As I laid awake, different thoughts criss-crossed my mind, from the politics at work the previous day, to family and friends in general. One particular thought refused to fade away regarding the phone conversation I had with a distant female relative a couple of days earlier. I will just refer to her as Di. We talked about family, kids, work etc. Her husband was away from the house at the time so she talked openly about how she enjoyed her marriage despite occasional hiccups you would expect from any marriage. Reading between the lines, I could tell she wasn't just making it up. The enthusiasm and spark in her voice did not betray her happiness.
Back then in our teenage years, I could recollect she was very adamant she wasn't going to marry a politician or a man with a relatively big age gap. Just after graduation, her first suitor came calling. A tall, young, handsome medical practitioner based in the States. This was her dream man. But as it panned out she seemed keen than the man did. After a year of occasional phone calls, she read the hand writing on the wall and reluctantly considered him as the one that got away.
But 'luckily 'she didn't have to wait too long as another suitor came calling months later. This time a local politician, but let's face it you and I know politicians at any level in Nigeria are fully loaded (with cash of course). Di was undecided, her family liked the bloke and were keen. She didn't mind him either but from talking to her she also didn't think he ticked all the right boxes for her ideal husband especially as regards to age and the sort of job he did. Let me say at this juncture, I and Di got on well when we were growing up. She could confide and talk to me literally about anything. Partly because she felt I was open minded and not quick to judge people, well at least as she believed.
In the weeks after her latest suitor came asking for her hand in marriage, Di talked to me on different occasions to gauge my feelings about what my thoughts were about him. My honest opinion was that it didn't really matter what I felt or thought. I put it to her it that what she felt was what really mattered as she was the one that would be in the marriage not me or any other person. I told her it was her decision and in life we have to live and die by our decisions.
So far by her account and what we hear from other sources, she seem happy in her marriage, blessed with two beautiful kids and a caring husband. However I wonder if that would have been the case if things had worked out with her first suitor who had or seem to have all she wanted in a 'dream' husband. Perhaps it could been successful or may be not. The truth is that we may never know.
Love and marriage are highly emotive subjects that divides opinion. It seems to me the more we try to treat them as variables that can be quantified and measured, the more we portray them as science. In my view love and marriage aren't sciences that rely on testable theories and hypotheses. If it were I'm sure other people could easily replicate the experience of successful marriages. There aren't any harm in observing and sharing personal experiences but that's all they are - experience and observations.
Societal values have changed and so does attitudes towards marriage. The reason it seems to me there is a perception that marriages have become more challenging are plenty and varied. We may spend a life-time trying to understand them but my guess is that the answers may elude us. The uniqueness of every marriage makes it even more difficult hence why it may be a good idea if we find what works best for us and stick with it instead of looking for a magic wand to put things right for us.
Perhaps we could do more to encourage our children and young people to develop the right attitude for future healthy relationships and marriages. Something I attempted to address in a previous post.
God bless our marriages, both present and future ones.
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