I got married to my husband in October 2016. So I’ve been married for about three years now. The most asked question I received daily is, “How do you know he’s the one?”. Whether it’s through my direct message or face to face, people always ask the same question. I started to wonder why people ask this question a lot, as it was not a struggle for me when I said yes to my husband four years ago. A few weeks ago, this topic was brought up in my community, so I’d like to share what I learned from there too.
First of all, what are the main reasons for people to get married? It might differ for each people. The most common one is because of family, social standards, and cultural pressure. Most people are pressured to make their parents/family happy. We think marriage is a goal or achievement that we have to fulfill for the parents. Or other times, we began to feel sad and FOMO because our closest friends are getting married. That is when we started to feel pressured by the social standard, especially when our friends started to have kids. We began to think that we are in a different world.
The other common reason is personal insecurity. We began to see marriage as something that can fulfill our insecurities, whether it is an insecurity of having to be alone, about future financial, or to find value in other people. Sometimes we feel that we are not good enough when we don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend. We started to think that we are lacking, or we are not attractive enough. So we began to seek that sense of security in other people. We began to put value in ourselves by having a partner who we think can fulfill that emptiness.
Some people also seek independence through marriage. They think that they can run away from their parents or family by getting married. They want to become an adult and live their own life so that they can gain independence and freedom.
I want to share what I read from Stanley Hauerwas. He mentioned that:
“Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become “whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough, we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect of marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.”
So we shouldn’t treat marriage as a self-fulfillment act. If you want to get married because of the reasons that I mentioned above, you might want to re-think it all over again. Those self-fulfilling reasons will lead to destruction in marriage. The biggest lesson I learned throughout my marriage is all about giving instead of receiving. So if you keep expecting to receive fulfillment, you’ll never enjoy the true meaning of marriage.
I also love how he mentioned that we will always marry the wrong person. There’s no right person in this world. I don’t think I am the “right” person for Kalvin too. I have so many flaws and imperfections that I need to grow in. And the same goes for Kalvin. He also needs to grow in certain areas so that we can become better for each other. So marriage is not about finding the right guy or girl to marry. I doubt you’ll find the perfect person in this world. It’s about two wrong people getting together with the same value, who wants to be a better person for themselves and each other. So how would you describe “The One” after reading this? I would love to hear your thoughts.