Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Is there a good or happy marriage?

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So a lot has been said recently in some blogging quarters on this issue of marriage, and I have decided to chip in my bit. Some may say I can't write about it because I'm fairly new to this business but that has it's own advantages too. The major one being that I'm not too far gone to remember what it was like BM (Before Marriage) and I'm not so jaded by the cumulative responsibilities that come with the institution to have lost my faith, lol. Anyway, let me not go on, read the article and tell me what you think, the complete write-up is up on the Love and Relationships section of Afrikan Goddess.


Beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder, however, when it comes to marriage, a good one is defined by those who live it. See, as a writer I observe a lot. I have come to believe in nuances. There is rarely any black or white in relationships. I have observed that a lot of marriages have many shades of gray in between. I have also observed that there is no one size fits all. I read a lot of articles and can say some are timeless pieces, seeing that they’re on marriage.

Now I am a married woman, my mother is a married woman as are so many women, friends, colleagues and mentors. So while I appreciated the humor in some of the write-ups on marriage, it rubs me the wrong way that some writers will be propagating the idea that so many women are usually lying whenever they say they have a happy marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to rubbish any article, I have no doubt that they’re very valid in their own right. After all, there is still almost a 50% rate of divorce in USA, the country I live in and more and more divorces and separation in Nigeria and other countries in Africa.

It is also not far-fetched to think that some of the women who end up divorced spoke of their marriages in glowing terms a few years, maybe months and even days before their marriages crashed. The question to ask though is how we can be sure that these women and even those who remain in their marriages were, or are, lying? Now that would be a very difficult one to answer I tell you. The thing is, a marriage you as an observer would call an unhappy marriage, may have its happy moments you may not be privy to. It may be those happy moments the women refer to when they say those things these articles consider public lies. Who are we, the outsiders to call them liars then?

I know that in the same vein, this means that it can be said that the happy marriages also have unhappy moments. Do you think I would deny that? No way! LOL…of course there are ‘down’ moments in every marriage. There are those times when you feel lonely, when you feel crowded, when you feel misunderstood, when you ARE misunderstood, when you agree to disagree with your spouse and even disagree to agree. Yes, there are those moody days when you blame all and everything including your marriage for your misery. But this does not negate the general happy state of the marriage. It also does not mean that your marriage or your spouse was the cause of the unhappiness. Let’s face it, you also felt like that when you were single, whether you are a student, a worker, or in between jobs.

I used the divorce statistic earlier and everyone seems to like quoting that 50%. What you will not find so common is people referring to the other 50%. Yes, we find it easy to forget that more than half of the people who get married do not get divorced. Most of that 50% remain together and celebrate their 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years of happy marriages. Yes I said happy marriages. If we are so quick to assume that all the ones that got divorced did so because they were unhappy, we should extend the same courtesy to those that remain together, no? What is good for the goose and all, LOL.

But I didn’t write this article just to rant. I wanted to respond to some of the issues raised by marriage bashers and make some points of my own about the mostly negative perspectives we usually see in the media about marriage. One thing I will say here is that you do have to marry the right person for you to reap the benefits of a good marriage. I did not say or mean a perfect person because none of us is perfect but it has to be someone we can cooperate with, someone we trust, someone we see in our future, whom we can be honest and open in communication with and best and over all, someone we love.

Tis is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help me God.