M A R R I A G E

When you are married, that is the only time you can sleep next to your enemy and wake up alive the next morning.

As a young, black, township born and bred, Christian and culturally stifled Africa man – getting married is not my personal choice, it is a decision my parents have already taken for me before I have thought of it myself. They have at least given me the freedom to choose a partner, but I must to get married. In black families, getting married is not only a matter of choosing a life partner or wanting to be with the same person for the rest of your life, it is a character of success and responsibility.

I have been responsible for most of my teenage years. As a young adult, who is supposed to get married in at least five to seven years, I see no absolute reason why I should be proving to the world that I am responsible by walking down the aisle with someone and professing my love for them even though I may not be ready for it. I already have my reservations about the institution of marriage. It has been used to oppress women for as long as the human race existed. I believe it is a beautiful thing, especially when there are no over-arching expectations attached to it.

When I told my mother this morning that I don’t want to get married or even have kids- she looked at me with shocking disgust. The stare in her eyes was as if I had insulted her life. She was/is disappointed. Marriage is an institution which I believe should be free from our parent’s expectations and influence. It should be a decision between two people who are madly in love with each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together. Marriage is not a survival plan. Nor should it be used to put down women, or the decisions of young people.

I am sucker for romance. I believe marriage is a romantic affair that will end when we hit the grave. In reality, it is not. The main reason is that the definition and our understanding of marriage has been dented by rotten and unrealistic expectations from parents, relatives and society in general.

I know that I might be too young for marriage, but I cannot help but question something I have been told is my biological obligation. My reason for not wanting to get married is that I have seen a number of unhappy, unsuccessful, abusive, career ruining, money-centred, and suicidal pushing marriage. I am scared of getting married. I am scared of supporting an institution that supports patriarchy and the torment of women. I am scared of doing what I am expected to do rather than what I want to do. I am scared of not dispelling the idea that girls should only aspire to marriage. I am scared that I might turn out to be a terrible husband. I might change my mind someday, but as for now, marriage is but an idea that I choose not think about right now.

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