Surviving Marriage with a Chance of a Happy Ending

 

 Love!
Love!

 

So…

The part of the world I am from family is a big deal and I mean knowing your cousin’s cousins and their neighbour’s nephews, which wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t so many siblings to begin with. For example, my Dad is the middle child of five children and my Mum is the eldest of eight, most of their siblings married at least once and had children… I tried to make a family tree when I was about twelve but ran out of motivation when I realised I didn’t actually know as many members of my family as I thought I did and asking my grandmother for information filled me with fear.

I am 28 years old, not married and don’t have any children. My parents line has no fresh blood in it and my Dad is getting antsy for some young ‘uns to fold into the Muchindu fabric. Being the oldest child alive it is up to me set an example (not sure I want or need to be setting examples on making babies but let’s not dwell on that). My older sister died a few years ago without any children of her own. None of my younger siblings have children and aren’t rushing towards the altar.

During my last visit to my parents farm, the subject of marriage came up (as it is prone to when your parents think you are wilting your eggs on purpose to spurn them their rightfully earned joy), and I got to really thinking about what marriage means for me. I know what I would like it to be: a partnership, a team moving in one direction towards a common goal (whatever that is, is up to the two people in the relationship because people get married for different reasons and it isn’t our place to judge them, even though judgements are a reflex reaction and will happen anyway). But I digress… Very rarely do I see examples of couples getting married because they are on the same page on what they want out of their future together. Sidenote: I attended a lovely wedding this past weekend with a bride who actually cried with joy and I have never seen that before but the couple seemed united before the wedding day and the wedding day itself didnt seem like the end of grueling planning but rather a beginning of a life together which is what I think weddings should be.I would like to wish them a long and full life ahead together.

Marriage usually happens because it is “the right time” more often than not. Either through a child that wasn’t entirely planned or the couple have been dating so long they may as well be married and decide to officiate it. Both of those scenarios don’t often have happy endings.

I realise my definition isnt romantic and makes marriage sound like work but the truth is, it is, work. It is work you choose to get into with a tag team partner you will be “stuck with” for the rest of your life, and sadly we are so focused on the wedding day we forget about what happens afterwards.  The problem with that is on a balance of equations there are too many unhappily married people giving the institution of marriage a terrible name. Random question of the day: Why do women in the movies when proposed to not react until they have seen the ring? There is rarely any evidence that the poor fellow proposing gets on his knees (in public) yet there will be zero “joy” till that box opens or is produced.

One day, I hope to get married and build plans around and with another person (as different as his opinions of those plans sometimes are), I believe in the weight of vows and the promise of eternal fidelity but its become almost “too easy” to leave a marriage than to work at making it what you want it to be.What I disagree with is the expectation that who I am needs to change because I am now a wife. I fight with that idea very strongly. Pretending to be something else shouldn’t happen with your life partner because they have more of you than anyone else. Its easy to pretend with parents because you need to keep them proud of you, or with your siblings because you want them happy or with colleagues because you dont want to get fired but with the person you want to spend forever with? Everyone else has a shift schedule with you, they really don’t.

I hate confrontation and will avoid it like its an STD infested keyboard (let that fester a minute) but when you share your life with someone, confrontation is bound to happen. Apparently, the trick is not to let it evolve into something else. Let the conversation about discarded socks in the kitchen floor be about that and ONLY THAT not about his desire to spend less time with you or his new “odd” bedroom requests (although I can see how one thing could lead to the other). You need to “nip things in the bud”, is what I am constantly advised but sadly its easy to let little things slide, because why should you sweat the small stuff or worse, nag? Unfortunately, if you wait till patterns have developed, switching out of those patterns appears like a rejection of the person you are with.

What I hope to remember the day after my wedding is, I picked the person I am now waking up next to and as wonderful as he is most of the time, there will be moments I would prefer to club him on the back of his head than talk. That’s not a problem, it makes me normal, I should just talk to him about it and not actually club him, no matter how tempting that would be. Maybe that will be my chance of a happy ending, I will still be me, he will still be him and we will now just live together and make babies.

Over and Out!