My friend Nick wants to marry and he thought of marrying a single mother. Sometime last week, over some well-aged poison, he wanted to pick my brain on the choices he has. The choices have been narrowed to three options. And here is where we all pick the wrong one and live to regret.
And one of the choices he has is a single mother. I happen to know the single mother from a different place and time. He is quite upbeat about her. He gave me a run down of her attributes and on paper she they sounded sensible and they should be married like yesterday. But I am opposed to his bias towards the woman. For the very reasons he narrated. And what I know about her.
Now, my thoughts about single mothers are on record. I respect them . Their ability to step up and be two parents to a child, they work hard like no woman’s business, and for me a child is the best testament of commitment. I wrote long time ago, that if you are marrying a woman who is 30+, a single mother is a safer bet than one who has never given birth. And some single mothers are real awesome, they were just unlucky to get a baby by some arsehole who disappeared. And children of a single mothers when well raised and taken care of can be a huge blessing.
However, not all single mothers are worth the trouble and that is where my friend Nick is going wrong. The single mother in this case is playing Nick a good one and should Nick make a mistake and marry her, I can project a time in the future when Nick will cry premium tears and sitting in the bar to regret.
Often, it is a woman who decides when and if the man will marry her. And here is where men lack a sense of discernment and we end up making mistakes.
When it comes to marriage and a woman senses that you are the ONE, she puts her acting costumes up. She will become overly good, wash your cheap jeans, live fwith you in Kayole, eat cabbage and beans with you and can put up with a lot of nonsense from you until you marry her. She will be friendly to your friends and relations until everyone says, ‘She is Soo nice…alituchemushia maji ya kuoga.’
This acting phase has ruined the lives of many men. Because once she settles in the marriage and the true colours surface, the man can’t recognise what he married. And that is my problem with Nick. All the traits he enlisted about the single mother read like a good ruse. Super clever. Because, I know that woman like the back of my hand. Nick like all men thinks that he is smarter than everyone else and insisted no matter what, he will go with the lady and I told him, let us meet the same spot, two years from now.
And now, this is for men who are contemplating marrying a single mother. I must issue a disclaimer that single mothers need not be perfect or angels for you to marry them. But here are things to consider.
1. Why the other man did not marry the single mother
This by far is the most important factor. A good number of single mothers are so because of their own undoing. However much they can act like saints and angels, always remember people don’t change. And those that drove their men away will one day drive you out or nuts. They will dump you or you will walk away for the very reasons the other guy walked away. And shaken.
Now, how do you establish how the other man walked away and did not marry the single mother? Obviously, she is going to feed you some BS story about how evil the man was. Certainly, there are jerks all over the place. Certainly, he could be some deadbeat. And she was justified to part ways with him. But dig around, listen to the unsaid. If you tune your antennae proper, women don’t know how to lie smart and you can detect the lies from a far.
So, try your best, even if it means hiring some private investigator to establish why the other ninja left. Don’t be fooled by her clever acting. Also remember, nearly all women can never be full accountable for their screwups. No woman will tell you that ‘I fucked up!’. So try your best, listen to your instincts before you commit.
2. How does she relate with the child?
When Wanja Kavengi said she does like her son, I saw most people get pissed off, yet I know lost single mothers who are very indifferent and apathetic to their child. Their love for the child is nearly academic: they just provide but they have no time for the child. I learnt this nearly 8 years ago, when some lady joined us for a week-long getaway of fun and I overheard her issue instructions to the house help and Man, I never pitied a kid so much. And that is Nairobi for most kids. To most kids, Mama is away half the time partying and having fun. So try and see how she interacts with the little one. If she doesn’t like the kid, just know she is not a good person. Guaranteed.
3. Does she drink?
Now, my policy on alcohol is simple: Never marry a woman who drinks. And women need not get mad at me, as this is my personal opinion and preference and I am entitled to one. If you drink, Sawa. It is up to you.
I always tell men to go for a non-drinking woman. Not because they are better than those who drink. But alcohol and marriage don’t go well together.
I have seen the hell my age mates have gone through for tolerating their wives who drink and can’t wish it upon even my worst enemy.
And the same rule applies to single mothers who drink.
There are three levels of drinking. Indulging in a bottle of wine, from time to time ain’t bad. There are women who are disciplined drinkers and know their social norms proper. And there are party girls. As a man, always monitor her friends, and if they are on party mode like it is the summer of 1969, run bro. You ain’t gonna reform that. You will be the one bringing Mara Moja and she will stagger to your bedroom at 5 a.m. and you will regret son as you make her bone soup and matoke for her hangover.
No marriage survived an open-minded and liberal man. A woman will run you over. Take it from me. So, if she is a single and independent woman who happens to have a child, and enjoys her tipple proper, don’t interrupt her life and start imposing your rules. She will spit on you. Walk.
4. Does the single mother allow the baby daddy in the picture?
Or how does she relate with him. If respectful, she is a good person. If she treats him like sh*t, beware. If they are co-parenting well, it means she is mature. Or if there is enough proof that the man is completely out of the picture, you can try. But half the time, any time you will piss her off, the baby daddy is always on standby and he has the password bro. This is tricky to figure out because sometimes a woman can feign such hatred and nearly convince you.
Remember women are born actors. Ever seen how quick a woman can cry and dry up the tears once she has silenced you with her tears?
So, bro, before you commit to a single mother, remember this.
Lastly, as a man, never marry a woman to save her or rescue her. Never let a woman mislead you and manipulate to sympathise with her. It is a mistake most men do, in all their innocence and good intentions.
But good intentions are not enough for a marriage to survive on. Marry someone ready to be married. Not someone in some tricky situation(economic or financial) who wants to be bailed out before their true colours surface.
Happy week ahead folks.”
Silas Gisiora Nyanchwani