Most marriages in Ghana have seen tiny resentments that put them in jeopardy because most women don’t decide which form of marriages they want.
Most women enter marriage with the idea of how things are supposed to be done without clearly deciding which one they want.
This article will attempt to explain the differences between traditional and modern marriages. So that women can decide what form they want. In order to resolve most of the resentments, this brings to most marriages in Ghana.
Traditional marriage is one in which the wife looks upon her husband as the head of the household, and all final decisions are made by him. This does not mean the wife has no input. This simply means that after hearing the wife’s input, the final decision is still left to the husband.
The man is seen as the main breadwinner of the family, whereas the woman is seen as the nurturer of the family. They each have very specific roles within the family. The husband usually takes care of things outside of the home and is responsible for the family financially. While the woman is solely responsible for taking care of the home: shopping, cooking, cleaning and raising of the children.
Women are financially dependent on their husbands, who are the sole wage-earners in the family. All financial assets were owned exclusively by the male who doles out housekeeping money.
Modern marriage is one where both husband and wife have an equal say in all decisions regarding the family. Women have their share of power and control in decision-making for the family. They come to decisions through the art of compromise and/or agreement.
In modern marriage, both partners are responsible for all of the roles within the family, depending on work schedules. A husband may be home cooking dinner while the wife is working late. A wife may earn more than the husband and a husband can be a stay at home parent.
Most modern husbands participate in the care of the children, including changing diapers. As well as possibly taking a paternity care leave from work to stay home full time with the kids.
In modern marriages, women no longer marry for economic reasons because they are better educated, and can pursue well-paying careers to become financially independent.
If women want to practice modern marriage there has to be a reorientation of their minds. They need to understand that it is no longer the duty of their husbands to pay for all the bills.
But a shared responsibility, modern marriage is not implemented only when it comes to house chores where most women expect their husbands to help with.
This form of practice in marriage comes with a lot more responsibilities from the woman.
Best of both worlds
There is no fixed way to practice either traditional or modern marriage. But depending on the couple, they can create a hybrid of the two that works well for them. But it is essential that the woman decide what will work for her before roping in her husband.
Besides, there is no wrong or right practice, there has to be a lot of compromises even if you decide to practice the traditional marriage.
These days most women are employed, so there is an expectation that husbands will help out more at home. This can happen even if the marriage has all of the other characteristics of traditional marriage.
So why it is important to decide ahead of time what kind of marriage yours is going to be. It is important because making a conscious decision ahead of time will help you to avoid any power struggles within your marriage.
If you know it is your role to keep the house clean, then you aren’t going to feel resentful of your husband if he doesn’t pitch in to do laundry. If you know that your wife makes more money than you do, your masculinity is not going to feel threatened.
By discussing and deciding what kind of marriage you want to have ahead of time, you can help to avoid these tiny resentments.