Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Secret of a Happy Marriage..... I think...

I have a friend.. a very young friend. So young, that I am old enough to be his father, if I got married at 18.

Anyway, he is still single and his parents are worried. As parents do... especially in this day and age, not only are we parents worried that our daughters may become spinsters, but we also so worried that our sons maybe gay.

My friend's auntie is trying to match-make him with a cousin and according to my young friend, she seems ok. He asks for opinions and wondered if any of us (older friends) have ever experienced falling in love after marriage.

I believe, everybody falls in or out of love after marriage. Because, whatever happens before marriage is mostly fantasy.... unless of course, the couple have lived together for many years and have many children and, only then decide to get married, like Brad and Angelina. We do not tolerate that in Islam, so as far as we are concerned, marriage is the time a woman and a man really start to get to know each other. 

I guess, traditionally, Malay people are afraid of getting divorced. Or maybe, people of other religions, too, who are more orthodox and conservative in their ways. Divorce is a dirty word. As my mother-in-law likes to say, only the shovel can separate a married couple... a shovel that digs the grave that is.. 

And, we humans like to analyse things and we list down all the reasons of failed marriages and we match these reason to future cases of divorce and separation. But, then I know a few happily married couples who have one or more of these "marriage failure factors" yet they seem happy and contented.

One couple I know... The wife is an architect, the husband a taxi driver. The woman chartered the man's taxi to go to work everyday, they fell in love and got married. All of their children (five I think) are either in colleges or doing very well in school. Another couple, the wife is a successful business owner, and the husband is not working. Maybe this is normal overseas, but I can only imagine the looks and sneers and whispers behind them when they tell people of their situation. But, again, they are happy. Another happily married couple that  looks normal at first, because the husband is holding a high position at his work place, the wife.. is a "homemaker".... except that she makes nothing at home. She is so lousy in the kitchen, she can't even make a decent omelette. She can boil water only using the electric kettle. Again, they seem happily married. The adage that the way to a man's heart is through his belly, does not apply.

I think tolerance is the key. It doesn't matter how your spouse looks, or behaves.... if you can tolerate each other's idiosyncrasies with an open heart, then you are happily married. No matter how much you love somebody, if you can't tolerate him/her... best you go separate ways.

To Firdaus...... We cannot predict the future. I know you are a nice guy... So, if you think she's nice (and I'm sure your auntie has your best interest at heart) go for it!! Take the plunge!! And, Please DO NOT forget to invite me to your wedding... (I am warning you).

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