So, What’s the Hype About Marriage?
This is a rant. Having a parent around during the bleak autumn/ winter months is not ideal for several reasons. Please don’t get me wrong. parents are a blessing to have around at any time, but if you are unmarried. it is extra hard to deal with the constant nagging to find a partner. If it was easier, one would go to the shops to buy a partner. The shops in this context are online dating sites such as Tinder, Grindr (for gays and bisexuals). Plenty of Fish, eHarmony. Match.com, BENaughty, EliteSingles, Zoosk, Christianmingle.com. The trouble is that the majority of men on these sites want one thing only. So, forget dating. What is that? Let us just have sex or a casual relationship. What is wrong with men these days? A video on Facebook shows a mother crying and begging her unmarried daughter to do something about her ‘situation’. After the exaggerated tears. the daughter had mercy on her mother and promised to date. The end of the video shows the mother letting up a mischievous wink. Whilst. most mothers are not that dramatic. many singletons endure similar pressure from their parents to get married. Most times. it does not matter if you marry a friend, the message seems to be: just get married. The pressure to marry is depressing. I think. Most people want to get married. but unfortunately, they cannot marry themselves! They need to fall in love and get married or marry and fall in love later! Whichever is easier. But what if it never happens. What if it happens much later in life? Is marriage the best thing life has got to offer? Really? Does it. for instance, beat getting published in a national magazine? Marriage is important in every culture and in every nation, but for Nigerians, marriage is much more than a day of celebration in itself. It is an end all by itself. Some Nigerians live for two things: to get married and to have sex. Perhaps, we should leave sex out of it and edify the conversation by discussing only marriage. People respect the institution of marriage. They should. The problem is that such veneration makes life a little bit uncomfortable for the rest of us unmarried singletons. If you are married. enjoy your marriage and leave us alone. An unmarried woman who has achieved in the world of business, career, and academia is not regarded as much only because she is not married. The Nigerian society is terrible for reinforcing this. The wedding ring is all there is to life: not Boko Haram. not the fuel scarcity, not declining electricity, not kidnapping or galloping inflation, not malaria. childhood obesity. not fraudsters and sugar daddies. The problem is that you are not married! Surely. there are worse things in life. Cleverly, churches have made millions of naira on the back of this niche market. Seminars. deliverance sessions, retreat sessions, all night vigils for unmarried women are on the increase. Men of God, do pay mountaintop prayer sessions with women. Women are encouraged to return to their homes with anointing oil, praying naked at obscene hours of the night. Men don’t suffer as much as women. it seems. A woman confided in me that she was made to wash and drink oil for three nights in a row. Not adding the effect of the cholesterol, the woman is still unmarried. What a waste of time
and olive oil. Ehn? Secretly, people’s gossip adds to the misery of singletons. Many women have fallen prey into the hands of unscrupulous men because of their single status. But must we all marry? A lazy argument would be that marriage is not that important because those we know married are either not enjoying their marriages or they are not successful in their relationships. Should we really be discussing the necessity of marriage? It is a debate, isn’t it? We are marrying much later than our parents did. Unmarried today does not mean never married, but what if it does? Deal with
Marriage is great. being unmarried is even greater. the Bible says. Got you there! So what is the hype about marriage? Is marriage meant for everyone? Must society punish unmarried mothers, divorcees, widows and so on for being single? Undoubtedly, the UK like most other parts of the world has a growing population of single people. People are single for many reasons. Some in the UK have no desire to get married and so they never do. Shocking? The post-modern society we live in is witnessing a decline in men who want to get married. I do not blame them. Women have become feminist tigers who basically scare the living daylights out of any man who means well. There are at least three women in me as I write this. The most prominent woman out of the three is the one I interact with every day. This feminist within us women does not see any reason or need as it were to be with a man. The need scales back as one grows older and as one’s ability to meet one’s needs expands. The obvious reason, a man is needed could be for sexual emergencies but religious pragmatism dictates that such a need can be put on hold. Women in this group are powerful and successful and it is hard for them to find men to match their accomplishments in the world. This writer was recently taken aback when she read about the struggles with loneliness a supposedly successful black woman was encountering in her ’50s. It is okay not to need a man now, in 10 years time though, would this be the case? Loneliness is not easy at any time, but the spin the feminist woman puts on it makes it bearable. It does not help that eligible man within her range and social status are far few and far in between. The second woman whose voice is never heard is the traditionalist. This traditional woman comes out when the family is around and she becomes the domestic goddess. Subliminally, she is thinking that one day, her prowess in the kitchen and elsewhere will bring to her the man of her dreams. This woman dreams of being a housewife or a writer at home whilst her husband goes out to work, she is at home cleaning, cooking and making it all nice for him. The problem with this lifestyle is the monotony of it and the fact that over years, resentment will set in. Life was made for the outdoors not within the walls of a house as a housewife. Rather boring. So this woman is rarely ever heard and her dreams will ultimately die. The third woman tries to strike a balance between the real and the imaginary. Marriage is not what it is hyped up to be. Marriage is work and commitment. It is for the brave-hearted. ■
So what is the hype about marriage? Is marriage meant for everyone? Must society punish unmarried mothers, divorcees, widows and so on for being single?