And in health,
Till death do us part,
Before I get bitten down by pro- marriagers, I must first declare that I am myself pro- the marriage institution, but my position does not make this question an invalid one.
I have often wondered whether marriage is a practise that is fraught with flaws.
Making the decision to be exclusive to one person for the better part of your adult life, all going well, is saying you will find in that one person fulfilment of all your companionship needs- friendship, intimacy, parenting, career, etc.
That there will be no one else who you will ever need to run to for matters concerning your love life and your heart.
That the decision made sometimes at the tender age of twenty something will hold even after wisdom that comes in your wiser years.
A decision that for some may have been made out of less than ideal circumstances- personal or external.
For many, the decision to get married may not entirely be one that is made from an unbiased mind; an uncorrupted mind.
How do you separate what your own views, beliefs are from those that come from your socialisation- expectations from family, society…
Is it possible that there may not be any such thing as your own beliefs? That we are sponges that absorb whatever we are exposed to, especially during our formative years.
And that beliefs, ideologies may be difficult to undo more so when we don’t necessarily view them as such.
I realise this can potentially be a rabbit hole to many things, but the pursuit of depth of thought ought to be limitless…
Marriage is an impossible situation if you ask me. At least more times and mostly if entered into without the requisite caution, which many are.
When you’re in love, decision-making can be careless and if that is how you entered into a marriage, then you quickly realise your own beliefs if nothing else can very quickly make it a trap should you awaken to a reality check.
Suddenly, there are many people’s feelings to consider. Not just yours. If anything, you may hear or it may be presumed that your own feelings are not a factor.
Now assuming, more rationality was applied, there is always the question of whether this could have been a decision made out of expectations set by your own socialisation.
If you believe you are immune from societal influence, all you need to do is ask yourself what you think of the reverse of your decision to be married or your hope to one day get married.
I bet you will uncover some beliefs you hold around either outcome.
So, married folks, what is the secret to a long marriage and I am not even going to ask that the marriage is healthy.
Is it chemistry?
Is it communication?
Is it sacrifice?
Is it compatibility?
Is it discipline?
Whatever anyone wants to say, I still maintain marriages are somewhat of an impossible idea.
What would make 2 different people come and have shared values, interests, friendships?
Two people with individualistic; selfish needs, who may have probably been in sync at some point, but life dictated a departure to the syncness at some point.
What is the glue that stops a married couple from looking outside of the marriage for whatever fulfillment the marriage isn’t offering.
And is it inconceivable that some needs may not be met inside the marriage?
If you’re thinking that that is an absurd thing to think, is it possible, you have been conditioned to settle? To sacrifice? Which isn’t to say either is a bad thing…
And speaking of settling? Could that be the magical ingredient to marriage longevity?
I’ve often wondered whether monogamy is against nature.
Expecting that two separate entities can coexist cooperatively whilst each maintaining their uniqueness.
What keeps married people, and this stretches to unmarried people who are in relationships, from letting 1, 2 or 3 lovely text messages from an ‘other’ from becoming 10, 20 or from becoming the thing that seismically rocks the relationship?
Because it is absolutely conceivable that an ‘other’ if allowed to, could become a significant disruptor to marital bliss.
I am curious… what stops you from allowing yourself to get carried away? Because who is to say whoever you allow yourself to get carried away with isn’t in fact the ‘one’?
I will make a few proclamations-
- Marriage is part of most people’s belief systems as is having children.
- Keeping a marriage is a choice.
- Most marriages are workable.
- There are many marriages that should never have happened.
- People should be allowed to make important decisions about whether to remain in their marriages away from societal pressure.
If your marriage involves deceit and keeping up appearances, then that marriage needs your re-evaluation.
Is the marriage institution flawed?
I’ll say, potentially!