What People Mean When They Say...

...love ends at some point when you get married.

I have heard this in many settings, and am sure you have too. Older men and women in various social gatherings including the church, funerals, weddings, cow exchange ceremonies and elsewhere start telling you that marriage is not a bed of roses; that at some point, you and your partner will stop loving each other and when that point comes, that is when the marriage starts: that is when you start persevering the marriage. "Marriage is about perseverance (of each other)," they say. That is usually the point of their words anyway.

I would like to interpret their words properly so you understand what they are really talking about when they say it these words so you avoid all the bullshit because a majority of those voluntarily still married love each other even after all this time. By voluntarily I mean those who are happy and content and would not bail if they got the opportunity because I know a majority of married people would rather they were not married in the first place. But that is none of my business.

If you are planning to get married soon and even if you are not, it is important to know that at some point after you are married, something in your brain will click and you will say, "Shit." So what ends when you get married?

Let us start with the general expectations. Most people expect that their partner will always be revealing new aspects of themselves in perpetuity, not realising that people are at most shallow and uninteresting with respect to their beliefs, habits, lifestyles and quirks of personality. As a result, this partner becomes predictable and commonplace in our heads. We get used to them like we would get used to the corner of the house.

Secondly, people are often unprepared for conflict in the marriage. This conflict may also be accompanied or caused by life's sudden misfortunes. As a result, many people despair or give up very fast and run away.

I have appeared to combine two points in the paragraph above but in reality these speak to the same thing: men and women handle issues in radically different ways. Men tend to be direct while women may be more circumspect. If the issue grows, men may withdraw and ignore while women may become more aggressive and loud about it. In conflicts, women tend to want to come out on top because that is how they solve conflicts with their fellow women while men would want to come to a mutual agreement even if it means one party loses painfully. Therefore, it is important that both parties, before entering marriage, agree on the way they will do their things, solve their conflicts and handle their boat in a storm. But that requires maturity.

What dies in a marriage is actually a small thing they call excitement, and this goes back to a previous point. Before you get married, this person is wonderful I tell you! They can do no wrong. They are a constantly unfolding source of mysteries. They make you feel so good, even their shit smells like roses. In fact, if it was possible, you would have jumped into their skin just so you could live with them all the time, see them all the time, even "taste their lips whenever (Nameless)". I am excited I will be with this person forever. Jokes on YOU! Hahaha.

So the excitement has waned, and the familiarity is kicking in like water from a broken dam. The filters covering your eyes are turned off and you realise that this person is boring and disgusting to some extent. This person also has some things going on that are not what you expected because you thought you were marrying some sort of angel. As a result, the woman becomes contemptuous of the man and the man takes the woman for granted.

Another thing that changes once people get married is the scope of expectations. In general, men expect lots of sex and services like laundry and hot food when they come back from work while what their women may expect is a sympathetic listening ear to listen to them. They get the opposite: men are rationed guma and eventually denied it while made to do the very chores they thought they had escaped while the women realise their men do not give a shit about what they have to say and would rather eat and have sex or watch football instead. These issues may also lead to conflicts of their own; then the men withdraw to a more peaceful setting while their women wait for them with torrents of words.

In all the above instances, there is no mention of love because what most people interpret as love is the pleasure, dopamine and excitement they get when they interact with the object of their affections for example through talking, spending time together and having sex. As a result, the love that our elders claim dies is actually a phantom - a ghost of our own creation that does nothing but create naive expectations of eternal bliss in our minds and quickly evaporates when the sunlight of reality dawns upon the marriage.


We will revisit love later, because love is a broad topic.