For the average African man, the assumption is that there’s marriage somewhere on the horizon once they are in the twilight of their late twenties. Playful jests of “when will you marry” start to chime in from all angles. However, not all men believe in for better for worse, nor in death doing them part. To them, a life lived without vows or a married partner is ideal. I spoke to 6 men who don’t want to get married. Here’s what they had to say.
I’m quite resolute not to get married but recently, societal pressure is getting to me. At some point, you start to wonder if you’re the problem. My baby sister is getting married next month. After her introduction, I faced a panel of uncles and relatives who wanted to know if something was wrong with me. My uncle never stops advertising me to women. My mom is constantly praying and asking people to talk to me. She even makes my friends talk to me about it. Most times, I laugh off their concern, but deep inside I care about my mom’s happiness. However, it seems foolish to marry a person just to make her happy. Plus, I have siblings. They’ll get married and make her happy.
I don’t want to get married because I don’t expect to live very long, due to some hereditary health conditions. I don’t want to get married to someone who I’ll end up leaving high and dry if I die. Same reason I don’t want to have kids. There’s some light pressure from family but it’s mostly friendly banter.
Toni Dunt, 29
I’m not built for marriage. My personality just doesn’t fit into that sphere. I want to have children, but marriage is off the cards. All my children will come from one woman. I’ll cater for her and the children, but I don’t want to be responsible for her happiness. If she decides to marry someone else, that’s fine too. I’m not willing to sacrifice for anybody. It’s important that I have kids though, they’re something to look forward to in my old age. But all things said, I am only human and I believe in the word of God. If God says otherwise, who am I to say no?
I’ve never considered being married. Thinking about it makes me cringe. The idea of waking up in the morning to the same person over and over is unbearable. Asides from that, I’ve been surrounded by failed marriages. My mom had come to terms with the fact that I was never going to marry before she passed. She thought her and my dad’s marriage had something to do with my decision. My dad already has 4 grandchildren, so he’ll be fine.
Growing up, my father and mother quarrelled all the time till they split in 2007. They got back together in 2013 but my mom passed in 2014. My dad went on to date several women and eventually married in 2017. A few months later, they started fighting and were divorced soon after. So forgive me if I’m not exactly thrilled about marriage. I like the idea of having my own person, but I have PTSD from women leaving me has driven me to the decision not to marry. I have an intense fear of women leaving me and would hate to get married only for my wife to leave as well. I don’t want to be another divorce statistic. Better to be a single man without expectations than getting married only to have it end abruptly. I’m also worried that the frustrations of marriage and family life might drive me to jump over the Third Mainland Bridge one day.
Loneliness isn’t a problem. I feel lonely when I’m in relationships. I’m probably not a people person. I’m made to be alone. My family is fine with my decision. They’re okay with anything that doesn’t offend our religion.
My parents were separated before I was born. Growing up, I had to endure endless fights and the worst toxicity between the two of them. Both of them had different stories about how I was born and I don’t know which to believe.
My experiences in romantic relationships have been bad too. I don’t blame the women I’ve dated. It’s just that I love too much and nobody can handle that over a long period. Being an only child, I’ve learned to enjoy my company and I plan on living the rest of my life alone.
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