When it comes to writing, my usual fear is this, “Do I know what I’m talking about?” This tends to make me keep many thoughts to myself that I could otherwise have expressed in public statements like this.
Though I am still a young unmarried man, and have no direct experience of marriage yet, being a bona fide member of my society, locally and globally, I have come to have a certain understanding and perspective which I have not always had, and which is certainly still open to modification as I continue to grow.
How do I see marriage?
I see marriage as a contract between two responsible and consenting adults; a contract comes with terms and agreements, and ceases to operate when one of the parties chooses to act contrary to the agreements, except order can be reinstituted.
I don’t think everyone is worthy of marriage. Neither do I think marriage is a necessity. I think marriage, as a social institution, requires certain attitudes to work, attitudes that some find very difficult to imbibe.
Also, I don’t think marriage must be absolutely binding. I understand that it has its benefits when marriages stay intact for life…and it is actually more beneficial for marriages to last than for them to be terminated.
However, a lot of ‘couples’ in society who still pose as married are not married anymore in the real sense of what the union is supposed to be.
There are many exceptions that should make the continuity of a marriage of less priority in the given situations.
If not just anybody can be or remain your business partner when it comes to your money matters, why should just anybody be or remain your marital partner when it comes to your life matters?
For instance, for a couple that is supposed to be married and you find the woman being abused and manhandled by the man to the point that her very life is threatened and yet the society encourages such women to remain submitted to such men and remain ‘married’ to them. What kind of thing is that. That is, keeping two people together as ‘married’ is more important than the life of one of them. What if one of them dies at the hand of the other…what happens to the marriage? Is it not only the living that can marry?
Abuse has so many dimensions. It doesn’t have to be physical. Disloyalty, Unfaithfulness, Disrespect, Selfishness, Witchcraft and outright wickedness.
I agree that marriage is a union of humans…which means it won’t be perfect…but then I think there should be a limit to the abuses that can be tolerated in the name of ‘sanctity of marriage’.
It’s just disheartening what men and women alike go through in trying to maintain the ‘social decorum’ of staying in a union that no longer even qualifies as a marriage contract.
There are also cases where people rely on advice from family, relatives, religious leaders and members of same religious bodies and also the use of prayers to change the heart of the partner and the course of the ‘marriage’. Is it really worth it? To make yourself that vulnerable by engaging in ‘spiritual battles’ when the situation requires more pragmatism?
What’s more ironic is that those who are victims of these abuses defend their partners and give them chance after chance to prove the illusion that they have that ‘it’s not their partner’s fault’.
More often than not, signals to an abusive partner and marriage are evident in courtship, but we overlook a lot in the heat of the combustion of emotional chemistry. For most stories of abusive marriages I have heard and read, and had the chance to know about the courtship stage of those unions, I discovered that the signs were always there…but blissfully ignored. Too bad.
In summary, my position is this.
By trying to zealously guard against the ‘desecration’ of the institution of marriage, we have done more harm than good to the institution of marriage and to the society. We have elevated to a horrible and inhumane level the extent of ‘evils’ that should be contained within a ‘marriage’. We have redefined marriage to accommodate things that were not supposed to be heard of in a marriage.
I believe in marriage, but like every other matter, it should be done with wisdom, right from the process of selecting a partner to the experience of being in a marriage union.
I rest my case.