>In a marriage, that is.
It’s a coincidence perhaps that three of the six-member team I have at office are women who are separated from their spouses. Girl 1 was married for a year to a boy who made her work like a slave in the office, treated her like a maid at home and raped her at night before she walked out of the arranged match. Girl 2 was married for three years, has a two-year-old baby and has just come back to live with her parents because she was scared her parents-in-law would torture her to death. Girl 3 was married for two years to a boy she chose for herself but who she did not know was an obsessive, jealous lover.
Perhaps this is more than a coincidence; it’s an indicator of how young, independent women can think of happiness out of the box called marriage if the box gets stifling to stay within. And while I don’t condone divorces, I don’t condone the idea of living in an unhappy marriage just for the sake of putting up a sham before society. If you don’t get anything out of a relationship, not even the satisfaction of giving some part of yourself to it, what good can come out of it? And what reason is big enough to hold you back from ending such a relationship?
Which brings me to the vital question that I always ask myself when I see women stick on for no apparent reason in an unhappy marriage: do we marry for social security or do we marry for happiness?
People argue how marriages these days don’t last like they used to in the times of our parents because Generation Now isn’t ready to “adjust” and they say it like adjusting to an unhappy life is a good thing when it clearly isn’t. Why should anyone stay with an incompatible partner, a disloyal spouse, a foolhardy husband or wife? What purpose does such a marriage serve?
I know people who’ve been unhappily married for decades and if you ask them why, it’s probably because they’ve never thought of ending their misery. I know a woman whose husband, after 15 years of marriage, is having an affair with a woman he says he is intent on marrying. He abuses here – verbally and I suspect physically too. They have two adolescent children who witness their father cheating openly on their mother and hate him for it. And though the woman isn’t even financially dependent on her husband, she is keen on preserving that which is already rotten. She is emotionally tormented and knows there’s no going back to where it all started. Yet, she will not walk out. Oh yes, give it another chance, like people say, but know when to say ‘Enough is enough.’
The children for whose sake couples often live in loveless marriages don’t benefit from seeing two estranged parents live under the same roof. I come from a happy home and I know how much it means to see my parents together. Yet, happiness is not about seeing your parents constantly sparring with each other or seeing your father flirt with his mistress on the phone while your mother waits in the wings. What kind of a home can such parents give their children? Unhappiness isn’t easy to live with and if you are dissatisfied in a relationship as important as that of a husband and wife, would you have the energy to bring up your child well? If you were so busy dealing with your own emotions, would you have the time to focus on your child’s?
To me, no reason seems good enough for a man and a woman to waste lives – theirs and their children’s – on a hopeless existence. But I’m open to understanding if you can explain otherwise. Can you?