My 9 year old daughter recently asked me – Mom, why do people get married? I seized this opportunity to inject the value of responsible parenthood. I started my discourse confidently – ‘Many women have an innate need to nurture and love their off-spring but it is not very responsible to have cute and cuddly kids without being married’.
To my dismay, this argument was not well received by my girls who are huge Harry Potter fans. One of my twin daughter retorted, ‘J K Rowling is a single mom’ . I forfeited that argument for a more opportune time and quipped with a more palatable argument – wouldn’t one want a friend for life to have limitless lunches and dinners with, unlimited talk time with no surcharge? When an adult finds such a friend they willfully enter the arena of marriage. This satisfied my twin girls but the more I pondered on this, I realized marriage is quite practical and profitable.
Here are few of the benefits:
Gossip: Whenever I go out with my girl-friends we vent about our husbands. Husbands faults bring many girl friends together and cement the relationship! On a serious note, I have not known any married couple to have a perfect marriage. We are all just figuring it out, one day at a time.
Gifts: Most married women expect gifts on special occasions. If you marry the gifting kind, you are in for a treat. My husband once set out to get me jewelry and returned with Dilbert (Comic on Software Engineers) calendar. He exclaimed – ‘You will enjoy this more’. It took me few minutes to recover from the downgrading of the gift. Turns out he was absolutely right, I love Dilbert with passion and that calendar is a daily delight, a new and funny cartoon every day!
Growth: Early in the marriage each partner tries their best to improve the other. The imperfections of us humans cannot be hidden for long, they surface in any long-term association. Successful married couples soon realize that the only person one can change is self. This realization is a sure sign that someone has transitioned valiantly to adulthood!
Grit: Marriage also means arguments and dis-agreements. It taught me how to simultaneously not loose my voice and work out differences. My generation takes the commitment very seriously ; soldiering through the trials of marriage made me Grittier!
Give and Take– A marriage entails division of labor, one cooks the meal , the other devours it, oops cleans the dishes. More free time to fight, oops again, I meant to relax and have fun . The paradox is each partner believes they are giving more than the other!
Is it a coincidence that all the goodness of a marriage starts with G or is it because in many ways marriage is a Gamble!