Marriage, is it the ultimate destination? Where singledom reaches an eternal end?
We spend so much of our lives obsessing over marriage, consciously or subconsciously. Whether you’re the oblivious 8-year-old girl watching a Disney princess being wooed by her prince, or a28-year-old being told by society that you need a husband to complete you. So what is big the secret behind marriage that promises fulfillment? Is it the physical presence of another. Is it the unconditional love you hope to receive? Or is it just that it’s the preconceived notion that marriage is the end goal, and the end goal promises happiness?
Remember that proverb about the grass always being greener on the other side? Well, marriage is kinda like that for Muslim singletons. If we find that we are lonely, we tell ourselves that if we had a partner, we wouldn’t know loneliness. If we need security, surely the presence of a man/woman in our lives would provide us with the security that we need. And if we want comfort, where better to find comfort other than in the arms of your partner.
So as a singleton we begin believing that all the parts of us that are incomplete, will only come to fruition upon marriage. And it doesn’t help when there are studies suggesting that marriage makes you more successful. Is it any wonder that we think marriage is what we need to reach the pinnacles of success?
And so women are left falling under two camps: either searching for it or actually taking the plunge. But what does the reality of marriage really entail? Does it promise you a release from loneliness? Does it grant you security? Does it provide you with comfort? The truth is, marriage promises you none of the above. It doesn’t ensure that you never feel lonely, it doesn’t guarantee security. In fact, marriage can take you to further realms of loneliness and insecurity. Insecurity, not only financially, but insecurity, emotionally. Marriage is not the prescription drug that will cure all your life’s ailments. It holds no magic power to remedy all your troubles. Don’t get me wrong, a strong happy marriage can bring great things to the table. But an expectancy to fill voids within yourself through marriage is a dangerous notion.
Marriage is actually a shared path for two people who have their own paths in life. It doesn’t dictate that the other person caters to all your needs and all your desires, and vice versa. That mindset can be damaging to both parties. Because the truth is, no one can be the reason for your happiness. And if you think someone is, you’re walking a risky path. Because at some point you will face disappointment at the hands of another, whether intentionally or unintentionally. And that disappointment will take you back to a place where you had expected marriage to never take you. So if singledom, doesn’t fulfill you, and neither does marriage, then what exactly will? We live in an idealistic world, where the ideal is that the answer to our problems lies somewhere other than within ourselves. So we look to places and people for comfort and reassurance. But the cure, we’re all searching for, is actually within us.
You are what you make of yourself. No man or woman will fulfil you, if you yourself do not have the power over your self, over your mind and over your heart. So if you’re considering marriage as the solution.
Let’s be very clear. Marriage is not the solution. Marriage is not the destination either. Marriage is the journey, the path you choose to take with your loved one. It too has highs and lows. It too can bring pain. It too can bring insecurities, just as those that are felt when we are single. Some days it will prove to be easy and some days it will prove to be difficult. So every day you have to work at it. Every day you give a part of yourself in its devotion. If you give it love, you receive love in return. If you neglect it, it will neglect you in return. And this is no different to the way in which we should treat ourselves. Give yourself love, give yourself strength, give yourself everything that you need. Whether you are single or whether you are married. The answers lie within you.
U.F. Shah is a Poet and a Spoken Word Artist based in the North West of England who also has an academic background in Law. She believes that poetry has the power to challenge the mind and that it is a unique method of conveying messages from deep within our souls. She attempts to challenge stereotypes whilst also journeying on a road of love and heartache through her verses. She is currently in the final stages of writing her first collection of Poetry and Prose with the aim of not only inspiring people but also empowering them.