Conversations with your mother: The pressure to get married

Conversations with your mother.

“Are you thinking of getting married?
“… I heard Jane got Married the other day….. (pause) what are you waiting for?”
“30 is right around the corner”
“I have someone I want you to meet”
“My birthday is coming up, is your fiancé going to buy me a present? You know I like that phone that kind of slides like this (as she does funny things with her fingers)”
“When are you going to leave this house and enter your husbands house?”
“Instead of telling me all the things you want, you should be asking your husband.”
“if you had a husband, you would….”

These among many memorable phrases are part of conversations that you’ve probably had with your mother. And I use the term mother loosely to also refer to your godmother, your aunts, older sisters, mentors and the likes. We love them, we do, but sometimes we just want to say “shut up”. Because on top of your mother there is your friends, your uncles, the nanny, the neighbour and just about everybody who cares a little about you (and who doesn’t) who seem to want to have the conversation about “being married” and “having children”.

Do they not think that you too sometimes aspire to these things? They seem to want to remind you every chance you get, tell you how a good wife is suppose to be and why it is important for you to get married. If you’re lucky you are relatively strong willed and have not have passed the cap of 30 (yet! Yes YET) so they sometimes lay off you, but what of the dear dear sisters who are getting this pressure day in and day out, and who sometimes succumb.

Could this un-relentless pressure perhaps be the reason why getting married is (such) an end goal? An end goal in the sense that, some sisters aspire to it so much that they would do anything and everything under the sun. They hear the bickering over and over again, and eventually it becomes like a second voice in their minds, hammering at them constantly. And even after you make that step, the next pressure ring involves the children.

Your Mother probably Says;
She thinks it is important to get married, she thinks a woman (as she grows older) needs companionship, it is hard to be alone she says. For her, marriage has nothing to do with what people around you say, it has to do with creating an environment for yourself, accepting the good, the bad and the ugly (but only because you chose it). Above all, she strongly believes that baring children is the one and only legacy you (as a woman) can leave behind. She is proud to have had all her children, and she wants the same for you. She’s been known to say that you can decide not to get married, but you must not give up on having children.

One Aunty thinks;
She has no ‘opinion’ which way or the other (or so she says). She just wants you to be happy. And she thinks that you will be happy being a wife and mother. Both go hand in hand. I guess that is her opinion.

Your friends:
Some think you are lonely, and always find the words to tell you that youI should really be in a relationship, as if you just snap your fingers and summon “relationship come to me”. A few think you make no effort whatsoever (their prerogative) and others well, you rock and ride together in your “social loneliness”. Often considered social pariahs because the married women don’t approve of you being around their husbands, the men think something is wrong with you because you are not yet married, the parents think you must not want to settle down and so on and so on.

Your Uncles they just want to know that some idiot isn’t shacking up with you and getting a free ride (the dowry must be paid). One is known to often tell you, “you young girls today are not like our mothers” – whatever that means…. Your dad prbably just sits calmly waiting to threaten whoever comes around to “steal” his daughter. He patiently (for now) awaits the moment and you thank him for that.

I mean everyone is going to have something to say about why you are not shackled down. Ultimately it is a singular decision. A choice (you know how I love my choices). And nothing I say here will change what they think or what you even think as a person, however, here are 3 reasons why you should never, ever feel the pressure to get married:

Because they said so (who cares what they say? It is your choice remember?)
Because you’ve been together so long, why not (this is one of the stupidest reasons if I have ever heard one, together with ‘we have kids together’ – don’t pollute the lives of innocent children please)
Because you want “stability” (whatever that means….)

Marriage is hard, marriage for the wrong reasons is a nightmare. I don’t think getting married at 25 or 45 makes a difference as long as it is a decision you have made for yourself. Don’t let society decide what you do for yourself. And should you never get married, trust me it is not the end of the world. Period. Happiness is not a destination, don’t think that because you get married you will be happy, anyways, this is getting long… Do not let society dictate when you walk down the aisle, do it when you are ready! I know I won’t. I may be a product of my society, but I am above all, a whole individual.

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