Sunday, November 25, 2012

What is Marriage Now?

As salaam alaikum,

I thought about my desire for motherhood being perhaps at odds with my faith, my faith in God's will, and I thought about what marriage means for me now, and how that's different than before.

Because I haven't sat and thought what marriage means for me now. Not yet. Not until now.

The first thing that comes to mind is that marriage, for me, when optimum, is the optimum environment for raising a family. And, as I mentioned in my previous entry, one of my greatest aspirations is to be a good mother. And as a good mother, I desire my partner also to be a solid parent. If not, I'd rather him not involved. Okay.

...and, what else do I want in marriage? Now?

Because before, it was different.

In the height of unrequited love, marriage was all these lofty words and phrases, the likes of Djavan's "Doidice," not believing that I existed in a world he also existed, wanting to live in his blue like Elis' "Só Tinha de Ser Com Você." The Carpenters' "Close to You." Like that feeling would last forever and whatever life threw at us, whatever God ordained for us, we would survive because of

In loveless, pragmatic but admittedly still hopeful times, marriage was esoteric. There existed no soul mates but there was right. Or fit. Whichever one's pleasure. There was most importantly spiritual compatibility, commonality in the most essential values between us, shared aspirations, mutual admiration, mutual attraction. This was the optimum. And as long as I prayed, God would provide this for me.

But none of these, is in fact, marriage. I don't know what marriage is, and I won't know until I live it. These are, at best, the ideas of mine that would lead to me wanting to marry someone. Fair enough.

What would it take now? Do these things still apply?

I wanted to say no, but as I thought more about it...yes, they do.

I wanted to say that real relationships are not limited by the expansive love vocabulary of my unrequited love experience, and I wanted to say that my pragmatic view was also limiting. And I do think that's true. But I know many a loving couple who would describe their relationship, sometimes, with that expansive love language, and many times speak of their relationship pragmatically, in terms of compatibility and mutual attraction.

I know there are people who do believe that they've found their soul mate, so it is, in fact possible, and my wanting anything less than what is possible for me, yes, would be settling, even though I tried to tell myself otherwise.

Marriage, for me, has not changed, has not become some more circumscribed, realist version of its previous self. It is children and gushy love and fit. Its some balance of those things, not the perfect balance, but the balance that works. Above all, it's a partnership with some sort of shared notion of the arrangement, the contract, the relationship, however its viewed by the couple.

I have no idea how I'm going to get there, but insha'Allah, I'm going to get there, or bust!

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