I certainly do not think that there is only one formula for choosing a spouse. People come in different shapes, sizes, colours and character, and so do our choices. What worked for Amaka might not necessarily work for Jane.
Experience they say is the best teacher and what an elder sees while sitting, a child will not, even while standing on a tree. In this context, the elder is the man or woman who has stayed long enough in a marriage to see what the young man or woman aspiring to marry has not yet seen. Today, there is a trending ideology that young women aspiring to marry should not desire an ‘already made man.’
The already made man is that man who has gone past the challenging stage of his goals and to an extent can rest on his laurels. He is a very rich man in contrast to the ‘man still in the making’ who is usually fresh and just out of school and trying to make a living or still starting out on a career. Suffice it to say that the picture of an already made man is not the same to everybody, but one thing they have in common is that he is wealthier than the man still in the making.
Young women today are commonly advised by elders and told in seminars to search for character and prospects in a suitor and not focus on beauty or wealth. One of the reasons for such advice is that beauty and wealth are peripheral, but character is sustainable. Some go further to explain that love is not the ultimate thing in marriage, but character and understanding is and that young ladies should not set their hearts on already made men but rather to seek out men with the character and prospect to make it in life. Inadvertently, a label has been created by some set of people and propagated by many of the same opinion that an already made man is a recipe for disaster.
So what if God just hands you a man that is made, do you then turn him down? When did being made become a plague? When did being handsome and wealthy become too good to be true? and starting small have promise of a big end. The last time I checked it’s a big bonus, starting on a higher plain, than from the scratch. What should be checked is young ladies selfishly aspiring and insisting on this ‘already made men.’ Shouldn’t the focus be on character, and not just assume that every young aspiring man will one day make it, while concluding that the already made man is a ritualistic, yahoo guy or drug lord from the States.
I am not averse to the idea of starting small with one’s spouse. In fact, I relish it. It has its benefits, such as seeing and being with each other at different stages of life, growing together and achieving dreams together. There should be a feeling of satisfaction at the end when a couple look at each and say “thanks for being there for me, am not sure I would have made it this far on my own”. Trust and mutual respect would be built. But I am averse to young ladies having their hearts set on already made men that are not forthcoming while their biological clock is ticking, or having their eyes set on already made men and turning a blind eye to his faults and vices. Some ladies even go as far as saying that they have to marry already made men because they are not ready to suffer, thereby making marriage a poverty and suffering alleviation program.
But here is an idea that I do not agree with, that an already made man is a recipe for disaster, that young ladies should not marry already made men because of the perceived reason that he will not hold her in high esteem as she was not there with him while he was in the making. People are quick to point out that the already made man could one day out of the blues lose all he has or turn out to be what you never expected, but the same also goes for the aspiring young man. There is no guarantee that the aspiring young man will always treat you with respect even if you were with him during the struggling times, and there is also no guarantee that he will ever make it. So he has prospects today? What if that is all he will ever have; ‘prospects’. It takes faith for a young woman to see a man, made, unmade or still in the making and decide to stick with him till “death do us part”
There is no security in being with an already made man; neither is there in being with the man with ‘prospects.’ The already made man contrary to what most people think might actually be a man still in the making and thus keeps growing to be more than anyone ever envisioned, while the man with prospects to make it might never get the chance to.
It is true that there have situations where ‘already made men’ husbands turned out to be womanizers and violent men and ‘young aspiring’ husbands grow to be the envy of many. The reverse also is very common. Some young aspiring men eventually end up being only planners who never act on their plan, turn bitter and blame their wives. Some already made men have been known to very hardworking, dedicated and good Christians who pamper their wives, and love them to the moon.
So there is no one formula for saying this is the ideal suitor. If all women should turn down the already made men, most of our sons, brothers, cousins and uncles would remain unmarried.
So, I do not subscribe to this new idea that make already made men look like a taboo, and the man still in the making the real deal. It does not always work that way.