12.12.2020 Feature Article

Marriage, An Eternal Tie

Marriage, An Eternal Tie
12.12.2020 LISTEN

It is a complex institution. Perhaps the reason you do not find that many people getting married and staying married till the end; till they are grey and frail. Most times people save up for the event of the marriage but fail to prepare for the actual process of the marriage which is more rigorous and crucial than the marriage itself. It is a beautiful institution many dream to enroll in especially because most times than not people paint a beautiful picture of how glamour filled it is without pointing out the difficulties until you get in neck deep. It is however worthy of the point noting that it is not all rosy. The honey moon doesn’t last forever. The glow, the light dims and gradually fades. Only a few are able to rekindle it. Now here’s the difficulty. How to navigate through the hard times and appreciate the beautiful moments. It is very important for anyone who wishes to get married to spend time studying this individual they wish to be married to because if you don’t, you will not only be messing up your life but the lives of the poor kids that are a product of your union. The psychology of children are grossly affected by broken homes and 70% of children do not recover from it according to research.

Love is not a guarantee to the lack of disagreements in marriage. In fact, it is quite the reason why we disagree. You cannot dedicate your entire life to someone without trusting them enough to look out for your best interest in all circumstances. Sadly, you still find many women taking guidance from family and friends on how to run their marital homes and in most cases, they are tutored on how to be rebellious to husbands. “You cannot train a puppy that belongs to two houses”. A proverb in Dagbani has it. Truth is, every marriage is very circumstantially unique and it is catastrophic to prescribe the same antidote or medication to unique sicknesses. You just might add a new disease to a preexisting condition. The caveat here is to study your home, partner and design a conceptual framework that actually works for you. Disagreements in a marriage are inevitable and it might seem extreme to outsiders but partners can be true to themselves and call it a shenanigan for what it truly is. There’s a line you don’t cross in marriage whatever you do. That is, paint a negative, an unpleasant and an unpalatable picture to your family about the spouse you are married to especially so, if you have kids with them. The temptation might be high when your adrenaline rises to a certain degree and in your weak moments of anger you might give in. But don’t! Your spouse isn’t an Angel; your spouse isn’t without flaws. They’ll err over and over till they get it right. Be there with them through all those moments as they grow; as you both grow. You’re not without faults yourself. Marriage is all about striking a bargain, finding a balance and reaching a compromise all the time. If you cannot do this, then perhaps marriage isn’t for you.

You love your spouse without boundaries if you didn’t you wouldn’t marry them. No matter how much they hurt you, because you love them you might forgive them and you might forget what they did to you. But your family might not. The negative picture you painted will never fade and the ill-mannered words they spoke to your spouse will live eternally in your spouse’s heart and this damages relationships. It undermines your spouse in their sight. It is as if you just loaded up a gun and handed it over to an outsider to hurt your spouse. No matter who you are to a couple, you are an outsider especially, when they disagree. Your might be family but their nuclear family excludes you, which remains just the man, his wife and kids period!. If your family ever disrespects and disregards your spouse, and it hurts and worries you, just know that you are the reason s/he is valued less in their sight; the things you run to spew when there is a little disagreement both of you could have settled on your very own.

Some families are like media men and women. Always out for a story. They will ask and ask till you say something to them then, a headline is drawn and then they assume the worse. They are like doctors. They’ll press and press till it hurts, then they set a premise to diagnose. I am saying to you reading this post that you shouldn’t give them a reason to disrespect the woman who Mothers your children and the father who fathers your children. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel except if your spouse is an alcoholic or a drug addict then they’d never come back to their senses if not then hold on, when you disagree. The God that united you and the love that united you both in the marriage in the first instance will make sure you make up amicably without anyone’s help. Truth is, only a few help and don’t actually hold it over your head as a reminder at the slightest provocation of niggle. When you get married everything changes and you’ve got to trust your spouse. You’ve to make your own mistakes and learn from them. If you must confide in anyone it mustn’t be your family. Certainly not your Dad, Mother, sister or brother. They are too emotionally inclined to you that in the heat of the moment may say unpleasant things to your spouse that make break your marriage. Seek help and advice from a neutral person, a scholar or an elderly person within your community you can trust and you can be assured of impartiality and sincere advice.

In the end you might not remember in detail what your spouse actually did to you and in fact like I hinted earlier, you might even forgive them wholeheartedly but the actions and inactions or the ill-conduct of third parties may never be forgotten and this destroys relationships built over years. Your Son or Daughter in-law’s actions may be excused based on variant factors such as inexperience, naivety, age or youthful exuberance. As a father or mother in-law, your actions and the words you speak are inexcusable because you are deemed to know better. For a marriage to work there should exist three variables which are God, and the couple. Nobody else! Islamically, a father in-law’s authority is second to the husband’s once he gives out his daughter. Very few actually remember this! There are certain words or tones you use, that people may never recover from especially so when they hold you in high repute, revere you to the pedigree of a mentor and a parent. Indeed the only mentor worthy of emulation is our beloved Nabi Muhammed S.A.W. He corrected without anger, he corrected with gentleness and humility. He corrected with wisdom and love. No wonder Allah said if he were to be harsh, people will flee from him. Anyone that is harsh and corrects with anger naturally has people running from around them. Remember, only you the couple can make your marriage work or destroy it.

Until I come your way again, I am Rafiq Thompson
© 2020, Rafiq Thompson

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