MARRYING A PERSON WITH DISABILITY: PUBLIC PERCEPTION

MARRYING A PERSON WITH DISABILITY: PUBLIC PERCEPTION

Living with disability should be full of fun and excitement in spite of its challenges because of the uniqueness of it but the stigma that arise which implies that disability is seen as a failure has rob off this fun to become agony and depression. Persons living with disabilities are faced with so many challenges but the one that is disheartening is the denial of healthy relationship and marriage. The public most at times think that persons with disabilities have little or no life socially. For this reason, the society have continuously denied or refused persons with disabilities each time they make move in terms of relationship or marriage. In this write up, I will share with you some of the experiences that persons with disabilities have faced in the quest of seeking for relationship and marriage.

A good number of able bodied men and women have married persons with disabilities and some has attempted to marry persons with disabilities but it has been tasking thus marrying a person with disability is viewed as a gateway to suffering and overburdened.

In my careful findings of the public assumption through comprehensive interaction with persons with disabilities and able bodied persons who married persons with disabilities. My findings are as follows:

  1. A curse and hereditary: there are some quarters of the society who still believe that disability is as a result of the sin one committed in his or her former life. For the fear that this curse will be passed to their son or daughter and their prospective children could appear the same. In another vein, some think disability is hereditary therefore the affected people will most likely produce upspring with the same problem.
  2. Failure: It is a known fact that persons with disabilities are the poorest of the poor within the society. They have limited opportunities to survive. Based on the above fact, the society first impression about a person with disability is that he or she is a poor person that need alms at all times. Therefore, parents are of the view that if it is a man, he will not be able to take care of their daughter and it is a woman, it will be a burden to their son.
  3. A live-in maid: Going by the understanding that a person with disability can’t do anything for him or herself is another serious angle that the public have viewed as a difficulty in marrying a person with disability. There is a belief that a grief predicament awaits anybody that wishes to marry a person with disability because you will do virtually everything for him or her. For example, I have been asked by a lady if somebody is bathing me. To her, it is too bad to the extent that I need someone before I can bath and put on my clothes.
  4. Lack of social life: Persons with disabilities when seen in any social gathering are viewed as if they ought not to be there. This has psychologically affected persons with disabilities to the extent that they viewed themselves as not being a part of society socially. This has developed low self-esteem to a good number of persons with disabilities and subsequently become anti-social. Then the persons are viewing them that way which as such lead to the refusal of getting into relationship or marriage with them. They are seen as being too aggressive and too isolative. This has been a great undoing to the choice of a person with disabilities as a life partner.
  5. Sexuality: This is one area that has posed serious challenges for marrying a person with disability. Persons with disabilities are perceived inactive when it comes to sexuality. This is a general belief that persons with disabilities are not to indulge in sexual activities, if when they do, how could they satisfy the sexual drive of their partner? These are some concerns that the public normally raise that discredit the persons with disabilities. Most at times, they wonder how a woman with paraplegic would be able to carry pregnancy. This also is a serious concern that parents normally put forward to refuse marriage with a woman with disability.
  6. Scandal: This is the last on the list of my findings but when all other reason has been subdued and proven not so serious a reason to call off a marriage. This is the one that parents would always have at the back of their mind and hawk on their refusal to sanction the marriage. It is simply that thought of what would persons (my friends) be saying or thinking about me if I should allow my daughter or my son to get married to such a person. We are living in a society where it seems we are at competition with each other. Everybody wanting the best for his or her family therefore no one want to identify with anything or action that will ridicule the name of his family. We all want to identify with what seems at the best within the society. We all have the attitude of bragging with our recorded successes. Therefore because majority still has this mindset, it has always been tug of war accepting marriage proposal from persons with disabilities. People with disabilities are viewed as second class citizens because poverty dwells more among them and little or no chances of being successful due to obvious limited opportunities.   

These are my findings on what have been truncating marriages between abled bodied persons and persons with disabilities. There could be more to these or you may not agree with my findings or you may have a real-life experience relating to this to share with us. Please write us on: qualitativemagazine@yahoo.com, we will publish your comments as we wish to extensively address this issue because it is an integral part of life that persons with disabilities should not be discriminated upon.

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