Monday, November 23, 2009

Myth #1: Its All About You!

"When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the very angels desert heaven and come and sit in the house and sing for joy." - Brahma Sutra

People get married for so many reasons.

Some marry for love. Some marry for money. Some marry for security. Some marry for comfort. Some marry for positioning. Some marry for the baby. Some even marry for the wedding.

Usually, we all have our idea of a dream marriage (or dream wedding) and this idea/wish forms the basis of our 'reasons' for getting married but we mostly keep our 'reasons' to ourselves. We play our games right up until the wedding (or after) without the other person suspecting a thing. Then we settle down to 'live the dream'.

Problem is: We expect the other person to fit perfectly into our dream. And they don't. Then we get mad and wonder if we married the wrong person. Truth is, we married the right person for our 'reasons'. But then, our 'reasons' may have changed.

After all, he still owns that same airline and earns that same fantastic income as when you were courting and it fitted right into your 'reasons'. She's still the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 1974 and she still earns good money from endorsements. She's still the daughter of Lord Rumblesbottom with all her Dad's connections. Besides, the PT stick still shows positive.

Nothing has really changed. Or has it? For one, you are now Mrs. Rumblesbottom-Ugbodikoko. But the change is more than in the name.

At the point you get married, everything changes. It is so subtle and you might have missed it but it happened. You may wake up to it the morning after or a year later, but it happened.

Since I came to this realization, I have watched wedding officiators try to explain something to the couples they wed. They try to tell them about the 'Divine Equation'; some times they fumble IMO and even when they get it right, the couples just don't get it.

The Divine Equation can be expressed as 1+1=1. Simple, abi?

I have seen some Pastors using the 'leave to cleave' passage from Genesis to explain this. Some have even used it to justify their arguments against hyphenated surnames - since they are supposed to become the mythical 'one'.

I don't want to go spiritual here but let me just say that the Divine Equation states that at the point of marriage between two people (usually a man and a woman), a third entity is formed. That entity is the Marriage.

From the moment they are married, the Marriage takes precedence over and above the constituent parts. It really does not matter who or what you were before, when you marry, you work at the Marriage. People shouldn't see you any longer rather they should see the Marriage.

People - especially Africans - will stop asking about your job, car or house once you are married. After 'How are you?' they ask about your spouse or the children. From then on it is about the Marriage. Remember, 1+1=1.

Does this mean that you lose your self in marriage? No. It means you are willing to submit of yourself in marriage. Remember, all former documents remain valid.

Some people say marriage is sacrifice. I don't agree wholly. Sacrifice can be forced. You can be made to sacrifice even against your will. Marriage is about submission. Its about what you are willing to give; about acceptance from the power of choice not a resignation from powerlessness.

The Marriage is only as strong as what both parties in it are willing to submit. If either or both gives 0.9 then it can't be 1+1=1. If he has $1 billion but is only willing to submit $900 million to the Marriage, beware. If she starts giving you conditions before she can be called Mrs. Rumblesbottom-Ugbodikoko, beware.

Think about the most successful marriages you know and try to decipher what either party in the marriage is doing to make the marriage work. If you can, then the marriage is not as strong as it appears. When a marriage is successful, it looks effortless. Its like they are doing nothing.

In reality, they are doing nothing. The Marriage they have built does it all for them.

It is really not about you. Neither is it about you too. Its about the Marriage.

Live with it.



"we married the right person for our 'reasons'. But then, our 'reasons' may have changed."

How very true.

The word "submission" always makes my skin crawl, especially when the woman is the only one expected to submit. But reading your post, I can understand how the term actually makes sense for both parties.

Nice post.

For the love of me said...

Very very very very well said. Like solomonsydelle, I am wary about that word submission but it worked here as you meant it for both parties.

Azazel said...

So true @ our reasons may have changed.
@ SOlomon.
The bible does say that women should submit.

Myne Whitman said...

Azazel, the bible says submit to each other.

Nice one NIMMO, I agree on this one but only up to a point. 1 + 1 = 1 true, but the focus should not be only on the result or some of us independent people will feel stifled. The componenents should also be allowed to be themselves. In other words, there should be a balance between both sides of the equation.

Tatababe said...

Very nicely put....

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Sydelle: I believe we always marry the right person but sometimes for the wrong reasons.

Maybe that's why Yoruba people say 'You do not marry a bad wife, only bad in-laws'. And I say, if any will complain about his/her spouse, let him/her check him/herself.

I sincerely hope more people will come to this understanding about submission. Times have changes. A lot.

Many thanx for your comments.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@FortheLove: LOL!! If only women have the chance to revise the 'Holy books ehn?

I think the books actually meant submission for both parties but of course, in their times -and for their purposes - women may have required it more.

Many thanx for your comments.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Azazel: Did the Bible really, really say so? Or it was the men who edited the Bible who said so? Go and read it again. And read it contextually too.

Many thanx for your comments.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@My.neW.hitman: The Marriage is not the result, it is actually the process in itself. It is part of the process of our completion.

The components are ALWAYS themselves. Remember, all former documents remain valid.

Independent? Why would an independent person want to get married? This actually leads to the Second Myth we'll be talking about later.

I don't know too much arithmetic or algebra but pray, Myne, how do you 'balance' 1+1=1?

Many thanx for your comments.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Tata: I like this. Its a very nice way of saying 'No comments. You're on your own'.

Many thanx.

LucidLilith said...

lmao @ Mrs. Rumblesbottom-Ugbodikoko

Where do you come up with this stuff. anyhue, you are absolutely right. i keep telling my bf that if we walk down the aisle, it has to be because we are capable of building a life together and share similar values.

guerreiranigeriana said...

...thank you!...what a useful post...its been so long...i'm going to reflect on this post!...i really like the way you define submission makes more sense...

cerberus said...

Never read anything more true.

FFF said...

this is beautiful!!!! just beautiful.

as for submission: i used to have issues with dat word cos it was being used to suppress women. but in d real sense of it, there is no marriage without submission. it is best where both parties submit to each other. however a marriage where a wife utterly refuses to submit to her husband until she is convinced he too is submitting to her would be quite miserable. takes me back to the story i read as a child: she stoops to conquer.

on independence: yes, independent pple do marry, so long as they understand dat a degree of their independence has to be lost - & i say this on d women as well as d men. u can't cleave if u insist on ur own terms. it is by giving up a part of u dat d new entity dat marriage produces can indeed be born.

i had an argument d other day with my brother who felt feminism undermines d headship of d husband in d house. i don't know if dat is d aim of feminism. but i certainly know dat it is not what i understand wen i proclaim myself a feminist. my husband is and will remain d head of our home. i just want my voice to be heard most importantly by him.

my sister was very smart in making outsiders presume dat it is her husband who decides everything dat happens, so some people actually pity her cos her husband is a very strong personality. but those of us who know them very well know dat nothing is done unless my sister endorses it.

i think every woman needs to learn when to fight for her right, & wen to fight for her marriage.

My World said...

This piece is really similar to mine.........

Favoured Girl said...

You are right about the subtle change that one notices after marriage. Sooner or later, it sinks in that it is no longer "you" and "me" but it is now "we" and "us".

And I agree with you that if a marriage is working, it should look effortless. Both parties are putting in 100% so there are no gaps. Nice post!

rethots said...


Marriage to me is a conscious decision to 'walk' the rest of ones journey side-by-side with the other.

Love grows (continually as its being nutured) within the context of marriage.

SonofPhilip said...

for a blogger that complained in your first or is it second post (in 2007) of writers block, you seem to have come a long way, seeing that a lot of those you refereced in that post are no more around in blogville.

we only get to hear of them in reminisces. it was lovely being here. the range of topics you cover is sure wide. i have had a pleasant 3 days here and wld definately come back again.

if u cld spare the time, check and let me know what you think,


ibiluv said...


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