Reality Of Marriage



By Aidy Thomas

It’s incredible how something so warm, nice, comforting and fulfilling can be challenging at the same time. Are you going to say it’s a sweet and sour package? I wouldn’t want to put that tag on it because even life itself is a mixture from different bottles. Marriage is a good thing and it can produce excellent results in a number of circumstances if properly managed. Someone once commented that it’s a good idea that marriage opens with a celebration: a declaration that at least for once, you were the Prince and Princes of the day- the focus of everyone around, best dressed and centre of attraction all in one beautiful day that you both exchanged vows and promised to love and care for each other forever.

A day after the wedding, the dress, suits, bridal train, etc. are completely outdated- everyone leaves for their home and even if you choose to wear the dress/suit, it can never be called a wedding anymore; no, not without witnesses, guests, and exchange of vows. The challenge therefore is that of being able to remain in that world of ‘perfection’ both for the bride and groom.

Just ‘yesterday’, the day ended with people standing up for you to walk  through the hall and the next day you are expected to be the house cleaner, driver or cook? Amazing? This explains why they quickly fly to ‘honeymoon’; but unfortunately, someday, they have to return home and start the ‘real life, real marriage’ and be a real couple – an experience that would reveal so many things you never knew about yourself and the other person.
You would have had a fantastic courtship and the times you only met up for tea or occasional lunch/dinner would have seemed like what should never end as you prayed for the clock to stand still but time flew against your wish, you could hardly take your eyes off each other as you wondered how amazing a gift you’ve got, there were no restrictions on what you could offer and finally, you sigh for relief as you realise you’ll someday be joined as one flesh, to love and behold, in sickness and health, till death do you part- then you smile, dream and wish for the day to come soon.

Here comes the real thing; now he/she is yours, how do you keep the desire up? Just before I get carried away, let me be clear to all that it is absolutely impossible to feel the highs of your emotions all day long and for the rest of your life. If his mind was occupied by a challenging meeting to face ahead at work, he might get nervous and slip into the car without even realising you had not received a ‘goodbye kiss’. And as he zooms off, you’re completely nuts and livid; awaiting his return so he can have a plate of ‘revenge’ for dinner. Between the time that happened in the morning and when he returns from work, would your feelings for him be the same? Would you still feel highly loved and valued? Would you be looking forward to give so much love when you are feeling unloved? If you answered ‘yes’, I rejoice with you because you are a real saint and should please keep up the good work so we can have a better world but if you are a ‘real person’ who feels hurt and resentment when things go the wrong direction, then we can later discuss how you can manage your frustration, control emotion, manage temperament, say your feelings without insulting, be open, and learn new ways to  show understanding when ‘things fall apart’.

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Please don’t misunderstand me: there are people you naturally would not bother about such things but trust me, there are still a million other things to get them enraged if not done properly. There could also be people who are good managers of themselves, they are so much in control of their emotions and they are so loving and understanding that in every situation, their partner’s interest and happiness comes first. Probably, she’s the one that would ring just before he pulls up in the parking bay to say “Oh darling, I noticed you were so much in a hurry this morning that you forgot to plant a kiss on me. I hope your day goes well and you are able to meet your target for the day. Love you! Look forward to seeing you later. xxx” Fantastic! But does this always happen? So this is point we are making that even when romance seems farfetched, (which most times happens) there should be a level of stability that gives you confidence to handle the ‘dry period’ while looking forward for better days.

No one ever wished for stormy relationships. As a matter of fact, almost  everyone fantasises about lovely home, abundance, going abroad on holiday, adventures, nice children, and having fun together as a family. Sometimes though, a few can wallow in pessimism; thinking ‘is this marriage thing ever going to work? Okay, let’s see: I’m nervous about it but I’ll give it a try and if it doesn’t work, then I try something else’. At this point, images of all ‘bad & failed’ relationships might crop up in their brain: just to buttress their doubt but if asked sincerely, they would love theirs to work out fine- better than even their parents’.

I’m not certain precisely the number of people who receive proper counsel before going into marriage but this could help put some issues in the right perspective and trim some wild expectations. If people knew before hand that no one would ever be there for them at all times, it would help them cut down their expectations of how badly their spouses should glue to their back. Letting newlyweds know that difficult times do come in relationships could save someone the heartbreak of feeling he/she tied up with a failure who cannot bring millions to the union or at worst, earn as much money as the spouse ‘next door’.

I get really concerned when I hear people moan- I don’t even know why I married him/her, I did not bargain for this, I was fooled, this is not the person I married, he/she was pretending all along, I want to quit; it is not worth it!  Then some inevitable questions would be, ‘What were they thinking?’ Is there anything that can be done to help? How can they get back to the place of love? What really are the issues and how can they be resolved.

…Continues next week.

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