Whenever I see a thread where singles are arguing about marriage and sounding off, I laugh. I laugh because I see so much energy dissipated on theories of what marriage should be, what singles will not tolerate and how they will not take any nonsense from their spouses.
It reminded me of something Don Odunze Jnr told us over two decades ago, when the team of his father (the iconic Don Odunze), his mother, and he came to our church to give us some marriage tips.
After the general talk on marriage by the great Don Odunze himself (God bless his beautiful soul), we broke into three classes: (1) married men, (2) married women, and (3) singles. Don Odunze Jnr spoke to us, the singles. He started by telling us that as singles, we might say we would not take “shit” (his exact word) from our spouses after marriage, but we should be ready not only to take “shit” but to even eat “shit” from our spouses as married people.
He told us a story of how his pregnant wife shouted his name from the toilet one night he was sleeping and he rushed out from bed into the toilet, thinking that something bad had happened to his wife. Lo and behold, his wife told him she just called him to come and see her faeces.
He could not believe what he just heard. You mean you woke up your husband in the middle of the night just for him to come and see your poo? Is your poo the latest box office movie? But what could he do to his wife? Should he allow that to create problems in their young marriage? No.
He used it as an illustration of the type of nonsense a married man or woman will take, contrary to what the person thought he or she would not accept in marriage.
Marriage is an institution that can never be fully understood from the outside, no matter one’s age, intelligence or learning.
Marriage is not a home of rights and personal desires. It is an institution where you lose some of your rights, privileges, personal desires and even dreams. You bury many things you like to ensure that the marriage works.
But if you are not ready to forgo some of your rights, desires, ego, and whatnot, just forget about marriage and remain single. After all, marriage is not compulsory. But if you want a happy marriage, you must be ready to bury the “I” and embrace the “We.”
If you go into marriage with the antagonistic, anachronistic, egocentric mindset of social media slay queens and kings, you will run out before long and regale us with tales of how badly your darling spouse who became a monster overnight treated you the angel.