Marriage is not a gateway to lifetime of happiness.
Hey people, welcome back to my reveries, where, I’m in my head thinking thoughts! How is your week going so far?! Me? cooking and painting, my new world, which I’m absolutely enjoying. My family members are still shocked, I always found kitchens too hot when I was a kit. Literally and figuratively hot. Anyway, let’s get down to business.
On last week’s post, we talked about how it is healthy to lower expectations and expect changes. Changes mean as he’s juggling to learn to please you better in the bedroom, he’s forgetting how to have open communication with you. Everything in life is a ball, we can only juggle so many at once, and we drop them, and they break. Like your heart. You can experience thorough and full blown heartbreak in a marriage.
Marriage, is not the key to happiness. Marriage is a part of life, a concept in life, and in itself doesn’t bring anyone joy. Life brings joy, and sadness, and heartbreak, all that doesn’t just stop because you said “I do” and signed a piece of paper.
Yes, I know, I know, this feels very loud and harsh and totally unnecessary. Too many movies with happy endings. Too many social media pages with lovely family photos, check out mine. Some of your favs have been married for 50 years and they’ve told you some trips and tips that will make it work. Your mum and dad will not let you rest until you have done it. Then until you do it, that’s when you also have a child you can use as a blanket or bundle of joy. Ok. Ok. I feel you. I felt you one year ago and I still feel you now.
My illusions were quickly shattered when my husband and I wouldn’t stop fighting for about the first 2 months of our marriage. Something was just always pissing both of us off. At some point I was even so sure that something was permanently broken during the wedding and I remember telling him one day that I’ll like us to go back to being boyfriend and girlfriend, because, well, life was just so much easier and uncomplicated. It was such a weird thing to say, but it was 100 how I felt. I hadn’t stopped loving him, I wasn’t even mad at him deep down, the mojo was just, off. So while playing my life tape at my cinemas, I found some few reasons. One, we had wedding planning stress, and it just got compounded from there on. Finances, family expectations and family burdens that come from merging 10 people to suddenly become besties-in-law, and of course your friends that didn’t get jollof.
Two, before marriage, I could go home when I was pissed and blow off steam. Take some hours to be by myself, watch TV spread-legged in my underwear, call up a friend, male, female, go to a party, I won’t kill myself because someone’s son wants to kill me. And he was probably or definitely in his own house too, eating a bowl of ice cream, playing video games and waiting for me to calm down before he calls me and tell me whatever sweet nonsense will make me forgive him (because I’m always right). Then we grab dinner at our fav spot and all is well. He takes me to my house and goes back to his house. Love is sweet from afar sometimes. Now? SOMEONE IS CONSTANTLY IN MY FACE! How do I sit in front of the TV, naked, acting like I don’t care we just had a riff, when the person pissing me off is IN MY FACE, also trying to watch TV! And just a few rooms exist for me to say I’m going to stay and chill? Maybe if we moved into a mansion, he can go to the game room, and I go to the powder room. But nope, there he was, in my face. I can’t walk into the house and just take off my shoes and put it anywhere, because when you are fighting, the house is always spanking clean, everyone is trying to behave themselves (which reminds me, love is messy af).
Our pre marital counsellor advised us to start with a one-bedroom apartment after the wedding, for the first year. He centred this on the premise that, forcing two animals to live in a small cage, whether by choice or not, will make them get over the discomfort rather quickly, and learn to live together, because eventually that’s what marriage is. Two animals in a cage. Not his words, but it is sometimes what it is. He wanted us to keep everyone else out; no friends and family layovers, just us. Maybe since we far away from all of our friends and family, we didn’t have to do the house space thing because no one could visit for sleep over anyway. He even mentioned size of bed, so that way, no matter how much we turn our backs on each other at night, we’re still in each other’s face.
I don’t know whether it worked or not, we tried it. But let’s just say we bless God we’re still married. And I’m definitely going for double king size with our next mattress purchase, because dear Lord, waz deez ghetto life (what is this ghetto life). Next thing you know we’re filing for divorce on the grounds of domestic abuse because he’s tired of me kicking him in my sleep, and I’m tired of him snoring in his sleep.
I really thought we were done for, in my eetsy bitsy tiny disillusioned mind. Those fights felt like forever and I still remember how stupid but awful they felt. And it was even more confusing when we had good days (that’s when I post his picture online, the peace shacks me). It wasn’t all bad, so does this mean it’s good, or it’s bad? I didn’t hear about all these mumu mumu (silly) fights from those that came before me. Why did our honeymoon fade so fast? Where did the sweet times go? They said you can overcome anything but how do I overcome how mad he drives me? Why me oh Lord? Anyway after a few research, (technically google saved my marriage), I found out it was absolutely normal. NORMAL?! How can this be termed normal? How do people go through this nonsense? Why? For this love something? I started chatting up newly married friends to check on them. Most of us? Same thing! The ones who were still in honeymoon phase? I didn’t have the heart to even envy them.
Guess what I also read, and stuck around to find out, it will always be this way! Ying Yang? Marriage will teach you what it means by force. There’s white inside black and black inside white, and while everything around you is going to pieces, your finances, your job, so will your marriage. It will rise, and it will fall. You will love, and you will hate. You will be pissed, then you will forgive. In fact, you will have never realised you had so much forgiveness in you till you get married. That’s when you calm down in life. Like proper calm down. You see that glow you sometimes see on married people (or cohabiting lovers)? It’s not the sex o (the story that after marriage is constant knacks (sex)? Hehehehehehehheheheheh). The glow comes from two people who are accepting bullsh*t from each other on the daily, and forgiving each other on the daily. Or your frontal lobe will just collapse.
Take a business or work project. It’s glamorous and exciting when you take it on, but you’re aware it’s not going to be easy. You expect to grow broke, spend all your money on it, stay up late nights, have a nervous breakdown. Well, it’s the same with marriage, and this should tell you that there’s something sinister at play. Why is it so glamorised and sold in movies and every area of life? You don’t nearly see enough movies about people starting business projects and becoming billionaires. Not everyone should take up marriage, and definitely not before doing growth work on themselves, at their own pace. I actually read some conspiracy theory about how marriage is a capitalist or world agenda somn somn, but that’s research for another day. Everything changes in a marriage, from the tiny thing to the big thing, from the breast to the balls. It may not be today, or year 8, but it will always be the same cycle of ups and downs, with the next down being harder than the last. And you will keep getting back up and loving the same person again.
There should be some statistics to prove that married people are more resilient than single people, and I’m too lazy to find it, but you know it. It’s the resilience that comes from going through trials and tribulations in the middle of joy, ad getting up each day, and you transfer that same agility to every other aspect of your life. It’s mental training, you get strong muscles from, mental training you didn’t know you needed. Or at least that’s what I use to console myself, because really? whaz deez ghetto?!
I’m putting myself out there because I genuinely believe someone needs to hear it. Or have the heart to laugh about their own lives as they read the ridiculousness of mine. We are not all groomed to share marital issues when we have them, it’s a members-only affair. And it’s just you and your wife in the club. But you’re not alone as you go through it, it’s the deal you signed up for without full disclosure, a lifetime deal. And sometimes if you rolled the dice of life and picked someone else, marriage is still what it is. One single argument can lead to breakdown of communication forever. It’s why people cheat, looking for fulfilment and happiness outside what they currently have, because if marriage is happiness, side-chick and gigolos won’t be an occupation. Sometimes I get infidelity, a lot of times I don’t. Sometimes women are not randy, sometimes men are not scum. I hope I always have the strength to realise the only way to make a marriage or relationship work is by doing the work, not finding solace in another person’s arms. Your problems will still wait for you at home. Sometimes it involves couple therapy too. But if you’re not going to do the work, then let it go. It’s not about the kids, they can see the dysfunctionality you’re putting them through, they can see your lazy ass not doing the work, it is bad example for them. So, it is never about the kids. It’s mostly conditioning. “I will rather stay here and make you as miserable as you make me rather than consider that an option exists where we are both happy”. Damned if you do, maybe not so damned if you don’t. Anyway.
Have a nice life, and see you next week! Xx.