‘… when it comes to marriage, it’s not that simple’ Nnaemeka said in Achebe’s ‘Marriage is a private affair’. I believe him, considering the different dynamics the marriage concept has produced over the years. Marriage permeates almost every culture and society in the map of humanity, promoting sexual, emotional and other forms of commitment between two (or maybe more) people. That commitment in itself has serious implications to the economic development of a people. It has continued to thrive through many decades and centuries. But in the wind of change, many things wither.
It is amazing to see how like humans, social concepts evolve and change. Marriage too has changed. In growing up days, we were all children of two parents. The only kid who had just a mother had lost his father not long before. As the years rolled on, more students had one parent and later in life when I visited homes of friends, their parents were more of house mates and that commitment that bonded many marriages was fast withering. More so, some mothers I knew were never called wives before their children came forth.
In this era, the increasing rise of homosexual marriages is undeniable. The changes also spreads to parenting. Few years after Elton John and his husbands’ adoption denials caused media frenzy and increased awareness on homosexual parenting thereof. There are so many intersections to this issue and I cannot exhaust them.
Whether or not we choose to acknowledge marriage as an institution, it sure has lots of benefit and administrative convenience going for it. Married workers are considered more productive, hence marriage benefits earning. Marriage gives automatic inheritance rights and grants social security benefits. It protects and can reward your emotional investments when things don’t work out unlike when you just date. There are many more unspoken advantages of being married than I know of.
This week, I am reviewing this concept through works of fiction to help elucidate the politics and drivers of the marriage concept. On my table already is Achebe’s ‘Marriage is a private affair’. Suggestions of other works of fiction I could consult will be highly appreciated.