I have never entered into a relationship with the intention of that relationship coming to an end, that wouldn’t make sense, there’s no point having a relationship in the first place if that is the way you are thinking. But at the same time, having had two long relationships I freely accept that they do come to an end sometimes.
However, in both of the relationships I have had, I at least feel confident that I made every effort I could to try to keep them going. The first, he was a serial cheater, in hindsight I gave him way too many chances, about 3 years into our relationship he cheated and I found out, he ended the affair, we carried on, before then, and many times after then I had my suspicions, but put it down to paranoia. almost 7 years and an engagement later he was started sleeping with my childhood best friend who I had only recently re-kindled a relationship with, I even let this go and moved in with him on a promise it was all over, however his suspicious disappearances proved he couldn’t change, so on one very wet stormy night I left him and never looked back. So as far as that one was concerned I did put up with some pretty unacceptable behaviour, and perhaps if he had the maturity to be an a monogamous relationship things may have been different.
For the last one, I honestly thought I would marry that guy, I didn’t consider anything else to happen, it was almost a given, but after getting my new job which involved a heavy commute resulting in 12 hour days, he drifted from me, into the arms of the girl working in a new coffee shop across from his work! (it didn’t last with her). So once again, I guess this was out of my hands. (and of course there was the various Internet relations it transpired he was also having the whole time also!) not too lucky in love me.
In another one of mine and Babu’s “cultural” conversations the subject of marriage came up, and Babu was telling me how in Orissa people just don’t divorce, it is a really bad thing – not socially acceptable as it is in the western world, it has never happened in his family and if it did it would ruin them, it simply cannot happen, he felt he should let me know this.
So back to my point, I don’t enter into a relationship with the intention of it ending. So why am I slightly freaked out by the fact that if one day I marry Babu that it is forever? ! I have never considered marriage to be anything but forever! Maybe all this talk is freaking me out because jeez, I’ve only known him 5 months! – actually, come to think of it, that is it – I think that one day I might marry him, but right now, I need to spend time getting to know him a little better – that is the most sensible thing to do. So in fact, my biggest fear is that I may be asked to make that commitment one day without having the opportunity to do that properly.
The funny thing is, we talked about this before, and agreed that getting to know each other is exactly what we will do, so the problem? He is now not so sure he will carry on working on the ships for the next 3 years like he originally planned, he wants to be closer to his parents as they are getting old (which I totally understand), so the reason why I’m freaking out – I may not get that time, what will happen if he stays in india – A big fat broken heart I fear.
Gosh I hope not, I had a good feeling about this one.
The book I have just finished reading is the follow on from Eat, Pray, Love, Committed. If you’re not familiar with eat pray love, towards the end she finds her life partner, but has no intention of marrying him- they had both had unpleasant experiences of marriage so didn’t want to go there again, but due to an unfortunate visa issue they have to rethink their plans. Elizabeth spends the book exploring marriage in different times and cultures. The most interesting thing for me in the book was finding out that marriage can mean so many completely different things. From a mutually beneficial marriage for the family’s involved – for example keeping marriage in your class/caste in order to protect family assets, right through to marrying simply for the sake of pure passion and love. The fact that the first sort of marriage appeared to be more long-lasting interested me most. It seems this sort of arrangement doesn’t bring with it the sort of expectation that the modern western marriage does, please excuse my blanket statements – Elizabeth Gilbert did write a whole book about what I am trying to summarise in a couple of sentences.
But if you think about it, it makes sense, a relationship can run on newness, passion, excitement for quite a while, then when that begins to fade- you get married – which then becomes a focus, but then i suppose it is only after that, that you begin to start living the mundane day-to-day life with someone, and find out that their not such a perfect match after all . . fast forward . . divorce (potentially)! Take all that out of it, for example arranged marriages where the parents effectively choose their son/daughters partner in a mutual arrangement – as long as they don’t hate each other i should image it works out quite well, the couple will grow and learn to love one another, no high expectations that can never be met. In india the divorce rate is about one in a thousand, compared to the uk where it is more like 10 in a thousand – 10 times more, is this a triumph for arranged marriages or is it simply an indication that Indians still aren’t prepared to put up with the stigma of divorce?
If/When I marry, I hope that it is forever, I will ensure I take every step to enter into marriage with my eyes wide open so that nothing nasty can bite me on the bum further down the line, it is a commitment I will take incredibly seriously – unlike a lot of people do – not quite another blanket statement this time if I make reference to a friend of mine who recently went to Vegas, got very drunk and “married” a total stranger – she is still not surely if what happened is legally binding or not! marriage is a BIG deal!
So these are my rambles, I should imagine there will be opinions on what I am saying . . please be nice 🙂