Friday, May 18, 2007

What is this thing called marriage?

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What is this thing called marriage?
“Beliefs are chains used to enslave free minds. No chains of steel ever bound a mind tighter than chains made of beliefs. While a man may willfully struggle against chains of steel which he can see and feel, few can see or realize the need to struggle against chains made of their beliefs, and many a slave was kept a slave by the belief they were somehow free.”

It was Victoria Revay’s highlighted post that set up these reflections. I should say provoked because in marriage, the male partner has become severely diminished. He is diminished by the Church, the State and that very community to which he proclaims himself king. Women and those laws that secure them in marriage have been known to bring down kings and presidents. The very basis for a man/woman relationship disables him; a thing called ‘love’ that is ever elusive and so completely partial to womanhood. Even the expression ‘she’s the weaker sex’ is designed to empty her male partner of self-worth and composure. It’s quite like saying you can play Hercules but leave the serious thinking to me. Why do men have to be anything less than who they are in the presence of a lady? Sweetheart, will you marry me? Well, get on your knees and beg like every other man does! A proposition, an offer and a response that belittles my affection for her, even in jest.

This man/woman thing has become such a fetish and marriage clearly some factory. Most times we find ourselves thinking like business men minding some corporate account. I hope I can make enough money to keep her happy and make her stay. I hope she won’t give me a bunch of kids to crawl all over the peace and quiet of my home and empty my pockets.. You get home and there’s a big grin and a warm hug, you start to worry, you know something is not right here. You don’t really know how but you do, then she tells you (still wearing that seductive grin) “Laura got a new car today. David is such a prince!” David would be your next door neighbor. Uh! There’s that headache again. Look at how she’s throwing away my money already, I’ll be damned if I get her that new car! She’s pregnant again!? I’m never going to let her know I have some money. Sh#t! She’s taken over my damned home; where are my f#@king stockings?!! This migraine is killing me. God! I need a drink! My friend would always say “Women are not emancipating they are taking over.” But why that curve, what’s the competition? Taking over what? Then he says stuff like they’ve got our cash in the bank, they’ve got our homes, the cars, jewelries … you know, like they stole the stuff in the first place. And I tell him; no, they don’t, you gave it to them! Clearly, the ownership issue is most overwhelming here and marriage a most expensive venture almost always from the man’s perspective.

Just sit next to any two guys at a pub or buy the lost looking man a drink and then listen to his woes; it’s spelt w-o-m-a-n. And it cuts both ways, ditto the woman; her problems are spelt m-a-n! But when and how did it get like this? It has become like electricity on the boil; so much hurt and dead chemistry, stress. Why are ladies such a trophy? Why do they get all the attention (the flowers, diamond rings, cars and even homes)? Why is it the more ‘love’ you show some woman the sooner she goes off whining to her friends that you’re never home? Why do they consider every show of affection in marriage a bribe intended to shield some soon to be discovered ‘misconduct’? Why is marriage such a business transaction? Why do people feel this incredible urge to compel and regulate that union? And what are all the ceremonies that surround marriage about? It’s all so extensive and tedious! Why does the modern man still thrive on the formalities and superstitions of an unenlightened age and subject my present being to the laws of an uncultured era which ran amok centuries ago; a time when men bought women off the shelf, kept them like any other household possession and beheaded them for adultery. Why must marriage make some woman my possession or Ego her prisoner? Why can’t we both just walk away from a bad union the same way we came into that relationship? Why has it all of a sudden become everybody’s business what we get up to as two consenting adults?

What is this thing called marriage? What defines it? Is it the consummation of an affair in church or the act of wrapping some blink-blink and expensive metal around the finger? Does it endure by legal fiat or for fear of the punishment that follows? What is the State’s or Church’s business in a relationship between two consenting adults whereas a crime has not been committed or indulged in? Why should the Church’s role exceed the customary role of offering its blessings to the consummation of a union? Today, I’m being told how many kids I can have, how many wives I can marry or can marry me and how many affairs two consenting adults can possibly have, and who with, in and outside marriage.

Sex between two consenting adults is purely a natural function, like eating or sleeping! It is a vital input in the determination and desire for a permanent union, in addition of course, to other intrinsic and external factors. There is an animal instinct, natural and inherent in all humans, to explore and sex is that plant which buds fondness and ‘love’ to bond into some form of relationship. The folly in regulating the ensuing union is that, by its very intensity, it is more a thing of the heart than the head. In such a situation, regulatory laws can only be an entrapment. You simply can’t get punished for playing a little harder than others! When it does become a thing of the head, the glow is diminished with the passion and ‘love’ in it, the very intensity that drives and sustains it, gets buried as calculated and measured responses take over. Those creative instincts which flavor a natural relationship get encumbered. The fire dies for the cat and mouse game to begin. How is it that the State doesn’t tell me who to marry but determines when a partner can leave or who he/she can be with during marriage? Promiscuity ought to be the proof-finale of a failed marriage and not grounds for getting out of it with the richer partner’s take. It should be the act to trigger a no-fault separation and the very conduct that shows I’ve walked!

What laws do is to conceal those natural reflexes that show and tell to help in that decision to commit and continue or not, in the said relationship. It takes away one’s observation post as partners are subdued and compelled under the threat of punishment to fake good behavior. It leads to diabolical contrivances, murder and suicide, for both parties. In truth, it’s the incentive that brings about the desire to profit from an ill-considered indulgence, that is what marriage is, in its entire nakedness, the indulgence of both parties in another.

Yes, we may bring issues of child support and custody before the courts but only as far as it leads to the equitable dispensation of that matter for the child. Not as grounds that try to evidence and fault my role in that relationship. It should extend only to the conveniences that best serve the child and considerations which provide a better home for that child. Why should promiscuity be held against me whereas it’s the pull of my natural instincts that drives me away from a foolish union? The consideration ought to be who is best suited to provide a better home for the child given their resources, safety and well-being of that said child. Marriage is the illusion of a perfect union and partners; a fairy tale. To persist in it, without comfort, is illusionary but true joy comes, married or not, from that fusion of comfort and affection; the warmth in being together, true love. The man and woman that find it have found an uncommon thing and shall know no greater joy but the presence of God.

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