Life Without Parole, Series

Life Without Parole #1

By Iteti:

Have you ever thought about the whole marriage thing? Like really, deeply thought about it? Holy Matrimony, Buying the Cow, Getting Hitched; these are a few of the names used to describe this act, this thing, this most important decision in a person's life. This is when you practically give your whole self in service to someone, caring for and nurturing them. You become one with this person, their needs taking precedence over yours, and you hoping they will return the favour.

Naturally, now that I have “come of age”, I am most curious about getting married. From finding a mate to the wedding day, then on to having wee-little ones, not that I am particularly looking forward to the latter, and trying to turn them into decent human beings. It is expected that from the moment of conception, a little girl/foetus begins to dream of her wedding day – the colours, the decor, her man's chiselled-good-looks and the dress. Oh the dress! The one thing that will never ever go out of style, the white wedding gown! Frills and frumps, this usually very expensive heap of white must be friend and mother approved during a little ceremony of its own called “the gown selection”.

While little girls my age were dreaming of their prince charming, I on the other hand, was dreaming of as much importance – I played video games and tennis, and spent hours and hours with my head buried in a good book. It's no wonder that now, at the tender age of early-twenty-something, when it's expected of me to attract a human of the male persuasion and drag him down the aisle, I can't help but panic and wonder where on earth to begin.

After several failed attempts at finding and keeping a man, falling in love sounds tedious and time consuming – what with all the falling, then getting into something called a relationship, and the full time job of being and staying in love. Compromising on your favourite foods and having to share the blanket come with the territory. One has to be patient, kind, understanding, not envious or jealous or boastful but forgiving, fun and happy-go-lucky, to be and stay married, it seems.

There are the not-so-great moments when your partner literally and figuratively rubs you the wrong way and for ladies, it's even worse when the mood swings come on every month [don't act like you don't know what I am talking about]. That time when you just can't stand the look of him, like when you're pregnant, for some women the very scent of him makes her want to wage war on the male species. It's not easy, I have been told. Something this major is never easy and it must be gotten into with as much careful consideration and caution as one doing open-heart surgery.

If it's so complicated, why get married? Here are a few reasons I have managed to squeeze out of my brain, because for the life of me, I can't seem to see why. Even for love alone is not a good enough reason anymore.

Less housework: This is pretty self explanatory really. Two heads are better than one, they always say. One of the major benefits of marriage is my not having to do all the housework by myself, which means finding a mate who doesn't mind getting his hands dirty in the kitchen.

Two Incomes: Did someone say shopping? Yep! If you're getting married or about to get married, please repeat after me, “Baby, what's yours is mine; and what's mine is mine.” Recite it before you go to bed, first thing when you wake up and every bathroom break you take. Heck, include it in your wedding vows because every time you go shopping, that will be your mantra. Just kidding [almost]

Endless Chatter: Finally, someone who has no choice but to sit at home and listen to my rants and raves without running away. My marriage certificate is like that legally binding document that gives me freedom to talk as much as I want and obligates my mate to listen to me, all in the name of “good husbandry”. Don't you just love marriage?

Seriously though:

In a world where 50% of all marriages end in divorce, one has to wonder why we bother with weddings anyway. One has to factor in the most important reason for marriage, being that marriage makes a relationship something out of the ordinary, mundane happenings of mortality – it makes it divine. Getting married means something bigger than both of you is drawing you to each other. A wedding achieves something that simply can't happen otherwise: until a higher power is introduced into the relationship. We have mistaken lust and fondness for love and born a commitment out of things so fickle, so weak … so human.

Until a couple is married, their commitment to each other is a human one, with all the limitations of being human, which means the markings of pending divorce. A chord of three cannot be broken.

After all, this is the point of it all – Life without Parole.

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  • I think the problem starts with your very title. Life without Parole. People nowadays see marriage as some sort of punishment to which there is no escape. For many men it’s like, sex for the rest of your life with only one woman. How horrible??

    Secondly as you’ve correctly pointed out, if people don’t recognise that marriage is divine and much more than the two of them, they will never treat it or each other with the respect, patience, tolerance and gratitude required for a marriage to last a lifetime.

    Third, your quip about “Baby, what's yours is mine; and what's mine is mine.” isn’t even remotely funny. I have seen first hand how so many emancipated women have taken this position and how little they realise it’s eroding their marriages. I’ve seen too many examples of this.

    I pray that you will find the husband worthy of you but more importantly, that you will be worthy of him. It’s so easy in marriage to put all our expectations, hopes and blame on the spouse without looking in the mirror.

    Marriage can be heaven or hell, depending on your choice. So choose wisely.

    Great piece Iteti. Thankyou

  • Ayeza

    I enjoyed reading this….indeed, as Kizzy has pointed out, marriage can be heaven or hell depending on how you choose…how we should all choose wisely! I know that a lifetime is a very long time to be stuck with the wrong person. The thought that sticks out for me in your piece is “Until a couple is married, their commitment to each other is a human
    one, with all the limitations of being human, which means the markings
    of pending divorce. A chord of three cannot be broken.” … food for thought certainly.

  • Nice piece Iteti. As you correctly put it this “Life without parole” can only be successful if it is God centered. All those values about love, patience, respect, selflessness, etc are Godly virtues (and by no means human attributes). Only God can lead you to the right mate and more so give you the grace to stay committed to him/her. A chord of three cannot be broken indeed!! God bless.

  • Pacutho

    I am more curious about the other 50% who make it…in a topsy turvy world only the bad gets the headlines…

    • Iteti

      I hear you.

  • Love love loved reading this…

    • Iteti

      So glad, Heidi

  • amanda

    i like the way you write the truth..

    • Iteti

      Thank you 🙂