August 1 is my parents' anniversary. As of this year, they have been married for thirty-fucking-seven years and I have no idea how they remained together for that long. They tied the knot when they were both nineteen years old.
Again, I have no clue how people could remain being married for such a long time or for that matter, to be married at the first place. I see no imminent prospect of me jumping on that marriage bandwagon in this near future.
Unless, on one fateful day, God point out to me and say 'Thou shalt get married'. That one, I can't contest.
I've expressed my lack of intention for marriage to my mom on several occasions but she never seemed to get it. I'm happy for anyone who chose the married life than the single life but I never seemed to fully grasp the very significance of it just yet.
I'm not one of those people who see marriage as the final path for the ultimate happiness in life. Screw that. If I want to be happy, I'll be happy - not because of some irrelevant society dogma.
It's unfair to say those who chose to remain free and single, to pick career over children as a selfish, ignorant lot. Same goes to those who prefer the marriage life; it's not so wise to immediately say they are unselfish at all in their life-changing decision.
I'm a terrible Muslim and I openly admit it - though it's not something I'm proud of. Yet, I still know the humongous responsibilities that come with it. Marriage isn't just for fun. It's not just as a license to freely have sex with your spouse without being caught. It's not just about the ability to split the bills between two paychecks. It's way more than that.
Being married is to no longer act as an individual but as a unit, from the day you take the oath until....well, you get the idea. It is a small 'organization' where you no longer act for yourself but for the best of the firm. Thus, you no longer have the prerogative to put yourself first like you did during your single days as in a marriage, your decisions and the actions you exert have impacts on your spouse, and even children (for better or for worse).
Thus, it wouldn't be wise to say 'I have to do this because I'm a human after all and I have my OWN needs' in a marriage. This is the one which really gets me going. I mean, come on, if you are so peculiar about your own needs, why bother getting married and let your other half suffer back at home? Don't they have needs too?
Marriage is a big deal and when it comes to this, I don't have (mind you) balls to commit because I know what I am capable of. I know where I stand and I am fully aware of my limitations. Thus, marriage is a no-no for me.
I asked my mom how she managed to pull herself together and build a family during this last 37 years. She told me, it took a lot of effort, compromising, sacrifice and perseverance. This response resonates with a line from the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (I'll discuss more about this book once I'm done with it):
"In that moment, it was as if my strong mother reached across the table, opened her fist and finally showed me the handful of bullets she'd had to bite over the decades in order to stay happily married to my father - and she was happily married to my father."
To sum it up, I have acknowledged my inability to lead another person in my life but maybe that might change in the future. But to those who have been married, I congratulate you with a very serious note to take a good care of your family and by 'good care', I don't mean just the food, the bills and the ice-cream on weekends. It's about being faithful, committed, togetherness and most importantly, respect.
If you have chosen to tie the knot, don't complain about the tension.