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Monday, 25 October 2010

"Marriage- sheer bliss or woe is me?"

Marriage- sheer bliss or woe is me?

(Part 1)

I have learnt a lot in the two short years that I have been married. I have realized that  many misunderstand marriage, others hate the very thought of being stuck with the same person for a lifetime, and others have found a way to go through the day to day going- on’s that make up this fragile but weirdly unique institution. Before I say which one of these categories I think that I fall into, I would like to explore the topic further.

Some men jokingly refer to marriage as the process of finding out what kind of man your wife would have preferred. I laugh and wince at this observation. Partly because there is some truth to it, but the other part of me is blushing in embarrassment. Is it really that bad for you men out there? Gosh, what are we women doing wrong, if that is the case?

Love it or hate it, marriage is not going to go out of fashion anytime soon. People scorn at it with all its trappings and politics, but we all can not help but feel giddy when at a wedding and you see the love that exudes from the two ‘poor’ souls at the front of the altar. Their happiness is contagious, and we all know that many singles are at that very moment gearing them selves for the reception and that classic bouquet throwing moment in the programme. I giggle just thinking about the sea of expectant faces that stood behind me when I was preparing to throw the bouquet at my own wedding. It was as hilarious as it was kind of sad. Women really believe this stuff. Guess every woman just wants to know that one day she will be the absolute centre of attention on her own special day and be the love of someone else’s life.

Of course the fantasy of the wedding day is just exactly that, fantasy. Very soon it will be time for the two lovebirds to start seriously building their home, and learning to navigate their way around the landmines that often characterize this bond. I used to laugh at the fact that some married couples can end up in the therapists chair over the toilet seat being left up or the toothpaste tube being squeezed from the top and not the bottom. Hah! I am not laughing anymore. Marriage has been a constant lesson in patience for me. One has to constantly make the choice to not blow a gasket at every little chance, because believe it or not it does slowly start to drive a woman mad if she has to keep picking up his socks that are slovenly left on the lounge floor. I think I now have scientific proof that the cleaning gene is exactly that, a gene- not every body gets it!

Whew! Now that I got that off my chest, I actually feel a lot better. I bet you are still keen to know which of those categories I mentioned at the top I think I actually fall into. Well, although I am sometimes at my absolute wits end, I got lucky in love, God lucky. I have actually learnt so much about myself and about my partner. It is the type of growth that only a really mature, imperfect but fulfilling relationship can give you. So I guess that means that I found a way to go through the day to day going- on’s that make up this fragile but weirdly unique institution. And I have loved the experience, warts and all.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Letter from a woman

Letter from a woman

Dear Men and Women

There are men out there who do not cheat!!! It is not just a rumour. Good men who have respect for the fairer sex because they were brought up by hard working women who were not perfect, but who knew how to build their homes, a man who is man enough to help you with the dishes every now and then just because he can see that you are tired after a long day at work. There is a man out there (more than one in fact) who is not scared to tell his ‘boys’ that he is staying home to spend time with his woman/ wife/ girlfriend. A man who will say you are the most beautiful woman in his world, even when you are wearing your clothes to clean the outside toilet. This is because he is the type of man who sees you not just for how you look, but for the type of person you are inside as well. Our looks will eventually fade, ladies. We need to ask ourselves, if you have to put on make up everyday and a weave in every month just to keep him, is he really yours?

For so many years women have had to put up with so much nonsense from men, to such an extent that it has become normal to be unhappy in a relationship. We have started to think that if he is not stressing you, either by hitting you or cheating on you then it has to mean that he does not love you. How sad.

We should never have to accept that we will be cheated on, just because so many other women have had to accept it. If you can control yourself as a woman, who is constantly getting asked out by other men, who want to give you the world and more, then why should not the one you are with control himself?

Women need to truly know their worth. He is not doing you a favour by being with you. He gives you what you need, and in return you give him what he needs. Why do we have to settle for less? Why do we women think something is wrong with us, when HE messes up? You were not put on this earth to be his guard. If he really respected himself, he would not feel the need to sleep with every woman who looks at him twice.

A confident and well adjusted man knows that his money does not make him. If you could take the car or the suit or the wallet from some of the men we meet, all you would find is a shallow man, who is insecure. And the only way he knows how to feel better about himself, is to hurt, pillage and destroy in his wake. That’s not a good man. A man is meant to be a protector as much as he is meant to be a provider. Just because you give me money to do my hair, it does not mean you own the ideas that come out of this head. Just because you pay for the roof over my head, it does not mean I have to accept that sometimes I won’t know where you sleep at night.

A woman should submit to her man, and he should love and care for her as he loves and cares for his own body. The bible says he should love his wife as Christ loved the church. This should not be optional.

When a man finds a good woman, he should hang onto her with all he has got. A good woman will meet a not-so-all-together-man and turn him into a knight in shinning armour. Why do you think that other women will only start chasing after a man once he has a woman by his side? And have you ever noticed that the will only stay with him while he is with you? That’s because they never have to worry about ironing his shirts or picking up his socks. They see him after you have catered to him, in that way that only you can. They only want him after the tender pays off, they don’t know that you were the one holding his hand while you prayed that his meeting would go well. If he does not see what his life would be without you, then sister- rest assured that the problem does not lie with you.

Relationships are not always easy. Love the one you are with, with all their faults and failings, but please don’t settle for less. And as for the marriage question: you should never have to force anyone to love you, stay with you or marry you, in fact please don’t. Only stay where you are wanted. Remember, one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure.

Send this to all the sisters you know. It may just help somebody realize that he will never change, or marry her. This might help someone to finally pack her bags.

To all the wonderful men I have met in my life, some who have loved me but left me, others who broke my heart but taught me how to love myself, thank you. If it were not for you, I would have never learnt that I don’t need a man to complete me or to make me whole. I am whole all by myself, all I need is someone to walk this journey of life with, and someone who will laugh at my jokes and tell me that he loves me. And not because I am desperate to hear it, but because he really just wanted to say it!!!