Filipinos often refer to getting married as “paglagay sa tahimik” (settling in quiet). Whoever coined that phrase may have a rose-colored perspective about the married life which does not necessarily sums it up fairly. Most people attest that being married is anything but that. In a brash translation, paglagay sa tahimik may also mean “rest in peace” because that’s what one may wish for a partner for couples whose marriage are on the rocks.
Why is marriage so enticing despite many failed relationships and without guarantees from a signed document at church that the knot tied will weather the tough times for a lifetime?
- Is it because there are still hopeless romantics out there who wish for a fairy tale romance with a happy ending in their love story?
- Is it part of the norm that sometimes enforced as a solution to unwanted pregnancy brought about by pre-marital sex?
- Or is it because two matured people are so in love with each other that they are making their relationship public, with the blessings of God and church, that they are ready to stand by their marital vows through thick and thin?
Times are changing and so do people who may have their own different reasons why they want to get married. Marriage is such a massive word in itself. Is it really worth all the emotional roller-coaster, pain, effort, time and money?
Most Filipinos, when they have to share two set of news, the good and bad, would often ask: “Ano gusto mo unahin? (Which would you like to hear first?) Good news or bad news?” At this point, let me take you to the unattractive side of marriage first since most people would go for the bad news first.
The ugly truth of marriage is that there are facts that may arise along the way that one is not yet prepared to face.
Here are a few crude realities of a supposedly happy marriage–an elusive dream for some:
1. Depleting Freedom – When you’re single, you can go wherever you want to go and go home as late as you want or as “early”, in the morning, given that you don’t have strict parents. Once you’re married, your freedom for such things will slowly disappear and may even eventually become extinct depending on the type of partner you’ll end up with.
2. Increased Responsibilities – Understandably, when you enter into a serious relationship, you no longer have to take care of yourself alone but you’re mostly in-charge of the other person as well. When, as a couple, you eventually have children, your responsibilities expand to providing for their better future, guiding and nurturing your children as well.
3. More Stress – If your life as an individual is already stressful at times, married life will even further complicate things as you tackle issues on how you must and must not relate with your partner, growing pains with growing kids, career, finances etc. More problems to solve mean more stress.
4. Unfulfilled Plans and Dreams – Married life entails a lot of diplomacy and compromising in the area of decision making especially if it involves financial aspects so be ready to sacrifice some of your preferences and goals.
5. Disturbing Idiosyncrasies – We all have habits and characteristics that other people may not like. Sometimes the things that you admire most about a person may eventually become the thing that you most hate about that person. If you admire a woman because she’s attractive, you may later on abhor her being so meticulous in preparing herself for a gathering.
6. Unwanted Extended Family/in-laws – Inasmuch as you cannot choose the kind of immediate family you’re born with, after exchanging vows, you also cannot choose what type of in-laws you’ll have because it’s a package deal. Some of areas where you’ll have major adjustment on are personality differences, family traditions, ethnicity and religious beliefs.
So for those planning to get married, think on these things before taking the big leap into the unknown. Remember, there’s no easy way out once you’re in it.