Marriage: Is it an outdated entanglement? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

Marriage: Is it an outdated entanglement? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

The quote below applies to the current state of the institution of marriage.

 

An American Twitter user, Klarity, wrote; “The world is changing before our very eyes. Adaptation is key. The world will never be as it once was. Mulling that will get you left behind. Move wisely with the times. Because I promise you the times will keep moving on whether you’re ready for it or not.”

 

I read this just after watching the video where Jada Pinkett-Smith admitted she had an ‘entanglement’ with August Alsina. The Red Table Talk was with her husband, Will Smith.

 

 

At that point I had read so many takes on the issue of this dalliance that my head was spinning.

 

 

So reading the above tweet hit me differently.

 

 

 

Marriage: Is it an outdated entanglement? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

 

 

I may be overreacting. But I suddenly felt like what is known as marriage has changed right before our eyes. Also, we did not even notice.

 

Speaking to the millennials and hearing a lot of them speak seriously about not wanting to get married is something I never really took seriously.

 

 

Marriage: Is it an outdated entanglement? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

 

 

I kept thinking that when they are older, they will definitely get married. But I may be living in the past at the moment. From the point that some countries legalized same sex marriage; I probably should have adjusted my thinking about what marriage means these days.

 

 

 

But apparently, I am holding on to antiquated ideas.

 

 

Or let me say that the idea of what a marriage is has always been an impractical idea; one that we struggle to make work till one day we are too old to do anything but cling to our spouses simple because we recognize them.

 

This does sound depressing, doesn’t it?

 

The rumour has always existed that the Smiths have an open marriage. In fact, it is believed to be one where they can be sexually involved with people they sanction. When August Alsina spoke about getting permission from Will to have a relationship with Jada; the internet went on fire.

 

 

A lot of people towed the line of: “Find what works for you as a couple.”

 

 

Some made fun of people who still believe in monogamy. In fact, they insisted that a lot of people were in semi-open relationships; where they and their partners secretly get with other people but remain together as a couple.

 

Marriage: Is it an outdated entanglement? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

 

 

People also said; “As long as the marriage is still working for them, it is nobody’s business.”

 

 

This all irked me.

 

 

I started asking myself a lot of questions.

 

 

What really does it mean for a marriage to work? What is marriage really? Should we redefine it?

 

 

Are we kidding ourselves when we still have these ideas of loving people and being faithful to them till we die?

 

 

Why the pretext of fidelity when almost everywhere you turn infidelity exists?

 

 

The expectations I had of what marriage should be was moulded over time. It was shaped by what I had always heard in church. Thereafter, what seeped into my head from reading romantic novels and watching romcoms.

 

Marriage for me meant the following things.

 

 

 

ALSO READ: Marriage: Is it a failed institution – Abiodun Kuforiji -Nkwocha

 

 

 

 

 

marriage

 

 

  1. Being with the one person of the opposite sex that you love romantically.

 

  1. Being faithful in heart and body throughout the marriage.

 

  1. Something one does for life. No divorce. No annulments. It only ends when the spouse dies.

 

  1. Having children and raising them together in one house.

 

  1. Cheering each other’s successes and comforting one another in failure. No competition. One team whereby a win for one person is a win for the other person.

 

  1. Sharing worldly goods and money earned together.

 

  1. Only seeking each other to lean on in difficult times.

 

  1. No secrets forever.

 

  1. Never letting a third party in. This includes family members and friends.

 

  1. No ‘entanglements’ on any level of complexity or even simplicity for that manner with anyone else.

 

 

 

Marriage: Is it an outdated entanglement? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

 

 

 

ALSO READ: Why are marriages crashing? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

 

 

So to say that I entered marriage with a lot of idealistic views is an understatement.

 

 

After getting married and entering into the club where women no longer speak about marriage as the be all and end all, I was stunned with the level of cynicism that existed.

 

 

And I can only speak for women because I am one.

 

 

I was shocked to see that a lot of women stayed with their partners; not because they were happy or still in love but for very practical reasons. Like, it is easier to handle kids as a couple than alone. Two incomes are better than one. Their lives were intertwined so much so that detangling it was too hard and so they just stayed.

 

 

Marriage: Is it an outdated entanglement? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

 

 

It was no longer about love.

 

 

A lot of women admitted they taught their partners were unfaithful. But they just shrugged and accepted it as one of the things that happened. It wasn’t a deal breaker.

 

 

 

ALSO READ: Bros, this is how to keep a wife and have a happy marriage by Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha

 

 

I discovered that a lot of couples had somehow lost intimacy along the line. A lot rarely had sex regularly anymore. Or they just were never able to speak from the deepest parts of their hearts anymore.

 

 

They found other people to confide in and simply gave up only what was necessary to the husband.

 

 

Some couples no longer even just touched each other. I don’t mean in a sexual manner. No little affectionate pecks, a linger of the finger under the chin, a swat on the butt etc etc. They hid money and property from each other.

 

 

The drabness and desolation that could be on the other side of marriage is something that I never expected because of all the castles I had built in the air.

 

 

But walking through marriage with other married women, it was there all over. A lot of women are just there for their kids.

 

ALSO READ: Side chick: Married women should be grateful to us – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

 

 

Marriage: Is it an outdated entanglement? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

 

 

 

So I am asking, should we truly relax and redefine what marriage is supposed to be?

 

Is it impossible to stay faithful and so we should find ways of legitimizing sexual relations with third parties? Is marriage even an antiquated idea? Should the next generation even bother?

 

Personally, over a decade into marriage, we still get along and love each other enough to want to stay with each other. Some days, I have hope that we are making it work. But when I see what is happening everywhere, it makes me feel afraid. Like maybe I am the odd one out. Maybe I am being delusional. Maybe ours is a fluke.

 

One thing is clear these days, marriage is not for the weak-hearted.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Angela

    There is no need to be scared, Abiodun and you are not the odd one out.
    Marriage, as we have always known it, is a beautiful institution, which like everything good, everything that endures, has to be worked at.
    The problem is not with you, or the institution of marriage, but with the generation of “quick fixes”- instant noodles, instant tea, coffee……A generation that wants the crown without the cross; A generation of pleasure.
    There is hardly anything of substance that comes without effort. Footballers need to practice for hours to keep in form and it’s not a question of ” feeling like” practicing. They have to , whether they like it or not… on rainy and cold days, sunny and hot days. They well know the consequences of throwing-in the towel, merely because they ” don’t feel like” practicing. CEOs, Musicians, among others, must keep at what they do, to become or, remain successful.
    Why then should it be different with marriage? Why should it be expected to be “sweet” all the time and some think it’s ok to quit as soon as one gets ” tired of the relationship?
    The institution of marriage, as ordained by God, is sacred and founded on trust and fidelity. It is, therefore an aberration to talk of condoning infidelity in marriage.
    The stability that a good home provides children and even the couples, themselves, cannot be controverted.Please note here that I am not in any way suggesting that there are no obviously troubled marriages. That is a discussion for another day. What is being addressed here, is the sanctity of marriage.
    Let this, and the next generation be informed, therefore, that marriage as we know it ( that is between a man and a woman) is a good thing.

    Reply
  2. Mimi

    Abiodun, you do have a way with words. You captured this matter quite well and it is indeed worrying to hear some young people speak about marriage. But I do know that ones expectations and opinion on marriage (as with everything else) is borne out of experience and what they witnessed between their parents.

    While I will never encourage any party to stay in a marriage that threatens their life, i believe parents should consider the well being of their children while making choices within the marriage. Sometimes, you may have to sacrifice your comfort for the sake of the children that didnt ask to be born. The reality is that at some point in your life, you may look at your partner and ask yourself if you could have done better or wondered how bad you could have turned out if he/she wasn’t in your life. Like I say to my son, there’s always someone prettier, smarter or funnier out there, just love the one you’re with.

    Reply
  3. Lydia Airede

    Hi Abiodun, Beautiful piece. Please continue to believe and continue to pray. Hold on to your dream of what marriage should be and work towards it – no matter what is going on in the world.
    As for people who stay in marriage because of the children and because their lives are so intertwined, you know what? That’s a kind of love. Love is not always romantic, it changes with time. What people can do is delibetately try to bring back the romance therby enriching their marriage, but it doesnt mean love is not there. Love is a decision, its an action verb. Saying “I love you” is cheap. Acting it out, paying the children’s fees, the rent, mutual respect, staying with each other without cheating: thats love!

    Reply

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