About a year ago whilst on a flight from Abuja to Lagos, The passenger sat next to me struck up a conversation about a book I was reading and then proceeded to ask me how old I am (which was 25 at the time) and why I was not married. I was 80% perplexed and 20% pissed off as you can imagine before I realised that his only real offence was tactlessness. He then told me about his wife and how much he enjoyed married life. “Marriage is sweet” he said repeatedly with an annoying saccharine grin. He spent the entire flight extolling the institution’s benefits.
I could not be bothered to retort the way I wanted to, that day. Whilst I agree with my airplane buddy that marriage can be yummier than candy floss there are just some things that my brain is grapling with for the time being whilst I have the liberty to harbour (what are probably unfounded) doubts. These are some of the things that scare me about marriage;
1. Nasty Surprises– When i take the plunge (terrible expression by the way) I genuinely plan to be in it till death do ‘us’ part. However if the person I marry changes very significantly or betrays my trust. It’ll be difficult to just hang in there like the sweet little poppet that honours her vows whilst Sheila from HR is getting it on with my boothang, OR boothang is now a devout scientologist. The thought that one of us could change so fundamentally that we are polarised on core issues like finances, sex, how to raise the kids etc is a wee bit disconcerting.
2. Having to Submit to my husband: This really mostly applies to Christains. Shout out to Ephesians 5:22! I am a feminist who has no problem with a man being the leader of the household when she eventually marries. Someone has to lead and im an old-fashioned girl, id like him to because whomever I marry will be someone i’d be happy to defer to and who would value my opinion. However, its just that word ‘submit’. The control freak in me tastes bile when i hear it. Part of it is the fact that we cant anticipate the changes we’ll make in life. If I want to grow out my natural hair sans relaxer and he prefers the straight long weave I had when we met, do I just submit?If I want to work fulltime and he wants me at home baking and breeding, I’m to submit? I chose silly examples on purpose but what happens when he is adamantly against me being who I feel Im meant to be? For example when someone has a job they are passionate about that puts their life in serious danger and their spouse really hates it. What happens then? Im puzzled people.
3. Space: Where do I go when we have an argument and I need space to clear my head? Home? Oh wait, he lives there too. What if I just need some time away to clear my head and think though issues I’m facing at work, with family etc Does he have to be with me all the time? Can I take a week off just to be by myself when I want to? I do realise that having to share the same space will steer you into amicable dispute resolution much easier-If you have to live with someone you may as well do it peacefully. I really love having my own space, being able to bask in solitude when I want to. I feel like marriage could threaten my space.
4. Boredom: One day, a few years into the exhilerating journey that is our marriage, I will have heard all your clever jokes and witty quips. Those riveting stories that won me over will become tired replays I can recite verbatim whilst comatose. You’ll know every inch of my body, every seductory trick up my sleeve. How do we not get bored to insanity after all those years? For lack of a better phrase than the trite, ‘how do we keep things fresh?’
5. Vulnerability: If it lasts as long as we all hope it should, that’ll be enough time for every fear and flaw, vice and weakness of mine to be exposed. That one person will have everything it’ll take to ‘destroy’ me. Intimacy is a beautiful thing, definitely. Somehow it still scares the cupcakes out of me!
There we have it! Let me know if you relate to any of the above or have any pearls of wisdom that will allay my silly worries