Many unmarried people have their views on the concept of marriage. In the past, most people thought that marriage would bring them unlimited happiness because they were already with the people they loved. Being able to meet every day, do things together, and grow old together are merely scenarios that many unmarried people think about.
But over time, people's concepts and perspectives about marriage began to change. If previously the millennial generation wanted to get married quickly, now many of them want to postpone marriage until they are financially and mentally ready.
A study entitled Makna Pernikahan pada Generasi Milenial yang Menunda Pernikahan dan Memutuskan untuk Tidak Menikah, written by Adilah Nurviana and Wiwin Hendriani from Universitas Airlangga, states that the current millennial generation is pickier in choosing a life partner and prioritizes financial stability before deciding to get married.
At least, according to the 2017 Susenas, 43 percent of millennials are unmarried. Those who postpone marriage often decide to pursue education. In addition, they think marriage only provides legal protection as well as for it to be accepted and recognized by the community.
But is it true that marriage is only for social status, or is it for us to be happy forever?
Marriage is about acceptance
Some may think of marriage as a means to find someone who can understand us. But for me, marriage is not just only about finding someone who can accept and understand us, but about undertaking ourselves, our circumstances, and our partner.
We often forget that accepting ourselves is the most important part before we decide to welcome other people into our lives. Before dealing with marriage, which involves many parties such as our parents, extended family, extended family of our spouse, and our spouse, we should indeed know what we want in life. Don't let ourselves (when we have not accepted ourselves) demand people to take on us.
This matter is the reason why many people regret getting married because they feel that their partner cannot accept them. Sometimes, we are the ones who cannot understand who we are, yet, we demand to be understood--not only our nature but also our family situation, social environment, and mental state.
When we understand who we are, it will be easy to understand the condition of our partner--which incidentally is another person who has just appeared in our lives, and we have to be with them for life. So when we are married, there is no giving up just because of some misunderstandings.
Marriage is about patience
As someone who's only been married a few months, maybe my opinion of marriage is very new. But what I often hear from parents about their marriages that can last for decades is that marriage requires patience. It's not just about being patient with your partner but with the situation.
When we decide to get married--especially in Indonesia--we need a lot of money to hold a myriad of events, ranging from pre-wedding events to a wedding party which, of course, costs a lot of money. So you could say getting married in Indonesia is expensive--for those who want an unusual event. Luckily for people who have better finances, they can immediately live independently from their own money, but what about those still living with their parents?
Yes, of course, easier said than done. For me, marriage starts from 0, almost in all essentials, including financially. For those who can't accept the drastically changing circumstances and the unstable married life, (of course) they will not stand it. Furthermore, we have to give up a lot. For example, when we were single, we were free to buy whatever we wanted, but now all of that has to be transferred to something else for the family.
This change is certainly hard to accept, and it takes more patience to deal with everything. For instance, being financially patient, patient with our partner's characteristics--which didn't show before, the nature of the in-law, views in our social environment, and many more. And for myself, being patient is something I'm still working on together with my partner, and it's not easy. But I'm sure we can get through it.
Marriage is about understanding
Although all our lives, we've been educating ourselves to understand humans--it still seems far-fetched to understand ourselves, right? Let alone read other people's minds. Married life for me is like a roller coaster, it's sometimes fun, but mostly it's annoying; one day feels like running away alone because people change; they turn out to be different people after marriage. Small things that used to be understandable can be a spark of conflict.
For example, I despise--when my husband puts a lot of dirty clothes on, then when he's reminded once, he sometimes forgets. A trivial (yet committed) thing that can become a conflict, looping unstopped. Understanding how habits, traits, and many things in marriage are necessities for married couples is crucial because; if there is no compassion in married life, we may face even greater conflicts that lead to divorce.
In my opinion of marriage, those are the basics for marriage to work out. Lowering our ego becomes very important to achieve a common goal: To have a happy married life. However, let's keep in mind; everyone has their version of the ideal marriage. For me, marriage is about acceptance, patience, and understanding. So what does a marriage look like for you?