Familiarity, according to the advanced Learners English Dictionary is defined as follows;
- The state of being extremely friendly; intimacy.
- Undue intimacy, inappropriate informality, inpertinence.
- An instance of familiarity behavior.
- Close or habitual acquaintances with someone or something; undertaking or recognition acquired from experience.
By my understanding, subject to the above definitions, I don’t think familiarity could easily lead to someone becoming complacent with a partner freshly engaged. It is mostly experienced amongst acquaintances that had been together for long.
Now the question is, what are the usual causes that make familiarity in marriages subsequently leading to complacency?
Morally and socially, one of the flavors and by-products of companionship is largely familiarity. If one of the fundamental purposes of marital union is companionship, then familiarity isn’t an alien in the shadow of companionship; But let’s pause to do an introspection.
Example, no one marries his/her enemy. There must possibly be an initial quantum of LIKING and LOVE as brewed by the inner feelings and emotion of the individual against the opposite sex.
When you marry someone close at heart, it is widely believed and assumed that both spouses are well familiarized with each other therefore, sanity should reign high.
Close companionship and a successful one for that matter can be achieved only when extreme familiarity is attained by spouses or partners because, the more we know ourselves adequately, the better we behave judiciously and cautiously in order not to step on our toes.
It should therefore be in the positive pendulum when familiarity prevails amongst lovers, but extraneously, it is the opposite. What are the symptoms? I perceive the followings;
- Marriage ambition being fulfilled
- Planned number of kids attained.
- Religious status of partner as security.
- Personal commitment to relationship as security.
- a) MARRIAGE AMBITION FULFILLED
Notwithstanding the fact that God blessed all human beings and commissioned them to be fruitful and multiplied, which was a dual responsibility (the first one being childbirth), marriage with the opposite sex (heterosexual) becomes the fundamental prerequisite.
One must be married to the opposite sex (as divinely prescribed), to call or lay claim to your own spouse before childbirth is licensed or guaranteed.
Childbirth out of wedlock isn’t an appreciable norm in several cultures hence the effort of family elders with the strenuous attempt to harmonize the sound settlement of their proteges.
In Ghana today, and around the globe, quality or befitting marriage is gradually becoming an arduous task due to the outgrowing number of women against fewer male counterparts.
With marriage hurdle successfully cleared, that yoke of burden on one’s mind is lifted, liberating oneself from the enclave of loneliness and name tagging.
Having cleared the marriage hurdle, he/she suddenly finds him/herself in a new environment, a safe haven, new nomenclature, new awareness and new season to match.
The irony of the situation is that, from the stakes of Christian spouses, one becomes so complacent after solidifying the relationship by taking things for granted. Especially, Christian women see the marriage certificate as a DIVINE STAMP to become complacent and ends up being left in a lurch- neglected and rejected in due course.
- b) PLANNED NUMBER OF KIDS ACHIEVED.
As we speak, a lady in her mid thirties that I know, unfortunately replicated herself (had 3 children) with three different men at different times, putting them in a serious societal stigmatization in the near future. As I stated somewhere else, every human being avows stability. Every individual of sound mind cannot sidestep personal stability for an uncultured and uncoordinated attitude.
This undoubtedly, is the utmost priority on the heart of every woman, to be able to maintain a unified family size, all in the nexus of same husband, same wife scenario. Women or mothers who unfortunately found themselves in those traps were put into those unfavorable situations by men of subtle character.
In an attempt to respond positively to a demand, knowing that the demand when fulfilled could be a ground breaking episode, turns to be a waterloo and she ends up owing kids with different men.
Biblical metaphor is Isaac and Ismael . Isaac coming from Sarah, and Ismael from Hagar, then 6 others coming from Keturah was the fundamental episode of family disorder that served as example against entangled family life (Gen 25:1-6) .
Old Abraham ended up “willing” the chunck of his property to Isaac (although culturally right as the first heir), it brought up or originated a bitterest enmity between the offprints of Isaac (Jews) and the offprints of Ismael (Arabs) till today.
Subject to those unfortunate historical antecedence, no woman will like to share her kids with rival mothers and vice versa, and having fulfilled that task of childbirth (however the number), she becomes complacent for haven been successful with 3 or 4 kids from same husband or man.
Subsequently, she inadvertently begin to see the presence of her kids as an ultimate security against the husband as a person.
A metaphor of similar issue is before me as we speak. With 4 grown up adults between them (husband and wife), the woman has become so complacent to a level where the husband is hardly noticed or views consented in her current life endeavors.
She takes an undivided solace in her children at the expense of a husband who is genuinely caring, loving, and religious as a Christian father.
These are avoidable.
To be continued…
By: Sammy Ladzekpo