I’ll be the first to categorically state that weddings are beautiful and marriages can be sweet.
Having documented so many weddings and having seen the intensity of the joy on couples’ faces at ceremonies, this much can not be denied.
To beautify a wedding is easy. All you need do is pay a good event planner and that’s settled. To have a beautiful marriage is however a different thing entirely, and you definitely can’t pay anyone to sweeten your marital union.
No matter how long you have been in a relationship with someone, once the seal of marriage is stamped on that relationship, something changes.
For people who had lovely relationships before their marriages, it might be subtle and they might seamlessly blend into it but that change is undeniable.
The threshold of commitment, faithfulness, honesty, effort and all other traits you used to keep the relationship going will become higher.
The margin for error becomes lower. Of course, no one expects perfection, but the need to strive for something close to it becomes ever-so obvious, almost palpable.
And it would appear that a lot of people are yet to understand this. Or maybe they do know and are just not ready for it. The rate of divorce attests to this. Marriages crash every other day.
Of the marriages yet to officially crash, a glum-inducing number have failed and are only being held together by frazzled reasons such as the presence of children and to keep up appearances.
The Nigerian society is one that places premium on marital status so much so that at time of writing this piece, I am 75% sure that a mother is calling her son to ask why he’s yet to come introduce his wife-to-be to her.
A father is sat on a rocking chair, complaining to his friend that his 24-year old graduate daughter is just pursuing her career, making money but not giving any consideration to men and marriage.
Friends are no different. Once a number of people in a circle walk down the aisle, they put others under pressure to do the same.
Though they often do this with the best intentions and while some would almost shame you into marrying, others do it subtly and even unintentionally.
People have also been known to place personal pressures on themselves to get married.
And then there’s social media, age factor, and family members [read busybody aunts and uncles] who can’t go a week without reminding you that your biological clock is ticking like the timer on a bomb.
What all these pressure groups [isn’t that what they are?] fail to realise is that there is a different time for everybody and what applies to one does not necessarily apply to all.
To get married, have babies, do PDA for the gram and other cute stuff is what almost everyone desires but not everyone is ready yet.
And to jump into it without adequate financial, mental, emotional stability is to dig a pit for yourself which will actually widen and worsen till it swallows you whole. Not your aunt, dad, uncle, mum, sister or those friends pressuring you to marry. Just you.
Thinking about getting married when you’re not even self-sufficient is a catastrophic state of mind. So is planning to get married without having taken charge of your emotions.
How wise and sensible are you with money? How about that temper? What’s up with that uncouth mouth? Do you know the level of importance to attach to your spouse and the one to attach to friends? Do you even know about birth control? How about money-making ideas, do you have any?
Are you trustworthy, do you know how to trust? How about sexual compatibility, have you had that talk about sexual preferences? Does your partner know or possess these traits? Because to have most of them and get married to someone who does not might be just as catastrophic.
It is not enough to love someone. Don’t be fooled. Love is never enough.
There are really so many boxes to fill and check before one could ever deem one’s self ready for a successful marriage, a lifetime of togetherness.
And if you’re reading this and know deep down you are nowhere close, why, then, are you rushing to get married?