This piece, on ‘dysfunctional’ marriage, was written in early February 2015. It was initially entitled “An Outrage”, and is based on close and careful observation, describing a commitment scenario I would not personally encourage, nor condone. The message is a subtle one, interspersed with underlying confronting tones, much like the real-life tapestry of a well-crafted deception that is made to look pristine.
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An Alternative Declaration of Love
“Will you marry me?”
Will you do a job for the rest of your life, which I shall not pay you for?
Will you allow me to own you, and take liberties with your time, your body and your health?
Will you come and be a part of my family and let us pick you apart?
Will you travel to the ends of the earth with me, and deny your friends and family their natural life time with you?
Will you put up with me through my sulks, my foul temper, my tantrums, my body odour and my bad breath?
Will you take on roles that I have been born to, but cannot do myself?
Will you go without, while we feather the nests of others and pander to the needs of those who seek to control us?
Will you take the crumbs that I offer of myself and make them look like something of value?
Will you have sex with me occasionally, and then allow me to go about my life as if we were acquaintances?
When I need to test my own endurance to the hilt, will you stand by my side and cheer me on, while your own world falls apart?
Will you deny yourself simple pleasures, like time with friends and the sense of being part of a tribe, so that I can find my own way?
Will you stand back and say nothing, while I find what I was never taught?
Will you hold me and comfort me when my world falls apart?
Will you put up with all the things that test you to the maximum, so that we can maintain the status quo?
Will you put on a brave face, even when you have gone beyond the point of exhaustion?
Will you learn new skills and be the best person you can be, regardless of the circumstances that I present you with?
Will you promise to obey me, even when my thoughts are skewed and my demands outrageous?
Will you vow to parent our children, until your dying day, even beyond the grave, so that I can focus on myself?
Will you cherish what we have and make it shine, in every area of our lives together, regardless of what each day brings, and no matter what our situation?
Will you hold your head up in the waves of life, and maintain your peace in every circumstance?
Will you maintain your dignity so that others will not think badly of me?
Will you pretend to the world, just as the world pretends to me?
Will you agree with me that there are ‘no perfect marriages’ and be content to stay firmly by my side through thick and thin?
Will you galvanise yourself every single day of every year, even when you’re breaking?
Will you please smile, because I love to see it, even when you’re aching?
Will you allow me to love just one part of you and disregard the rest?
Will you accept what I call love, and be gracious and grateful for it, even if it leaves you empty?
Will you allow me to pull the rug out from beneath you, and then watch how you rebuild?
Will you let me break your knees, and then ask you to dance?
Will you surrender to what is, because ‘no one else had asked you anyway’?
Will you love me when I am too old to wipe my own nose?
Will you love me when I foul my underwear, and be content to wash them for me?
Will you brace yourself for all eventualities and steel yourself to face an unstable future?
Will you walk a rocky path with me, even though you can see a smooth one?
Will you accommodate all of my life and allow me my own adventures, keeping watch over our home while I am away, so that I have somewhere to return to?
Will you make me look successful?
Will you chain yourself mentally, so that I can own you?
Will you play my games of Charades with me?
Will you accept that it is better to be ‘together’ than to be free? …
Will you accept my Declaration of Love?
“Will you marry me?”