“Marriage in the Ugandan Way.”

“Therefore, a man shall leave his father’s house and cleave unto his wife and the two shall become one” if you have attended a wedding ceremony then these words ring a bell what a joke! Probably in some far-off country but does this work in Uganda? the reverse is true the woman is expected to leave her life and begin a new life with the man, his family, and extended family, 99% of the times. Most people start off on the right track, by falling in love, dreaming about their future together, building a family just the two of them, rarely do they anticipate the level of family interference once they are married.

Marriage in Uganda is a communal thing where family and friends gather together and contribute funds towards the marriage rites and ceremony and frankly do not know when and how to stop. There is also the issue of living with an extended family where a woman gets married to a good sibling or the firstborn of the family. chances are that he is living with his siblings and parents and taking care of their financial needs like school fees and others. She must find a way of fitting into this environment and may most certainly meet with resistance. Some women also come along with their baggage, she may also be the breadwinner of her family and then you have two extended families living under one roof which is ultimately a recipe for disaster. The home is turned into a war zone with each party trying to dominate the other, the young couple finds themselves solving disputes daily and may be forced to pick sides. Most marriages can’t survive the strain and eventually break up.

If any couple survives, they must agree not to live with relatives especially in the early years of their marriage, if the possible move away to a far-off place, especially from the male’s relatives since they feel more entities and tend to be hostile to the woman. Until a couple has established a strong enough bond they should not live with any relatives, if either or both are the breadwinner, works out a system of sending money to your relations but then let your family know that things will never be the same. Involve your spouse in this because finances are another big reason couples break up. I do not know about other religions but the Anglican church subjects couples who intend to wed to rigorous sessions of counselling on all matters, finance, sex, family, it would help if they would follow up with these sessions and give refresher courses to couples who pass through their hands because quite frankly they forget or deliberately choose to defer from the advice given.

In my experience, the Bible has the best practical lessons on how to have a successful marriage. In Uganda, the opening statement must be put in practice, please men, leave your father's house and cleave onto your wife, the rest will fall into place.