Saleh Al Shaibany –
Marriage can be nurtured in many different ways, but in a life we lead today where time takes precedence over everything else, we have very little time at home. It does not take much time to say the right things or place a gentle arm on your partner just to revive the old tender feelings.
There’s no cure for a heart that knows no bounds if one of you have wandering eyes. The sad thing for most marriages is that we have all we want right at home, but we never realise it until it is too late. The signs are everywhere, but we tend to look elsewhere.
Couples today make every excuse to distance from each other. We hide under the pretext of long office hours or too busy with unimportant events, just an excuse not to spend time with each other. It is sad, but it is the reality of most marriages today.
It’s sad when cracks start opening up and the pressure builds up between two people who thought they had something strong going on not so long ago. Suddenly, all the years of hard work put in to build a foundation of a seemingly formidable bond, collapse like a house of cards. Pride and the clash of two personalities that once worked like one, separate and melt away in a flame of discontent.
“We had four wonderful years and no regrets when our marriage ended,” someone close to me said.
My shock was profound but the puzzle in his words was too hard to crack. How could you have four wonderful years and then decide to end the marriage? All right, marriage is a contract between two consenting adults, but the lease does not necessarily expire.
“Some see matrimony as a milkshake,” a friend said. You drink it with a straw and then throw away the cup — and repeat it when you are hit by another craving.”
There’s no shortage of people marrying on a whim, just to satisfy a craving. They see it like a fizzy drink that sparkles when first opened and quickly becomes flat as time goes by. While it takes two to tango, marriage can be one-sided when only one partner has to put in all the efforts.
“My marriage enters its thirty-first year next week,” a woman told me. “But I am the one who is counting.” She didn’t have to elaborate because I knew what was going on in her marriage. She has been tying every thread of that holy knot that bonds them and regularly checking its tightness for 31 years. And what has her spouse been doing all the time?
“Managing to stay married just for the sake of it,” she told me. Marriage can be a real thing or an act depending on the commitment of the partners. Is marriage then a fling that erodes with years? It can be, if certain rules are not observed. I once came across this phrase: “Never criticise your spouse’s faults; if it weren’t for them, your mate might have found someone better than you.”
“He sees faults in me, but if I point out his, he gets mad,” was yet another complaint from a discontented spouse. The mud you sling at your partner leaves a permanent stain, which is a testimony of your own failings.
Words can have a wonderful effect, but when used to expose your partner’s failings, the truth can be harmful to a marriage. “A successful marriage is to side-step controversial issues and talk about common subjects that you both enjoy,” says a veteran of 42 years of matrimony. True? I don’t know, make your own mind about it.