I was more of a witness than an actual participant of the whole exercise. The years of searching, the myriad unpleasantness, and even the reality checks had not prepared me for the session of drafting the marriage contract. Even before I had said, “I do,” clauses for inheritance and divorce were tossed, argued, and agreed on.
With all certainty, both partners experience an epiphany when signing. In those 10 seconds, the idea of sharing a life together does not seem half as romantic as in rom-coms. Lightning can strike. And it does, even in all its negative connotations!
New couples are optimistic, and there is absolutely no reason to be otherwise. However, to expect everything to ceaselessly fall into their rightful places can be a mistake.
Every weathered couple laughs at the recollection of that first eerie experience of waking up in the middle of the night, only to be startled by the sight of a complete stranger in the room. Even if it is someone you had been seeing for years, the most familiar of faces can seem unrecognisable in the dark.
There are reasons to be scared, but there is no excuse for being fearful. Having a partner to share a life, to grow and mature with – see the world from a different perspective, is a godsend. There are, however, strings attached to that gift — responsibility, sincerity, honesty and a conscious effort to nurture passion that shall develop progressively. These are the chords that hold the institution of marriage.
Thousands wed every day. Some dance the funky chicken on their fiftieth anniversary, while others are not as fortunate. It's a roller-coaster ride from start to finish, but if marriages are made in heaven, know that the success is very much within human realms of free will. No one says it is easy, but it also does not have to be difficult.
Consider marital bond as a progressive phase of human existence. Love is important to see this through, but it can neither blossom nor grow vines without a harmony of sounds from the strings. Harsh as it may seem, love can be overrated, and it is! The fantasy of that ideal partner will forever remain a dream, because soul mates are not born; they ought to be created by two architects, each complementing the other.
The values that existed even decades ago have vanished, but it is important to recognise that not all ideals of the previous generation were positive. The same holds true for the values of the time we live in. We are re-defining love, relationship, marriage, family, and career. It is only natural we must also re-think and chart our roles to achieve desired results.
A loving spouse to share the burdens of everyday life is a blessing, but one must also be open to sharing the joys. The process is not about slicing chores right in the middle. The task of a husband, or that of a wife, cannot be pre-determined.
The relationship should also never be static. One may choose not to burden them by looking beyond decades, and shape their identity without having to face the reality. There is no secret recipe to a successful marriage, but the closest solution is to have an open mind that things shall change, and the determination to embrace come what may. The outward appearance can lead to love, but only respect can lead to love that has no boundaries, no stops, and no end. It is better to bask in the warmth of affection based on reason rather than hopelessly chasing a dream-- a fantasy of a perfect partner can never be real.
Marriage is not a pie to be halved by theorems. The moment of signing ushers a new episode in your life, but how you choose to take it from there is the key to success.
Life could use a start button, and surely every marriage could use an option to re-start. Neither exists. The only positive assurance is that once honest, committed and sincere in the relationship; the two shall never have to start from scratch. If you have not done it wrong, you can never do it right.
Marriage is like a tango, a dance that needs time and effort to perfect. It takes two to tango and all we can do is play the tune and sway without pause. All you need is to sign with a will to dance.
Photo: Prito Reza, Wedding Diary Bangladesh