Marriage: The First Issue


With high hopes from a future that sees her happily married and clucking over her beau and babies, what is stopping Single Maryam from taking the leap? Despite the fact that destiny has not yet brought her face on with the man she is meant to wed, this many part series explores the fears underpinning Maryam’s struggle for eternal marital bliss. The author is hopeful that any generalisations made in this series will not be taken on face value but seen rather as a clever technique to highlight the more serious concerns in her life in order to adequately express the writer’s angst.


Marriage is forever.

Not the high school “we’ll be best friends for ever” kind of forever. The actual for ever. As in, you’ll be waking up next to this person every single day of your life. From the time you get married to the time one of you dies.

Every Single Day for the Rest Of Your Natural Life.

Can you imagine what that would be like? The same guy. Forever! How do you not get bored? What do you do when you feel like a change? Can you have flings? No, that’s not allowed. Can you do a partner swap? No! Can you go and graze the grass on the neighbours lawn? Hell No! Can you sort of go on a six month vacation away from each other? Ha! Nice try.

All my other “life time” experiences have been with consumables that come with a guarantee. Manufacturers are so confident about the quality of their product, they give you a lifetime guarantee. You buy the thing because you’re banking on it not breaking. If it does, well, no problems, you take it back to the point of purchase, show ’em your warranty documents, and you get the same item, but brand spankin’ new.

What, pray tell are you supposed to do with a husband? If he breaks, you have to take care of him. There’s no life time warranties that allow you to give him back and get a new one. And if you even suggest such a thing, you become unfeeling and invoke all the religious reprimanding a group of mouths can muster. Though, perhaps that could be the next bright idea. Some entrepreneurial genius could take this idea and make it happen. I’d get all the royalties, then we’d all be happy πŸ™‚

Has no one thought of this disturbing fact?


11 thoughts on “Marriage: The First Issue

  1. two thoughts.

    1) don’t let the ‘forever’ thing freak you out. ‘forever’ is not a reality, it’s a concept. we all live one day at a time. and marriages do end. it happens., so don’t treat ‘forever’ like a sword over your head. if you’re lucky, it’ll be a good thing for a long time. that ought to be enough.

    2) he changes, you change. you’re both going to be changing all the time. what you want is someone with whom you can change. chances are it’s going to be someone that’s easy for you to be around just as you are today (that’s usually a good clue)

  2. you see, people aren’t products – and there’s no such thing as a lifetime warranty on a person (you’re right).

    when u commit to someone, u commit to them as they are – good and bad.

    there may be some hidden flaws; or some problems that may come down the line somewhere – but the point of “commitment” is being “committed” to that person.

    just as you would want them to be patient with you if u went through some unexpected stuff; or u had some flaws they didn’t previously know about – u’ve gotta give the same in return.

    u see, we’re in a world where lots of things are ‘products’ – things that can be returned, repaired, discarded. but humans aren’t products, and should never be seen that way.

    i think it is perhaps a fragment of ‘modern culture’ – the idea that you can’t stay with one person forever, and u should try different people. thats what dating is – isn’t it?

    we’re not like that though. u know, Allah is the One who grants us this love for another person. He puts that seed there to begin with; and over time, with the good and bad (and lots of work) that comes in marriage, insha-Allah, it grows into a beautiful garden.

    Because we’re not married yet – we can sit and theorise about what it would be like, what we worry about…but once we’re actually married, we may see that the reality is far, far from the fears we once harboured.

    it may be that with every new day, the love you have for that person and that desire to be with them will grow more and more…and boredom won’t be a factor.

    of course, personal space is very important – so thats something u both would need to agree on. but its important that u talk about that stuff – so u don’t both feel like ur setting urself up to be “locked” in a ‘prison’ of sorts…hey, if u both agree that a weekend or week away from each other is what u need – then why not?

    sometimes a break benefits u tremendously. it doesn’t mean u love each other less or anything…it just means u agree that u need some personal space, which is perfectly human.

    u don’t need to fall into stereotypes and commonly-held ideas about things. each person is unique, and each couple is unique. i think the best way to go about things – especially perceived problems – is to talk in an open and honest and understanding way, and try to come to a solution that works for both of u. after all, marriage is a partnership – and partners work together and help each other, right?

    (right πŸ™‚

  3. No life time guarantee
    No 30-day return policy (or even 40 day given Islam’s fascination with the number 40).
    No refunds.
    Buyer beware.
    No consumer advocacy group.

    Marriage – scary indeed!

  4. The every single day of life thing used to feel disturbing to me until I realized that I like to gamble sometimes. (I mean halal gambling, don’t get ideas people.) If you already knew how things will turn out then would it really be that much fun? I think not. In some cases things do not turn out in the manner that we want them to turn out but that is the beauty of life. You can always mold a person to some extent if the person is almost what you want but not quite. After having said all this, I must also make it clear that I am as much apprehensive about the idea of marriage as you are. I keep an open mind even though the list pf people that I have rejected is growing, perhaps exponentially. One can always hope that there are good men out there.

  5. I.B. : Go You!

    Why is everyone being so reasonable? I want to have my rant, i am Maryam hearme rant!!

    Haleem: So, if its so scary, why are you chopping at the bait?

    Aliana: I doubt quite regularly that there are good men out there, they all seem to be taken, or worse not Interested. What’s there NOT to be interested in? πŸ™‚

    I’m not interested in moulding anyone, if i can’t be with them the way they are then, forget it, its my problem not theirs.

    Dreamlife: I Love your peaceful reasoned approach to life. And its heartening to see that you’re not speaking with years of experience… good toknow that ppl like you exist! πŸ™‚

    tom: Very Very Good Advice, and thank you! πŸ™‚

  6. Aliana – you’re very right that it wouldn’t be nice to know how things will turn out. Though uncertainty can be unsettling sometimes, its one of the certain things in life: that we don’t know what the next day, week or year could hold.

    As for human pottery (“moulding” πŸ˜‰ – i’ve heard that its not good to have that attitude, because u can’t change a person. you shouldn’t marry someone hoping to mould them to what you want them to be – because you’re setting yourself up for dissapointment.

    you should marry someone for who they are, and who they want to be – and not try to shape them to be the way you think they should be. after all, he’s not a (male) doll (we call them “action figures” πŸ˜‰ that you can dress up nicely and play house with…he’s a human being; and as such, he has his own unique personality, preferences, attitudes and dreams.

    i’m not saying we can’t influence each other and try to help each other improve – but i’m saying that we shouldn’t have this picture of what we want in a spouse, and then expect that we’re going to be able to alter them to be the way we want.

    after all, if that was the case, wouldn’t it be predictable? you’d “already know how things will turn out” – as u put it πŸ™‚

    there are good men out there – just like there are good women out there. but we shouldn’t take the attitude that its up to us to find them. i mean, that burden – of finding ur soulmate – its not your burden; not your responsibility.

    we must make the effort and try, of course – but ultimately, Allah is in control of everything, and He unites us with that special person when the time is right – no matter how far apart we may be; and even if you would never in a million years have thought u’d marry someone like the person u marry.

    so, from our point of view, we should just try to keep our relationship with Allah in the best possible state; and make our (Halaal) efforts to find that person, and insha-Allah, when its time, it’ll happen πŸ™‚

    something to be: about them being “not interested”…sometimes it just comes down to maturity; or where a guy is in his life. maybe he’s there, but he’s just not ready for you yet. (not that he knows that)

    i’m saying this: in the bigger picture, he hasn’t gone through the things he needs to go through in life that would prepare him for you. so your time to find each other and be with each other has not yet arrived.

    i love the idea that our soulmates are already destined – we are already couples; but just not brought together yet. so we just have to be patient until it is time.

  7. Dreamlife, go away with your reasoned, mature, sensible, spiritually oriented advice. Where do you get off? And where you said “he’s a human being; and as such, he has his own unique personality, preferences, attitudes and dreams.” – he’s not? urgh, why don’t ppl tell me these things BEFORE hand! **rolls eyes**

    I’m joking ofcourse. You know what i like about your thesis-esque comments, there’s a strong feeling of complete faith in Allah and His Will, its so nice to read and you really put things in perspective for me, thank you πŸ™‚

    and where you said ” in the bigger picture, he hasn’t gone through the things he needs to go through in life that would prepare him for you.” — *sniff* *sniff*

  8. This “finding the right person” thing sounds like a difficult logistical project. One may need to do a lot of background research on the person and the person’s environment and world view. But I presume this is not how it works in Desiland.

    And don’t forget, always check out people on social networking sites like Facebook. You will be surprised how different they can be from the persona that they project.

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