Some people have told me once that when you love a person, it’s all about you two, yet if you decide to marry them, it’s not just about the two of you any more, and sometimes, it requires a lot more than love to get things done the way they should.
I have never actually tried to believe that, not until now.
I used to think that it would be a different story in the West, yet I still remember reading a piece of writing from someone in the US, probably. She mentioned her philosophy of marriage, that when you marry someone, you marry their whole family. That is even truer here in the East when family values are highly placed, and when a decision to start a new family is discussed, it is not discussed as an individual decision but instead a decision of the whole family. And even when you are completely capable of moving out and living your own life well and responsibly, most of the in-laws still expect the just-married couple to share life with them under the same roof. That, sometimes, makes things even more complicated.
My boyfriend just told me last night about how his favourite cousin managed his marriage. He had been in love with the girl for 7 years, at least that was what he said, and he insisted that they spend their life together. However, that got rejected by everyone else in the family, and by family, I do not mean his immediate family but rather his grandparents, aunts and uncles and even other siblings and cousins. Even my boyfriend’s mom said no, as she assumed the girl was not his right match. And other things were also put into consideration: their stability of job and income, their social status, their being “equal” in terms of education and level in all senses. Although that cousin and his girl still succeeded in proceeding with their marriage plan, the story still freaked me out. I kept asking my boyfriend that, if I happened to have nothing, no social status, no capabilities of relationship to push him further in his career, would his mom also say no to me?
That idea does hurt me a lot, even though my boyfriend has confirmed a thousand times that the same thing will not happen, that his mom used to say no back then because of other things that weren’t merely how his cousin would benefit from the marriage. Yet I still get frustrated and pissed off, as I have held a strong belief that love is the core of marriage, and is the only thing required for marriage. I mean, what can even be more important than that? And will marriage stay and stand if people just count how much they are going to get from that relationship instead of how much they are willing to give up for each other?
It hurts me thinking that just that we love each other is not enough, and sometimes, efforts are still nonsense. Perhaps, love is meant for love and love alone, yet to start a stronger and more serious commitment such as marriage and living together, much more than that has to be given in.
Our whole family are atheists while my brother’s girlfriend is a committed Buddhist and a vegetarian, the latter of which is opposed of by my parents for reasons of health. Yet they are still willing to accept change, and they still tell the girl that if she can prove that her being vegetarian doesn’t harm the diet and nutritious care of my brother and their future kids, just keep on being vegetarian and go on with my brother. The matter doesn’t stay at what she is now, the matter is at what she is willing to do to make sure the best will come to those she loves, and that is all my parents care about.
I love it that my parents are supportive, I just wonder why others can’t.
And no matter whether it is good or bad, the whole thing still makes me rethink what marriage needs to succeed. Love, for sure, but then the serious decision to live with someone, have and raise kids and face all difficulties and challenges of life for 60-70 years or even more takes much more than just romance of youth. Yet that must be match of soul, understanding, sympathy, and above all, the willingness to give up some of one’s own good for the other rather than money or other futility.
Love alone might not be enough, yet without it, nothing will be enough either.