My mum used to talk about a kind of relationship which she tagged “Lagos Marriage”. By her definition, it means meeting a guy or a lady in Lagos – which is far from our village in Abia state – falling in love and marrying them without bothering about the type of family the person comes from. It is premised around the belief that the man and the woman are the ones getting married and so it does not matter whether his family or her family approve or not. After all, at the end of the day, it is the man and the woman that will get to stay together.
I guess what my mother was trying to explain in her own way is the modern concept of marriage and the nuclear family arrangement that most ‘enlightened’ people subscribe to. You can meet a guy, get pregnant for him and you both begin to live together before he decides whether he wants to introduce you to his parents or not. Conversely, he introduces you but you really should not be bothered if he is the only one that appears to ‘have a head’ in the family. It doesn’t matter if every other member of his family dropped out of school, or are drunkards, wife beaters or any other vice, as long as he is an angel.
Of course, back in the day when parents chose wives for their sons and husbands for their daughters, it was imperative that a background check be run by both families before they agree to the union. Though some of these checks bordered on the eccentric and mundane, I believe that it is very important that such a check be run before any marriage is contracted.
In fact, I am a believer in parents playing an important role in selecting who their children will end up with. Yes, I am aware some parents can go overboard with this, but it really is not my fault that you end up having a parent who cannot guide you, so you shouldn’t use your reality to judge mine. If I am blessed with parents who have wisdom and foresight, I see no reason why I should not allow their wisdom guide me where I am inexperienced.
No one really prays for a troubled marriage. But the fact remains that in marriage there are troubles. Jesus’s apostle Paul even said that those who marry are inviting tribulation to their flesh. When things go awfully wrong, there should be someone in the family that either the husband or wife can turn to, as a last resort to help in resolving their issues.
As a matter of fact, if you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t seem to have anything good to say about any member of his family or who generally does not have anyone else he or she can talk to when you are not accessible, it is a sign of trouble. I will advise that you run. No degree of modernism should make it acceptable for you to get into a relationship with someone who does not have someone on earth whom they respect, fear or will listen to. Doing a proper background check in a family you wish to marry into will reveal if there is someone in that family that the person has regards for.
While it is still okay if the person’s authority figure is not within his immediate family, the fact remains that it is imperative that such an authority figure should exist. And no, I do not buy the idea of “the only person I fear is God”. Right here on earth anyone who wants to go into marriage should understand that he or she has to be subject to some human authority. It shows love for your mate for you to point out to them who these individuals are so that if anything ever happens that requires that an outsider steps in to resolve your issues they know who to turn to.
So, what do you think? Are background checks important in a relationship?