slip-sliding away…..

Marriage and you (Yes, YOU)

Posted by Yacoob on March 5, 2012

Once upon a time, for what felt like ages, marriage was the most important issue in my life. For years, I searched for that elusive partner – the mythical ‘soulmate’ who would ‘complete’ me, help me to grow personally, and provide for me the emotional bond I so desperately craved.

And in those years, a lot of my focus –in thought, writing, and discussions with others – was on that very mission – who, when, and how it would all happen. In fact, I think the pinnacle of my writing at that point was this poem – which encapsulated pretty much all my dreams for marriage.

And when it did finally happen, it didn’t take long for that focus to fade away. I mean, once a mission is complete, you don’t go on ruminating about it – especially when time no longer permits (yes – being married is a rather time-consuming matter).

As far as the blog world goes, back then, there were many others who were in the same boat as me. And I’ve found that it’s a constant in this realm – many bloggers and commenters are single, and looking (not necessarily the ones referred to above).

And while I myself am no longer in their shoes, a part of me still remembers what it was like. So with that in mind, I have some thoughts about a possible series I’d like to start on this here blog – specifically on that subject matter: Mission Marriage.

So what I would like from you – the single and looking ones out there – is your input. You can choose to post here as a comment with your blog-name or anonymously, or email instead if you don’t want it publically visible.

  • What are the biggest issues for you in your quest?
  • In today’s times and Western societies we live in, is the ‘Islamic way’ of going about this quest still feasible or effective?
  • What are your thoughts on arranged marriage? And would you accept it for yourself?
  • Do you fear that you’re approaching a ‘sell-by date’, after which your chances are going to fall dramatically?
  • What kind of wedding do you hope for?
  • What are your thoughts on pre-marital education (e.g. marriage classes)?

Those are just some questions that came to mind, but there are probably many more that can be added.

In your responses, I ask that you be honest but also careful not to say anything you would regret later. Don’t get too personal (meaning, don’t give your life story about your experiences in this – extract your points without mentioning any identifiable names). And don’t expose any wrongs that you or others have done. And don’t harshly criticize others who are doing things you don’t agree with.

I don’t know if anything will come of this, but it’s an idea right now – and perhaps it may blossom into something bigger, if demand is there and time permits it to go further.

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6 Responses to “Marriage and you (Yes, YOU)”

  1. Azra said

    Y’know growing up and over the last couple of months I’ve come to view marriage in a VERY different light. When I was younger I was very idealistic and had specific ideas about what marriage was/is and what constituted a marriage. But being where I am now, I see it very differently. For starters, I realise that the “dream” of what marriage is and the “reality” of what it actually is, is two completely different things. This was one of my epiphanies a few months ago.

    Marriage is much more difficult and requires much more “work” than people realise. And that is why it’s better for people to marry young when they are more hopeful, naive and “mould-able”. Being older makes one more afraid, especially since the pitfalls are more real and consequences have more meaning.

    To answer your questions:

    1. What are the biggest issues for you in your quest?

    I don’t know if you remember, but I decided a while back that I don’t want to get married. What I meant by that is that I’m done with *wanting* to get married. If it happens, it will be an act of Divine Will. That’s not to say that I’m not interested or open to opportunities – I just don’t pine for something that isn’t yet meant to be because I recognise that things happen how and when they should.

    2. In today’s times and Western societies we live in, is the ‘Islamic way’ of going about this quest still feasible or effective?

    I don’t know if what you mean by Islamic as “Cultural” or “Islamic Law”? In any case, life is weird. We can meet people in the strangest ways eg. over the internet. So really, intention counts here. As for “dating”… again Intention counts. We live in a world where you can’t just marry anyone (people who give “references” sometimes lie – as in the many cases where people got married to others who were substance abusers etc. and they didn’t find out until afterwards) .

    3. What are your thoughts on arranged marriage? And would you accept it for yourself?

    Here it would depend on the guys character, beliefs, priorities and goals. I wouldn’t agree to any kind of marriage without getting to know him or what he is about on some level. If we’re not on the same page it will never work long term.

    4. Do you fear that you’re approaching a ‘sell-by date’, after which your chances are going to fall dramatically?

    No. I’m a “disciple” of anything goes i.e. I do not adhere to cultural limitations or deadlines.

    5. What kind of wedding do you hope for?

    Quick and easy. Thursday night, cake and tea at my house, everyones invited.

    6. What are your thoughts on pre-marital education (e.g. marriage classes)?

    Essential. I’m a believer in pre-marital counselling too – as in discussing whats important to you, what you need and require in the marriage and finding out what is expected from you as a partner.

  2. Prixie said

    If I may, I will answer what I can. Though I am getting married, it is against my better judgement. LOL

    What are the biggest issues for you in your quest?
    I have never been a believer in marriage so this is going against the grain.

    In today’s times and Western societies we live in, is the ‘Islamic way’ of going about this quest still feasible or effective?
    I am not Muslim, so unsure what is the ‘Islamic way’.

    What are your thoughts on arranged marriage? And would you accept it for yourself?
    Since I do not believe in marriage, this is totally out of the question.

    Do you fear that you’re approaching a ‘sell-by date’, after which your chances are going to fall dramatically?
    No. As it is, I am getting married ‘quite late’ – I will be 30 next year! I do believe if people choose marriage, it can happen at any time of your life.

    What kind of wedding do you hope for?
    Never did think of this.

    What are your thoughts on pre-marital education (e.g. marriage classes)?
    This would be very helpful! Nowadays, marriage is definitely a partnership in every sense of the word – both people are working and both need to maintain the house. It is vital that couples understand this and men don’t expect their wives to dote on them as their mothers did – all too common in the Indian community.

  3. Dreamlife said

    Thank you both for your responses.

    Azra: I meant law – as in what is allowed and what isn’t in terms of male-female interaction (e.g. mahram present, etc). But you do bring up the very good point of cultural practice in this – because that’s often a massive factor in the process (and one that can contradict Islamic law).

    Prixie: Congratulations! When’s the big day?
    With regard to the Islamic way – I suppose I could just as well ask about your own religion’s traditions / laws in this regard. But I would think ‘Indian’ culture runs through any Indian family in this regard – no matter which religion.

    • Prixie said

      17 March 2013.

      I do think some of the Indian cultural norms regarding weddings is phasing out slowly because it is just not applicable in this day and age, for eg, having 900 people attend the wedding! Though there are many times where I am now having this conversation with my mother, S.O’s mother or aunts:
      “You must do so-and-so-and-so…”
      My reply: “But why?”
      Their response: “But you must.”
      The next time I hear that, I will throw a punch!
      So things are not phasing out quick enough or fast enough.

  4. I realized after reading this that i have changed so much in the last year, that I don’t know the answer to these questions anymore.
    A while ago someone forwarded me a quote, that went something like : Allah (SWT) has already decided on your partner, rather work on your relationship with HIM.
    I think I will start there :)

  5. dreamlass said

    marriage is a funny thing- it’s kind of like reallllllly yummmmy-looking cake- but when you bite into it, it’s not that yummy anymore… most people can live with it being unsoyummy and eat it still, while some will spit it out, or waste it.

    i think that’s marriage- you gotto want to sacrifice, not necessarily physical sacrifice, but more idealistic sacrfiice- if that makes sense. you have to sacrifice your ideals of a partner, a home, kids, and love.

    i know so many people, who personally i feel are passing their ‘best before’ dates, because they refuse to be with someone who doesnt match their ideals. they say that he/she doesnt have to be ‘perfect’, but that’s exactly what they want.

    yes, i do believe in best before dates, not sell by coz it’s not like you gonna go off, but best before, especially for a woman, who has to bear kids- its reality- the older you get, the more complicated it gets- that’s just biology.

    for a man, well, the older he gets, the more mature he gets, which means that he does not have to be spoilt like mommy use to when he was a sock-throwing, laundry-making teenager. so, maybe for a guy, the best before date would be a little longer.

    hey, call me a cultural freak! to me, its the truth… cliche is cliche for a reason- it is the common truth….

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