Opinion

Premarital Agreement

By  Amarachukwu Okpunobi

Something happened some weeks ago and it messed with my head.

A financially stable lady said she won’t lend a hand, financially to her husband until 5 years into the marriage. She wants to be sure it will last. They have to sign a prenuptial agreement that if he fails to uphold some things, the marriage should be called off.

I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Men have been the ones pulling this stunt, threatening the women with ‘I will send you packing and you will go back to the dump I picked you from’ and now, a woman wants to call the shots. A perfect turn of events!! I have nothing against the gender pulling the strings, I’m only bothered by the idea.

So many things ran through my head.

  1. Selfishness has taken over the lives of humans. I think this is hinged on self-sufficiency and this threatens the foundation of marriage. One party is more concerned about the accumulated wealth than the prosperity of the union. What happened to “…and the two shall become one”?
  2. People are getting married for the wrong reasons and without the needed mental preparation. I’m of the opinion that before marriage, flaws and imperfections, strength and weakness are weighed and properly considered. That means, if someone, a course or a movement comes along the way with a ‘better’ package, your answer will be ‘No’. Doubt and fear are factors that should be weighed properly before marriage. If trust is absent, one has no reason getting married in the first place.
  3. Pressure plays a role too. Why would someone go into marriage, hoping that something goes wrong and they have an easy way out? Even though, as I heard, divorce is a tedious process. Marriage never starts but divorce is sitting at the table!! The pressure to be married, so one can be considered ‘responsible’, the pressure to make money by all means so alimony seems like a means to it.

This is someone’s situation and I was killing myself about it. I shared it with some friends and a group. There was a back and forth moment and the logic behind the idea surfaced:

Gold digging cuts across both genders. It takes a lot of work and discipline to make money so it should be protected. A lot of people have lost a lot during marriage and separation so it’s fair to look

Marriage is a contract, a lifelong one, whose only breach is death, all things being equal. The scripture also permitted adultery as a reason for divorce. These were the norm in the days before us. Today, the equilibrium has shifted and a new normal has been made.

I hope we understand that ‘normal’ doesn’t mean ‘right’. It could be wrong. Normal is what we make of it, what we think we can live with, what we can tolerate!!

Normal is relative!! The new normal doesn’t sit well with me. I think it’s a cage. It limits and confines. It causes people to be unnecessarily cautious and makes them hold back from giving their best.

The sacred institution of marriage has been defiled and ridiculed so much that marriages are being regarded as transactions; business. An institution that God is very much interested in, that Christ was a part of while he was on earth!!! How did we get here?

What happened to love, respect, loyalty and submission demanded of spouses? Marriage vows has been reduced to mere words and a formality. This is why we can easily decide to wed in courts these days, sign marriage contracts, wake up one morning and decide that we have had enough; so we just head to the court and demand for the termination of the contract. This is why terms and conditions apply in marriage these days.

The funny thing is that we always have several arguments in our defense. What did you expect? We are smart and learned. We have risen to demand for better options. Women do not want to be relegated to the background anymore, they want to be heard, consulted, considered and appreciated.

Men want to exert their authority, lordship and supremacy. They have refused to meet each other half way and compromise. There is a power tussle!! Clash of the Titans!! When two elephants fight, the grass suffers!! The marriage institution and the family are suffering as a result.

What should be done?

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