​THE ESSENCE OF MARRIAGE

Growing up, we were all raised to aspire to marriage, be it male or female. Only that women were expected to marry earlier than men, for some unknown reason. We were told to grow up, get married, have kids and a lot of us didn’t stop to think of why we are getting married, if getting married is what will bring us joy and happiness, we just did it. Probably because we were of age or were financially or emotionally ready to start a family. Someone once told me, ‘you don’t always get married to the person you love, you get married to the person that was around when you were ready to get married’, I suppose after doing that, you begin to learn to  ‘develop’ love for your partner. Which explains why a lot of marriages fail today.

Marriages these days do not last like that of the previous generation which I think is good, because people are beginning to put their happiness above societal norms. Personally, I know quite a number of elderly married couples and I can hardly point out any of them who are truly happy in their marriage, and this is because of their purpose of getting married. Marriage is not to be endured, it is to be enjoyed. Therefore, if love and compatibility is not the reason for a marriage then the marriage isn’t right. What’s worse is that the previous generation believes strongly in ‘working things out’ or ‘fixing things’, while they claim our generation doesn’t believe in it. Whereas, their definition of working things out is compromising and enduring, not actually fixing anything. For example, a woman who is married to a cheating partner is asked to ‘work things out’ or ‘fix things’, with her cheating husband. Normally, fixing means finding a solution, but fixing here means compromising, it means learning to adapt to something you don’t like because your partner would not change. Our generation on the other hand believes in happiness, not just blindly doing something because our culture thinks it’s the right thing to do. When truly, your happiness as a person, is what is right. 

This attitude of fixing things is the reason people remain in physically and psychologically abusive relationships. If marriage doesn’t bring happiness, then its not serving it’s purpose, because the purpose of marriage is companionship and happiness. People should not get married because ‘they are of age’ or they got pregnant for the person, they should get married because they see a companion in that person, because that person brings them happiness. Marriage should not be branded as an achievement, because branding it as such is the reason why quite a number rush into it and end up with the wrong person, making them regret the marriage. And then, such a person is asked to stay in the marriage so as to respect the values of marriage? That’s really hilarious. Marriage shouldn’t be compulsory, it should be by choice, staying in a failed marriage shouldn’t be seen as an achievement either because its not.
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