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HaroldWrites: Marriage is an Achievement… and That is a Good Thing

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dreamstime_m_27757346Recently, I called my dad to congratulate him on his 68th birthday. My dad lives miles away from me, in our hometown. He had moved back home from the city after he was retired. His reason for moving back is understandable. City life is draining and as an aged man, he could not withstand the stress after already sacrificing 30 years of his life, labouring for and in the city.
As we shared merriments and good laughter over the phone, my dad stopped talking abruptly. When I enquired the reason for the sudden lull, he said he had a piece of advice for me. What was the advice? It was an hour long advice. But in summary, he advised me to get married not later than the age of 30. Then he started giving me reasons why, as a man, I should endeavour to get married at 30, and not 35…or 40.

I did not need my dad to give me that advice (although I appreciated the gesture) because when I was a teen, I already advised myself on when I wanted to get married. And I wanted to get married three years earlier than when my dad suggested. I wanted to be married at the age of 27. But as a young person, I was conscious of certain beliefs about men and when society expects them to get married. There was a belief that, as a man, you should “enjoy your youth”, party and “test” a lot of women, so by the time you turned 35 or 40, you would have garnered a lot of experience about life which would help you when you decide to marry. There was also the myth that, younger men are not mature enough for marriage. In fact, growing up, I always heard people say that a man of 30 is still a boy who is not mentally equipped for marriage yet. I always heard people say, “what does a 30 year old boy want to teach a woman about life?” The foregoing stemmed from the myth that, boys and girls of same age weren’t of the same maturity level. “Girls mature faster than boys,” people always said. And by mature, they meant girls were more exposed, and thus, more mentally and emotionally stable and knowledgeable than boys their age.

I did not care about any of the foregoing myths or beliefs, because as a teen, I knew who I was and what I wanted in life. And one of the things I wanted in life was to get married at 27. To achieve this, I knew I would have to get a good education, graduate on record time, get a good job and be established early in life so I could properly handle the financial burden of marriage. I knew that, if I was married at the age of 27 – and God blessed me with a child – by the time I turned 50, my first child should be out of the university system. I knew that, by the time I reached the statutory retirement age, my first child, and possibly, all my children, should be out of school and would be able to fend for themselves. I knew that, if all these happened, I wouldn’t have to use my retirement pension to put my child (ren) through school. And I knew that, if God blessed my children with their own children, I could be a grandfather by the time I turned 60. Finally, I knew that, as a grandfather who had done well for himself and his family, I could retire to whatever part of the world with peace of mind and do whatever I wanted with my old age.

I knew all of the above, even as a teen. How else could one define maturity than that? So I read widely and worked hard. But life has a way of reshuffling our cards. Did I graduate in good time and with a good degree? Yes. Did I get married at 27? No. I can imagine Life sitting at a corner with crossed legs, looking at me as it sips from a glass of wine.

Getting married is a life goal for a lot of people out there. Not everyone wants to remain single. Not everyone enjoys singlehood. Some people dream of having someone they could call their own someday, forever. Someone who they wake up to every morning. They dream of having and raising children within a marriage institution, building a dynasty and changing the world with that special somebody. Some singletons already have the names of their future kids penned down. They already know which schools they would enrol their kids in. I once told a friend I would open a savings account for my future kids (of course in my name, but for their ultimate benefit). Talk of dreams.

I understand if some people say marriage is not an achievement for them. You know, no farmer goes to his plantain plantation and expects to harvest cocoyam. If he harvested cocoyam in his farm, he can only call it luck, and not an achievement. You can only achieve what you aim for. And not every achievement has to be heading a Fortune 500 company.

Photo Credit: Spotmatik | Dreamstime.com

HaroldWrites is an extraterrestrial who uses words like floccinaucinihilipilificate and antidisestablishmentarianism to keep his readers under his spell, yearning for more. Visit his blog at http://www.haroldwrites.com and stalk him on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @haroldwrites

27 Comments

  1. Babym

    November 6, 2016 at 1:33 am

    I agree with you. I also think ppl shld live and let live. It annoys me the way ppl try to ridicule those that see marriage or even having a family as an achievement. I guess it depends on what ‘achievement’ means to each person. In this day and age, if a couple can hold their marriage down for donkey years, make it work and have a good time while doing it, it is a damn great achievement o lol. Be Proud ?

    • Netizen

      November 6, 2016 at 2:01 am

      Like it’s with every issue with the world, hate always begets hate. I recall reading somewhere some years back that whites should treat Blacks better so that Blacks won’t grow to hate them. Unfortunately, no one listened and now we have the BLM who have no chill. ‘Men treat women better so they won’t grow to hate you’. No one listened, now we have feminists who only hear go. ‘Rich people, treat the poor better’. No one listened, and we had the French revolution. The sad part is that when there is a revolt, it tends to be extreme. A terrible example I’d like to cite is the case of the Rwandans. The tutsis discriminated the hutus for so long that when it was time to revolt, the latter committed genocide.
      Where am I getting at? For years now, people have been pleading for singles and those that their marriages didn’t work out not to be shamed and be made to feel less of humans, no one listened. Now they have resolved that marriage is not an achievement anyway and are happy to keep count of more failures than successes. Let’s see where this cycle will end.

  2. EE

    November 6, 2016 at 1:51 am

    ????

    All things being equal, married at 25, last child out the door by 50, retired by 60, spend the last 20 years I’m guaranteed by nature somewhere where its winter all year long, come back to wait until the Lord beckons.

    To each their own, but personally getting married and staying so into the winters of your life is a heck of an achievement, especially with its place as a sacred sacrament.

    I don’t see myself doing school run at an age when my salary earners ought to be sending me their monthly wine bottles.

  3. Nene

    November 6, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Marriage is one of the important stages in life like when a child is born, graduates primary school, secondary school, university, becomes employed,etc. marriage is an achievement. I believe people should be allowed to live their lives as long as they’re not doing anything immoral or against the law. If you didn’t go to university, it doesn’t mean you should be ridiculed, same as marriage. But make sure you do it right, marry someone you genuinely love.

  4. Le coco

    November 6, 2016 at 5:53 am

    I don’t think marriage in of itself is an achievement.. yes you cn aspire to be married cus it is a beautiful thing ordained by God..

    But… à Good and succesful marriage is an ahievement.. having a marriage that has lasted years and years and the couple are still so inlove, and are happy is an achievement.. because that takes work.. you can’t just slip a ring on someone’s finger, drink palm wine.. and assume your marriage will be successful.. you have to work towards it and once the effort that the couple put forth comes to fruition that may be seen as an ahievement

  5. Warrichic

    November 6, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Marriages can be amazing but can also be terrible. I think everyone will agree that a GOOD MARRIAGE is an achievement and not just “marriage” itself – regardless of the circumstances or the state of the marriage.
    You can be married for all the years of your life but I doubt that it is an achievement to have married the wrong person in desperation and be subject to a life of abuse, cheating, diseases, baby mamas and extra-marital children. While you carry the mrs title during all these, it is nothing to be proud of my dear and you self have under-achieved.
    A good marriage is a hardwork and blessing. Still, some women lay their lives down and do all that is earthly possible to sustain a good marriage but the husband still decides to cheat, abuse or get a divorce. This is why we try to empower women to not see marriage as the ultimate in life. Simple

  6. Tosin

    November 6, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I recognize what you’re saying…”building a dynasty” moves some people
    it doesn’t interest me.
    doesn’t exist

  7. Nancy

    November 6, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Just like there are terrible jobs but people stay in them because they are making money, there are also terrible marriages.

    Yes! Marriage is an achievement when done with the right person.
    I look at all the achievers around me then I compare their journey to those achievers that are not married and they agree it is different.
    There is that different experience enjoying success witha partner.

    Everytime I look at my parents, I see marriage as an achievement! I have more good stories about marriage than bad ones, so I don’t see why it can’t be an achievement.

    I aspire to be a CEO and also aspire to marriage because it is a great thing.

  8. hadiza

    November 6, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Marriage is not an achievement. It’s simply a fancy term for slavery of women who allow it. What’s the achievement in being cheated on?? or beaten to a pulp?? Anything having to do with being involved with men is not an achievement unless of cos it’s a gay marriage. That’s different.

    • PAUL ADEYEMO

      November 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

      can i marry you.

    • Hills

      November 6, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Match made in heaven?????

    • Tufia

      November 6, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Mistakingly liked your comment. Gimme my like back.

    • Ijebujesha

      November 6, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      There is no point consoling oneself. Marriage is indeed an achievement and a huge one at that. Being able to live and thrive with some other person in this age requires tact, wits and grace-same requirements for material achievements that you will be quick to approve. The fact that many fail in that aspect does not warrant writing it off as no achievement, that won’t work.

  9. Zoba

    November 6, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I like you Harold, you were able to pass across a very solid point on a delicate topic without coming off as confrontational. Will be looking out for your writing.

  10. Onetallgirl

    November 6, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I dont understand how marriage is an achievement, so the people out here like me that is single and has not been married, I havent achieved anything abi? This is rubbish! If God thinks you should get married then you will, if not then you won’t. I have a bachelor’s degree and im going off to medical school next year, thats an achievement!!

    • Grace

      November 6, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Haha.. he said it’s an achievement…. not the achievement. You can have multiple achievements you know.

    • Loki

      November 6, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      @Onetallgirl- Marriage is an achievement. But may not be for you. Same way going to medical school isn’t an achievement for everyone, but still remains an achievement.
      An achievement is anything that means something to someone somewhere. It can be as little as losing weight, and as big as making a billion dollars. Achieving something in life isn’t some zero sum equation….

  11. Gem

    November 6, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Marriage is not an achievement and will never be.
    Yeah, I really don’t see why a woman should feel it’s a big deal getting a guy to put a ring on her finger…like what’s the hassle for likability and preference about? The strive to get hitched and look to be chosen by a man is what this kind of article propagates.
    I clicked on this post hoping to see what you have to justify your stance but I figured you were talking successful non abusive marriages.
    Woow…Any serious woman who deeply craves marriage can get herself a guy to do the needful, right?…yeah, any woman can play that card smartly and it shouldn’t be some priceless trophy….nah…
    You know what’s an achievement? waxing stronger and stronger with that special someone through the inputs of both. So, in essence, a loving and successful marriage is the trophy…ok?…That is what is almost unattainable in today’s world and it’s only fair we applaud those who made the right choices and were able to hold it down forever.
    Marriage is beautiful. Finding that someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, is awesome. No doubts.
    Ok, you don get ring na, then what?
    Wait until you are having your golden jubilee devoid of resentments and then we’d have cause to accord you an achiever.

  12. Ese V

    November 6, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Marriage is an achievement to you, and to each his own.
    I have been married for 8 years, but to me, REMAINING MARRIED is what I hope for, not necessarily an achievement. Neither was getting married an achievement; I met a dude and fell in love and we decided to get married. Best believe I had many other things lined up and marriage was furthest from my mind at the time.
    My issue is with those who believe marriage is their life’s sole purpose and impose their idea of marriage on everyone else. The “GO AND MARRY” people.. Or “look at her all living life and claiming FEMINIST and wearing fine cloth instead of her to go and marry”
    Again, live & let live.

  13. Anon

    November 6, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Marriage isn’t an achievement. Being single isn’t an achievement either. It’s in bejng happily married or single that is an achievement

  14. EE

    November 6, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I think many people are confusing marriage for wedding. Wedding is a marriage ceremony, guessing my interpretation is that marriage is staying wedded, not merely getting so.

  15. Nonye wellofwaters

    November 6, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Marriage can make or mar. Anything that can either make or mar cannot be totally agreed to be a blessing or an achievement. For your marriage to be a blessing or an achievement requires knowledge, effort, prayers and many other things.

    1
  16. Exotique

    November 6, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Marry by 25 latest so by 50 your kids are all done with school and have successful careers and you could even be a grandmother. But then life disrupts your best laid plans. A heartbreak. Career change. Job loss. Health challenges. Delays. Infertility. Marital issues. And like a tree in the face of strong winds you either bend or break. I say whether married or single, make the most of life at any point and be truly Happy. That’s what matters..

  17. Didi

    November 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Marriage is a union of mutual understanding; staying in it and having a Successful one is an achievement. That way you have something tangible to pass on to posterity.

  18. wasiu

    November 7, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    good write up. Least you got sound advice from your pops, clearly showing you both have a good emotional relationship. My own 2 cents, 2 things my father never told me;

    1) Never interfere with another man’s wife, it is the fastest way to die and many men have gone that way
    2) Whenever a woman offers you the pleasures of her body, compensate her adequately because she has compromised her pride

  19. cláudio

    November 8, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Getting married is one of my life goal and I´m quite sure that I´ll achieve this goal for sure….

  20. BEE

    November 17, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Getting married is not an achievement, being able to stay married for some years is an achievement.

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