Marriage is a beautiful relationship. Unfortunately, over the last few decades the veil has been lifted and the facade of the "happily ever after" marriage fairy tale we we all fed as a child is crumbling. What are the possible reasons? Why marriages are breaking faster, why are we not getting what we want from marriage? Are our expectations wrong? Or our choice of partner is faulty?
The major factors that contribute to success in marriage are - Knowing what we desire in the marriage, selecting the right partner for fulfilling those desires, defining marriage goals and getting approval about them from the partner, discussing all the issues that hurt the relationship, changing your own style of relating so that marriage becomes stronger and not giving up so easily if cracks develop and try to save the marriage. a broken marriage is not pleasant for any one and hurts. A marriage is like a cart on two wheels. Both the partners are the wheels. If one wheel becomes weaker or if the wheels are different in size, the cart stops moving...
Marriage isn’t the problem.
The problem is the imbalances that have always existed in most marriages but worked out with due to lack of resources and other opportunities mainly on part of the women. I hate when people compare today’s economic and social standings to that of which our grandparents were living in. Those are two different times with two different teachings. Of course marriages seem to be the way to go when women were legally not allowed to have an education, own businesses or do anything outside of the home. That’s not the case now. Women statistically are doing far better than our male counterparts, which means that marriage is no longer a benefit for us and in turn has become more so a liability. Whereas back then, marriage for a woman was a need. She exchanged herself in exchange for having certain rights and privileges as a married woman.
As I write this I am doing my damnest to find a reason, any reason a woman in 208 would want to be married and I don’t have a single valid reason for marriage to provide outside of wanting the companionship and company of someone I care about. But for that marriage isn’t a requirement. Love does not require marriage.
If you understand the true purpose of marriage and what it has always historically, marriage has never been about love. Marriage has always been for the purpose of uniting resources, countries, wealth, etc. Marriage has always been about ownership and control. Particularly as it pertains to the woman. A woman was considered property of her husband. All of her rights were granted through her being legitimized through marriage. Your validation as a woman of sorts, lady if you will, was completely contingent on a man of status making an "honest woman" out of you by giving you his last name. It was an honor to be Mrs. John Vanderbuilt.
Patriarchy setup the institution of marriage and sadly most of the principles from which the idea was created still stand strong in today's society even though society and the roles that men/male identifying and women/woman identifying persons play have changed. It's only been in the last 50 years or so that gender roles established centuries ago began to shift to include women doing more of what was previously considered "man work".
Believe me when I tell you that love, or love as an idea for marriage, was never an intended factor.
At least not for the privileged. The exposure to a value system that promotes the acquisition of material possessions has a direct affect on our development as children. Those with something to "lose" learned early in life to take control of their material possessions. What better way to do that? Get married. Many chose to go a few extra steps further to ensure that their wealth, name and legacy remained pure throughout the generations thus opted to marry within the family bloodline. You know what I'm getting at. Another discussion for another time...
Those who came from prominent houses and families with old money strategically arranged marriages for their sons and daughters to ensure that the line of wealth and prominence continued on down through their children and their children, and so on and so forth. They didn't "need" to get married and they didn't marry because they loved someone. Poorer families, following the steps of those they idolized dressed in lavish garbs, eating the finest of the finest began adopt the same practices of legacy building and community reconditioning by "marrying off" their daughters to families that could in exchange provide them with healthier living conditions. Marriage for a woman was heavily tied into her families future wealth while marriage for men was about ownership and status.
As time progressed, society changed you began to find traditions change. But how and why? When did love become the reason for marriage? Honestly, I'd like to think that someones daughter rebelled against an arranged marriage opting to run off with someone who she felt she were more compatible with choosing the life of struggle over the life of comfortability because it was what her heart desired.
Over the centuries, this practice awakened our selfish nature and fortified as each generation came to be. As generations of people advanced and continued to grow, old traditions carried on and remained the same at its core. As the world became less possessive and more free, people looked for a way to cling on to old habits and traditions, eagerly looking for an "excuse" to remain true the ways of the old. And like a moth to a flame in comes organized religion to the rescue.
Todays "religious" lessons are still heavily rooted in toxic patriarchal ideas that are violent and extremely exclusionary of women.
Various religions still teach and believe that the man IS the head of the household and that a woman should "yield" to the direction of her husband and follow his lead. Old school religion that still follows these laws still teach that we can do what we want with "our" possessions. my wife, my husband, my money, my toys, my bike, my car, my woman, my man, and mine, mine, mine! Unconsciously, we believe these possessions are our slaves and should be at our beckon call or perform a particular function that we desire. At anytime, when our possessions do not conform to our desires or expectation, we become outraged. The reality is these are not our possessions, especially human beings.
Men want their partners to take a subservient position to their desires. Trying to enforce old ideologies that barely worked back then so the possibility of them working now is about as possible as me birthing Chadwick Boseman's next child (shameless plug, shooting my shot wink). The core of the problems in marriages and relationships today is that we rely on traditions and false promises by others and institutions that manipulate our hopes and dreams for profits. We have been led to believe that institutions are held to a higher standard and do not fall into the same category as others who are motivated by selfish desires; but they are! There are over 500,000 different marriage counselors, workshops, and therapy sessions posted on the Internet. All promising the same thing. All promising the same results. And people are still getting divorced in large quantities.
Marrying your life away based off of what you feel in a moment is careless and ridiculous. We are emotional by nature and because of this our feelings, thoughts, desires, wants and needs change drastically multiple times throughout our lifetime. In fact, some people like myself go through drastic life changes every few years. Some people go through a change every year. What you want or desire today may not be the same tomorrow. This alone is enough to cause communication issues within a relationship. The only way to successfully remain married and happy is to enter into the union with the understanding that this is before anything a partnership. It is a business arrangement. This is a situation where two people have to learn how to coexist with one another even through those changes.
Marriage isn’t about finding the love of your life. It was never suppose to be about that. We made it that way. Us and our soft hearts and emotions. Us and our lust, possessiveness and need for ownership. Marriage was and has always been about finding someone who can assist in the creation of a new community that will live on way past your existence. It’s about creating legacy. It's about compromise and acceptance. It's about finding the person that you are the most compatible with on the issues that matter the most, assessing kind of asset this person will be to your life, determining how best you and this person can make sure that both of your legacies continue and how you as the elders of YOUR village can work together to guide in the next generation.
People have to be accepted the way they are. If there is something about your dating partner that you dislike or disagree with, and the issue is an important one, realize that whatever it is its here to stay. It's not going anywhere and how much you love that person has diddly squat to do with whether or not that person will change or evolve over time. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you'll be able to change them after you get married. Does that mean that you and your potential spouse must agree on absolutely everything? Of course not. But you do need to agree on the basics, on the important things that are going to make a difference in your life things like values, lifestyle, religion, your ideas about home and family. Good marriages just doesn't happen, it's not just about love, devotion and compatibility. Both man and woman should work hard to make a marriage good and keep it that way.
Over half of marriages end in divorce because people foolishly marry the wrong person for the wrong reasons. Most people make the mistake of getting married because of how they "feel" about a person rather than what a person "contributes" to their overall life goal. It is time for us to face the truth and to adopt a different posture when seeking a dating partner or a marriage companion. We have to change our perspective and evaluate why living together in harmony is such a momentous task.
In the words of one of my faves, what’s love got to do with it? What's love but a second hand emotion?
Owner of Love My Black, LLC + Eighty5OH8 -Award Winning Blogger/Author | Viral Troublemaker | Mother of One | Brand and PR strategist