Monday, January 23, 2012

Wedding VS. Marriage

What is this disease that is plaguing our young women of Zanzibar? Why is the only main ambition they have is getting married before they reach 20??? Have you gone to Forodhani and see teenage girls and how they are acting? Have you gone to the schools and listen to what they talk about? Indeed this is an era whereby virginity is not dignity, it is just a lack of opportunity. It angers me to have a young girl who has barely finished form II or IV and they want to get married, to an older man or her sweetheart. If they marry within the same age gap the chances are the divorce will come through in six months or less. If they get married as second wives, the chances of staying married are a bit higher. 

As I contemplate about what makes them choose this road, I would like to conclude that most of them think that marriage and wedding are synonymous; or that a husband and a boyfriend are the same thing - and these two notions couldn't be more different. Ah! The beauty of puppy-love, of lying to parents to get a pretext to go out and meet that special guy for a few moments, both of you hungry for each-other, leave with a mistaken idea that is how it will always be. Thus basking in the euphoria of the honeymoon phase of the relationship, the youngsters decide that they want nothing more than to get married. 

Marriage is not a word- its a sentence. Living together with any person requires high degree of tolerance and patience, yet the children think they know all the answers, they are sure of their love, they don't want to listen to anyone else other than the sound of their own voices. The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality but must live with the character. The result is as you see it everywhere, single parents who are children themselves, newly divorced couples who are still madly in love with each other, divorced kids who are given free reign and they wreck havoc in other people's marriages. Someone should sit these kids down from the get-go and let them know that a marriage is not all the glitz and glamour that is depicted on the wedding day. The mundane reality of living together tests your love in more ways than you can imagine. When you have children, that bond gets tested even more. I feel helpless when I see kids who are soo keen to be grownup- they don't act their age, when you get here, you will see that it is not at all how you imagined it will be.

Yet, back in the bygone days when our parents got married, things were totally different. It was common for a 15 year old to get married. Parents arrange everything, and the girl may come back from school or from playing and get told that they are getting married the next day. The notion of love, drama and relationships did not exist back then as they do now - and marriages lasted for 30 or 50 years. It begs the question on why it hold to be true for marriages nowadays.One can argue that the situation is totally different, as a friend aptly summed it that we "live in an era where losing an iPhone has a huge impact in your life than losing your virginity".

I believe that what counts in making a happy marriage is not how compatible you are - but how you deal with incompatibility. Finally I want to add that all marriages are happy, its the living together afterwards that causes all the trouble. 


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