I never thought I’d say this, but I’d rather be a monk than marry a local Singaporean girl. I’m a Singaporean man, so this isn’t my prejudice against my own people, but rather an honest assessment of my own experience.
I grew up in a traditional Singaporean family, and we had a very rigid idea of how relationships should be. Men were supposed to be the breadwinners and take care of the family, while women were expected to stay home and look after the house and kids OR go work but contribute nothing to the family.
This was the only way that relationships were to be conducted, and any deviation from this was seen as a failure.
I was never comfortable with this arrangement, but I followed it because it was the “normal” thing to do. I eventually got married to a local Singaporean girl, and we got along fairly well for a few years. But then I began to notice that she was becoming increasingly demanding and controlling.
She wanted to have a say in every decision I made, and she expected me to do things her way. I felt like I was her puppet, and I had to do whatever she said or risk her wrath.
That’s when I started to realize that marriage wasn’t for me.
Marriage should be a partnership, and I felt like I was being smothered by my wife’s demands. I was no longer a person, but merely a tool to be used to satisfy her needs. I could no longer be true to myself, and I felt like I was losing my identity.
That’s when I started to think about becoming a monk. I wanted to escape from the demands of the modern world and live in a simpler, more peaceful existence. I wanted to be closer to nature and live a life of contemplation and prayer. I wanted to be free from the pressures of society and be able to focus on spiritual pursuits.
But of course going to be an actual monk is going to be more difficult than just saying it. It is my way of comparing marriage life and single life.