Thursday, November 27, 2014

Marriage: An Institution of Equality, Not Similarity

 Whenever I have discussions with my friends about marriage, different opinions creep up. One interesting opinion that always builds the base for an argument is that of equality in marriage. Many people including myself believe that spouses in marriage are created to be equal. However, I believe many people mistake equality for similarity. For some reason I cannot comprehend, we expect that males and females should approach situations in similar ways. I am an astute observer of people, and I can tell you today that marriage is an institution of equality, not similarity.

I read an interesting post by a famous Nigerian actress who stated that her husband does not apologize to her in the conventional sense; in other words, he doesn't utter the magic words that constitute an apology. Instead, he cajoles her, perhaps tickles her, maybe buys her something to show he's sorry.... Many readers of that post went on and on about how her husband is arrogant, not a good man, bla bla... I on the other hand saw it from a different angle. Some people are remorseful, but believe that the words 'I'm sorry' are so cliché, they are not worth uttering. It doesn't mean they do not view their partners as equals, or believe their partners can easily be bought with a kind gesture. 

The problem I see is that many people go into marriage with the expectation that their partners will approach situations the way they expect them to. We want our partners to apologize a certain way, speak a certain way at all times and understand how we feel every single time time. The issue is that is impossible! You are not married to your siamese twin, you are married to someone who was exposed to a different environment from yours. You might be equal in your marriage, but you can't be similar in anyway. The sooner couples start to understand it, the easier marriage will be. 

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