12 July 2011

No alternatives, just work at it.

So much is changing in our society. I read the Saturday Standard with awe. So now women, both married and single are freely seeking for options when they do not get fulfillment in their relationships. And these options come in all sizes and shapes.Was even more amazed to read a follow up article that was in agreement with this. That makes me wonder, what has gone wrong with the marriage institution nowadays.
Growing up, we were taught to believe that marriage was for as long a both partners were alive. I grew up seeing couples who were not-so-perfect struggle to make their marriages work. And yes I believe that their patience bore fruit. And some happy children too.
I think that people are giving up too soon on their partners. Given, it cannot be easy, two entirely different individuals coming together and expecting harmony from day one. Obviously this calls for work. It means that anyone who is open to commit should be ready to shoulder responsibility as well. By that I mean that even when what one gets is not exactly what they expected, they should not throw in the towel. Maybe everyone should pay more attention to the vows they make at the marriage altar. For better or for worse.  This might mean that you marry this handsome hunk who makes your heart flip every time you look into his eyes who gets involved in an accident and is not as appealing as before. Or this beautiful girl you cannot wait to take to meet mother who you discover is more keen on her friends than she is to be with  you. Could be even worse.
What then, do you seek other ways of finding happiness although still remaining with your partner?
One thing that is for sure is that there is no way of working out a relationship if the word alternative jumps to mind at every disappointment. If I am getting fulfillment elsewhere, why bother with what does not work for me. And that marks the down way for any relationship. I believe we all need to be constantly reminded that relationships are lots of work. That was well catered for within the African culture. Take this for instance.
A girl has just turned nine. She is encouraged to visit with her grandmother more. Or her paternal auntie. On such visits, the girl is groomed to do major house hold chores. She knows to fetch essentials for the family needs. She learns to cook the traditional foods too. She sees auntie prepare food that is full of energy and not necessarily appealing. In the evening, she gets to help out serving uncle with the evening meal. She watches him heartily enjoying the meal and thank auntie for the wonderful cooking. Soon uncle is sleepy but still manages to catch up on the day's happenings with auntie. Little girl learns that a satisfied man is a happy man.
Mary, for that is the girls' name turns twelve. It is time to learn about birds and bees. Auntie takes up the role effortlessly any time Mary comes to visit her. She talks to her about men. Tells her what makes a man happy. She tells Mary how important it is for a man to get acknowledgement from his wife. Mary learns to make food that is worth to be served to a hungry hard working man. She watches her auntie keep her mouth shut on the occasions that her husband comes home in a foul mood. It appears to her that her auntie, just like mother back home knows how to appease an angry man.  Auntie goes on with her chores. Mary learns that silence is golden sometimes.
At 21 Mary is all grown up and ready to start her own family. She has with her a wealth of knowledge on what she is about to step into. She is well ready for the good and the bad times. After all, she has seen instances like these before and knows how to go about it. This does not guarantee that her marriage will be problem free but she knows how to go about issues. After all, auntie and mum still uphold their marriages even when things get tough.
Mary is well adjusted in her marriage. Though she is a modern woman, with a job of her own she knows that her happiness comes from a firm marriage. She will do all that she can to make it work. She is well adjusted for the task. There is no turning back and no way of letting the marriage fail. Mary knows from experience that when she makes her husband happy she will be happy herself. You can only get what you give.
In today's life, we lack real and down -to-earth models for the girls. Today's woman learns about relationships from watching television. She lacks the experience of actually watching someone struggle to make their relationship work. And so the girl grows up lacking the necessary skills to uphold a relationship. And she is not to be blamed for that. After all, with the changing times, what time is there to even go visit and learn from others.
The cracks begin to show soon. Unlike Mary, today's girl believes in finding a home ready for occupation. With minimum effort from her. She believes that happiness awaits her in a relationship. With minimum effort. And so when that does not happen she is fast to go seeking it elsewhere. After all, isn't she responsible for her own? Thus the influx of foreign ideologies to happiness. Today's woman is going roundabout looking for happiness. Forgetting that happiness takes effort. Just like everything else in life.
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2:41:00 PMby tulip
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