๐Ÿ’– Love and Marriage ๐Ÿ’—

I just read “Misconceptions About Relationships” by one of my favorite authors, Nomzamo Madide, about relationships. I’ve been in a few relationships and avoided reflecting on them, for whatever reason it’s something I really don’t like to reflect on, perhaps I think of relationships as carnal and beneath philosophy, or perhaps I just am a train wreck with relationships, but I haven’t thought about it much thanks to a lot of intentional avoidance.

I got married in 2015, so I’m five years in at this point, I thought it might be interesting to see the same points covered from a different point in time.

1. [Debunking that] Sharing everything on social media is important. Honestly, the more you keep your relationship private, the better.

– Nomzamo Madide

I couldn’t agree more, something about sharing the details of our lives that were special makes them less special to me. Perhaps that’s why I don’t write more about love? Say for instance if I get a gift for my husband and take a picture and post somewhere about it, it feels kind of wrong to do. It seems weird to put intimate things in a public space. Not like hiding the fact I am married, but the less I disclose personal information about my husband that isn’t relevant to what I am saying it feels respectful and loyal to me. Sure from time to time I mention him, as he pertains to my life, but it’s not the same as narrating our private relationship publicly in detail or cataloging each fun outing we ever do together. Taking those kind of pictures, for others to see, it feels different than the ones that are just for us to remember and taking any pictures at all takes away whatever moment we otherwise would have experienced with the world. We never adjusted to taking pictures everywhere we go, no offense to people that do, it just detracts more than it adds for us. It’s nice that we both don’t like to take pictures so at least that is one point of non-argument.

2. [Debunking that] Relationships should be a fairytale. Every couple has to face its reality: career, family, and obstacles play a huge role in the dynamic of your relationship. Relationships are not what we see in Disney movies, they take both parties putting in the work and trust me no relationship is perfect but you make it work.

– Nomzamo Madide

It’s really hard to let go of the idea of the fairy tale romance for me, because I’m a romantic at heart. I would say fairies exist, but they are actually mosquitoes… everything behind the fairy tale romance has some basis in reality so it’s easy to be tricked. My husband and I were very much in love, he denies anything has changed to avoid doing any work to rekindle some of what we did have, but it’s obvious, though it’s alright as well. When he used to come home he would stare at me very happy, he described it as I was his new toy then. Now he is like that with our kids and barely notices me, because now they are the new toys and I’m the old toy. It’s a bit like Toy Story, I was Woody the cowboy, then my first child was Buzz Light Year the astronaut, then my second child became the new puppy that displaced both of them. So I guess love is a Disney movie after all, but in my case it’s not Snow White or Cinderella, it’s Toy Story.

3. [Debunking that] Love is enough in relationships. No. No, no and no. Love is not enough at all, mutual understanding and trust is just as essential. Letโ€™s be honest with each other, for a relationship to flourish, it needs more than that too. It also needs money.

– Nomzamo Madide

This idea was part of what broke up my parents marriage, my dad worked a lot to make money for my mom, who liked to spend a lot, but she resented that he worked a lot. It was a vicious cycle. If she spent a lot, he would take more over time work, she would get more angry and decide to spend more. She didn’t understand that being working class people he would just have to be gone at work, it could be 40 hours or it could be more, but it couldn’t really be much less. In my marriage money is less a big issue, but our issue is trust and respect. We understand each other very well, we just don’t always like each other. We both have a bad habit of rudeness and disrespect to each other and over time it’s hard to like someone who repeatedly disrespects you. We have love, but our marriage is kind of rocky, so it’s very clear to me that love is not enough to make a highly functional team.

4. [Debunking that] Possessiveness and jealousy are normal. As human beings we make this mistake of thinking that just because I am in a relationship with someone, that we are in love with each other, that we own each other. That person is not your possession, that person belongs to themselves and not to you. By choosing to be in a relationship with them, you are both just allowing each other to be a part of each others lives. Jealousy kills the relationship, to say the least.

– Nomzamo Madide

I didn’t want to admit when I was jealous, and therefore didn’t mention it before it festered, it would have been better to admit the jealousy than to let it turn to anger and distance over time, but it’s a very difficult conversation for me. Knowing it would be better, and resolving the issue are two different things. Right now we have a loose mouse in our house, we are trying to trap it, almost did with peanut butter, but the trap didn’t close because the spring broke… so like that actual mouse being caught, there is a difference between the attempt and the success of dealing with these issues.

5. [Debunking that] If you are truly happy with your partner, you should not need to be with anyone else. This may be true if you are both massively co-dependent but even that is not something I would think to be normal. I believe that for a relationship to be healthy and to grow, both parties need lives outside of their relationship. I think it is important to give your partner space to miss you, for them to be alone, to come home to themselves. Our basic psychological need for friendship and community needs to be fulfilled.

– Nomzamo Madide

I wanted to comment on this as an introvert, we need our lives outside the relationship very much, but it may not be outside the house or with people, the way we need space is different. My husband likes to go out with friends and he wants me to go out with my friends too, I can’t always, or sometimes don’t want to, it’s not that I don’t need my own life, it’s that my life won’t look like his. My own life is having time to reflect deeply and slowly about what I think about something, without being pressed for an immediate answer, perhaps walking along the town with no particular destination, perhaps reading a book on the patio. My husband wants to watch the kids while I have a girls night out, I’ve never had and probably don’t want to ever have a girl’s night out. I would appreciate if he watched them while I did my writing, but he doesn’t, I keep saying to him the things I want to do are at home and he keeps not understanding. Maybe someday he will and maybe someday he still won’t, but when I fully accepted myself it stopped hurting me that he doesn’t understand, I understand myself, I’m at peace with myself, I’ll keep looking for a way to show him, but if he never gets it, it will be okay, because I’m okay with they way I am.

6. [Debunking that] Perfect relationships exist. Lies. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, on social media we see what they want us to see. We will obviously not see the fights, the hurt and pain that goes into it. Every relationship goes through its ups and downs, lows and highs.

– Nomzamo Madide

Sometimes relationships feel perfect, but they don’t always. My first wedding anniversary we went to Seattle, it felt perfect to me, but perhaps not to my husband. Our second we went out to eat, I got my husband the same gift as the first year, for he had lost it, he didn’t so much as say happy anniversary or give me a hug. The third, he didn’t say anything, but I wasn’t hurt having been through it already. The fourth and fifth nothing good and nothing bad, no affection, no tension. I read a book with the idea that love has seasons, like spring and summer being pleasant, fall building tension and winter distance. That book helped me deal with the reality of being either irrelevant or disdained by my husband, who also provides for me and is sometimes kind or supporting to me.

In closing, love is a beautiful thing. One should not allow fear or misconceptions of love to make you miss out on love and pursuing relationships. Life is so much better with someone to share it with.

– Nomzamo Madide

I think love may or may not be a beautiful thing, that it varies a lot. I don’t think love is the most important thing in life, what it gives one person it seems to cost the other. Like a nice car, I think it’s perhaps the right thing for some people and perhaps not worth the cost for others. Love surprisingly, wasn’t something I sought, I thought I would have an easy time with a successful career and struggle to, or never marry, but life happened the opposite way for me. I am more happy to be married in terms of having my two kids, than in what it has done for me as far as making life better, it did make life better in some ways, but also worse in other ways. To me it’s a lot like becoming conjoined twins on purpose, it limits you to both going the same way sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes. Love comes with a high cost and high benefits, but I can’t say that my life married is better than what I expect my life would be like unmarried. I can’t say that. It’s not worse, but I don’t think it’s better. I wasn’t lonely single, but I felt free to be myself, to be unjudged in my own home, to do what I wanted that day, that year, in my life time, to have strange hair if I wanted to, I gave up a lot when I married. I don’t know if I had to, or if I did wrong in doing so, but I did, and although I gained a lot in marriage, I lost a lot too, so the unromantic truth is it isn’t clear if it’s worth it or not overall. Maybe it is?

“With or Without You.” – U2

See the stone set in your eyes,
See the thorn twist in your side,
I’ll wait for you,
Sleight of hand and twist of fate,
On a bed of nails, she makes me wait,
And I wait without you.

With or without you,
With or without you.

Through the storm, we reach the shore,
You give it all but I want more,
And I’m waiting for you.

With or without you,
With or without you, ah, ah,
I can‘t live,
With or without you.

And you give yourself away (complain about my cooking),
And you give yourself away (complain about my style),
And you give (complain),
And you give (complain),
And you give yourself away (undermine my goals).

My hands are tied,
My body bruised, she got me with,
Nothing to win and,
Nothing left to lose.

And you give yourself away (leave your dirty socks everywhere),
And you give yourself away (don’t bring back the Tupperware),
And you give (insult me in front of the kids),
And you give (make passive aggressive comments instead of being direct),
And you give yourself away (expect me to clean your broken egg in the fridge).

With or without you,
With or without you, oh,
I can‘t live,
With or without you,
Oh, oh,
Oh, oh.

With or without you,
With or without you, oh,
I can’t live,
With or without you.

With or without you…

– Paul David Hewson (Bubble Gum Monkey Version)

๐Ÿ’‘

Wouldn’t it be funny if modern marriage was a way to trick women to provide free labor after that? Dressing up a life of servitude with a fancy party and important sounding title. It would be a little funny.

One thought on “๐Ÿ’– Love and Marriage ๐Ÿ’—

  1. Lovie Price says:

    i like the break down here. Most of this is stuff i have been through in various relationships and it took me many years to actually “get”. Not sure how this new relationship will go , but it seems very different than the others. Still, all of the above applies. Love the new lyrics btw..:)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.