Every time the issue of marriage comes up among single to stupor people, the idea of ‘fear’ as a reason for not wanting to or not being eager for marriage is always tossed around like a handy felele ball.
- “Oh my God, I am so scared of getting married.”
- “So many marriages are failing these days, I don’t want to take the chance.”
- “I would rather stay single than get into a bad marriage.”
And so on and so forth.
For some, they have experience behind them: their parents’ marriage either failed or was so bad that it scarred them for life. Others have family and friends who went through bad experiences. Others read the divorce pages too much. Others are simply looking for an excuse for their singleness; let someone remotely eligible come close to them, the ‘fear’ will evaporate.
There are a lot of successful marriages around. Single people are beginning to forget that. The glorification of the failed marriage is becoming a ‘thing’. Divorce is becoming the only option.
“If it’s not working out, I’ll just get my things and move.”
For the first almost eighteen years of my life, I didn’t have an idea what a successful marriage looked like or what it took to work. I had some ideas, from fiction and from church couples (who everyone knows have perfected the art of the ‘perfect marriage’ outside. ‘How is married life?’ ‘It’s wonderful, we thank God.’). I didn’t even have the ‘bad’ so I didn’t know what was expected or what not to do.
As an adult I am even more clueless. Yes, I have read a lot of articles and spoken to a lot of married people, but the only thing I have come away with is that every marriage is unique. What works for A might not work for B; but it might work for C, even though B and C seem to have almost identical situations.
A friend of mine always says the only person you have any control over is you. The only person that determines your feelings is you. Every time you let someone else’s experience dictate for you what your life will be, you are relinquishing control.
What are you really afraid of?
- That your marriage will become loveless in five years?
- That once the kids come, the excitement in the marriage will wane and you’ll become ‘Papa and Mama Ebuka’?
- That you will have to make some sacrifices?
- That you will lose your identity?
- That you will be emotionally or physically abused?
- That one or both of you will cheat?
- That one of you will die?
The presence of fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing and I cannot say to you, don’t be afraid or something equally trite.
What I can say is do not let your fear blind you to the possibilities of a lifetime of rich and happy experiences with someone else.
Every time you look at a failed marriage or hear a sad story, you have to remember that they are not you. Learn from them and move on determined not to make the same mistakes. Let what you have learnt guide you in dating and courtship.
Do your part.
Some of the people I admire the most are people who got divorced, especially after terrible experiences, and went ahead to re-marry. It takes a lot of guts to get back on that bike after falling the first time.
Dear single pringle who is afraid of marriage, you’re not alone.