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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Marriage - To wed or not to wed

Another of my friend is recently engaged; news which is worth celebrating and indeed, all of us, including myself are so happy and excited for him.
There goes another single status in the group.

Honestly, it’s been like this since the past year, peers are all announcing news of marriages and engagements instead of updating on whether they are in a relationship or single.
Life’s like that, we grow up, we have responsibilities, and then we move into the phases of relationships and starting families of our own.
Age catches up with us, whether we like it or not, and to be frank, of course I do not like it at all…but then, looking at the positive side of the coin, as we move into the different phases of our life (I am avoiding the use of aging or getting older…), we see different things and matters and we have adjusted our priorities.

Marriage is just another phase in our lives; where we mature and decide that we want to settle down and start our own family.
The question is just, When?

Funnily, I was asked this question by two of my close friends during my catching up session when I was back in my hometown.
People are asking me whether I am married or have any plan to get married anytime soon.
Don’t ask me why am I asked this question, before this I often get asked why am I not attached, or not in a relationship, or why don’t I have a boyfriend.
Whatever, sometimes I wonder why my relationship status interests people.

Well, I guess, it is another matter associated with the age, or rather, the general perception of our intended role, etc.
For ladies, we are often perceived with a link to our biological clock which ticks our age and youth away and to the public; it is a danger sign if we are not settled down yet.

Peer pressure plays an important role in all these matters as well; some people who are in a relationship rush in the same excitement to tie the knots so that they don’t feel left out. Some, on the other hand, probably fall to the pressure of the elders at home who remind them of their own biological clocks and how they would be at ease when their grown up children have their own families.

However, the question is not when or what makes us want to tie the knot, but to understand WHY did we want to tie the knot in the first place?
Were we ready at that time?
Have we thought of this as an eventual path in the relationship and just decided to do it to complete the full phase of the relationship like some kind of cycle?
Are we happy with the person and we have already pictured how we grow old together with him/her?

To my surprise, I was a little surprised when I was thrown that particular question on whether I had thought of marriage.
Oh well, I guess, every girl has, especially with the strong media influence on how beautiful those weddings are organized.
However, with WHO, remains a question and it surprises me that I am not sure myself.

My perception of marriage has always been rather simple and yet, complicated. I know, it sounds contradictory.
I have always seen marriage as a matter between two people who are very much in love with each other and it is a lifetime commitment; a sacred pact to seal two people with the bond of love.
That is why it is called tying the knot; it is a knot to connect two people together.

To be able to consider and to take that step towards marriage, those two people must have shared a strong and deep bond in their hearts, minds and souls to be able to be considered as one.
It is really pure and perfect to me (or perhaps I have watched too many fairytales in my lifetime?)

I don’t know, I believe that marriage is not just a legal piece of paper that pronounces two people as husband and wife, but it must be a marriage that comes from the heart.
To be frank, I don’t think some who are married or are planning to get married ever thought this far as well, as I have said, some just succumbed to the pressure around them or the biological clock. Some are even more unique to think of competing with their friends to bear children so that they do not lose out in the red packets or pocket money during festive seasons or even the age when their children grow up and can support them in time before their retirement.
I am not condemning their reasons; after all, everyone has a right to choose what they want and why they want to get married.
Definitely, don’t even make Sex as the main reason to get married; in that case, you don’t need a wife/husband, you need anyone who can offer you such services.

For me though, marriage is not just as simple as a relationship, it is a pact for life; like it or not. It is a sacred union between two soul mates; two people who have come to such an intimate stage that they are more than willing to remain so and take the relationship one step further to be with each other for the rest of their lives. They have realized that they have chosen the only one out of the entire world’s population and that their decision is set. It is that one person who will be the one to be with them and for them to only have eyes for until the day they step into the coffin.

Bear in mind, there is not just the event organizing that you need to think of when you want to get married; you have to realize that this includes one whole package. His/her life will be your life as well. It is not just his/her’s well being that will be of your concern; but also the person’s hard and ill moments, their temperaments and their sorrows which will be shared.
Beauty is only skin deep and fades away with age or sometimes with accidents.
If you only love him/her for their great looks which make the two of you look perfect when you stand together, you might want to consider further whether you are willing to stay with that person when they no longer look that way one day.

It is not about the wealth as well; as that too, tends to materialize away one day. Are you willing to go through hard times when he/she may have already lost that wealth you used to fall in love with?

That is why, for Christian/Catholic weddings, you have to read aloud and make that oath which goes along the similar lines:
Are you willing to be with him/her in good times and bad?
Are you willing to be with him/her be it sick or healthy?

It is not just the fashionable and iconic “I do” that you just read from the text. It MUST come from the heart; and when we stand in front of the altar in church, making that oath, we are promising not just ourselves but also families, friends, relatives, and most importantly, God himself who are all bearing witnesses to your words.

Remember, when you said YES to the proposal, or when you decide to make that proposal, you have already considered all these factors and don’t just let it be an event that you want to get married and post it all over Facebook, MySpace, Zorpia, etc.

You have two chances to think; YES to the proposal and I Do at the altar.
Of course, I am not encouraging runaway brides or grooms; but think again, if you have no confidence at all, and just don’t think this is the way you want it to be, say it and do something about it.

It is not about right or wrong; fair or unfair. It is a lifetime; and a promise that will last unto death.
Unto death do we part

Are you willing to do that?
Are you ready to do that with the person you are with now?
If not, why not?

These are questions that are ringing in my head as well; it really got me thinking, I know I think too much most of the time anyway but seriously, this concerns my life ahead of me until the day I die, I think I get to do more thinking, don’t I?

Most importantly, are we happy with the ones we are with?
If not, why not?
Are we comfortable with him/her?
Do we light up each time we see him/her?

Do we want to wake up next to that person every morning?

How about yourself?
Remember you have two chances to say YES/NO, so think carefully and don’t make the wrong decision…

(To be continued on further topics in my blogs…)