In a country where the divorce rate is rising at an exponential rate, it is only fair that people begin to develop a skeptical standpoint of marriage as a wretched institution. Well, put the whole divorce thing aside, and just take a look around you or listen to the stories of those in your close circle, how many couples are there who are unhappy with their marriage? Surprisingly, a lot!
Not that it is a general rule nor can we assume that all married people by large are not happy, but we also need to acknowledge that devastating marriages and divorce threats are on the rise. This in fact triggers so many questions and make us begin to wonder why. Is it because people fall out of love? Does the pile of responsibilities and house chores discussion kill the romance? What is it really that makes a marriage take a drift down?
The answers to these question are found in many underlying problems and indicators that we turn a blind eye to, or maybe fail to notice.
Getting to the root cause, the choice.
To many, marriage is a checklist, not just a matter of love and compatibility. Further illustrating, a man decides that a woman is a wife material based on her household capabilities, her limited exposure to past relationships, and the willingness to minimize her outgoing social life to focus her attention on the household, the husband and the kids.
On the other hand, a woman finds a man a good husband material based on his social status, and his capabilities for financing a luxurious life filled with Instagram-inspired vacation destinations and fancy gifts.
So basically, some people put so much effort finding the spouse that conforms to all societal norms and beliefs, and forget to ask themselves if this is the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with, happily!
Marriage is not a decision you take just because you need to settle, or in fear of growing old alone. Marriage is a lasting commitment to a partner not because they tick all the boxes in your checklist, but because if you had to choose again, you will still choose this person every day for the rest of your life.
We treat marriage as the end goal, not the beginning of a new journey.
Not to generalize, but it has become very common recently in Egypt that couples devote so much of their time and energy on planning the wedding and the honeymoon, and once they tie the knot they seal deal without discussing how they can maintain a happy marriage. Stating a fact here, marriage is not the end of the journey, it is the beginning of so much more to come.
Like everything in life, marriage needs care and hard work; and for it to last happily, it needs to be nurtured. Think of it that way, can you earn that promotion you want badly without having to work hard and go the extra mile at times? The answer is no. The same is with relationships and marriage, there have to be dedication, devotion, and care, day in and day out.
A happy marriage is not something you find. It is something you have to build and create.
First and foremost, you will not create happy marriage if you and your partner are not on the same wavelength, so yes compatibility is key. Your perspective on life, your values, and your goals need to be aligned, otherwise each one will be moving in a different direction.
Stating the obvious, it is totally delusional not to admit that there are challenges every marriage can face, but it boils down to how you choose to deal with them, and whether you both are willing to set your ego aside and try to find middle grounds. It is only through understanding, harmony, compromise, and unshaken love that the road feels less bumpy.
In conclusion, marriage, like everything else in life, is not always rainbows and butterflies, there will always be downs, but it is a matter of how you choose to deal with these challenging moments; will you both put in the same effort to ride out the storm?
Before you decide to get married to a person, you need to be confident that this is the person you want to grow old with, the person you want to make life with, and the person you want to be with through thick and thin.
Look beyond the wedding and the honeymoon phase and ask yourself if you are willing to accept your partner at their worst.
Have honest conversations before marriage on having and raising kids, managing your financials, career goals, shared responsibilities and chores, how you’ll handle fights, and the deal breakers.
Communication is key, and respect is a main pillar. Be transparent with one another, kind to one another, and compassionate with one another.
Do life together the way that makes you both happy, not the way that would please your families and society.