Sunday, November 29, 2009

Myth #2: It Takes Two (Fair Is Fair!)

"Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant."
- John Updike

Not everyone will marry. That's a fact we must learn to live with.

If you are one person with a rather acute sense of fairness and equality, the institution of marriage might just not be for you; unless you are prepared to chuck some of those ideals out the windows. Marriage, by its very nature is steeped in inequalities. In fact, that's what makes marriage unique.

A marriage is not a partnership, it is a union.

That is why the very idea of a pre-nuptial agreement totally negates the idea of marriage. Unless of course its a business arrangement.

Someone once defined a marriage as like the relationship between a statue and a pigeon. The pigeon perches on the statue and shits on it and what not; the statue does not seem to complain -at least not openly. If you are in a marriage, on some days you are the pigeon, on some other days you are the statue. Live with it.

It is not possible for two people to love each other equally, one must love the other more -at different times in the life of the relationship. Whatever the reasons for getting married, of necessity, one must need the other more.

A clergyman friend of mine once told me this: It does not take two people to make a marriage work, success in marriage depends on the 'Power of One'. At any point in a successful marriage, one person is giving more, doing more, being more for both of them but because of the deliberate opacity of marriage, people on the outside do not usually see this.

Examples abound of this for me and I believe you have a few examples of your own too.

My friend Chinedu works in telecoms with an annual salary of about N4m, his wife Amarachi works in a bank with take home close to N3m per annum. They are from similar family backgrounds, children of retired civil servants. They have two beautiful children.

Nedu and I have been friends like forever; our families are like 5 and 6. I know that he pays the rent, the children's school fees and other fees around the house including feeding money. His siblings go to public schools - his kid sister is in LASU while the brother is in secondary school. Nedu pays their fees too because his parents are retired.

Sometime in 2006, Nedu's mum had to queue in the sun at LASUTH, Ikeja in order to get the free eye surgery for cataract removal sponsored by the government of Bola Tinubu, she also got a free pair of glasses. I know these because I drove her there.

Amara's brother is in Covenant University and she pays the fees. Her two sisters are in private secondary schools. Sometime last year, her employers sponsored a vacation for the famly in the UK. She went with her Dad and the children. Her Dad actually went for a comprehensive medical check-up in London and was treated for some minor ailments while there. Amara paid for it.

For some time, I used to think that the marriage was not fair to my friend. Until one day it hit me, Nedu had never complained to me! For as long he was happy in his marriage whatever the configuration, it was not any of my business.

Marriage is an eternal work-in-progress, a perpetual balancing act.

Marriages fail when one person decides that its not worth it anymore.


Azazel said...

I like how u came to the conclusion that never for once had ur friend nedu complained. Awesome post

sweetness said...

nice post
like most things in life
its not a failure except u give up on it

Original Mgbeke said...

Very very insightful post. I enjoyed reading it...truth be told, I think that a lot of us imagine marriage to be some kind of happily ever after fairy tale but experience na the real teacher o.

2cute4u said...

Intriguing.. thats what you post is.It makes you want to argue,but then again,you hold back from doing that cus it just seems so plausible.well put.. your opinion that is,.. I'm impressed.

ibiluv said...

not everyone will marry

true but scary

Myne Whitman said...

Hmmm, is it me or is the title off? It does take two I think. And to your story, and summation, I totally agree. Once one of the parties complains, what's the outsider's own?

aloted said...

u r right marriage is a union...

if both parties are not complaining we should mind our business.

great post! compliments of the season

FFF said...

this is so true abt marriages! so true!

Myne Whitman said...

Been a while, hope you and yours are OK? Take care now...

rethots said...

"It is not possible for two people to love each other equally,....of necessity, one must need the other more." at different times.

A very interesting piece, idea well expressed.

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