Yes, you do.
And so do most of your friends, which is why most of them are afraid and think of it as a death sentence.
But then again, what could a 22-year old possibly know about marriage? This 22-year old has no business trespassing into areas that require a special permit granted to those who have hit all the checkmarks for “Unhappily married”. But he’s here because he short-circuited the system by being raised “differently”, enabling him access to this grief-stricken area.
This 22-year old I’m talking about, is writing in third person.
Don’t ask why.
The Wrong Idea?
Marriage is a sacred union between two individuals. It carries something of significance; something people have long since forgotten.
People are unhappy in their marriage when they realize marriage isn’t what they envisioned it to be. It doesn’t even remotely resemble the stories they’ve been told by the movies they’ve watched, and that is bound to cause some serious distress.
Aww Guuurl! You can tie the knot when you’re like in your late fifties or sumthin! Men are gonna flock towards you because of all that maturity you’ve got oozing off of ya!
Sure, its comforting to believe that you will one day meet a man like Sharukh Khan who will carry you off into the sunset. Its comforting to believe that you will one day marry a Prince and live happily ever after, even if you’re divorced and in your thirties. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but one thing is certain, such unions never make the people involved happy. Prince Harry and Meghan spent their Valentine’s day in separate countries. She is also three years older than him, a divorcee, comes from a family who publicly warned Prince Harry about her wonderful personality and whose close associates have resigned one after the other, attributing their resignation to that wondrous personality of hers.
Theeeere’s a happy woman.
If I were to choose between marriage and fishing, I’d go for saltwater, since the fishes there are bigger and come in various types, shapes and sizes unlike the ones you find in freshwater. You can fish up as many as you want, and throw the ones you didn’t like back into the water and the court of law won’t be on your ass, forcing you to pay alimony to the ones you hooked up with and dumped aside.
When Reality Strikes, It Strikes Hard
Some say we should enter into it without any expectations, that way we will never be disappointed.
There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t have expectations he’d like to have met, and he should enter a marriage with expectations, because of what a marriage entails.
Marriage is serious business, and you ought to treat it like a business. If you want your business to thrive and grow, you start by investing time, energy and money into it. Don’t fall for the narrative that’s being pushed these days about how marriage is degrading and locks people down. Marriage isn’t a burden, and even if it feels like one, marriage was meant for one purpose.
Marriage has nothing to do with you, and it has nothing to do with love.
It has everything to do with having children which is why the families get involved. They pool their resources in for the children that will come out of that union, not for the union itself. You take on the responsibility of raising kids because it is what ultimately brings you meaning, as you watch them blossom into fine adults who will one day raise their own.
Its your duty as a parent to provide your children with a stable environment for them to grow and flourish. Everything else is secondary.
You take on the responsibility of marriage so that you can be with someone who will be there with you through thick and thin, and hopefully into old age; a lifelong companion of a sort, with whom you will raise your kids. Marriage isn’t a blissful union, it is a heavy responsibility, and those who scoff at it get the living daylights beaten out of them.
And you only marry once you have your priorities straightened out, or your spouse will straighten it out so hard for you, that you’ll remember it for a lifetime.
If you take it lightly, your kids will resent you for it, and reject your authority. You will be a nobody to the very people you cared for and watched grow in front of your eyes.
All of This Might Sound Depressing To You
But that is how things are.
You view this simple fact as a pessimistic outlook on marriage, because you’ve been fed all those lies of how marriage is about love, when nothing could be further from the truth.
That is why people are unhappy in their marriage, they’ve missed the point.
They think its about them, which is why you see love marriages being promoted like wildfire in pop-culture. Its narcissistic and never gives you the satisfaction you’re looking for, because you’re looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place. You’re searching for candy in a workshop, and getting upset at the woodworker for not selling the candy you were looking for. You could craft a lovely looking chair there at the workshop, but instead you’ve decided to leave it behind, in search of something sweet. That chair could one day provide you with a much needed support, but you’ve opted out of it because its “work”.
The candy you are looking for doesn’t exist, because love is not eternal; parental love is.
The love we share with those other than our own family, is conditional, and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t try to change it, you have to accept it.
The only ones who will truly love you are your parents and your children.
And if you want to hate Mother nature, then go ahead.
I’ve seen how my parent’s marriage was ripped to shreds because one side of the party refused to take up responsibility. It shatters the family apart, when you expect the other party to look after the whole thing, and destroys your children’s outlook on life.
Divorce is expensive and taxes the soul into wisps. Its not a way out of hell, because there is no way out of hell. It’s a path filled with thorns that will puncture your resolve and poison your livelihood. Most divorces aren’t straightforward, and never end well. Believe it or not, it affects the kids just as much, and it will scar their perception of marriage.
Like it scarred mine.
But Why Can’t I have my Cake and Eat it?
People believe marriage should fulfill both our desire to spend our lives with our one true love, if we are lucky enough to find them, and to raise kids with this unicorn.
What does that even mean? What do you mean by you love her? How do you know that those feelings of yours won’t extinguish? And what will happen once those flames of love reduces to ashes?
What is going to sustain your relationship then?
Even now, you stubbornly hold only that feeling, thinking it will last forever.
But what keeps it aflame isn’t itself. Just saying “I love her, and my love for her is what will sustain me” is foolish. Your love for her is what keeps you strong, but what keeps that love strong? Does fire eat fire to keep itself alive?
Time is like water. It flows along, waiting for no one, and erodes everything in its path. Once the fuel runs out, so will the magic. Once you age, your feelings will subside.
Then what will hold you up? What will motivate you to keep slugging it out each day, to tolerate your spouse’s inconsistencies and flaws, and your kid’s childish impulses?
Forget love, you look at the person’s character.
You don’t fall in love with a person’s character, you admire it.
Love is for teenagers, respect is for adults.
You admire a person who never gets side-tracked, because you know you can depend on him when things go south. You admire a person who works tirelessly in return for the resources that will allow his family to live another day. You admire a person who sacrifices his livelihood so that his children could one day experience what he was unfortunate enough to not experience.
That my friend, is character.
And now you’re probably thinking, “But I love everything about her, I fell in love with her personality.”
Pay close attention to the following questions.
Are you in the age group of 12-30? Because if you are, chances are its your little head thats doing the thinking.
Picture how the love of your life will look like once she hits her 70s. What is your heart telling you? Would you still love her? Or did it diminish for a second?
How does she treat her parents? Does she talk crap about them, or is she close to them?
You have to see whether this person can become a good parent. Good parents foster amazing relationships with their kids, teaching them how a good parent is supposed to behave. Conversely, a bad parent will plunge their kids into a cesspool of negativity, and they end up fostering hatred towards the idea of parenting. Once such a person becomes a parent, she will hate herself for it.
Stay away from the things you can’t fix, because ultimately in a marriage, what you should say is, “Our kids come first and that’s final.”
You can’t put both yourselves and your kids first.
Its either them or you.
Once our kids enter our lives, our love for each other will only grow!
You will love your kids terribly, and as a result you won’t have time for your precious unicorn. Raising kids is a full-time job, and that line you just spouted as you were reading my article is make belief.
That is not to say that your love for one another will diminish, but that you will automatically defer it to your children.
So It Will All Work Out.
Only if you let it.
If you still think “I need some time to myself” then good luck.
If you start thinking, “Its been a while since I hit the club, maybe just for today.” Then good luck.
You will struggle to get some personal time, and to polish your unicorn’s horn. That’s just how parenting is.
But the real problem here is,
People Have Become Too Self-Centered
Its all about them now.
Marriage is only a big event if its broadcasted on social media. I remember browsing through my Instagram one day, and remember coming across someone who uploaded a status of her deceased grandfather on the day of his funeral.
Apparently, the whole world had to be informed of her grandfather’s death, and how much she “misses” spending time with him.
If social media has taught us anything, its to take important things very lightly, and blaze up into a raging inferno over silly things like a nasty message or realizing someone unfollowed you online.
Marriage seems to be headed in the exact same direction, and its thanks to the valiant efforts of feminism.
All in All
Some things you have to accept.
You can either take my advice, and plan your way through, or wait for that special snowflake to fall out of the sky with a bundle of cash and marry you.
Because one way or another, its your funeral.
And the decisions you make now will surround you with the people you love, or with numerous regrets as you pass into the afterlife.