Broken Vows - Diary ya ga Obonolo Chapter 108 - Mzansi Stories

Thursday, October 15


Broken Vows - Diary ya ga Obonolo Chapter 108


DYGO 108
Kevin arrived home around 15:00, we got ready, kissed our kokoberries and left. Time to sort things out. 

We decided to drive around the nearby park, then parked by a quite place, he opened the door for me and we started walking. Did I tell you that my husband still opens the door for me and brings me flowers every Sunday? Yes, Nine years later tlhe. Nor matter what. Both our minds were channeled like that already. He never forgets.

What a gentleman I married. I thank God for him.

Kevin started first by saying that he was sorry for ever making me feel sidelined by his mother. He said his mom meant well, its just that she was too overprotective and sometimes that come out strong to people who do not know her. I nodded and listened to my husband defending his mother's unacceptable behavior and meddling, as usual. I remembered some of the messages from my bridal shower, especially the ones about meddling by families in marriages, strands of three , communication etc. I listened without interrupting him. He then stopped talking.

Nna: "Lavo, I heard everything you said, how your mom is overprotective, how she raised you certain way, how she is experienced and wise, how I should be patient with her and get to see things from her perspective. I get that, I heard all of them, but my question to you is this: Now that you have your own home, own family and own life, how do you want to run all of them, as a father and as a husband?

He went on telling me that when he grew up , He was being inspired by his parents and how they raised him and his siblings and wanted something like what his parents had. He wanted to carry on with the cultures, values and standards he knew.

Oh well. I said, but Kev, I was raised totally different from the way you were raised, so how are we going to get passed through the clashing values, standards, believes and cultures? How are we to incorporate those into our marriage without imposing some values or believes on each other?

Nna: Don’t you think that you are imposing what you know and have been taught by your own family on me? Without considering that I was also raised differently and also know a totally different world to yours?

He stopped walking, looking at me ka matlho a go makala, as if what I was asking was unreasonable. He asked me what do I think and what do I want.

I didn’t know gore potso ya gagwe e ne ele ya go ngaletsa or truly, he wanted to know gore ke nagana eng le gore ke batla eng. Whichever way, I was going to tell him what my view and what my expectations for our lives were.

Tota ga ke itse gore why when we get married, especially basadi, re tshwanetse go latlhegelwa ke everything to our husbands and their families. Why was it acceptable that we are supposed to neglect our own families, turn our backs on them and focus on the new family. Being the in-law?

Why during the Lobola negotiations and the wedding both families' input is recognized and appreciated? But as soon as the wedding celebration is over, go simolla marriage life, your own family is no longer expected or needed to play a part in your life? Why, lelapa la bo monna wa gago, eleng lona le babatsiwang, le tseyang precedence over your own. You are now expected to live a different life, governed by different rules and regulations, created by people that you just met. People that you are learning to tolerate, love and get along with. And that was supposed to be ok?

Dithuto, dikeletso, your believes, your values that you lived by before marriage must be disregarded as you take over those that the new family lives by. Is this really fair? Is this how it's meant to be? Yes there are men who also experience this. Their wives expect them to give up their own families to focus and serve theirs.

Ka nnete, to this day, I still cannot understand this concept or perception about some marriages.

Don't get me wrong, not all marriages are like that, but I have seen a lot of that inequality and unfairness in most marriages and I still hear people complaining. I personally think its a bitter pill to swallow.

Le ga bare you do what the Chinese do, ha o fitlha China, one thing for certain, you won't do it right, you won't be comfortable, you wil be miserable your entire stay because you are not used to that. Yes you can learn, but honestly, there's no way you will master everything there is to learn nor you will enjoy or tolerate everything you are subjected to.. At least the little that you have grabbed or are willing to grasp must be good enough.

I do not dispute or refuse that when you get married certain things o tlo di dira the way your new family does them, but, aren't you suppose to also teach them your way of doing things? More like a give and take? Or if there's an alternative, le e explore together? Is this not how life , like marriage like any relationship or partnership was supposed to be? Respecting each others cultures and embracing them?

Why is society expecting woman to resume new identity? As if it was not enough to be leaving your family behind, changing your surname, required to behave certain way etc., but to be expected to ignore your own family's existence and the greatest part they played in your life, ga e mphe tlhogo. That was just unfair.

As women, we give up a lot. I still want to understand why. My take on marriage is that, two different families come together and become one big happy family, with each family playing their roles. The people that joined those families, meaning us, husband and wife, are the ones to determine how they incorporate both families in to their newly created family. Fact of the matter was, my family will always be my family, and his will always be his. So, we ( husband and wife) should treat both families equally and with same respect, airtime and love. Yes, I can never love his family more than mine, so as he, but we need to get a balance. When two people ba nyalana , ba tshwanela go kopantsha ditlhogo ba dirisane ga mmogo, incorporating both their values and believes. Eseng gore monna e be ena a le mong in the marriage whose life doesn't get disrupted or change. Man gets away with so much and benefit more from the marriage, unlike us women who loose a lot.

Our kids needs to know both our families, maternal and paternal. My siblings are my kids' uncles and aunts ( bo Malome, Mmangwane and Mmamogolo), and his siblings are our kids' uncles and aunts ( bo rrangwane, rramogolo and rakgadi), so they are both important and have important roles to play, but why in all,if not most marriages, go tlotliwa one side of the family, being the paternal side? Ga se gantsi the two families di tshwariwa ka go lekana and this causes a lot of misunderstanding, resentment, anger and hatred between everyone.

I didn't want such in my marriage, so, when my husband asked gore nna ke batla eng, I was happy to say.

Nna: "Lavo, I love you and I am proud of the man DaddyT and mmaT have raised. You have turned out to be a complete package in terms of the kind of man I always dreamt of and wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I could never take anything away from that. All I ask, reasonably so is that, since you and I are from complete different worlds, re se re leng sona because of both our different upbringing, how about, You and I, set our own way of doing things in our "unique" marriage?

I'm not saying we won't, now and then seek guidance and advise from both parents ,but I'm saying, lets be the captains of our own ship. Raise our own kids , our own way. Let’s put God in the middle,top and center of everything, You as tlhogo ya lelapa and nna as motshehetsi wa gago ? Our friends and family at an arm's length, especially on our home affairs.

Ke batla gore nna le wena re tshwaragane as one, create an environment for our kids to grow in. A re se tseye our parents' way of living and shove into ours.

We have our own church, totally separate from the ones we grew up going to, we stay in a suburb completely different from both our homes , we are married ANC our parents were against it but it was our decision, why can't we raise our children and built our marriage completely different from our parents's? Have our own KO-OK-KO manual? This contract is between Karabello,Obonolo,Kani and Kaho, just the four of us. Why can't we do what we will enjoy and are comfortable with? Ga ke batle re godisa bana ba rona ka ditsela,ditoro, dinyakwa and di values and believes tsa di parents tsa rona. I'm not taking away the"good jobs" both families did by raising us, but, I want their values be additional features in our newly created ones.

Ke a tseba,some things re tlo tlameha go botsa le go kopa maele go both families, but, e tshwanetse go ba rona re ihlopelang hore re sebedisa maele ao jwang. Ha ke batle one family's values di re gatelle. Ke batla re be fair, across. The bible says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 ). So, what precisely does it mean to leave your father and mother and cleave to your spouse?

Go ya ka bible and my understanding, Ntate Modimo ka boena, ordained that a man and woman would be joined together in holy matrimony. He said that the two of them would become one flesh. This is a picture of marital intimacy—the act of love that is never to involve anyone else. To “cleave” means “to adhere to, stick to, or join with.” It includes talking things out, praying things through, being patient as we trust God to work in both of our hearts, and seeking God's counsel regularly in His Word.

If either spouse fails to both leave and cleave, problems , conflict and stress will result in a marriage. Although leaving your parents does not mean ignoring them or not spending any time with them. Leaving your parents means recognizing that your marriage created a new family and that this new family must be a higher priority than your previous family. Cleaving is key in building a marriage that will endure hard times and be the beautiful relationship that God intends it to be.

The “leave and cleave” in the marriage bond is also a picture of the union God wants us to have with Him. Ere bible, “Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him”. It means we leave all other gods, whatever form they may take, and join to Him alone as our God. Ke ka moo, ke tlhaloganyang lenyalo ka teng, go ya ka Lentswe la Modimo, le ka moo ke fisegang go ba le lenyalo le le boitshepo, le le nang le lerato le lethabo. Ga ke batle go utlwa ekete ke dira dilo ka go pateletswa. Hence, I asked you to tell me how you want our marriage to be, especially in terms of raising those kids.

Kevin: "Ok Shugaboo, I hear you. Is this about my mom giving me those herbs and muthi for the kids?."

Nna: "Lavo , its not only about that, its all about us making decisions re le babedi fela and then, putting an OK front , supporting each other, forsaking all others and creating our own ideal world."

Let me ask you another question. " Do you believe in using muthi and traditional herbs?"

Kev: " No Bobo, I don't."

Nna: "Okay,I also don't believe in that.

I continued,

Nna: “Do you believe in slaughtering animals to appease the ancestors?"

Kev: " No shuga, I believe in God only. I don't get why an anima should be killed for people who are late. I mean, they won't eat the meat mos?

We all laughed about what he just said. I agreed with him too. I continued with the exercise.

Nna: " Do you believe in spanking a child when they are out of order?"

Kev : " Offcourse Yes, to some extent though. As long as its not abusing them but disciplining them out of love.

Nna: " I also believe that now and then when children gets out of order, o mo tsenye mo tseleng. I don't believe in " hitting, beating and slapping a child" but go swaya tsebe, vaslap e metsi, go nota ngwana and thupanyana e tshesanyana now and then is needed.
So we were on the same page.

Nna: " Tell me Lavo, what is your idea of Christmas and New years.
Do you prefer spending every new years eve with your family only,like you have been doing before I met you and all the past years we've been together?

Kevin: " No,not every year. You don't know how I dread New years eve, with them, every single year. I need a break sometimes but my sister Nthabeleng won't hear of it."

Oh I said, fair enough. Empa, is that not your culture to rotate every year with your siblings ka new years eve? I asked him.
Kev: " Like I said, it has gotten repetitively boring, predictable and besides , I now have a family, so I will prefer other years ke tseye family yaka somewhere on a vacation instead of hosting or attending theirs.

I said good,that's what I was trying to establish by asking those questions …

Nna: You see love, I also have a culture ko gae , every Xmas day I have to be ko Mmatau with the entire family. You have seen that right? I don't compromise on that day. Why, because, its something I grew up doing. But, that doesn't mean I'm forced to that, especially now that I'm married, I won't hold on to that culture anymore. I have to create my own culture with you and our kids. I continued.

Kevin : " what's with Q&A Shuga?I don't get your point. You asked me questions and I have answered them. What does that got to do with us coming here?"

I realize that he wasn't getting me. He was not getting my point. I told him in simple terms.

Nna: "Lavo, the questions I was asking you, was to determine your ideal way of doing things versus my idea. As a couple, we should look at the ones we both agreeing to as the things we will accept in our marriage. The ones we answered No to, re di eliminate completely, the ones where either has answered differently to the other, re di shebisise hantle, maybe compromise where needed.

For example, your idea of Xmas day for you is just you,me and the kids at Disneyland, and nna its big lunch with all my families, combined or separately. So we can sit down and plan around that. Maybe if we went to Disney this Xmas, the next one re dule and do lunch. That way we ensure both our needs,desires and wants are met.This is between you and I. Not what my mom or ausi Tsitsi want,Nor what Nthabeleng or Rethabile says about " Ditau's Tradition", or what my friend Obakeng or Kgosi wants. It should be our decisions. So do you get what I'm saying? Lets create our own lives. Re ska gogelwa kwa le kwa ke anyone. That's all I am asking my Lavo.

He cleared his throat, and agreed with me 100%. We decided, we will run our lives our own way and when intruders try to penetrate into our nests, we wil be a united front OK and stand by each other. I was happy my husband understood my point of view. I emphasized that, I am not saying we will disregard advises or guidance, invites and suggestions from our parents, families and friends, but its up to nna le ene to have the final word on the matter.

We stopped and hugged. I asked him something.

Nna: Now, what are we going to do about those stuff from MamaTau?

He laughed and said, "PIKITUP".

I felt a heavy load dropping off my shoulders. Those stuff were weighing me down.

We went back to the car.

Just as we got to the car, I remembered taba ya dikujoana tsa bana. I said, " Oh, mmaT called, about dikujoana tsa bana. I think we must, for the last time, give in to her, di bolokiwe ko Sebokeng. Its best that way since we are not sure if we will stay at that house forever, so its ok for them to be buried with yours. I said, empa, I want us to take them there and see how this is done, so that we will do it ourselves next three babies. I said teasing him.We agreed that we will take them before they come next week.

I was so relived.Part of me was just worried that Kev will want to impose things on me. Things I don't support or agree with, just because his mom says so. Or he is still hang up on his life before He decided to be someone's husband and father.Thank God, he listened to my concerns.I must say I got my husband,where I wanted him. To be on my corner. Great mission accomplished.
I was a happy wife and mother. Looking foward to motherhood journey, together with my husband. We will learn, through trial and error. We won't blame anyone, because, e tlabe ele our own mistakes and our lessons to learn.

Makgolo Mmakoma taught me well, that grand-ma, is clever, wise and ghetto like that, o rile, ga go mosadi a ka palelwang ke go fetola mogopolo wa husband ya gagwe. If that's the case, you are clearly not opening wide enough or not using your woman charm enough. Ore monna o mo fa nama etala ( meaning jj) a e je, then ask for a new car or furniture or something, are o tla bona gore why Ntate Modimo has trusted and blessed woman with jelly jars. Are when in marriage, re tshwanetse go dirisa di jelly jars tsa rona to our advantage, as money-makers and decision-makers wisely. Other times I see I'm definitely not my mother's child. But Makgolo's. Mama would have let me accept situation as is, let MmaTau a mpalame mo tlhogong motseng wa me.
Instead ke tshwere thipa ka fo bogaleng.

We held each other, shared an intimate moment then headed back to the car and drove back home. We really missed our Kokoberries.

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