Enigma of Marriage
Marriage is enigmatic institution as secret of happy marriage remains a secret. What is marriage? Mythological and spiritual explanations are abound. In Christianity marriage is union ’till death do us part’. In Hinduism Marriage is a union ‘for seven life times’. Of course they must also believe in another fairy tale that marriages are made in heaven and performed on earth.
It appears that in past few decades there has been some disorder or some disruption in the routine of heaven. It is getting increasingly difficult to find happily married couple or worse a suitable prospective spouse.
There are boys and girls who are on a look out but are not able to find a suitable match. Sorry, I do no matchmaking for now, it looks more like a job of an undertaker. But what is increasingly wrong with marriage?
What is marriage?
The first time I notice dearth of married couples was almost a decade back or less when Watching CSI an American TV show on Forensics. I realised no character was married or stayed married in that TV show. In last few years the rate of divorce in Delhi has also shot up. It must be around 10% as against below 1% in rest of country. Both figures are my guess or perception. This leads to question of failing marriages. Is there something wrong? But first thing would be to understand the institution of marriage.
Moving away from fairy tales of heaven, marriage to begin with, is an institution of companionship. It does not celebrate anything but is a mechanism to share time and resources in a lonely journey called living which commences at birth and ends at death. All the problems arise from not realising this simple fact. Multitude of problems arise by expanding the definition of marriage beyond the above twin objectives. There may be problems arising from conflict of personalities but those are compatibility problems and not marital problems.
Social and financial aspects:
I am confident that there must be no currency or better no capitalism in heaven. That only can explain as to why so many marriages get stuck in sordid financial mess. It also explains as to how social life without the shadow of finance hovering upon it, can be simple and may be a fun. But alas earth’s capitalism takes all the fun out if socialising. It becomes an daily excuse for married couple to wage a new war on social deficiencies of each other.
Politics and families in heaven:
I am also confident that there is no ancestral trees maintained in heaven. Only marriages are settled and the couple is sent to earth to deal with the rigours if ancestry and traditions. A great deal of energy of married couple is spent in either enforcing the family traditions or in finding an amicable way of preventing it.
Visit of in laws is as dreadful for couples as the visit of a seasonal virus. They visit with their habits cloaked as wisdom. Of course human factor prevails and couple end up burning the candle at both ends and that candle is called marriage. This politics of welfare end up in warfare between the couple.
Often people carry the virus of tradition and family habits with them and become an enforcer in a relationship which is based on companionship.
Betrayal by earthlings
The above two reasons for failing marriages are illustrative. Concept of privacy, unflinching habits and temperament are also well known causes for incompatibility. However the failure to find spousal candidate falls mostly in above two reasons. When selecting a spouse the pedestal for examination is rather too vast. Anticipation far too unrealistic and complicated.
One can not have a simple person who is smart. One can not get intelligent person who has no ego. One can not have a good cook who is not slightly overweight. These are only illustrations away from reality. The real ones that I have heard were moronic, when not out right insane.
Economy of divorce
In human history, the divorce had never been easy with mutual consent. Of course consent comes with a price tag. Most of the time money matters more than marriage especially the freedom it brings along. The label of divorcee is not a social taboo as it used to be in yesteryears.
Why bother to listen to a fool everyday when one can get away in a silver carriage? It makes perfect economical sense. Marriages made on lofty ideas like spirituality or heaven or love often land into desert of reasons. Marriage is a practical institution. Do not try to make it look like a movie from Romedy channel. It may have few episodes of romance but it is not at all romantic at all the times. What religion used to do to glorify the institution of marriage is now done by movies and TV. Any comparison between real marriage and reel marriage will only result in despair.
Wake up and be practical.
Egotist, supremist, perfectionist and atheists must remain single. Why the last one? How marriages work makes the atheist doubt its disbelief.
Why bother to get married at all. Stay single. It is safe and peaceful. Marriage requires daily sacrifice. No doubt that Hindu marriage starts with ‘Havan’ in which couple make offering to fire. It is the warning of things to come. Similar warning is served in Christian marriage where couple has to exchange the vows at the ‘alter’.
Does the similarity remind something?
Oh this was wonderful! You took the words right out of my mouth! I’m reminded of a favorite quip of one of my beloved pastors of my youth—“I didn’t know what happiness was until I got married. Then I remembered.”
Very apt comment. Happiness is a relative term with very little intrinsic value.