Copyright © Life as a STRANGER
Design by Dzignine
Friday, October 7, 2016

Marriage, are you ready?


Usually this topic is rather a taboo to me. Well, I think to anyone who is single after 25, it is a rather sensitive issue to talk about. No objection to that.

I remember in my younger days (although I'm still young now at 30 ;p), I used to want to get married before 25. After 23, I made du'a to Allah that I would get married the next year. And a year passed and I prayed again for the year after that. At 27, there were times I would get very depressed at the thought of marriage. I thought to myself that maybe I was not worthy for any good man and that was why Allah has not answered my du'a yet. I cried so much when my best friend got married back in 2012, on the thought that I was losing a best friend, the thought that I wouldn't be with her as much anymore and to the thought that I'm not even close to marriage when she was already there. And it really worsen as I was facing depression due to my master's thesis. The only solace on that time was to the belief that whatever Allah has decreed upon me is the best for me. So to fill the void in my heart on that time I told myself that I would never get married, so stop thinking about it and be miserable at the thought, but be happy that I was single and I could do anything that I want. At that time I had stopped making du'a about marriage to get my mind off it all together and frankly, it felt so liberating. Free from the sad and desperate thought that always played at the back of my mind "When will I also get married?". That sad thought.

However that state didn't last very long. It did well for me for a few months I think, then a friend told me that I still should at least make du'a as to show my effort. So I made du'a to Allah, but not with that dark tinge of desperation anymore. However, the sad thoughts do visit frequently. And when I started to become desperate again, my mind came to light with this thought:

Everything that Allah has bestowed upon us is a form of ni'mah/blessing. Who are we to say that we are entitled to that ni'mah? Marriage, kids, money etc. Instead, we have so much in us that Allah has blessed us with, our good sights, good job, the fact that at the end of each month we can take our atm card and dispense cash because of it, yet have we, I, thank Allah fully for everything that I have owned? So, live for the moment and learn to be thankful for everything that Allah has given us before we desperately want another ni'mah from Allah. If He gives, it's because He wants to, not because we deserve to. Life is a test, in every aspect of it. The ni'mah in this dunya is much too little compared to what Allah has reserved for us in the aakhirah. It is okay if we are not blessed with every ni'mah in this dunya, but it is NOT okay if we miss to be among the crowds that Allah will place in His gardens, free from any hardship, misery and bestowed eternal happiness in His Jannah. That happy ending. Be thankful all the time and pray that we'll be among that crowd. Amin.

This conviction has always become a mantra that I hold whenever that lonely thought came to mind. That this life is too short to waste on thinking on what we don't have. Instead, focus on what we do have. Anyway, however perfect that notion is, I did have moments when I was overcome by loneliness that I crave for a companion. But not all the time. You know, being a female and have these hormones influencing you every month. Well, most of the time, I am sane :p.

These days, sometimes I came across statements made by my younger friends who were going through my mid-20s inner struggle. I really wanted to tell them to not be stressed about it, but it won't be easy. I think if I were to tell the young 20's me to not be stressed about it and focus on what I have instead, the notion wouldn't sink in very easily since my emotion would be too strong for my rational thinking. So those friends, they will come to see one day. I hope so. It's a cycle :)

Let's get to a more serious note on marriage.

We will always want what other people have, because we are humans. The normal thing that other people have and do, we want to have and do that too. We want to have someone whom we can call when have a good or a bad news to share without concerning if our call might disturb him or her at that particular hour. Someone whom we can confide our littlest secrets and silliest thoughts. Someone who will come running when our car broke down. A company to that eating place that we crave to eat. Someone who will pay for our dinner :p. 

The reality is, imaginations of marriage always come in the form of colors. We only fantasize the good images of it. The love, the friendship etc and never one really fantasize the dark side of it. 

At the age of 30, the idea of marriage has become an intimidating fantasy to me. I do realize now the silver lining to why Allah has delayed it for me. Being surrounded by a number of married couples around me, I came to learn on the dark sides of marriage. Trust me, marriage is not just about fairy tales. It takes effort to make a marriage work. There will be trials that come in the form of your partner, the in laws, the friends, or just jealous stranger. 

You never really know your spouse until you live with him/her. Sure, before you get married everything is laid out properly, convinced that you would be happy. But after you got married, when trials fall, then you'd see the true colors of your partner. 

Some people are tested with her partner being too controlling that she has to give up her social life for him. You can't befriend this person, you have to do this, do that. All because he holds too strongly to the notion that he is the leader of the house, the wife has to obey him no matter what or she'd be a disobedient wife. Or vice versa.

Some are tested with abusive husband, physically or emotionally. Some husbands expect that his wife serves him everything, become his personal maid. Some don't even care of what happens in his household as long as he can spend more time with his friends. And don't forget the trials that come with the presence of a third person in the marriage, be it the parents, in laws, friends, or even old girlfriend/boyfriend (s). 

The reality is, marriage is not a place where you seek fairy tales and continuous romance only. To go through marriage, one has to prepare to respect each other, to give up your ego, to be willing to give and take, to accept each other's weaknesses, to be forgiving, to be patient, to tolerate each other and to love each other to end. Undoubtedly, doing these won't be easy. That's why I came to learn that marriage is not easy. For those who survive marriage at this age, that truly is an achievement, don't you agree? 

That's why, before you jump to the million dollar question of 'when are you getting married?', you should think of whether or not you're ready to get married. And to my married friends or relatives who often see us the singles as the miserables who don't have a husband yet at our age, hey, life if not just about marriage and kids. We are not miserable, don't worry. Allah is setting our lives at our best conditions that we are capable of dealing for the mean time. 

Anyway, it does not mean I don't want to get married. I still do, with all my heart. I always pray that Allah gives me a husband that will grow with me together, to be my supporter, that he'll be my qurratu-'ain and I'll be his. And I leave that matter totally to Him. If he bless me with one, then I'm grateful. Until then, I'm still grateful to be single. :)

Again, as mentioned by Sheikh Abdul Bary Yahya:

"Being married and unmarried are both tests in patience". 

May we all excel.

1.04 pm 
Oct 7, 2016

p/s: suara yang mencuri hati :p :p :p