The Marriage Games

By on July 22, 2019

One of my fondest memories growing up was playing the ‘mummy and daddy’ game. This, for those who have no idea, was a game designed for young kids to experience the thrills of marriage without enduring the stress of huge budgets, actual responsibilities and demons of divorce. For a few hours every weekend, we experienced what it was like to be adults.

The typical setting involved parents, kids and perhaps some relatives. There was often a kid, probably the tallest or oldest, who played the role of the father. This fella would have a wife – usually a girl he fancied or crushed on. The two would have children – quite often the littlest or youngest fellas in the group and there would be relatives like aunties and uncles and even cousins. These were all selected based on the desires and wishes of the father and mother.

There were two specific attributes that made this game quite something. The first was the the wedding day. We often made attempts to have the most flamboyant and colourful weddings with as much pomp as we could manage as kids. And this meant that we had to go the whole nine yards and have a ceremony with a reception and followed by a honeymoon.

The second attribute that made this game a big hit was the family life experience. The mummy and daddy often executed their roles as seen and observed from their own families and quite often you would find the daddy reading papers and yelling at kids while the mummy cooked food and served the family. These were roles we all assumed based on the experiences we saw in our families.

Of course as we grew older and looked back at the games with a hint of embarrassment, it dawned on us that some of the roles were misguided and forced on us by society. The one thing we never did figure out back then was that marriage was far from the bed of roses that our parents made it seem to be.

Our parents struggled so much with this thing called marriage but did a very great job making it seem like all was well. And so we grew up desiring, wanting and hoping for marriage. Along the way, some folks gave in to their desires, wants and hopes while others opted to be bystanders.

One agreement was arrived at by both parties – marriage is not the bed of roses we think it is. It really isn’t. In fact, Marriage is not a bed at all. It is something else – something that isn’t a bed.

Every day that passes, more and more people wake up to the realization that the marriage they so dearly yearn for is actually a trap of sorts – a life long admonishment to suffering, pain, torture, and near-slavery, mostly prescribed and delivered by the same society that seems to uphold this institution of marriage. For every wonderful and awesome story of a married couple enjoying their marriage, there seem to be 45 stories of marriages in shambles.

Marriage counselors very eloquently and repeatedly remind us that marriages require work by both parties. They tell us that marriages are blessed by God and are meant to give us the things we desire the most in life; happiness, companionship, and legacy. However, from the look of things, marriages today seem to give the exact things we loathe – pain, suffering, torture, enslavement and the mother of them all – endless financial woes. This, therefore, begs the question – why do people even bother getting married?

I’ll tell you why.

It is because there is still a section of people who believe in the ultimate goodness of man. There are people who are aware that while human beings are capable of the most hideous and horrible acts, we are also capable of the most heartwarming and wonderful things like caring for another person deeply and wanting the best for them. There aren’t many like this but the few are probably enough to keep the human race alive and well.

The challenge for the young person aspiring to get married is identifying the reasons why they should get into marriage in the first place. Everyday, across social media platforms, you will come across pictures of couples tying the knot in a colourful and extravagant expression of a wedding day. But many of these are often masks for a deeper, darker and deadlier truth – people are getting married for validation. It seems obvious to many people that by the time you get to a certain stage/age in life, you must have a wife and children and if you don’t have either or both of these things, you are a failure of sorts. Sadly, the harsh reality is that while society will make these demands, when things go south in your quest to hunt for these things, the same society that urged you to get married will question why you ‘rushed’ to get married. One or two of your relatives will even remind you how they kept telling you to be patient. But you will have no one to blame because, at the end of the day, no one makes the decision for you to walk down the aisle other than yourself.

I am a great admirer of the institution of marriage, I really am. I feel like two souls can meet, connect and decide to give themselves to each other. And I also like to look at happily married couples. It fills my heart with joy. But I refuse to believe that success in life should be pegged on marriage and offsprings. I also refuse to believe that people who choose a different path from marriage and bearing children should be castigated or ridiculed. People should not be pressured into marriage because at the end of the day there is no fun in getting married to someone for the wrong reasons and spending the rest of your life angry and bitter at yourself for making a horrible mistake.

Live your life, chase your dreams, create your happiness. If along the way you meet someone who shares in those dreams, by all means, settle down with them. But never ever abandon your dreams. Let’s get married, but for the right reasons and when we are ready for it.

“We ruined each other by being together. We destroyed each other’s dreams.” ― Kate Chisman.

a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
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Beewol - The Talkative Rocker