What you need to know:
- If your spouse is your friend, you will experience an intimacy that is not possible with any other human being.
- You will at some point lose yourself in the marriage, taking on other identities and shedding off others.
- You will struggle with blending and balancing these identities until one day, you will look in the mirror and say, “No. I do not have to be a superhero. I am just enough.”
Many times – actually, only the times Hubby and I have had a fight – I have wondered why they leave out so much from the pre-marital classes. It is like a conspiracy theory.
“Don’t tell the starry-eyed couple that they will one day look at the other and wonder if they are staring at the biggest mistake of their life.”
They say behind closed doors, then, smiling, tell us to vow to love and cherish each other for life.
“Don’t also tell them that they will hurt each other, sometimes, intentionally.”
Those who have lived with a spouse for more than a decade must have had this thought too.
Premarital counselling is the kindergarten of marriage.
It is only after the tenth year that you truly enter the high school level of marriage.
I am yet to acquire a college degree in marriage, but I am now qualified to teach at the kindergarten level.
As I develop a curriculum, these key facts make up part of the syllabus.
You will be frustrated, disillusioned, and jaded. Brace yourself.
This will make you angry with all those married people who put up a façade of a rosy, all-perfect picture of a marriage.
Why didn’t they mention that they have considered quitting every so often?
For the wives, you will feel unseen, unheard, unloved. You will recall an aunt warning you that a husband is not a mother, which did not make sense then.
Duh. How can my Moran be my mother anyway? But then, one day, you will wish he could see you, hear you, love you the way only a mother can.
I remember going through a miscarriage and crying myself to sleep, for three months straight and wishing that my mother was alive.
I would have called her, and she would have held me tight and let me cry. Heck, she would have come over. Grief is lonely.
Only a few spouses can really be with you in that space. It takes immense patience and the divine ability to be selfless for another person to grieve with you for more than a few days.
This takes me to the next point. You will be lonely. You vowed to desert all others for the one that you married, but they will not always be there for you or with you.
You will miss the ‘high’ of new attention, the curiosity of meeting a new love interest, the naivety of believing every word and the immense promise it holds.
If your spouse is your friend, you will experience an intimacy that is not possible with any other human being.
You will have memories that are impossible to erase. You will create life or lives!
You will grapple in uncertainty as you raise those little humans. You will be filled with guilt and foreboding.
Did we bungle on the parenting when we had that heated argument in their hearing? Or did we ace it with the endless hugs, and I love yous?
You will at some point lose yourself in the marriage, taking on other identities and shedding off others.
You will struggle with blending and balancing these identities until one day, you will look in the mirror and say, “No. I do not have to be a superhero. I am just enough.”
You will go through an in-depth character development that not even a shrink would have helped you achieve. A spouse can tell you things about yourself that are true but nevertheless hurt to the bone to hear.
You will find it hard to sleep alone in a bed. There is something about sharing a bed with someone else, every day, week and for years that bonds you stronger with your spouse than with those you have shared a womb.
When he travels, you will find it hard to fall asleep. You will realise that you are so attuned to the rhythmic snoring that without it, the eerily silence gives you the scares.
You will become one, for real! You will look and sound alike. You will both want to murder with your bare hands anyone who tries to put you asunder.
But if your spouse severs the ties for another love interest, your heart will bleed, your sun will go out, and your very life will seep out of you.
You will not believe that it is possible to build from the ground what you have, with anyone else.
Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. [email protected]