Our home was more of a marriage counselling office than a home. This wasn’t the ideal environment for a young girl to grow up in. I developed a very horrible idea of marriage and it discouraged me from wanting to be married.
“I’m never getting married,” I said to my mother after she finished counselling one of her clients.
She laughed it off but I was so serious. According to me, every marriage was hell and there were no happy moments. Everything I saw in movies was a lie and the reality was what I saw every day in my mother’s house. I grew up with this mentality which made it hard for me to even go on dates. I may have been attracted to someone but I didn’t want a relationship with them.
“Babe, there’s a really hot guy I know you’ll like.” One of my friends said.
“You know I’m not interested in dating.”
“Nonsense! This guy will blow your mind.”
“I don’t want to keep going on dates if I’m not ready for a relationship.”
“When are you ever ready? Just go and meet the guy. He might change your mind.”
Surprisingly, my friend was right. He did change my mind and for the first time in my life, I was optimistic about my love life. Jerry and I got along perfectly from the first day we met. He was a gentle, soft-spoken and intelligent man which was rare to find. He opened the doors for me, asked me about my dreams and made me laugh the whole time. From that day, we became inseparable.
The more time we spent together, the more we learnt about each other. Though everything was good on paper, there was one issue that Jerry couldn’t let go of.
“Why don’t you want to get married?” He asked even though he knew the answer.
“You know why,” I answered, trying to dismiss the question.
“We’ve been dating for three years now. Have I not proved myself to you?”
“You have but that’s not the issue.”
“Can I at least meet your family?”
“Of course, you can.”
After he insisted, I decided to take Jerry to my family. They had already started questioning why I wasn’t married yet my younger cousins were. So, I thought if I introduced someone, it would get them off my back.
It worked for a while but the questions now changed from “Why are you not married?” to “When are you getting married?”
Jerry was also pressuring me more to marry him especially since my family welcomed him and they got along well. We had been dating for nearly 5 years and he felt like it was time to take our relationship to the next level.
I was, however, still adamant about getting married. After refusing his proposal numerous times, Jerry realized that I wasn’t going to change my mind and he ended the relationship.
Funny enough, I wasn’t sad or heartbroken that our relationship had ended despite dating him for 5 years. I was actually relieved since the idea of marriage was now completely off the table. When my family found out that my relationship ended, it was another story. Even my mother was angry with me.
“Jerry was a good man. Such men don’t come by every day.”
“I know, Mum, but he deserves someone who wants to build a family with him.”
“So, you don’t want to get married and now you don’t want a family? I cannot accept that.”
“It’s the generational curse. It has hit her the worst.” One of my aunties who was seeing my mother because of her failing marriage added.
“I think we should call the pastor now.” My mother said.
Around the same time, I had just been promoted to a higher position at my job and I was excited about telling my family. Despite being a successful career woman, my family only focuses on my marital status. It was futile trying to make them understand my decision but I was a grown woman and I didn’t need to explain anything to anyone. Besides, I have three other siblings who are married with children. My mother isn’t missing out on anything if I don’t get married.
A year after we broke up, Jerry tied the knot and I was one of the guests at his wedding. Seeing him getting married to someone else after I had spent the past 5 years of my life with him made me feel bad. However, he really wanted to marry and I was happy that he did.
That was my first and probably my last serious relationship. Since then, most of my relationships last for only a few months since most men my age want to get married and start a family. When they find out that I’m not interested in marriage at all, they immediately end the relationship.
My friends have at least accepted the fact that I will always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. My family, on the other hand, are still convinced that it’s a curse and that I need divine intervention. Every now and then, they drag me to church so that a pastor can pray for me. I usually entertain the idea since it’s the least I can do to keep them off my back for a while. Hopefully, when I turn 40, they will leave me alone and give up on trying to convince me to get married. Until then, I have to tolerate them and their backward mindset.
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