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Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Marriage Habit...Why Not?

I read a line in paper that got me thinking. It said about a certain celebrity couple-‘They were together for a year, that’s quite long by LA standards’. We are all addicted to the highs of love and when that fades in a year we move to the next. And so end up in a string of relationships. Man is a pleasure seeker and society knows that decisions taken under the whims of pleasure are self destructive. What when old age happens? You are left with nobody.

'Do not ignore the wisdom of long experience….'
Our ancestors found it necessary to bind man in marriage and religious laws, to stop him from destroying his future by marriage hopping. They knew that marriage was also important to protect the naïve trusting woman from being merely used; to pressure the self seeking man to discover his loyalties or become a creature of habit; to allow the child to have a secure future.

Society is changing again. Now sex before marriage is seen as practical unlike a few decades ago where it was unthinkable. So I was surprised when, after the legal age for sex was raised to 18 (after the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Bill was cleared on 26th April, 2012), a news paper article revealed that there were still some guys who considered sex as sacred and preferred sex after marriage! What was shocking to me though was that, the interviewers ‘gave the guys a reality check’ saying that guys can’t wait that long! To put ideas in the last of a breed! Isn’t that quite like saying life is all about sex?

Brahmacharya(Chastity) up till 25 years was not really an 'unscientific' useless idea. It helps in bringing interest in all aspects of life that may take a backseat when one becomes sexually active. It helps to focus on the learning, personality development and career building aspect of life, where sex can be more of a distraction if given into. It helps to get interested in all the other wonders of the world, art, nature, adventure; before being swept into anything which can be all consuming. In the teenage if one manages to have self control, it is an asset for life. But once a person gets into a string of relationships, it is easier to break up than to settle down with one, when the Grihastha(House holder) phase comes.

But yeah I would say there can never be a hard and fast. There can only be ideals and then there can be exceptions; but society is supposed to focus on ideals, whereas life may often lead some to be the exceptions. When in the past the doors were closed to multiple options, one had to focus and work at the relationship at hand and eventually succeed in making it work or learn the arts of adjustment and compromise. The toughest things to handle in a marriage were handled by religion. Religion, rules, laws were all for our own good. It brings order; as once chaos is chosen it is difficult to bring the pleasure seeking man back to the “order” that is better for his soul, his peace, his health and his future.

Institutions that have evolved need to be respected. Cohabitation is a trap which gives an easy escape once boredom sets in. Love dies, friendships fade but companionship held together by a legal act is the only thing that can last though many upheavals. I read of a couple breaking up because according to them being together was just habit and love had died. Of course the heady love dies and actually habit is not a bad thing. We can't always live in awe of the Sun! Everything we do like waking up, the food we eat, even the rain, everything revolves around the sun. Being habituated to seeing it does not mean we don’t need it; because we see it daily, doesnt mean there is no wonder to it. The truth is we cant even exist without the sun.

In the same way we get used to the people around us but that doesn’t mean they are not important to us, they have not meant anything to us. Eventually with togetherness (in a marriage), familial love is born, which may not have the heady gush of a new love but it signifies acceptance, adaptation and assurance. Moreover ‘family is not just about love, but its about being there, about watching out for another... -Where are you?, how are you faring? In the long run we realize someone asking these questions is more important than momentary uncommitted pleasure relationships. These are questions a lover would not ask, but a family would.’ What matters eventually is protection security affection and a looking out for the other.

I heard from some friends settled in US about how the US became a free society- War deaths, led to single parents, who had no means of marrying off their kids, leading them to allow their kids to find their own mates. It led to the culture that was not really intended, and hence not really to be emulated. A culture evolved out of crisis is a compromise, not a culture.

Lets not be afraid of the Marriage Habit then, and trust that all that our ancestors have arranged for us is for our good and so work at it, holding on to this trust.


Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Jerly, you have presented a powerful argument for staying committed in a marriage. It absolutely not about giving up and quitting when we become "bored" or that rush of love we first felt has faded.
I can only see getting out of a marriage when one partner is abusive or unfaithful.
I thank God every day for my dear Danny. I'm looking forward to growing old with him. :)
Blessings and thanks for a wonderful post today!

melissa said...

I've been wondering all my life what this sacrament is all about. I've heard different stories from couples and the ones who asked counsel were mostly those involved in domestic abuse.

For the most part, I still believe in love. When there's abuse, love and respect don't thrive in that marriage.

I totally agree with you on the subject on sex. Young people would also ask for some counselling and from the trend that I see now, 'commitment' is out of the question.

Recent movies,"Unofficially Yours (one night stand)," "Friends with Benefits (noncommittal relationship)," show some bits of reality that for me/us would be quite unimaginable.

I do not believe in premarital sex and my friends would often chide about it. Perhaps, for some reason, I think of the results of such. We're not here for pleasure seeking. I think women are more sensible in that case. When I think of marriage, I think of 'family,' children, living in a home, under one roof.

I admit, I could be very ideal because I haven't been in such a situation, but I agree with your post and the values that come with it :)

Farfalla Dreams said...

AMEN! Love never fails... someone just quits. I believe if you hold onto Faith, Hope, and Love a marriage can last forever! My parents have been married for over 55 years. It wasn't easy raising 6 kids, they have been through everything together... financial struggles, sicknesses, loss of loved ones, etc. "The two shall become ONE" when one leaves, it is like half of a person, no longer whole or complete. Society has mocked marriage and the sacredness of being committed to one person. It is really sad!

Andy David said...

My friend,
When you have love...you have everything, including RESPECT. Thanks for sharing.

Mani said...

Jerly our elders have something which we possess only when we reach their age and that is WISDOM and forseight. They already about all the negative consequences and hence they binded us, and I find it very relevant. The truth about a man is that he is a MAN at EOD so these rules n regulations which is now a very beautiful culture of ours because each and every custom is very deep and meaningful.

I held my head very high always when it comes to my culture.

Very thoughtful and nice.


Nikky44 said...

I think love never dies, but it changes and takes new aspects. Love grow as we grow and we should just open the heart and feel it

Rahul Bhatia said...

A nice post, Jerly and totally agree with you on the sacredness of marriage as an institution and respecting it mutually! Getting carried away is easy but exercising restraint is difficult and that is what makes us different from beasts:)

FherYmas said...

Dear Jerly,
Is this post a story of my lovelife? LOL.
In the absent of Respect to each other, any relationship would fail. That's the whole essence of marriage, we become one flesh. If you treat your spouse as part of you, then you wont allow it to be hurt.
Most importantly, put God at the center of your marriage...it is guaranteed to succeed.

JIM said...

Interesting habit

Monu Awalla said...

Yes Jerls very true. Infact, gradually without letting myself knowing anything, my heart started accepting and adapting thereby allowing myself to enter into a phase where family matters the most!

Avoiding flings undisputedly maintains one's stability and provide a clear idea where one can put trust on somebody apart from his/her family... Patience is really a virtue in this case! Isn't it?

But still I want to conclude this comment in a cheeky way-- "Everything depends on the movement of planets, nothing is under our control" Jst kiddin' ;) :D

A superb read... Thnx for writing on this topic! :)

P V Ariel said...

Very good topic and you dealt it very well. These days the things of the past are changing fast, even in the case of Marriage and love
the divorce rates are fast growing and the word 'easy divorce' is the word of the time.
Hey, Jerly,
why did you removed the comment from my blog post. C for Christ, Christianity,,,, so sad to note...
Best Regards

Jerly said...

Thanks for all the visits and comments. Appreciate all the words, the thoughts shared here.
Yes Fher treating the spouse as a part of self and respecting is essential.
P.V. Ariel, havent deleted anything. I did try to comment on the mother topic but their was a problem with access and couldn't comment
I am glad Monu, I knew u would like the topic

Jovy Thomas said...

A very nice article dear.... Well written !

deeps said...

here is another debate… well, I wont agree or disagree on this with what you got to narrate here for the simple reason that just like each individual is different every marriage is different… we shouldn’t compare, compromise…
yes, get advises from elders and learn the backgrounds of each other, think it over and pray it over, then take the decision in love and friendship….

Jerly said...

true Deeps; just like each individual is different each marriage is different and may need a different decision too. This post is for marriages with resolvable differences

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