Recently, I watched a PragerU video love needs laughs. It talked about the helpfulness of shared laughter in ensuring long-term marital survival; which got me thinking again about some African marriages that lasted with little of this great ingredient and others like intimacy etc.
It seems to come down to duty. Beyond the duty of a wife to her husband, and of a wife, being a wife; and beyond also the duty of a husband to his wife (or wives), and of a husband, being the husband, there is the duty to self that says that ‘I am married.’ This is at the root of the duty to marriage that serves to keep the family regardless of many imperfections.
Of the various motivations (cultural, religious etc) to make marriages work, this imbibed ideal is key to keeping marriages. It is easy to imagine that more fundamental motivations need to be at work for arranged marriages to work. While they don’t always work, one still wonders why a lot of them do. And I think it is about a certain perspective of duty to ones married status, and not just to ones marriage.
There is nothing about pride or shame in it; it’s just about an ideal that is accepted as ideal, and thus performed. For many couples, they keep it through many pains. And when they get too old, they look back with whatever emotions they choose to hold, satisfied at the very least that they kept the ideal, without necessarily realizing that self-pat on the back.
PS: incomplete thoughts