Love eludes many and loves those who open their hearts to it. A lot of people lose themselves to the pursuit of it; asking all the important questions from what is love, is it even real or how to love? Some merely flirt with the idea of it, not knowing how to reign in for themselves its ferine nature- or so they’ve been led to believe.
But could one possibly find the answers to these golden questions before walking down that isle? To answer this we must first answer what our duty to love is. What is our duty to love? To quote the teachings of the great Persian mystic poet, Rumi, “Our task is not to seek for love but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have been built against it.”
Marriage is the materialization of love in its purest form, it is not something to dread or dwell upon with an anxious mind. It is a beautiful lifelong commitment that should be embraced with soulful acquiescence, with functioning commitments to self-discovery and healing. It is both selfish and vain to come into such a commitment without the readiness to embrace the responsibility that comes with.
The importance of being individually complete before marriage cannot be overemphasized, the neglect of which is the number one cause of marital failure. The journey to readiness begins with self-discovery, a starting point would be to elucidate for oneself the values and beliefs systems that ground you. You don’t want to come into marriage not sure of who you are or what you represent as this can be a sure source of conflict as the family grows, trust me, you do not want to raise children in an environment that is cognitively unsure of itself. In the same vein, it is important for partners to understand that marriage isn’t and shouldn’t be one-way traffic oriented. There is enough room for shared values, and difference doesn’t always equal division; the mistake we make is to expect our partners to be all compromising.
Before walking down that isle, you need to make it a point to walk down that road of rediscovery. You will need to sit down with your doubts, fears and insecurities – all the things likely to hold you back from developing meaningful relationships. It could be repressed traumas from your childhood, some of which may seem minuscule but spell bigger trouble in marriage. Years down the line, you don’t want to find yourself caught up in the crosshairs of emotional unavailability; all of what could be beautiful and spirited interaction reduced to shadow projections of your troubled past-you really don’t want that for yourself. Admit it, we’ve all got some healing to do.
Further to our argument lies the question on finances, whether it’s a question of affording you and your loved ones the simple thrills of life or something as demanding as your children’s education. The question on financial freedom cannot be ignored. I think much of our financial struggle stems from financial illiteracy, our reluctance to invest in both financial management and passive income streams cripples our financial muscle. Whilst it can be argued the question on finances should be relegated to a lower tier where love is concerned, the importance of being financially independent before marriage, however, cannot not be downplayed.
Most people are also driven to believe the institution of marriage will somehow afford them the discipline needed to be true to their partners. But that idea is in itself so far removed from reality, marriage is not some utopia that self-remedies all flaws and shortcomings, if anything, certain character flaws when left unchecked only get heightened in marriage. Just as in any other field, discipline is something that is nurtured over time. Those that therefore seek to truly build meaningful relationships and marital foundations on the promise of love must embrace the truth ‘To love is to be complete’.
I don’t know what picture comes to mind when you hear the phrase, but I hope you can at least so lucidly picture yourself enjoying the bliss and beatitudes marriage has to offer, all the more because you willing invested in readying yourself for it. You should want that for yourself!
Article by Tchu Chisiza