Monday, September 12, 2016

Debunking Relationships and Marriage Myths Series (Post #1)

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Myth  Number One: A Person who fits the bill of a husband or wife material will make a perfect partner


I have heard it so many times - the "she's not wife material" and "he's not husband material" excuse. It appears everyone is hunting for a particular type of material which brings up many questions in my head. What makes a person wife material or husband material? Where did this ideology come from and why do we believe in it so much? 

I have met many married wife materials and their husbands who are enduring their relationships and not exactly enjoying them. I have met many husband materials and their wives who are on the brink of  divorce and starting to develop bitterness towards one another. If the wife/husband material myth was meant to bring perfect marriages, what then is going wrong? Why are many wife and husband materials abused in their relationships? Why are they unhappy? Why do they lack fulfillment? It's because the idea of husband/wife material as we see it is a flawed one that has resulted in many wrong marriage decisions. 

The idea of a person being a wife or husband material stems from a rule of qualities that person is expected to have. E.g. A wife material should be submissive, respectful, be able to keep the home together, be prayerful, be able to bite her tongue when necessary, be a great cook and domestic house chores type of person...the list goes on. A husband material should earn more than his wife, be more educated than she is, take the responsibility of her well-being upon himself...again the list goes on. Now there is nothing wrong with the list if it is in line with what YOU as an individual can live with. However, you must bear in mind that these list of qualities suggest that perfection is required to build a happy marriage. I can tell you now that that is so not true. The fact that a person is perfect on paper does not mean he or she will make a great partner. Building a great relationship is actually more dependent on chemistry than a checklist. 

What kind of chemistry? Every kind. Physical chemistry, intellectual chemistry, spiritual chemistry, financial chemistry, emotional and psychological chemistry, the whole nine yards. A solid relationship is  based more on your ability to 'vibe' flawlessly with one another than it is on a list of qualities. Your partner has to get you on your different levels of 'crazy' and sanity. Many young men have often asked me to advise them on who to marry - the ladies their hearts beat for, or the lady who checks the list of what a good wife even though they are not that into her. You can guess my response - choose the one that makes you happy, the one that you can be vulnerable and crazy with, that you can play with, that can make you forget your worries for the moment, the one that brings out the romantic in you. Unfortunately, many other men have been advised to pick the women who fit the bill; the connection will come later. In some marriages, the connection never comes and they end up living like flatmates- separate lives under the same roof, going through the exhaustive task of keeping up appearances.

Why choose the wife or husband material you don't love because you're afraid of following your heart? Why pick someone you are not attracted to because they score 10 out of 10 on a list that was created based on ambiguous factors? Why pick the one that fulfills all of society's standards, yet bores you to death, and makes you question if the other one would have been a better choice? I may sound idealistic, but when you choose to commit to someone, you should not have doubts in your mind. You should pick the person who MAKES YOU HAPPY, not someone who makes the world happy. In this light, wife or husband material will mean different things to everyone of us. You need to know yourself, hence know the kind of wife or husband material that suits you. Like someone once said on twitter, you can't be eba, and instead of looking for okra, you're looking for coleslaw. Same way you can't be coleslaw and expect to work well in a relationship with okra. Know yourself, know what makes you happy, know what gives you peace, and choose that over society's standards of wife and husband material. God bless you in your choices. 

Look out for Post #2 XOXO

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