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Read Letter

Three Common Errors

My dear Jil, here are three common errors concerning marriage. I hope you avoid them.

The first error is the myth of marriage as a difficult thing – that it’s MEANT to be difficult. It’s a lie. That lie has been passed on from generation to generation. It’s gained credence and gathered moss with each passing. The very existence of very happy marriages assaults the veracity of this myth. Don’t adopt it as a philosophy. The myth persists because no one questioned its premises
It is a myth created by avoidable factors, like wrong choice of partner. The danger in buying into the philosophy of the myth is that it makes you progress a glaringly difficult relationship into marriage. And so the myth becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that reinforces itself, which is then passed on to the next generation. You will assimilate physical abuse by subscribing to this philosophy. You’ll preach endurance to yourself.

Don’t buy into the philosophy of marriage as pain. It’s why love must be present in a marriage. If you love someone you can’t abuse them physically or emotionally. Or we’ll need to redefine love. Once there are certain subtractions in a marriage, like love, your ship will arrive at difficult and negative shores. If a relationship is not going to work, don’t advance it down the altar. Forcefully progressing a bad relationship into marriage will not make it born again. Marriage is not MEANT to be difficult. If it is, it loses meaning. It’s meant to be full of joy, love, peace and happiness. Don’t buy into pain and unhappiness philosophy of marriage.

The second common mistake in marriage is the clinging to own family by the parties instead of spouse. The man then becomes beholden to his family and the bride to hers. That marriage won’t succeed. There is no locus in the relationship. Instead there are external loci. The marriage will be pulled hither and thither by the opinions of the two families. The couple will not be able to agree. Everything they discuss will be subject to ratification by both families. Or the principal movers in the families. It is the anatomy of a disaster. And it pits couples against each other. There will be no bond. It sometimes stems from lack of trust in the new marriage, or a tradition of always deferring to family. Family is known, but the new partner is a relatively unknown quantity, the reasoning goes. And family is “insurance.”

Again, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy since doubt and fear are already planted in the marriage. There’s no faith. Such marriages can’t work. It is not for nothing that God said the man should leave his family and cleave to his wife. To cleave is to adhere firmly and closely, and unwaveringly. It’s a simple resolute decision. It’s the only way to shield the marriage and new family from takeover artists and corporate raiders. They’ll dismantle the marriage and pick off the pieces as trophy. It’s been going on for generations. No cleaving, no oneness. Of course this instruction from God flies in the face of certain cultural philosophies, particularly traditional culture. Those cultures hold strongly the view that the wife is a mere procreative agency, and so disposable. If your spouse believes in such a philosophy, the marriage is over before it’s begun. What if there are no children!

And there are mothers who stubbornly insist their sons are their husband. This is often the case if she’s widowed, or that child is her favourite. And so she begins to contest for his affection with his wife. The marriage becomes a tug of war. And as far the mother-in-law is concerned the children of that marriage are hers! It’s biological touting. It’s a forcible appropriation with the whiff of witchcraft – a very evil and selfish agenda. She’ll never allow the marriage be. If your spouse can’t resist such a program, that marriage will breed unhappiness for you. A man ought to resist propagation of selfish and destructive philosophies if he wants a happy marriage. Mum as contending “spouse” is one of such destructive philosophies. It ought to be resisted, vehemently. Mum is mum, wife is wife. The two must not be confused, or it will wreck a marriage.

Another common error is moving into the groom’s family house after marriage. Even if your mother-in-law is most benevolent, it’s a wrong-headed practice. The marriage will not have room for proprietary expression and consolidation. You’ll be constrained as a wife. You’re essentially borrowing a kitchen, borrowing a bath and borrowing a bedroom. A couple must have its own home, not stay in the house of in-laws. If you can’t afford a home of your own it just means you’re not ready for marriage. Get your own home. What you think you’re saving in financial terms will cost you dearly in emotional terms if you move in with your in-laws. You think you have free accommodation but you’ll soon learn a vital lesson: Nothing in life is free! Life runs its own economics. And you know sometimes you say these things and people gainsay you, fighting wisdom and obvious sense. And then the consequences come and they begin to write you for advice. But by that time a horrific price would have been paid – prices they can’t afford. Marriage makes direct use of your life. When things go wrong you pay with your life. Solomon says a wise man sees danger ahead and makes preventive maneuver. But some people see danger ahead and begin to imagine themselves super men and women.

If you can at least get your choice of partner right, you’ll eliminate about 50% of potential evil. From Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, we know clay and iron don’t cleave. The forces of life shatter the combine. Like must come together, iron with iron – or how will iron sharpen iron. Beware of these three errors.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Family, Marriage, in laws

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