Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Marriage And Divorce Myth

Love, then marriage, then children. This is the ordinary course of conventional life. Occasionally, some people find this a difficult progression and they decide to change it supposedly to make it better. That is to say, there are some who would say that they are living an unhappy marital life and would like to just stop going down that road, get a divorce and hope to restart the whole process with a new perspective and a new marriage.

However, anyone who listens carefully to friends’ complaints about their spouses would notice that they are only superficial grumbles; they don’t have any specific meaning and the problem with this, is that it can be transformed into myth and fallacy. For a long time, we have been programmed by our upbringing and Arabic culture to overestimate the state of marriage. The truth of matter is that marriage is considered by many young girls and boys to be the first, final and only step in life.

Nevertheless, it’s preferable to just think of marriage as a step in part of life’s road so if this step does not provide its participant with everything desired and dreamt of, that doesn’t justify a cancellation of the step, imagining that things could be easily rearranged. Even if a spouse doesn’t feel happy with the marriage, changing spouses should never be the first thing that springs to mind. Why shouldn’t one think of changing oneself and ones expectations and the circumstances influencing the couple’s life instead? Then, maybe, try to see if the circumstances feel the same or possibly have now changed?

Perhaps changing oneself could be easier than changing partners and getting involved in a new relationship. Moreover, perhaps the thought of changing a partner, would be a weak and a desperate attempt to conceal ones own inability to evolve and keep up with life’s development. Two factors of what would drastically affect marital life are life’s general progression and all the initial unrealistic expectations of how marriage would be. Naturally, the result of that effect occurs only after the marriage. Hence, it could never be predicated or expected before it.

Arabic culture tends to glamorize marriage more than life itself. In fact, it teaches us to consider ‘marriage’ more important than life. Obviously, that is not completely true. Essentially, the minimal effort to have a successful marriage is the couple’s ability to accept each other’s differences, have children and progress in life. Once children arrive, life evolves noticeably into a new phase as the couple will never be the main players in their own lives again. That’s the role of children.

Life is a series of consecutive steps, each having different requirements. Future steps should carry solutions to problems of the preceding ones. That is to say, if there were problems at the beginning of a marriage, having children might solve them and if there were problems with the children, the way they would be raised might solve those. In the case of a deficient upbringing, the solution might be arrived at in maturity and they could turn yet out to be good people with their siblings, friends and so on.

Hence, life itself holds the problems and solutions of marriage and what follows on, and never vice versa.

We should not regard marriage as a final nor an initial phase of life. Simply, life holds its own solutions. Therefore, success in life requires a certain amount of general acceptance instead of desperately trying to manipulate it to follow our plan or a specific concept acquired earlier in teenage times.

Einstein was absolutely right when he said that the solution of any problem lies in rising to the higher level of its origin. In simple words, life’s steps are our ladder to climb in order to reach higher levels with each step that we take, instead of stepping backwards.