Tuesday, 17 July 2007

On Marriage

Where does love begin, where does it end? Is it at first sight, first kiss or the very first time after weeks, months, years, you look at a special someone and realise they are the very person you want to wake up next to every morning and want to say good night to before you turn off the light at night?
Where does love end? At what point do you go from the dress, the cake, the tender kiss on the forehead, the passionate gaze across the room, to fighting over who gets to keep the house, the car, the kitchen sink and the family dog?
Most importantly, maybe, how do we let love mature through the weeks, the months and the years without turning sour? As reiterated time and time again, in poetry, music and wedding speeches; the formula to the elixir of long-lasting love seems to be mutual trust, respect and honesty, maybe most important of all, compromise – 'Give a little, take a little,' as the father of the bride declared three weeks ago on Saturday, advising the newly wed couple on the journey that lies ahead.
I have been to three weddings in the last month and seen photographs from a fourth. Every single one of these weddings have made me experience a range of different emotions, from joyful exuberance at the newly wed couples' union to misty-eyed reminiscence about my own wedding a year ago; from admiration of the unprecedented acceptance of families to welcome another as their own to curious queries on the very nature of the union called marriage.
Marriage is a union of two different, however compatible, individuals from two different families, backgrounds, at times different cultures or even continents; such a union has its challenges as well as the enrichment and joy it gives. Most of all, it provides a couple the opportunity to grow in unison, working through their differences, embracing those very differences that make them unique, nurturing the similarities that draw them closer and at times of crisis, finding common ground in similarities. Marriage is a game of understanding. In fact, maybe my analogy is completely incongruous; marriage is not a game. It is work. Hard work, at times. Marriage is a pact between two people, which requires just more than a careless stumble with eyes closed. There is no point thinking that there won't be days where dinner plates won't be flying in the air, alongside threats and hurtful words; where doors will be slammed shut, alongside hearts, banning entry to the other party; that there will not be tears, tantrums, fights, misunderstandings. When you do manage to come out at the other end though, that pact will be much stronger for every tear shed or every dinner plate broken.
'Marriages don't fail, people do,' said a reading in one of the weddings I attended in the last month. My conviction is marriages fail when people fail. When people fail to listen, or to understand or even fail to work through issues that turn bright-eyed, 'butterflied' love turn sour and miserable. That is when marriage packs up and fails even before one gets to consider packing up their suitcase and starting the bitter battle over the house and dinner plates, cracked, chipped and broken.
'Give a little, take a little,' I have learnt, should be the motto of every couple, whether they have shared just five weeks or twenty five years together. 'Give a little' teaches one to let go of their ego and self-interest, 'take a little' allows us to appreciate all the times that special someone stands by us to love, cherish and honour. 'Give a little, take a little' helps a couple grow in a marriage where hopefully all that is chipped, broken or cracked is the dinner plates, not our fragile hearts or fine china marriages.

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diary of a G said...

lovely pictures

robin thick, the memories that song brings...ooh weeeee
I'll b sure to read later---busy

Andy said...

Are you preparing for one soon?

imoted said...

I'm still trying to get my head/mind around what love is??? How do you know you are in love. Or in love with someone. Maybe a little off topic, but wanted to throw that there.


i believe in love
but not love at first sight
more like lust at first sight
i also believe in marriage
and keeping it sacred(By Gods grace)

lovely blog
promise to come back always

ozaveshe onyeabo said...

nice pics

just saw ur profile. noticed you like zadie smith.

i have 3 of her books.

i'll check back in

Ugo Daniels said...

Love and marriage are the two things that must work in paripassu before it works. There can't be a successful marriage without love. Those that tried it are already regreting.

The path to and inside it can be overwhelming at times but with love, one can conquer all obstacles.

iyi misin?

Suby said...

Interesting read love, interesting :D


Andy said...

Thanks for dropping by. Good, so u should add some wedding pics to spice the article up then...laffs

anijawife said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog,you write beautifully well-will keep checking on your blog.

Favoured Girl said...

Lovely post. I agree with a lot you said. I too sometimes wonder what changes the smiling, hopeful couple in the wedding photos to the bitter, hurt and resentful people in the courtroom. I think love should be nutured, a lot of couples assume things will always be the same.