The past five weeks have been very eye opening to me. From conversations with friends about marriage, too even more interesting ones with total strangers. I have come to know that marriage may not be for everyone after all, that some would actually rather commit to their careers than to another human. The way our world is made has made it almost so complicated for us. Throughout this whole process it has been exciting to know that some of us are still willing to take the leap and try that commitment. Thank you to everyone who has been following this series on youth and what marriage means to them (thank you first timer for taking your time). These are the last thoughts for this series, i hope you enjoy.
Zikhetele Nkumane, male
I think growing up in a society that has shrouded marriage in purely romance and perfection; I’ve personally been on a journey to re-define the institution for myself. If I ever do get married, I will attempt to fit the institution of marriage within the context of our relationship and not vice versa. I think many fail due to that, we try alter and perform surgery on our already existing relationship only because now “we’re married”, so somehow we see the need to change. Marriage shouldn’t change much for people who have already been committed to each other for years. My marriage will only serve to be a public and legal declaration of a commitment I would have already signed in my heart. Marriage, like all of life and society, needs to evolve with the times. Therefore, I just feel that people need to define it for themselves and keep it moving.
Anesu Machekanyanga, female
What does marriage mean to me? For the first time in my life I have asked myself this question so many times and I just could not get a straight answer. So much for being opinionated right? I decided to break down the question and responding to the smaller questions refraining from the dictionary.
- What is marriage?
Marriage is the union between two people who love each other; it is an oath to each other and God himself.
- What does marriage mean?
I think it means 2 people join two families that are otherwise alien to each other. It means that you leave your family’s house to start a new family.
- What is marriage not?
A fairy tale. I know some people have managed to live with happily ever afters stamped on their social media accounts but I have grown to know that they do not exist as Disney made it seem.
So, What does marriage mean to me? I have always had a picture of my parents walking me down the aisle to meet their new found son, and that has always been the beginning for me. Marriage encompasses a lot of things but I will just mention a few such as Christ, peace, love, partnership and happiness.
Christ: I have always imagined that my husband will bring me even closer to God. That in those moments where my faith falters he will be the one to petition with God that He may show me the light. This is the same thing I would do as a wife, when he cannot carry me I will be on all fours, tears and all lifting him up in Christ.
Peace: I think that the world is that one loud friend who just never shuts up, you can never catch a break. When I get home to my husband I think that is where I should always find peace. This is not to say that my peace is reliant on another human being, but it’s to say it would feel nice to have a safe place in your house. No matter what turmoil couples generally go through it would be nice to know that when you finally find each other you find peace.
Love: After having learned to love myself and being content with myself, the feeling of someone else loving you is just beautiful. This means loving someone without themselves. In those moments one of us loves themselves the least we will always be uplifted by the other’s love for us. It’s a love that loves when you like them the least.
Partnership: He has to be the yin to my yang. I have noticed that sometimes marriage is nothing without the support of your spouse. This is not to say that the marriage is like a business but times will come when it’s the 2 of us against the world. We know each other’s worlds and though they might be way out of our interest matrix we support each other. We are each other’s biggest hustlers. We always come up better together. We are friends and confidants, we are team.
Happiness: We will not always be happy but we will remind each other what happiness feels like when it’s scarce. The first four points I mentioned all lead to the happiness factor. Then there is intimacy physical and spiritual that will lead to us to being happy. There is spontaneity, it always keeps things exciting and will help us not to be complacent. Happiness is a cause of something so as long as we never stop trying we will be mostly happy. And if all happenstances fail we will be each other’s happy.
One more thing, FAMILY it is always important that since marriage is a combo we make it the best combo available. And yes people are different but that never means we can’t leave together.
So yes marriage means life to me, it means going on the biggest, scariest, fun roller coaster more than once not because I like peeing my pants, passing out, crying or laughing hysterically. It’s because the person I’m doing it with will make it even more memorable we might hold hands, scream together, pass out, cry, laugh. We will always make sure that if ever we had the choice to do it again it would be with the same person over and over and over again.