Contradiction In Terms

There are some words that just don’t go together. Like safe and sex. If you ask me, the term safe sex is a contradiction in terms. There is nothing safe about sex. You could catch something infectious or get pregnant or end up falling in love with someone who doesn’t even give a damn about you. Another is responsible drinking. I don’t know what could be more irresponsible than partaking of a substance that will obviously impair your thinking and sense of judgment. Unless the meaning of the word responsible has changed….

But there are some words that put together, form phrases that leave the sweet taste of vanilla on the tongue when you pronounce them. Like happily married.  Happily married. Happily married means being loved just the way you are and loving the other party back the way they are. It means having a companion who walks with you and believes you. Happily married means falling out and making up again soon enough.  Happily married means crying together.  Happily married means looking into each other’s eyes and holding hands. Happily married is knowing that you got the best.

But I know for sure that someone reading this post could swear by their middle name that happily married is a contradiction in terms.

And why wouldn’t they? Ask anyone and they will tell you of a very unhappy marriage they know. Theirs, their parents’, a friend’s, a neighbor’s , a public figure’s…

We hadn’t even dried our tears mourning Wambui Kabiru, a former news reporter who was found murdered in her house allegedly by her husband, when renown Olympic marathon champion Samwel Wanjiru,  jumps off his balcony to his death following or to avoid a row with his wife. It is yet to be established. What is established is that he was in an unhappy marriage and it played a big role in causing his death. Some say that he was having marital problems because he got married too young; that young marriages are under siege. I don’t buy that. It is true that a certain measure of maturity is needed to sustain a marriage but marriages do not fail because the two people married are too young. Hardly.

Marriages fail because people marry for the wrong reasons. Marriages fail because people marry people they are not friends with and soon boredom checks in and they say ‘marriage is boring’. Marriages fail because the people therein do not nurture them. Marriages fail because people are too busy chasing promotions at work that they forget to spend time with their spouses. Marriages fail because people think that a marriage will flourish effortlessly. Marriages fail because people do not go for who they really want because they are too afraid to. Then once they are married to a person they do not really love, they seek an escape route to the arms of the one they really loved. Marriages fail because people do not appreciate who they have. Marriages fail because people take them(selves) too seriously…

*Said in the Desperate housewives narrator’s voice* Yeees. There are  words, that when put together, form phrases that are real and meaningful for some. And for others, they are just but a contradiction, in terms.

28 comments for “Contradiction In Terms

  1. May 18, 2011 at 8:11 am

    “Marriages fail because people do not go for who they really want because they are too afraid to” ….this caught my eye. I hear most of the time people saying you know I was supposed to marry X *sigh*

    • May 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      I think pple get blinded by terms like ‘husband material’ or ‘wife material’ What is that?! If for example you love tall slender ladies, then by all means find a tall slender lady and marry them. What’s the use of marrying a short plump lady just because you have heard that such are ‘wife material’? And then you make her miserable by chasing after tall slender ladies and cheating on her with them. We would have less failed marriages if people would BE FOCUSED. If you want to be married by a prince, then go ahead. Pursue it. Be married by a prince. Don’t settle for second best. At the end of the day, all we want to be is happy ; happy with our choices..

      • tunde
        May 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

        Hi Mrsmwiti,
        Excellent view on things, but jus to throw a spanner in the works, please explain to me, when you say…”…you love tall slender ladies, then by all means find a tall slender lady and marry them…”  What if you eventually do hook up with one, then she ends up looking like a barrel on toothpicks and thus not what u signed up for, and as the partner u’ve maintained your figure by working out n all, but ur lady doesn’t want to. How am i to be FOCUSED?
        *Pushes dumbbell aside* 😀

        • May 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

          Hehe. That’s a whole new story for another day, but get this. Women love to be shown affection and attention. If your lady say, has lovely hair, complement her often and remind her that you like her hair.
          And because a compliment by you is something she could get used to , 🙂 she will want to keep her hair looking good – subconsciously or otherwise.

          Replace hair here with whatever you like.

          Again, when you are married, you are PARTNERS. Why not work out with your wife. Why not?

          And don’t even get me started on trim men who grow potbellies even if that’s not what their wives signed up for…As I said, that’s a story for another day.
          Thank you for your comment 🙂

          • Tunde
            May 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

            I gerrit, with the ‘going together to the gym’ storo. Thing is you even go to the extent of offering to pay for the gym~ ok maybe that’s a loud hint 😀 lakini, if you love someone, shouldn’t you let them know you care about how they look & their health?
            Another thing, as you said, compliment her often, & that being a constant, not an issue. However how do you compliment something that ain’t there? … *Oh babe your figure will look good…mmmh!!* 0_o epic fail! Or deal with that awkward moment/stare btwn me & the waiter when she orders another helping of food right after saying she is full and bill has been placed on the table?? What’s the point, i might as well get my refund at Parklands Sports Club.
            Anyway, again, just bringing out a real issue most brothers face, and being a Christian, i would like to go about the whole issue the right way, without hurting her feelings.
            There is once i asked a lady “How do you tell a lady that her eating is not flattering her body?basically…she is FAT?”
            Well ofcourse i want to see the world End on 21st May 2011 :D, so i dint phrase it that way….but, Lady replied by saying..
            “There is no right way, if she doesn’t mind how she looks and you do, then you need to reconsider because it’ll keep bugging you till.. [she sits on you and you die] :D- Ok OK, jus kidding bout that last part..
            But MrsMwiti, do you gerrit? the dilemma?
            Where is the effort for the spouse to look good for each other? #thatsall….

  2. DavidN
    May 18, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Good morning Mrs. Mwiti,
    Its good and refreshing to read from you (yes that’s my polite way of saying why haven’t you written anything for a whole 7 days?). Wambui’s and Wanjiru’s deaths are truly heartbreaking especially because they have, by linear thinking, been as a result of bad marriages. And I am certain there are plenty of other similar deaths of dozens of less-known persons. It sends a very scary messages to young people about marriage. Whether they want to or not, they cannot help but think “what if we end up like so-and-so?”. In my church, I am involved in marriage guidance to young people when planning their weddings /marriages. We take them through 10 weeks of helping them understand each other and marriage better. Some go through this and still end-up apart before their 1st anniversary. Most are still in the process of making it work; some even come-back to facilitate the course. Basically we are born and we grow up selfish, thinking mostly about what WE want. Then some 20+ or 30+ years later another selfish individual becomes part of our life and we are suppose to be “happily married”. It is possible and it is happening BUT we must change as individuals. At the very least we must become more selfless and more understanding. Most of all we must refer to the manufacturer of marriage; God. No two people ever made it in marriage on their own.

    • May 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you David. Tried to blog over the weekend but couldn’t think of anything 🙁 Then yesternight at almost midnight I sat on my computer and voila! I came up with a post.
      Thanks for sharing & bless your heart for the good work you are doing with the youth.
      This makes a lot of sense “Basically we are born and we grow up selfish, thinking mostly about what WE want. Then some 20+ or 30+ years later another selfish individual becomes part of our life and we are suppose to be happily married.”

      It’s true what they say – The omelette is as good as the eggs.

      And another point you bring up that I forgot to mention is God. Marriage was God’s idea after all.

  3. May 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

    ‘taking myself too seriously’ is something several people have mentioned about me please expound!

    • May 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      It could mean being uptight.. or you are too hard on yourself. Hehe. Now you are making me a psychologist 😀 I am not.

      What I meant in this case is that some people take themselves too seriously.
      Your spouse does something minor and then all of a sudden you go like “No wonder, they say that all women become like this, or all men are like this once they get married.”
      You start labeling. Then you get worked up and forget to have a sense of humour. Then you start thinking that there is a manual for marriage that you must follow by the letter… RELAX. Have fun sometimes.

      • David
        May 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm

        On a light note, which I suggest you take seriously :), here’s how to avoid the small pitfalls that come with taking ourselves too seriously. Believe me I totally subscribe to this thinking; I am a guy:
        Ndoa is the name of the marriage program that I volunteer for, for the benefit of Nyar Rusinga and others in need of a working marriage-GPS.

  4. Tindi Ndunda
    May 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Thank You, this POV is highly refreshing and thought provoking 🙂

    • May 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      Tindi, I am grateful you read. 🙂

  5. May 18, 2011 at 8:36 am

    This is a reflective and true post on marriage. I also say marriages fail because people do not take the commitment seriously. That leaving is an option when issues arise… truth is this is for keeps and happily married means exhausting yourselves seeking the solution to the issue. Asante!

    • May 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

      Very well said, Wangui. The moment you entertain the thought of divorce, you slow down on working towards bettering your marriage. You leave things to chance…

  6. May 18, 2011 at 8:49 am

    “Marriages fail because people marry people they are not friends with and soon boredom checks in and they say ‘marriage is boring’.”<< How true! I know a couple of people in that predicament and I must say, they give marriage a bad name.

    • May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Unfortunately so. If marriage is so bad why is it still so popular?! 🙂

  7. Anonymous
    May 18, 2011 at 9:16 am

    @DavidN you are so right there, marriage is the scary end to all that’s good about friendships that mature to that age. I think Marriage counseling should start earlier to young adults first, to show that marriage isn’t emotional ashes and brimstone, then to those with intentions… the way its done now. too many of my age mates (20-30), me included are afraid of this monster called marriage thus run away from or destroy good relationships.

    • May 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      ‘…..afraid of this monster called marriage.’ Anon, please change your attitude if you want to get married one day.
      There are good healthy marriages out there. It’s just that they are not given a lot of press, but they are there!

  8. kiende
    May 18, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Yeah, very true about marriage. I am a believer of happily married and I thank God that despite what many say, there is true happiness in marriage. Marriage fails because people go into it with options like divorce if things don’t wok out… Hence when a small issue hits they think they made a mistake and that begins their downfall. I hope people know the beauty of happily married and yearn for it as they work towards making their marriages work.

  9. May 18, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Hi Mrs Mwiti, always refreshing to read your blog. I think the thing with marriage is that many people think that it is the end of a relationship, i.e. courting and dating is the means and marriage therefore the final product. However marriage is really the beginning, and like anything else, it will not flourish without nurture. Here is something I once posted on my blog about marriage:
    “Most people get married believing a myth – that marriage is a beautiful box full of the things they have longed for. Companionship, sexual fulfillment, intimacy, friendship. The truth is that marriage, at the start, is an empty box. You must put something in before you take anything out. There is no love in marriage; love is in people and people put it into marriage; people have to infuse it into their marriages.

    A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising – keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.” – J. Allan Petersen (Homemade)”
    As for the contradictions in terms, I think it depends on the context you are using the words. For example if you are talking about health, then the term safe sex would apply, as it will be referring to engaging in sex in a manner that does not compromise your health. If you are talking about religion and morality, then it takes a different meaning as probably the only safe sex is that within matrimony. Likewise the term irresponsible / responsible drinking. Drinking alcohol is bad for your health but there is a way in which drinking can lead to social faux pas, you know, the ulevi wa kupindukia types! That’s different from taking a glass of wine after dinner…

    • May 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      Thanks @Otienohongo. You always have an interesting well thought out perspective on issues.

      “There is no love in marriage; love is in people and people put it into marriage.” I love that

      About contradiction in terms i.e safe sex; i don’t believe there is anything like that. Anyone engaging in sex should be ready to face the outcome.
      As for responsible drinking…I said that on a light note. 🙂

  10. May 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Let’s all agree. Marriage is an investment of love. One has to be ready to give of themselves, their time and lots of commitment. It is certainly not something you should get into with a plan B in mind. It is a decision. Given, only by involving God can one make the marriage work as David said. Yes, you need to involve a higher power, one who understands the two of you in the centrefold. And yes marriage is fun.

    • May 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      You said it Millicent. Can’t add anything. 🙂

  11. nyar rusinga
    May 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    This is a really nice post….nice work mrs mwiti….hope my marriage will be as happy as urs….any advice for us who are yet to enter that area of life?

    • May 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you Nyar Rusinga for reading and your very flattering comment. 🙂
      The good thing is that you can have anything you want in life.
      Believe it. Dream it. Expect it. That’s my advice

  12. May 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Mrsmwiti, Was having a thought whether it’s necessary that people marry, and about why they should go through all the ups and downs of a marriage.then i realized i hadn’t read your blog this week and here what i get is a coincidence.i have gotten some q

    • May 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks for reading & your comment Judy
      Oh, you will have your ups and downs alright. Whether you choose get married or not. 😀

  13. May 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    1. Perhaps what makes sex even more exciting is the fact that it can never be safe (if you’re having it with other people, that is).
    2. The phrase “responsible drinking” is a paradoxymoron.

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