It is common knowledge, or perhaps assumption, marriages in which the woman is barren have lower survival rates than those in which the man has fertility problems. Mwereti Kanjo speaks with specialists on how a couple can deal with this situation.
Children are a precious gift from God, given to women and their families. When the honeymoon period is over, in most cases, children are a source of a greater bond between two people that help keep a marriage going.
Maybe this is why most couples without children split. If the woman has fertility problems, her husband will most likely father children outside wedlock. Are childless couples destined for disaster? Can they not remain married and happy even without children? If yes, how?
Marriage counsellor, Constance Masamba, says it is important for the couple to realise that children are a gift from God. But, a gift is never demanded. It is given to you when the owner wants to give you something. When a marriage is blessed in church, it is husband and wife that are blessed and the children come later. As a result, a marriage must be able to survive with or without children.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When two people meet, there are no children. They declare eternal love to one another in the absence of children. Similarly with time, when there are no children in the family, this should not be the cause of contention.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The situation is sadder when a husband knows, before tying the knot that his wife is barren and then he later demands that she bear him children.Ã‚Â This is emotional abuse beyond any other. He is asking the impossible. It was out of respect for you that she was honest, give back that respect.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are other options such as adoption, taking in relatives and many others. However, before this is done, it must be thoroughly discussed and the decision reached should be respected by both partners.
If one does something behind the back of the other then, then they will fuel the fire. Listen to each other carefully and understand each otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reasoning. One of you has to compromise for the good of the situation,Ã¢â‚¬Â advises Masamba.
Professor in psychology, Chiwoza Bandawe, says when a husband leaves his wife because she is barren, she feels rejected and inadequate. This is because of the cultural pressure that emphasises on having children. Still, barrenness is just a term, one can be fertile in so many other ways without necessarily having children.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not having children gives social pressure which has an internal negative bearing on the woman. It destroys her sense of identity to begin with and she feels devalued. Where the husband has failed to understand all reasoning, the bestÃ‚Â thing for the woman is to grieve, connect with what she is feeling and accept her situation.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Children are not the reason for marriage; love one another and the connection that was there will resurface. Do not make children your central focus,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Bandawe.