You made your bed, care to lie in it?

You made your bed, care to lie in it?

“Choose your love. Love your choice” Thomas S.  Monson

Bailey was supposed to get married to Ben. She was excited. Happy! She had found the love of her life.

Ben asks: Do you love me?

Bailey replies: More than I can hold in my heart.

She had tears in her eyes. There was something about the way she said those words. Like she was trying all she could to hold the love in as it threatened to overflow, to choke her – in a good way (If there’s such a thing). Ignore the fact that she hadn’t showed up for her wedding. That she had left Ben standing like an idiot at the altar, waiting for her to walk down the aisle in vain. No, forget that, and let’s wallow in  mushiness for a while. “…more than I can hold in my heart’, she said. They eventually got married nonetheless and I had tears in my eyes when I watched that episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Elsewhere, Christina and Owen’s marriage was coming to an end…and needless to say, the mushiness ends here too! What is it they say; In one part of the world, a child is born, while in another part of the world a funeral is underway? In the same way, a couple gets married and declare their undying love for each other, love they can barely contain, in one part of the world, whilst another couple, unable to bear the sight of each other anymore, stare divorce in the face in yet another part of the world. C’est la vie, neh?

Owen says: We should have never gotten married in the first place Christina. When we did, we took something beautiful and we put it in this box, and for the last two years, all we have done is beat against those walls and tear each other apart. Now we sign these (divorce) papers, that ends, we get out of that box, and we don’t hurt each other anymore.

An interesting way to look at marriage: A ‘box’ that keeps you caged. A bombardment of rules, do’s and don’ts. Where you ‘get stuck’ with someone so that all you want to do is break free before you hurt each other irreparably.

Strong – but not so positive – words. A far cry from the mushy stuff that should come with marriage, yet used to describe the same union between man and woman.

How do you get from that point where your heart is overflowing with love for someone, to that point where you can barely stand the same person?

What happens in between? Do people change? At all? That much?

Interestingly, should you ask most married men whether given another chance, a do over of sorts, they would leave their wife to marry another woman, chances are that a good percentage of them will opt to stick with their choice. Should you however, ask most women if they would choose their husband over again, a very good percentage will give the suggestion a serious thought. The bold ones will opt for a swap.

Admittedly, men put some thought into the kind of woman they want to marry.They vet. They could be swayed from time to time by trifling physical appearances; hip size, boob endowment, skin complexion… but when it comes to settling down, all you hear about is the much sought after ‘wife material’. Can she be a good mother to my children? Can she cook? Manage a home? Can she be faithful? Is she respectable? Check! Check! Aaand Check! Ring please?! One knee goes down and POP comes the question “Woman, will you marry me?”

Women on the other hand don’t do much vetting. Husband material? Check list? What for? All she needs to know is; Is he interested? Is he rich? Does he have minions for twitter followers? Is he tall? Dark? Handsome? Check, Check and Check? “Well then handsome, Marry me! Marry me! Marry me?”

We have men who marry well, paired up with women who marry horribly. She is a good wife, call her Alicia Florrick if you will, but he is no ‘husband material’. She will play ‘wifey’ and dance to the man’s rendition of ‘chop my money’ and life will be good. But only for a while.

Then comes the realization that a fat wallet will not tuck in the children at night. The same bulging wallet, can’t give hugs nor wipe tears. What it will do is, it will be a magnet to other women (Don’t be too harsh now, you fell for the wallet too, didn’t you?) When Ipsos Synovate come knocking for some statistics and ask him if he would leave his wife for another woman, his response: No way, No how! He made the right choice the first time round. The wife will however see this as a chance to redeem herself and focus on the important stuff. The stuff that money can’t buy; love, integrity, responsibility, kindness, commitment. Jermaine Dupri was right then? ‘Money ain’t a thang’ after all, is it?

She might even take out that checklist now and ask; will he be a good father? A loving husband? When the rubber meets the road,  will he care about my happiness? Does he love? More than he can hold in his heart? No? A little bit then? Even a teeny weeny bit?

What do you look for when choosing a spouse? Is a loving man enough? Love won’t pay the rent you say? What can’t you compromise then? The answers to these questions play a part in that transition from overflowing-love wedding phase to the ‘I-can’t-stand-another-second-being-with-you’ divorce phase.

If you choose to marry for money, be content with rolling in cashmere, a luxurious life like Egyptian cotton a la Gwen Stefani and don’t expect anything else. If you marry for love and companionship, then accept him for who he is and be ready to laugh atop a boda boda a la Sauti Sol. If the money comes packaged with love, good on ya, girl. Good on ya! Problems begin when you marry an irresponsible jerk of a rich man and expect him to abracadabra into a responsible, loving and compassionate man. Now that gets really confusing!

The choice on who to marry stays with us for a long time. So why not make your bed in such a way that it will be comfortable when you lie in it, huh?

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