Wednesday, July 8, 2015

WHY DO WE GET MARRIED? Part 2 – DO YOU HAVE TO BE MARRIED TO FEEL COMPLETE?

Read Part 1 HERE

I attended a Catholic Primary School for the last two years of my primary education and back then, I was so taken by the style and methods of the Catholic faith that I wished I could become Catholic. However, at nine years old, I had little or no say in the matter. My parents, especially my mum would never have taken it lightly. I was particularly intrigued with the idea of Catholic priests and nuns taking up the vow of chastity and celibacy, and becoming married to the Lord and as such, not ever getting married to any man (or woman) all the days of their lives. The idea felt good to me back then and sometimes, I still wonder how it would all have turned out had I pursued that notion. One thing I have however come to realize is, it takes a great deal of courage to take up that vow of dedication especially in today’s world where marriage virtually defines the existence of most. That brings me to the question of the day: Do you have to be married to feel complete?


Some of my readers who made inspiring and ingenious comments in the last post have actually done justice to this question in their own ways but I feel obliged to throw in my own submission regarding the subject. For starters, let us define the term ‘complete’. I would simply define the term by the use of its synonyms. Words synonymous with it include: whole; total; perfect; absolute; entire etc. All in all, it connotes a state of fulfillment where nothing more is needed. It’s like the end of a journey of some sort. Now, let’s come back to the matter at hand. Do people actually feel complete when they get married? Yes, they do! At least, most people do. Otherwise, why all the fuss about the idea of marriage? Of course, the achievement of this milestone creates a sense of euphoria and fulfillment in the hearts of the newly-weds. It’s one big hurdle for most and once they cross it, a feeling of completeness just takes you over.


However, I have also come to observe that this feeling of completeness has a semblance to a placebo effect. It’s actually a fleeting feeling and not as real as it seems. For most, the end of the honeymoon period terminates that feeling and you feel like a veil has suddenly been lifted off your face. Reality dawns and you’re like ‘Oh, so what was the big deal anyway?’ Another comparable feeling is what happens when you’ve been on drugs or stimulants and you feel so high before finally making it to bed. Then, you wake up with a dreadful hangover, only in this case, the hangover might not necessarily be dreadful but the fact remains that the ‘high’ just isn’t there anymore. Truth is, for most, it’s just a fleeting feeling that wears off soon enough. For some, it takes weeks or a couple of months for the feeling to wear off; for some it takes a year or two; for some it takes a little longer and yet for some; the honeymoon actually lasts forever! Yes, it’s actually possible to sustain that feeling of completeness for as long as you want. That’s a story for another day.


I’d also like to look at ‘completeness’ from the angle most people desperate to get married look at it. I believe the power you give to someone or something is the power it has over you. If you idolize the idea of marriage and give it so much prominence in your subconscious mind, trust me, you would definitely need it to feel complete and as long as you’re single, you would always feel that terrible void within and until you finally achieve that dream, the void would persist and the longer it takes, the more embittered you become. It is for this reason that most people make terrible mistakes in marriage. They just need to get rid of that feeling of incompleteness and so they jump on the next available bus called marriage and sooner than later, the high wears off leaving them worse off than before.


Source

I believe in the sanctity and importance of marriage but I strongly believe you don’t need to be married to be complete. As an eligible bachelor or spinster, you should hope to get married someday but you don’t need to spend the whole of your days of eligibility day-dreaming, waiting for that day and giving so much power to the idea that marriage would finally make you complete. Once you do this, you become subject to the power of that idea and it begins to control you and determine how you feel and how you see yourself. I believe you are complete as a man or a woman regardless of whether you are married or not; regardless of whether you are well into your thirties or pushing forty and all your colleagues and friends are married while you’re still single. Marriage does not make you complete. It only adds to you.


Let me compare it with this scenario: if I am worth 16 billion dollars, I am a billionaire, right? Then, my business has some nice times and I get richer by 3 billion dollars and my worth becomes 19 billion dollars. Does that make me better? Of course it does but does that actually do anything to change my billionaire status? No! At 16 billion dollars, I was a billionaire and at 19 billion, I still remain a billionaire. That’s what marriage is and that’s how we should begin to see it. It is an important thing to do but it is not a necessary thing. Without it, you are just as good as you are and you shouldn’t feel less of a person. An awful truth is religious houses have further fueled this concept of ‘Marriage makes you complete’ with some of its teachings. FYI, our Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t even married yet he was and is still the most complete and perfect being that ever walked the face of the earth!


“And the Lord said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a help meet for him.” Genesis 1:18


This Bible verse has been so terribly misconstrued as one of the Biblical basis for marriage. Yes, I agree it is a strong supporting scripture for the concept but we should take time to examine what really happened here. Who actually decided to get Adam a wife? Definitely, it wasn’t him. God was the one speaking in that verse. Adam was busy fulfilling his purpose and tending the garden that the Lord had placed him in. He was definitely not feeling incomplete whatsoever. He was perfect the way he was. Then God looked at him and said: “Well, Adam is just fine the way he is, but a partner wouldn’t hurt” and that was why he brought in the woman to serve as his companion and his help meet. God was simply rewarding ‘the man’ he had placed in the garden and who was fulfilling his purpose with a partner to help him so they could chart a higher course together. They were to fulfill their destinies together side by side. It’s like a case of two perfect and complete beings coming together to birth a more fabulous destiny and that’s the way I see the idea of marriage. You are perfect the way you are and marriage is only an opportunity to make you better (which is an awesome idea). However, you could choose to remain perfect the way you are.


One more comparison would be a football league scenario where one team wins by 1-0 and another team wins by 7-0. Both winning teams would still have 3 points each! It’s just the goals difference that would be the difference and in my opinion, marriage is like the goals difference here. It is important but it is not a necessity! Marriage must be deserved! It must be earned. Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, it’s not your age or achievements that qualify you to get married; it is what you are doing you’re your life in the present as compared with the purpose the Almighty God originally designed for you. Adam earned the right to have a woman as determined by his Creator who then decided for him. If you’re not on a path to fulfilling your purpose in life, you don’t deserve to get married! Also, the fact that you are fulfilling your purpose doesn’t also necessarily mean that your reward from the Almighty God would come in the form of marriage. It could come in various other forms. It’s hi-time we tuned our minds right especially in this part of the world and stop seeing marriage as the ultimate means to our fulfillment.


Let’s continue this in the next post where I shall examine the question: “Must you have children to have a fulfilled marriage?”


PS - I have been having running challenges with Spam Comments on this blog for some time now and it's been a major headache so I had to deactivate the 'Comments' section while I work at resolving the issue. However, please feel free to email me on: gbengasile@gmail.com and I'll definitely revert.

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