Some of us have received the bliss of wedlock. Some of us are not fortunate to be married. It is fine to have never been married, and it is also well to have had the bliss of marriage. This is not the point though. I was born and raised in an African family and culture. My African brethren have their view their views influenced by ancient traditions and a Judaeo-Christians teachings. I have lived in multiple places, and I have had my unique experiences. It is not the point however. I will delve into what I see as the point.
Marriage to me is a calling. It is a calling like becoming a priest, a civil servant, or a doctor. Two have to work at a marriage everyday in order for the marriage to be successful. There is no day off in a marriage contrary to what many may say. Everyone is always cheerful during the wedding, but many fail to survive the marriage. A marriage is a partnership with potential, and anything with potential has fifty percent chance of success or a fifty percent chance of failure. As a single man, I have spent a lifetime observing many marriages. I have seen some successful marriages and I have seen some unsuccessful marriages. All marriages are dependent of one thing respect. A lot of people say communication, but they are wrong. Marriage can survive misunderstanding, failure in communication, and a host of obstacles. Marriage can not survive an absence of respect. Once you lose respect for your partner, you might as well prepare to write the eulogy of your marriage. My father and some of his siblings can be very tribal when it come to marriage, but I believe they are wrong in their approach. Many years ago, one of my kin married a person from the same tribe as my father. The person became abusive to my kin within months, and their marriage collapsed. Taking my kin’ side, I believe there was no respect in the marriage. It resulted in a failure obviously. When I was fourteen, I moved in with my uncle and his family. My uncle and his wife have an rapport that I still look up. My uncle is the consummate academic and his wife is the consummate caretaker. A casual observer which I am noticed the way they interact all the time. They had their moment of miscommunication like all marriages, but they recognized their shortcoming; they took the appropriate steps to remedy the situation. The respect they have towards each other allowed them to enjoy their marriage.
I do not see myself as an expert when it comes to marriage, but I believe that I can not be married to someone I do not respect. I can not be married to someone who does not respect me. I have courted a few women in my young life, but I did not marry these women. Some respected me, and some did not. I respected some women, and I did not respect some. I believe that if two are called to be married, the foundation of that marriage is the mutual respect. It does not matter whether you are religious, or not. You could be atheist or agnostic, but if there is no respect in the union; the marriage will fail.