I remember having met a couple in Iloilo City before, in the mid-’90s, where the husband was dashing and handsome in his 40s,while the wife was the opposite in physiological terms, not to mention that she was more than 10 years his senior.
Not for anything but the woman showed a very possessive, nagging and inconsiderate attitude towards her good-natured husband. At one point of our meeting, this husband confided that he was only forced to marry his wife when, out of a drunken stupor, he bedded her and became the first man who did.She told her parents and this led to their ‘untimely’ marriage.I heard these lines too often.
Shotgun Marriage. That’s how our culture terms it. In this odd scenario, it is always believed that the woman ends up hugging victory! She got the man she wanted or she is obsessed with! Forget how.Just think she did,at all cost!
By those two words, one’s imagination would play up seeing a trembling man beside his grinning wife as they wed, and behind them is a father-in-law with a double-barrelled shotgun pointed at the guy! One false move and the unwilling groom wouldn’t make it to the door!
During my media days with DYWB Bombo Radyo Bacolod, in a program I had anchored (a 5-hour-program then called ‘Good Morning,Philippines’,) this topic had been raised. During the last 15-minute part of the program’s Interview portion, I struck the question “Nagapati bala kamo nga may Shotgun Marriage okon wala? (“Do you believe that Shotgun Marriage exists or not?”) It was so amusing how the influx of calls came from men,all amenable and always with a regretful tone! “Ginpilit lang ako!” (“I was just forced into it!“)- the ruing gentlemen lamented on the phone.
Marriage is a choice and a major decision in anyone’s life. When confronted by a question whether he wants to get married or not, a sensible man needs to choose between two answers: yes or no.There is no gray area compelling him to say ‘Yes,but..” .Remember, it is a choice. We all have freedom of choices.
For a man to profess that he was just forced into the marriage ,well, that’s the lamest alibi that can exist ! (Strike 1.)
Worst, their declaration is always preceded by another common alibi:” I was drunk and accidentally bedded her!” (Strike 2.)
Failure to make the right choice often leads to that need for an alibi, to justify the failure done ( whether wittingly or unwittingly).
Ergo, ‘shotgun marriage‘ was born out of collective alibi of men who refuse to admit they failed to make the right choice of their wives. It paints a picture of a woman as a scheming villainess who is out to build her coven with an unwilling husband as her first prey. It paints another picture of that unwilling husband as a submissive man bound for eternal martyrdom.( Let her be damned? Blessed he be? )
I always have high respect for the moral hierarchy of a man in a family structure that is brick-layed by a sacred and God-centered marriage. I’m talking about a man who is embodied with character values making him worthy to be vested with his ‘Pillar of the Home’ title.
It is the worst alibi of weak men who made a mistake, refused to accept that mistake and choose to live a lie for the rest of their lives, blaming it on their wives rather than repairing themselves.
Personally, I do not believe in ‘shotgun marriage’ or anything close to its definition.With all the aforementioned, I have all the sensible reasons NOT to believe.
Without any shotgun behind you, would you?