My suggestion is that marriage should happen after the honeymoon, never before it. Only if everything goes right, only then marriage should happen.
Honeymoon after marriage is very dangerous. As far as I know, ninety-nine percent of marriages are finished by the time the honeymoon is finished. But then you are caught, then you have no way to escape. Then the whole society -- the law, the court, everybody is against you if you leave the wife or the wife leaves you. Then the whole morality, the religion, the priest, everybody is against you.
In fact, society should create all barriers possible for marriage and no barrier for divorce. Society should not allow people to marry so easily. The court should create barriers -- live with the woman for two years at least, then the court can allow you to get married. Right now they are doing just the reverse. If you want to get married, nobody asks whether you are ready or whether it is just a whim, just because you like the nose of the woman. What foolishness! One cannot live with just a beautiful nose. After two days the nose will be forgotten -- who looks at one's own wife's nose? The wife never looks beautiful, the husband never looks beautiful; once you are acquainted, beauty disappears.
Two persons should be allowed to live together long enough to become acquainted, familiar with each other. Before that, even if they want to get married they should not be allowed. Then divorces will disappear from the world. The divorces exist because marriages are wrong and forced. The divorces exist because marriages are done in a romantic mood.
A romantic mood is good if you are a poet -- and poets are not known to be good husbands or good wives. In fact poets are almost always bachelors, they fool around but they never get caught, and hence their romance remains alive. They go on writing poetry, beautiful poetry... One should not get married to a woman or to a man in a poetic mood. Let the prose mood come, then settle. Because the day-to-day life is more like prose than like poetry.
One should become mature enough. Maturity means that one is no longer a romantic fool. One understands life, one understands the responsibility of life, one understands the problems of being together with a person. One accepts all those difficulties and yet decides to live with the person. One is not hoping that there is only going to be heaven, all roses. One is not hoping nonsense; one knows reality is tough, it is rough. There are roses but far and few in between; there are many thorns.
When you have become alert to all of these problems -- and still you decide that it is worthwhile to risk and be with a person rather than to be alone -- then get married. Then marriages will never kill love, because this love is realistic. Marriage can kill only romantic love. And romantic love is what people call puppy love. One should not depend on it. One should not think about it as nourishment. It may be just like ice-cream -- you can eat it sometimes, but don't depend on it. Life has to be more realistic, more prose.
And marriage itself never destroys anything. Marriage simply brings out whatsoever is hidden in you -- it brings it out. If love is hidden inside you, marriage brings it out. If love was just a pretension, just a bait, then sooner or later it has to disappear. And then your reality, your ugly personality comes up. Marriage simply is an opportunity, so whatsoever you had within you will come out.
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Love is not destroyed by marriage. Love is destroyed by people who don't know how to love. Love is destroyed because in the first place love is not, you have been living in a dream. Reality destroys that dream. Otherwise love is something eternal, part of eternity. If you grow, if you know the art and you accept the realities of love life, then it goes on growing every day. Marriage becomes a tremendous opportunity to grow into love.
Nothing can destroy love. If it is there, it goes on growing. But my feeling is that in most cases it is not there in the first place. You misunderstood yourself, something else was there -- maybe sex was there, sex appeal was there. Then it is going to be destroyed because once you have made love to a woman then the sex appeal disappears. Sex appeal is only with the unknown -- once you have tasted the body of the woman or the man, then the sex appeal disappears. If your love was only sex appeal, then it is bound to disappear.
So never misunderstand love for something else. If love is really love... What do I mean when I say "really love"? I mean that just being in the presence of the other you feel suddenly happy, just being together you feel ecstatic, just the very presence of the other fulfills something deep in your heart... something starts singing in your heart, you fall into harmony. Just the very presence of the other helps you to be together; you become more individual, more centered, more grounded. Then it is love.
Love is not a passion, love is not an emotion. Love is a very deep understanding that somebody somehow completes you. Somebody makes you a full circle. The presence of the other enhances your presence. Love gives freedom to be yourself; it is not possessiveness.
So, watch -- never think of sex as love, otherwise you will be deceived. Be alert, and when you start feeling with someone that just the presence, the pure presence -- nothing else, nothing else is needed; you don't ask anything, just the presence, just that the other is -- is enough to make you happy... Something starts flowering within you, a thousand and one lotuses bloom, then you are in love. And then you can pass through all the difficulties that reality creates. Many anguishes, many anxieties -- you will be able to pass through all of them and your love will be flowering more and more, because all those situations will become challenges. And your love, by overcoming them, will grow more and more strong.
Love is eternity. If it is there, then it goes on growing and growing. Love knows the beginning but does not know the end.
"Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself"
Published by St. Martin's Press, NY. ©1999 Osho International Foundation. All rights reserved.
About The Author
This article has been excerpted, with permission, from "Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself" by Osho, who is one of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. For more information, visit www.osho.com