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Read Letter

Don’t Go Into This Thing

My dear Jil, I was talking to a dear friend the other day and she told me as soon as she said “I do” she knew she had made a horrible mistake. That’s a terrible realisation on a wedding day. It’s sad to know that you just signed an agreement that will bring you grief. I wondered how she felt from that moment on, what her expectations were for the marriage. But of course such thoughts are swallowed up by festivities, until the next day when you’re alone with yourself. You wonder what you’ve done. Before that moment the momentum associated with planning a wedding carried her forward. The picking of wedding gown, the design of the cake, the enthusiasm of parents… These things can carry an apprehensive bride to the altar.

 After the wedding there’s the wedding night, the honeymoon, getting back, arranging a new home… These things can drown contemplation. If there’s immediate pregnancy that will also carry forth the marriage. The expected child takes over the thought realm. Welcoming the child into the world becomes a consuming narrative. That will last nine months. And after the child is born new realities set in. The bride becomes mother. She now wears three crowns – she as herself, as wife and mum. But the concentration will be on her roles as mum and wife. It’s a new marriage. As the child grows new demands are created. Various stages of adaptation are thus required of both husband and wife. These expectations do of course suppress critical thought about the marriage. The baby takes over completely. This explains why a fundamental problem in a marriage can be kicked down the line – the issue postponed because both parties are too busy adapting to new roles. But at some point into the marriage those issues will raise their ugly head. It may be five years down the line, it may be ten years down the line. And sometimes the issues are impatient. They subsume all else and insist on being heard. That’s how a young marriage can begin with so much trouble. The couple begins to fight.
Women are intuitive. They can sense things clairvoyantly. They intuitively know who’s right for them and who’s not. They do the choosing despite appearances. They do so by making themselves open to a prospect. When a guy isn’t right for her a woman intuitively knows. But some imagine they can make it work despite the facts. They begin to do editorial work on the obvious issues. For example if the guy is lazy the woman may decide she can take care of the needs of both. Or imagine things will change down the line – that the responsibility of marriage will awaken something in the guy. The woman begins to make excuses for the guy. And sometimes she’s lost in the euphoria of starting a relationship. If she’s been long without one she may overwrite his deficiencies. Sometimes it’s because she wants to show society she’s not been left on the shelf, prove she had a plan all along – that it’s her high standard that slowed down her matrimony.
One can easily land in that justification mode when there’s pride. Pride does not allow us admit the obvious, even to ourselves. It makes us rewrite history to suit our narrative. And some go into a wrong union because they have an agenda. They’re ready to overlook every warning signal for that agenda. If the guy is targeted the agenda will overwrite commonsense. In a month or two you will be at the altar, with a man you don’t want, a man you have unease about. You have a premonition, a feeling of unease about this proposed union. The wise thing is not to proceed into a marriage you have serious doubts about. And you have serious fears about this union. Therefore don’t go into it. It doesn’t matter how much preparation has been made, or how committed your parents are… If you know you’re not going to be happy don’t go into the marriage. You know it’s amazing how a young woman can play with her life. Young men do too. When you go into a marital union you already knew will result in a catastrophe you’re playing with your life. When I say playing with your life I don’t necessarily mean you’re going to die, though there have been many instances of such fatal endings with disturbed partners. If you have a violent boyfriend who’s used to bashing you the marriage will be a continuum. If your boyfriend displays a violent temperament you should think twice about going into marriage with him. “I do” does not cure temperament. Even if such a guy doesn’t beat you there’s the prospect of emotional abuse. A wedding ceremony does not confer character on someone. You come with your character to the altar and leave with your character.
The wedding suit does not change temperament, even if it’s a cool colour. Neither can it change character. When you know a guy is going to bash you physically or emotionally don’t proceed to marriage. It doesn’t matter how much money he has, or how many cars he has. Those things won’t save you. You already have premonition about this wedding. You know you’re not going to be happy. If you go into it you’re playing with your life. No one exits a marriage the same. You’re processed. Some are so bitter coming out of a marriage. The bile inside them has ruptured, poisoning every aspect of their life. They begin to view life bitterly. Why would you allow a man do that to you – turn you into bitter leaf? When you’re embittered in marriage it takes the grace of God to get over it. So why subject yourself to social experimentation by going into what you know will be a bitter marriage? You already know what the outcome will be.
Some marriages are so bad the wife is so depressed she can’t summon strength to rise up from bed in the morning. All her energy is drained away. Depression is horrible. A wise man sees danger ahead and quickly makes a detour. A foolish man plunges ahead. You can see unhappiness ahead if you go into this marriage. Should you still plunge ahead? Because you’re young there are some things you can’t readily appreciate about life. You don’t know the value of happiness in marriage for example. The opposite of marital happiness is not unhappiness, it is depression. May you not know depression.
Depression is seeking to get out of a tumultuous marriage and you don’t know the way to the door. It is seeing the exit door in a horrible marriage and you can see piles of body blocking the exit. Depression is wanting to get out of a horrible marriage and you lack the strength to even take the necessary walk. Depression is not, “I’m feeling sad.” Depression is your brain being fried with the ooze of unhappiness. You can literally smell it. It’s a Silence of the Lambs movie scene. Depression is something crawling all over your body, something irritating you, so much so you pull your clothes off you and everyone begins to wonder. Depression is your energy totally drained out of you, no energy left to even process the thought.
Now, you understand why I said you’re playing with your life going into a marriage you already know will result in unhappiness. There is something called the foolishness of youth. It is very empowering. It makes a young man or woman venture into the unknown – the terra incognita. But then there are known unknowns. And there are unknown knowns. Plunging into a potentially bad marriage is an unknown known. You already know what awaits you. What is unknown is how you’ll react to the trauma.
Go and meet your dad and tell him you don’t want to go on with the marriage. No good dad will insist you go into an emotionally ruinous marriage. It doesn’t matter the euphoria already generated about the union. It doesn’t matter if your mum and his mum already formed Ladies Progressive Society and chosen aso ebi. If you’re not going to be happy don’t do the marriage. This is about your happiness, your life and wellbeing. A bad marriage will affect you seriously. Very seriously. If he impresses your mum but doesn’t impress you, you shouldn’t go into it. Your mum is not going to marry him, you are. The wedding is one day. The marriage is eternity. When a marriage is full of happiness eternity is too short. When a marriage is full of unhappiness a minute will seem like eternity. You will have regret upon regret if you willy-nilly go into a union you can manifestly see will lead to unhappiness. You’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
My job is to tell you the truth, give you wisdom, warn you of dangers ahead. Your job is to heed or not to heed. You can volunteer your life to either wisdom or foolishness. But my conscience is clear.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder |
The wedding suit does not change temperament, even if it’s a cool colour. Neither can it change character. Click To Tweet
Tags : Wedding, choosing a spouse, About to wed, marital decisions

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