Monday, February 27, 2012

Love and Marriage (Part 2 of 3)

Amr is from an affluent family of good pedigree. He has just graduated, secured a good job, and is looking to marry. His mother runs in the same circles as Sarah’s mother, and she has seen Sarah around in various events. Amr’s mother liked what she saw. She asked around about the potential bride and also liked what she heard, as did Amr. His family approached hers, and proceedings went on. What they didn’t know was Sarah’s heart wasn’t in it. When she was hesitant about Amr, her parents could not understand why, and she couldn’t very well tell them. Without a valid reason, they saw no reason to refuse this suitor who in their eyes was a ‘catch’. Sarah was eventually coerced into this marriage - more or less. They began to get to know each other and her feelings had not changed. Simply put, they were not compatible. Amr sensed she was distant at first, but he assumed she was holding back and playing the blushing bride. Not seeing this as sufficient grounds to call the whole thing off, the pair continued with this charade, and eventually were wed. The honeymoon was far from romantic, almost robotic. The two of them were civil to each other, neither was cruel or harsh but there was no love. Things were done out of obligation, till that is precisely what their marriage became; an obligation. Their lives were lived somewhat separately, they merely shared a home. Never did one wrong the other, they both fulfilled their marital duties, but they didn’t love each other, there was no connection, there never was.

Those who are a bit old-fashioned would like to believe there is nothing wrong with that, or that love would eventually grow. I beg to differ. A connection would exist over time, it could be respect or perhaps admiration, but it won’t be love. If that does happen, it is very very rare. Is it fair for this young couple to settle for such a marriage and never experience sharing their lives with someone they love?

Without that kind of bond, how would it be like for their children? They would grow up in a household that lacks love. Their parents will love them surely but not as much as they could. Part of the reason why parents love their children so much is because they are a culmination of their love for each other; each parent would see a part of themselves as well as a part of the person they love, and hence love their children twofold.

Also, marriage that lacks love puts the couple in a dangerous situation where they might search for it elsewhere. Let’s not be presumptuous, let’s say they found love elsewhere later on in their marriage, would this not pose a threat to the stable, civil life they have built together? In such situations, some people may be decent enough to sacrifice their happiness along with that love for the sake of being decent and doing ‘the right thing’. Even that slim minority might not be strong enough to avoid resenting their marriage as well as their morale for such a fate and feel forced to keeping up appearances. Dare I say, it might reap some hate within that resentment? What super-human marriage could survive that?

However the reality of the situation is what the vast majority would do, divorce and/or remarry. I do not condone polygamy nowadays, but with similar scenarios, when you look at the big picture, I can’t help but think he is being half-way decent for not kicking his first wife to the curb. It is such scenarios that bring to light the issues with traditionally arranged marriages. I’d love to blame the parents for being pushy but it’s not all their fault, those actually doing the marrying should know to put their foot down and say “sorry, I don’t see myself with you”. With arranged marriages, there should be no beating around the bush, there's not much time for that. It may be rosy and romantic at first but eventually the couple must be open and honest to see if they have a future together. A lot of the problems with arranged marriages is that more often than not, the couple is too immature to address the relevant issues and see it as a teenage dream they are finally allowed to live. They dedicate love songs to each other and call each other morning, noon and night. They are on cloud nine. Until they are put under one roof and the love turns into war.
Bottom line, love is a very important component in a marriage, but love comes in so many shapes and sizes. Perhaps one might envision a certain kind of love in their heads, tread the world with high expectations in search of that envisioned love and never find it. Some people want it so bad they may start to hallucinate loving someone when they are too excited to be honest with themselves and realize there is no love. Don’t anticipate how you’d feel; when you find it you will know. Also don’t go hunting for it or forcing it out, it will come to you in due time. I am a strong believer in that. 

One love :) 

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