Simple Truth – don’t bite the first worm that swims by you
Recently, I met a couple of people who have come to me regarding marital issues. While I make it amply clear that I am not a professional councillor, I do lend a pastor’s ear. Listening is a good thing; it allows the other to speak freely especially when you are approached because you are trusted. Make no mistake, listening attentively is also emotionally draining for the one who listens because you inadvertently enter into the suffering and pain of the one pouring out their heart.
But listening also means that one has to make sense of several emotions and slot the many incidents ranging from rage to fear into a clear storyline. By doing this one begins to realize that most people have similar storylines. While the number of villains may vary in each life story the plot seems similar. In all of this a pattern of fault lines begin to emerge. Like all fault lines they are dormant till one day the earth begins to shake beneath your feet and one is swallowed in an abyss of misery.
One such fault line that I have begun to notice is a desperation that seeks solace in any arm. Many people that I have met these days narrate a litany of woes, many of them related to their growing up years; years of abuse or rejection or lack of self-esteem. Some of it may be self-inflicted but it exists in some form or the other. Depending on circumstances these feelings of rejection may be transitory or those that hover above like a dreary dark cloud on a stormy day. Often, the only ‘apparent solution’ for those who feel this way is to escape from it all, to run away from the four uncomfortable walls that they call home in the hope that some other person will be their matrimonial angel with a happy ever after by line.
The first worm that wriggles in these murky waters of fear and frustration often seem to be the most tempting bite. The apparent solution for many is that it is better to risk biting any worm that floats by (even though there is a deadly hook that might kill you) than to continue in choppy and tempestuous waters of family strife. Here is the simple truth; the solution rarely works and mostly you end up with a hook in your throat.
Many people think to themselves, “how can my life be more miserable than the misery I find myself in?” Taking a chance may be my best bet at a new beginning no matter how obscure or uncertain that future may seem. We find ourselves saying, “anything is better than this!” And so, we find someone who can dandy on our arm or to cling on to. We hope that a ring on a finger will be our Cinderella story and that the pumpkins will change to carriages. If it did work for you, congratulations! But I doubt very much that it works for the majority.
So, if you have not yet figured out what I am saying, here it is in plain and simple English. If you are one of those people who are having a bad time with your family and are contemplating marriage with the hope that getting out of your situation will afford you a new beginning, then think again and think seriously. Perhaps you really are sizzling in a pan but jumping out of the pan with the hope that a relationship might solve a problem may just be jumping into the fire itself.
Issues must be resolved before marriage. Too many people enter into marriage with way too much of emotional baggage. When you finally unpack your emotional baggage in your new home you have not only carried the past into the present but even worse now you have to contend with your spouse’s emotional hang ups too. Think of what a mess this all is.
Marriage is a beautiful institution and a Holy Sacrament. It should be entered into only after one has prayed about it. However, all things are not solved by marriage just as having a baby in stormy marriage is not a solution to marital problems.
That’s the simple truth.