Q: I have been dating my man for two years now and the time has come for us to settle down. I love him and I know he loves me too – he is always there when I need him.
The problem is that my family doesn’t want me to settle with him because they say he is too poor for me/us. Please help me; should I listen to my family or should I ignore them and just do what I think is best for my heart, even if my family cuts me off?
Two years might not be enough time to enable you make a decision and settle down, but the good thing is that you know yourselves better than anyone. If you have learned that your boyfriend is hard-working and likely to improve with time, then you should have no doubt about settling down with him.
I agree your parents have an opinion on the decisions you make but truth is, they will not always be there to direct you. So give your boyfriend a chance and work on strengthening each other.
Let your parents know that this is a wise decision you are making and you don't look forward to disappointments.
Juma Felix, via email.
Sorry for what you are going through. You should marry your type, and marry for love not material things. Your parents should know that gone are the days when suitors were chosen for someone. You are mature enough to choose your life, but bear in mind how your two families will relate going forward. You need a sober family mediator to change your family’s thinking.
If need be you can look for professional help – maybe group counselling for the whole family. All the best!
Mercy Baiyenia, via email.
Well, seems you are ready to settle, only your family is standing in your way. As much as you may feel stressed and confused by this, it’s imperative that you view the issue from your parent's perspective, since they only want the best for you.
Although judging someone's capabilities by their background is not a good idea, you must take the red flags they bring to your attention into consideration.
Be clear about your own motives and don't meet criticism with criticism. Make it a priority to negotiate compromises between your relationship and family.
Movince Oduor, via email.
Stories abound of rags to riches where the man had nothing but with the support of the woman in his life, they rose all the way up.
If the man is hardworking and ambitious, then go ahead and marry him. Your family will accept him one day especially when his fortunes change. But also keep convincing them on why you think he's the best for you in spite of the poverty. Remember you need their blessings too.
There are several examples of women who married men because of the money but ended up suffering because the men are never there for them and their children physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Albert Omuko, via email.
If there is no other reason apart from your man being poor, go ahead and settle with him and build your home. Being poor doesn't mean he will live in the state of poverty forever.
However, be polite and explain your decision to your family and let them know that you will be comfortable living with your man poor as he might be. It will be a matter of time, and your family will embrace your relationship with the man you love.
Dennis Kangwana, via email.
Maurice Matheka, a relationship counsellor answers:
Life is about risks. There are never guarantees. Only you know what it will mean for your family to cut you out.
You could indeed find a man with the financial capacity that would please your family but the question is, would that financially blessed man also come with mutual feelings, affection and love?
If you have no doubts about your man, then nothing should stop you from beginning a life with someone you love who in turn loves you back.
There is always potential for financial growth that couples can build, but you should only settle if you are truly happy with your current lifestyle with him.