Why should I believe in marriage?

The divorce rates are so high now. We seem to be reduced to a 50-50 chance at happiness after marriage!

So is Love an insanity curable by marriage?

I wonder if this is the result of a developed country. A quick glance at the world divorce records show that the current marriages in developed countries are nothing but a one day renewable contract.

Men never changed over the years (using never loosely here) but women now hold jobs and earn as much if not more than the men… so that means that while the men have been the ones constantly the same, the once docile, domesticated species known as women, started having the same privileges as men and then we find that women don’t seem to work as hard at marriage as all female ancestors. Modern women no longer have that “this is the man I marry, so his name is what I will carry to my deathbed, through everything” mentality (can it be called a mentality? Or maybe sickness (since the men then were pompous, conceited bullies))

Now it seems to me that the time has come when both men and women have to work equally hard at the marriage for our future generations to still associate “happily ever afters” with the all-wondrous word marriage used to stand for.

Men can’t sit back, earn money, have a fling or two at his whim and fancy and watch the women take care of the home and be content with putting bread on the table anymore. Women then used to have no income. They used to have no rights. They used to be a means to a family and a property to own. They used to believe in fairytales and love.

Now women are life partners.

I used to think I come from a fairly normal and happy family till several years back. Maybe it was several years back when I really grew up and saw more than what I used to think was clearly defined shades of black and white.

What do I do when I am of age to marry? Why do we need marriage when co-habiting might just be almost the same, without the baggage? Oh no, listen to me! I call the whole telling-the-world-we’re-just-married-aka-wedding-dinner/party saga baggage. Gosh. And I thought I believed in romance and fairytales.

You know how the saying goes “it just takes one bad apple to spoil the barrel”. Indeed isn’t it? Sometimes I cross paths with the married people, with kids, and they go to work and they go home, and the next day they come back, they are still married. Sometimes I meet men who are really sweet to talk about their kids and wife.

But then the little nagging memory of the stories of those who aren’t as lucky to find their marriage vows sincere just keeps me jadedly thinking that there are more to the pretty married life some people tend to paint. The dark secrets nobody wants anybody to know.

I have 4 close friends who had to go through shot-gun marriages. So far, only 1 marriage is still intact. Despite the more commonly negative opinion of what’ll happen to the child, I do hope that their children, no matter whether they are with the father or mother, grow up understanding that there was a lot more involved than whether their parents deserted them. It’s sad really.
My secondary school friend, WL, my age, has 2 boys of her own now. One aged 3 and the other aged 2. I met up with her and her kids the other day and then I remembered that I never did like her children. I’m sorry but I have to be perfectly honest here. I never did like them because the both of them look like carbon copies of their father. Their father. And because I love WL, I really dislike everything he was as a husband, partner, friend and family to WL.
I know I am in no position to voice opinions on this so I never mentioned this to her. It was only until this recent meetup, whereby I spent a little more alone time with her children, that I realise the significance of the fact that the children are innocent and I am wrong to channel the misgivings I had for WL’s husband to her children (even though they really look like their father).
The 3 yr old boy was hesitant to accept my offer of friendship at first but soon warmed up when I helped him complete a level in the PSP Ratatouille game.

And one more time I hear somebody ask me to go have a kid of my own when I say their kid is cute, I swear I will do something!!! BAD! Anything! Funny how I don’t know what exactly to do yet. Maybe try to emit lasers from my eyes subtly and halve the kid’s parents head horizontally. Messy. And not very subtle after all. Maybe something less the mess with twice the satisfaction. SIAO one leh!! Gosh, don’t they think about the dreams and goals I might want to do and accomplish before I settle down!?

I’m 24. My brother’s 14. The things that happen in my family and to the people around me do affect my outlook. Imagine my brother, whose world is being shaped right as we speak. Someone told me, the world’s a perspective, and perspectives form the world. Dead right.

I wonder what goes on in that seemingly empty shell (private joke) that he calls his head? What kind of a man will he be? Will he be wary of marriage?

But at the CRUX of all this is, knowing all this, does it make me smarter? It makes me more experienced, but does this make me smarter? Does knowing all this help me make the “right” decisions. And then again, what is right?

My granny has the most amazing faith. She’ll tell me stories of the man my father was and the person he is today. The difference. The change. So, I ask her, if that’s the case, why would anyone get married? People will change and the divorce rates are high and all, but she told not to think so much and get married because there’s the other 50% chance of finding happiness.

Well it made me feel better for awhile and then I am back to my mambo jumbo – hence this post.

What are your views on marriage in the 21st century? Are you as jaded as I am?

Leave a comment

  1. Ed
    January 16, 2009 / 3:55 am

    Are you aware, among the divorces involving infidelity, that the statistics of cheating wives supersede those of cheating husbands since 2000? Of course, this is one of those statistics circulating within the legal circle.

    Cohabitation is just an easy way out for those who are unwilling to bear the responsibilities. At a point in my life, I was like you. But over times I began questioning myself, if I am unwilling to bear the responsibility, who am I to expect my other half to bear it? Chicken and egg question, but it does magnify that in the modern world, we think of ourselves more than for our partners. :)

    Take away all the talks of womens’ financial power etc, let’s get back to the basics. It is this great divide out of selfishness for ourselves that contributed to many divorces. Simply, the old teaching of “what we can give our partners” is no longer present in modern marriages. It’s all about “what I can reap from my partner”.

  2. PureGlutton
    January 16, 2009 / 8:39 am

    Divorce is escalating, it seems to be the “in” thing to do now. Young married couples think of nothing of ending their marriages just after 1-2 years. It’s not so bad if no kids are involved… it gets messier and more damaging if they have to fight over kids…sigh.

  3. Vern
    January 16, 2009 / 4:07 pm

    “The journey to a divorce begins with marriage.” I think I said that when I was in one of my skeptical moments about all-things-happy.

    Maybe I’m still a bit young to be thinking about this, but since I have friends my age who are already married, here’s my two cents.

    Living together seems like a way to avoid the legal works and fuss if things don’t work out. I still believe that marriage is a sacred thing, and even though its success rate has been quite of a disappointment in this new age, I’d like to think that when it does work out, it makes it all the more worth it. (Like, whoa! You made it to 10 years!!) It also outlines the ability of two people to take on a lifetime responsibility that adds on when they have kids.

    My grandparents did not exactly marry because they “fell in love with one another” but hey, they’re still together and I exist! They do nag one another on a daily basis and perhaps divorce was something they’ve never heard of but they work it out anyway.

    I think the reason why divorce rates are higher now is because people give up easily (referring to marriages free of abuse, etc.). Especially when you get married at a very young age – you know, when life has just begun to hit you right in the face with jobs and all sorts of obligations and suddenly you realize there are a whole lot more attractive people around.

    I’m not up for the whole marriage thing just yet obviously, and I cannot predict the future but what I do know is I still have loads that I want to achieve, things I want to see and experience before I settle down and tell those stories to my kids.

    Not only are men running out of old-fashioned, housewife material women, women are also more picky nowadays. Especially those who only want to marry the person they see in the mirror.

    I think that’s how dinosaurs extinct.

  4. Ju Ann
    January 17, 2009 / 12:45 pm

    Pureglutton, yea it’s always better if there are no kids.

    Vern: Hi! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    yes i also believe marriage is meant to be a sacred thing. something that still means happily ever after. but people seem to take vows so easily. like it doesnt mean more than just literally saying I do.

    my grandparents are the same as yours. and yea they worked out well! made it many years as well. but then again i think it’s the mindset of the people before us. no more old-fashioned women around now.

    and yes, i’m not a believer of it YET. Places I wanne go, stupid, childish, foolish, impromptu things that I wanne do and all. Haha

    Women are picky. That’s for sure. I know I’m looking for a life partner. And that’s not everybody and anybody off the streets.

    Gosh I never thought of it this way, but it sure as hell looks like we’re going to be extinct soon!!! Hahaha

  5. VirusHead
    January 18, 2009 / 10:41 pm

    Marriage today has the potential to be much more exciting than it’s ever been before. I think everything depends on two people willing to be authentic, respectful and somewhat playful with one another.

  6. Ju Ann
    January 19, 2009 / 1:36 am

    Virushead: yes! I agree but I dont know, the divorce rates…. they’re indicative of probably a lot of people finding the wrong mr. and mrs. right for themselves!

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