The arguments against marriage these days are compelling. It would seem that we’re gradually tilting towards a society where it would be banal for a woman to have children for as many as three men. Truth be told, you can’t compel anyone to go get married. It’s a personal decision, afterall. Many years ago as an undergraduate student, I found kindred spirit in a course mate. We never got tired of regaling each other with tales of failed marriages and relationships. Bottom line: stay in your lane. I have found by experience and observation that this notion is wrong.
Years ago when America wanted to send men to the moon, the astronauts were carefully and painstakingly selected. Apart from the fact that the men must be first rate brains, they must also be married. The reason is simple. To cope in a confined space that a spacecraft is, patience and not intelligence is what is required. That kind of patience is only foisted on a man by marriage; not books. It is impossible not to appreciate the wisdom of our fathers: ‘suuru lafi nsoko obinrin’. Simply put, to be a good husband, patience is required.
Once in a while, the strength of a great man falters. At this time, his vulnerability stares him in the face like an owl staring at a lost hunter in the dead of night. When my uncle lost his wife ten years ago, he re-married not long afterwards. I went to visit him. Sometimes, I regret that my mouth turns out to be bigger than my brain. So, I asked him the question I shouldn’t have asked. He looked at me and said he had to re-marry for companionship sake. His children are all grown and have left his house. He told me: ‘ if I don’t have someone with whom I can talk. Someone I can complain to when a boil develops on my butt, I may die.’ The message sunk in and I worried him no more.
For a man, I suspect that getting married presents a win-win situation. The benefits are many and the problems merely present an opportunity for growth and constant self-evaluation. In those days when we were much younger, I would sometimes say to myself that this wicked woman couldn’t possibly be my mother, all because she had punished me. There are days, of course, when she would give me an extra piece of meat or even a second plate of rice and I would bellow: this is the best mum ever. Socrates has solved the problem already. He admonishes that if you marry the right woman, you’ll be happy. If, on the other hand, you marry the wrong woman, you’ll be a philosopher. At least, you can counsel those younger than you are and lead them away from the path of ruin. So, here’s my advice brother, go and find yourself a wife!