Marriage – His Burden or Her Burden?
I’m scared of marriage! Yeah, I said it. *Covering my face in embarrassment*. But seriously, I duff my hat to the men and women who’ve been in the marriage business for years. Its not like I don’t wanna get married, I just get scared at the thought of having to spend the REST OF MY LIFE with ONE PERSON. Wow! So yeah, I’d like to put it off for a few more years. I mean why rush? You’re going to spend the rest of your life with this one person anyway. Yet, many have argued that it’s a question of finding or being found by that one person whom you love so much, you can’t imagine the rest of your life without them, but then, this raises the question, “what is love”? Well, that’s a topic for another day.
Sadly, when you look around you, the trend amongst married people isn’t exactly encouraging. What with adultery and divorce rates going through the roof, men and women even going as far as murdering their spouses in cold blood! Just the other day, I came across a story of a man that allegedly butchered his wife and abandoned her corpse in their home. And these are people that gazed dreamily into each others’ eyes with so much love on their wedding day! But I’ve also met people with model homes. Couples that are a definition of what God had in mind when He created the concept of marriage. One of my very close aunts keeps telling how blessed she is to have the kind of husband and kids she has. And based on what I see on the outside, hers has all the trappings of a great family.
What I find most uncomfortable however, is that many of us see marriage as an end in itself. MARRIAGE IS A MEANS TO AN END NOT AN END IN ITSELF. The union of two is to help each person better fulfil their destinies and build a formidable team that will “send a legion fleeing”. That’s why God said to Adam in Genesis “I will send you a help meet” (referring to Eve). Apologies to my non-Christian readers. Marriage isn’t only about meeting someone you love, giving birth to healthy kids and living happily ever after…although all these come with the package. Well, that’s just an aside.
I’ve observed an unspoken consensus that it is the responsibility of a woman to keep her marriage working. She must therefore wield her magic wand to resolve all issues in the home front and failure on her part amounts to negligence of her peace keeping duties. Well, to be honest, I do agree that to a large extent, the success of a marriage depends on the woman, but I think it is also important for the man to play an active role in keeping the home together, afterall, you can force a horse to the river but you can’t force it to drink from the river, right?
For instance, what happens if you have an abusive husband? Or your husband is cheating on you? Interestingly, most cheating spouses blame it on some level of dissatisfaction in their homes. Will Smith and Jada Pinkette are one of the most successful celebrity couples in Hollywood. They have both often revealed that maintaining an honest and open line of communication is the reason for their successful marriage. I hear they even tell each other when they are sexually attracted to other people! Now that’s something. Let’s talk about The Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski saga. Despite the public outrage against Bill, Hillary stuck by her husband and this contributed to stemming the tide of the scandal. I daresay Hillary supported her husband despite his mistake because he had scored love points with her in the past which made her decision inevitable…
So I wanna ask, when it comes to making a marriage work, how much depends on the man and how much depends on the woman?
- Clarifying Marriage By Fr Dwight Longenecker (catholicjules.net)
- Marriage Problems And Long Term Illness (personalsunitedstates.wordpress.com)
- Nancy Fagan: Friends Till Divorce Do Us Part: 5 Ways to Predict Lasting Friendships (huffingtonpost.com)