I’m Finding It Hard To Marry Her Because Of Her Siblings
She was a fresh graduate when I found her. I was with her when she started her national service. Right from the beginning, I knew that her background wasn’t good. Financially. She told me, “My father died when I was young. My mother couldn’t marry again so she had to do all menial jobs so she could send me to school.” From that day, I made it a point to help her the best way that I could. When she was posted to start her national service, I had to rent a room for her then give her some money every week until her allowances started coming. Even when she was receiving her allowances, I still sent her money every month.
After National service, she went back home but she never rested. She wanted a job so she was always out there looking for job opportunities. I took her CV and also started applying for jobs on her behalf. She stayed home for over a year before she finally got a job here in Kumasi. After getting the job, she needed accommodation. She found one and I paid for it. Not that I have money. I was doing all that knowing very well that someday she will stand on her own feet and wouldn’t need my support again.
God being so good, she had a job that paid her enough to be able to save and also take care of herself. A year after she came to Kumasi, her junior sister completed JSS and came to join her. When her results came, she found a school for her in Kumasi so she could live with her and go to school each day. Her junior sister is very calm and very respectful. I’ve been to the house several times so I know what she’s capable of doing. She’ll sweep the house clean, cook and wash and do all other jobs that senior sisters won’t do while their junior sisters are around. She calls me Uncle. I call her Bibi.
We planned to get married early this year. I’ve been in contact with her family and my family had also been in contact with her. All was set for the marriage to happen until I lost my job in February. It was very hard for me but I was always hopeful that I would have a new job very soon due to the kind of technical experience that I had. I went through thick and thin, dark and light until I had a new job in April this year. It’s a good job but it doesn’t pay as much as I was earning before. I told her, “It’s better than nothing so I will hold on to it for now and continue looking for a better opportunity.”
In May, I went to her house with my family to do the knocking. The knocking was an indication of how close we were to getting married. We got the list of things we needed to buy and started buying them right after the knocking. In June, I went to visit her and saw her junior brother with her. I asked, “Serwaa, your brother has come to visit you and you didn’t tell me?” She said, “He didn’t come to visit ooo. He’s here to find a job. You know his SHS results were bad so he can’t go to the university. It’s better he finds a job or better his grades so he can go back to school.”
They were three living in a single room self-contained house. In the night, she shared her room with her junior sister while her brother slept in the hall. Because of that, I stopped spending nights at her place. I will go there during the day and leave later in the evening.
Currently, we are very close to the date we set for the traditional marriage but something is bothering my mind and because of that, I’ve decided to hold on with the marriage. I’m living in a single room self-contained just like her so after marriage she can’t come and live with me. We planned to rent a bigger place for ourselves which we are working on. The problem is, the day we marry, she’ll move with her sister and brother to come and live in the house that we have rented. My girlfriend is twenty-eight years old and her brother is twenty-five years old. Her sister is around eighteen years old. It means we are going to start our marital journey with two extra adults living under the same roof with us.
As I indicated four paragraphs ago, the job I’m currently doing doesn’t pay that much to have the luxury to cater for two extra adults. I’m not there yet. Marriage is a long journey to begin with burdens so I asked her, “What happens to your siblings after we marry?” She asked me, “What do you mean?” I asked, “They are going to live with us, right?” She said, “Of course they will, where else do they have to go?” So I asked her, “For how long?” She asked me, “Do you have a problem with them living with us?” I said, “It’s not about me having problems. We are planning a lifelong journey together so we have to make plans for all other things in our lives.” She answered, “I don’t know for how long. My sister is in SHS two. Soon she will finish. She’ll love to continue to the university or nursing training. After that, she will find a job or something.”
I asked again, “How about your brother?” She said, “Let’s leave that one out because currently, I don’t know his plans. He hasn’t found a job yet so next year, he’ll start doing remedial then we’ll take it from there.” She asked me, “Is there any problem?” I said, “There’s no problem. I just want to know.”
From her answer, it looks like her sister will live with us until she finishes tertiary and finds a job. Roughly, that should be like seven to ten years depending on how quickly she finds a job after service. As for her brother, I can’t put it in maths when it comes to how long he’ll stay with us. And that bothers me a lot. I created the wrong impression right from the onset of our relationship. I made her believed that I will provide no matter what so through it all, she looks up to me to provide. When she gets money, she sends it to her mom. I don’t have a problem with that. Her mom needs it but for how long will that continue? How long am I going to be the provider without breaking my back?
After marriage, I will take care of her, including her siblings, and occasionally send something to her mother. Utilities will be there staring at my face. I’ll have kids that will come with mouths to feed and responsibilities to answer to. I’m not married to her yet but I’m already overwhelmed. I want to talk to her about it. I want to tell her to sort her siblings out before marriage. I want to tell her that living with her siblings for that long wouldn’t be ideal for me but I know the question she will ask me; “So what should I do with them?”
I can’t answer that question so I’ve been avoiding the conversation. She has realized that I’m developing cold feet towards the marriage. Yeah, it’s true. I’m developing cold feet due to these very reasons. I don’t want to go in and feel overburdened. I wish there’s a magic wand that could change our situation right now so we can marry next month. Unfortunately, there’s nothing like that so I have to have that conversation with her. I want to know. If she asks me, “What should I do with my siblings?” What should I say?
It’s the only question I can’t answer right now and it’s that particular answer that will determine whether or not we should marry. Please help me. What do I say to that and what do I do?