“Marriage is ordained or so we are told. It’s a phase of life most people hope for but not for all. Don’t kill yourself running after marriage.”
For starters, don’t get me wrong. I believe in the institution of marriage and feel it’s an important institution in our society. It’s the basic structure for most of us that defines how we relate and interact with the world. The only concern I have with it is that for a specific majority, it’s been made to appear like the ultimate calling in life. It’s the ultimate price to be won and if you have a goal to hit, you as well know how frantic the race can be.
I recently was home as as alluded to in a previous article, I have to travel for slightly over 6.5km to get to a tarmac road. It’s remote but modestly opening up which is a good thing especially in this digital era. Unfortunately, there still exists substantial shortfalls. This is the basis upon which I’ve decided to pen this paper down.
Approximately six out of ten youth in my village aspire to marry or get married like it’s some golden trophy that might outrun then if they take time. This is even more pronounced among those who didn’t go through secondary education and ladies generally. The cost of this is that as it is about getting married, nobody if at all has a reason for why they want to get married. On this account, it so happens to be a phase that everyone wants to get to. As I was working at the site with a couple of young men, it was alarming to note that a 19year old man had married four consecutive times and separated. My question was what drives the decision which he couldn’t explain to me.
Ladies are most affected generally especially considering the human biology, if they happen to conceive they’ll have a child to raise most often by themselves in these circumstances. Out of curiosity I probed into the matter further and it was explicit that alluding to wanting to marry as a man would have ladies lined up at your home hoping you’d choose them. This is worrying and regressing the advances we have made as a society. How can we say we are empowered when we make such decisions and let them be a norm in a society. More worrying is the fact that this isn’t only limited to the illiterate and semi-literate ladies in the villages. It applies even to the educated ladies who claimed to be empowered yet are driven towards marriage like headless chicken. It’s beyond reprieve to be blind to the basic tenets of your individuality and dignity to make a conscious decision on what works for you rather than respond to a societal construct. It’s belittling.
In retrospect, I am worried that it is us as a society that have made it be a big deal to be married that people would rather imprison themselves in toxic, unhealthy and suffocating relationships just to stay married. I know that often times we justify our behaviors and conduct on socially acceptable norms which in a way we make to be principles yet they aren’t. If we do believe in a deity, a God who is supreme then in no book of his teachings do we see it explicitly stated that you must marry. Oh! And I haven’t seen anyone die of not being married. So why kill yourself running around, messing your life chasing an illusions?
The saddest bit of all this is that we claim to be advancing as a society yet our advances are being held back by our very dogma. There is no way you’ll expect much from someone who believes that the greatest achievement in life is to get married. This not only overshadows their other ambitions, dreams and aspirations but also takes over as the principal ambition.
“The illusion of marriage as defined by our social constructs have driven so many people to chaos, disaster and anguish than staying true to their course. Let’s rethink and act right.”