Marriage is a very important part of society – it is one of the means, or should I say the most traditional means for the creation of a family unit. It starts with a man and woman, who are in love (we hope), and then the kids come along (or not, if the couple decides to be child-free. I had a phase when I wanted to have no kid. To be honest, I still fluctuate). Of course, there are various interpretations of marriage now, but I’m sticking to this one because that is my reality and the reality I’m going to have.
Now, I’ve had a very interesting relationship with the word marriage. I haven’t been to many weddings in my life. I mean, there was a handful of flower girl shifts here and there for weddings of relatives when I was small, but from my teens until now, I have only been to one wedding ceremony. So, most information I get is fed to me from wedding pages such as Bella Naija, and whatnot. Perhaps you could say this is the origin of my problem – I’ve read comments on social media pages of people saying they had to unfollow such pages because they felt pressured.
You may wonder why I’m so concerned about the fact I can’t stop thinking of marriage. After all, it is a very monumental event. Forget what people say on social media – I believe marriage is an achievement. Then again, anyone can get married – not everyone needs to do a whole wedding ceremony, so let me emphasize that a good marriage is an achievement.
What is a good marriage? To me, a good marriage is filled with love and respect. I’d love to say free from disagreements too, but I know that’s part of the package. When I think of a good marriage, I think of two people who want the best for one another, who drive each other to do better in whatever they do. Two people who sync, who understand one another and respect each other. When I think of a good marriage, I envision stuff like a husband gladly taking charge when his wife falls sick (she doesn’t have to fall sick for this to happen, though.), or a wife that takes good care of her husband. There’s no entitlement, no toxicity… just love, patience, and understanding.
That being said, if you’d asked me 5 years ago what age I want to get married, I’d say 30. Now, I feel it may actually be before that. Not for any particular reason at all. At the end of the day, I leave it in the hands of God. Why 30? Well, I believed by 30 I should have a good footing in my career and be well ready to settle down. I’m currently 22 – I don’t know much about my career path. I studied law in school, I am currently waiting for Nigerian Law School. I am a product photographer and stylist, as well as food. This combination doesn’t exactly paint a vivid picture of the future for myself, and I take each day as it comes, wondering where I’ll be in 5 years.
It’s not like thinking of marriage and wanting the best type for myself is bad, I just wish I could switch that button off and focus on other areas of my life. Thinking of marriage doesn’t mean I’m desperately jumping on every guy, but it affects me in different ways. When I like someone, I find myself imagining a ceremony and married life. Curse you, vivid imagination! I sound my name with their last name in my head to get a sense of it, whether it has a ring to it. I know of course that doesn’t really matter much, but it’s still something. I honestly wish these thoughts would go away. Because I’m marriage-centered, I don’t have the energy for casual relationships. Every relationship I enter must be headed for permanence – but I fear this may lead me to a deceptive person, so I’m not too vocal about my belief.
Also, just because I’m thinking of marriage, doesn’t mean I’m ready for it. I know I’m far from ready – I’m selfish, period – and don’t even have the energy for that, but I’m mainly consumed with thoughts of what it would be like and how I would be in one – how I can be a better person for when that time comes.
I guess I’m just scared. I mean, social media, especially the Nigerian hood, is rife with all sorts of negativity concerning marriage, and it’s made me a bit pessimistic. It’s crazy how people are pressured to marry, and yet, marriage is made to look so trash. There’s dealing with toxic partners, their toxic family members aka your inlaws, and so much other rubbish. I don’t want to end up with the wrong person, someone that clips my wings and makes me a prisoner in my own home. I don’t want to be someone I have to tip-toe around, someone who hits me, someone who talks down to me and is verbally abusive.
I may have some form of pessimism about marriage, especially a Nigerian marriage, but I am still hopeful that my case will be different. I wish for my marriage, whenever that happens, to be a good example to others. I haven’t had much positive marriages to look up to around me, and I take the ‘happy marriages’ I see on social media with a healthy dose of skepticism to avoid stories that touch. I also know that attaining a good marriage is not about hope, but instead, about hope and intentional action, so I’m going to have to work on that.
Still, I really want to switch off this button.
Long time, no post guys! I hope I can crank out more content from this post onwards. It’s been a hell of a year!