By Janice Efua Pemida
Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union between a man and a woman. It is a process of making a relationship public, official and permanent. The bond between married couples should last till death, although these days, it is increasingly being cut short by divorce.
In the past, the thought of marriage used to make people happy because it is supposed to be a good thing. But nowadays, Gamophobia (the fear of marriage) has taken over the minds of our young people. Everyone seems to be afraid of the word marriage simply because of what is going on around us. Domestic violence, betrayals and divorce here and there, etc is making many young girls to be confused and many are beginning to nurture the idea of remaining single, being a baby mama/baby father or even gay practice, which shouldn’t be the case. People fail to realize that, each phase of life has its own challenges. Being single comes with its challenges just as being married comes with its own challenges too. It can never be all perfect.
The problem we are having in this generation is that, most people go into marriages for the wrong reasons. The major reason why people go into marriages these days is as a result of the powerful waves of affection they feel for each other which may be love or just an infatuation, while some go into it for material things. This powerful wave of affection makes people lose their sense of reasoning and begin to feel certain that getting married to each other will make life sweet and fantastic. It raises hopes and causes high expectations which most times end up crashing into self doubt and apprehension.
During the course of a relationship, as the relationship/marriage progresses, a lot of things happen like personalities are deeply revealed, changes occur, bodies age and the intense feelings you have for each other may wane. However, marriage is supposed to be an irreversible choice between two people. A choice to stick to each other through thick and thin and so there is a conscious effort to make it work. That love you think you have for each other cannot keep you together except you are willing to make sacrifices.
The high expectations we have when getting into marriage is a very wrong perception that is killing marriages today. Why because you end up expecting too much from your partner. You want him/her to make you happy all the time forgetting that he/she is human and has feelings too. Can an unhappy person make another happy? Have you thought of going into that marriage to make your spouse happy instead of expecting him or her to make you happy instead? There are times our expectations make us blind to the feelings of our partners. You can’t even sense when your partner is going through some emotional issues that may have been caused by external factors like work, extended family issues, self esteem issues, etc.
There is no marriage that is free of conflict no matter how hard you try. What enables you to endure is how you handle that conflict. So how do you manage the problems that inevitably arise? And how can you keep the spark alive?
The answer is simple. Both partners should be determined to make it work. How? By making sacrifices for each other, be sensitive to your partner’s feelings all the time. Know when they are having emotional battles and try as much as possible to make them happy. If both partners have the same aim, which is doing everything it takes to make the other happy; I think marriages will be a lot better.
It is all about changing our mindsets. Do not get married because you expect your partner to make you happy. Instead, get married with the mindset of making your partner happy. Focus on how you make him/her feel and not how he or she makes you feel. Think about this; can you run away from a person who makes you genuinely happy? I don’t think so.