Of Choice and Marriage

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Sorry but some days I just wake up with this strange feeling that I’m never going to be good enough for my boyfriend. He didn’t do anything. And I don’t even know by which standards I’m saying this. But it’s scary. Before I go on and bore you with a rant session, let me divert your attention to something else.

Last night, I watched the third episode of Sherlock’s season 3. I was scared because I had the feeling that the story might have something to do with John and Mary’s relationship. The previous episode was just too happy that I thought they might make this next one a downer of sorts. And true enough, this new episode has a downer quality to it. I won’t say anything more lest I spoil it.

But what struck me most about this episode was how the relationship of John and Mary were played out. Like Sherlock said, John chose Mary. He chose her despite her past. A past which, despite Mary sharing it to him, John didn’t look at. He just accepted it because he couldn’t change it nor do anything about it. “The problems of your past are your business. The problems of your future are my privilege.” I think everyone wants to be loved like that. (And this makes me admire John Watson/Martin Freeman even more! Haha! Fangirling…)

Anyway, call me romantic, unrealistic, or naive, but I think marriages should be this way. It shouldn’t just be a social institution or a human construct. And even if it is by nature, it’s not like it just came to be, like some kind of freak show where people suddenly thought, oh hey! why don’t we make an occasion where we formally and publicly license people to have sex? Some of it may be this way but it’s a little too cynical and narrow-minded, don’t you think, to think of marriage as just that — one that is just enforced by the society around you and one that will end in two people hating each other and hating themselves for the rest of their lives for having spent a lifetime with the ‘wrong’ person.

The idea of marriage might be outdated, but I believe people aren’t that stupid — we wouldn’t create institutions like this just for yucks. And more to the point, we can actually ‘re-create’ these institutions to fit our present contexts. In the past, marriage might mean something like a permission or the beginning of a different sort of lifestyle where women are ‘housewives’ and men are ‘breadwinners’ and such. But we all know that these perceptions have changed. This doesn’t mean, however, that we blame marriage, the institution, for such views about men and women, and we stop the institution altogether.

People often say that marriage is more than the exchange of vows, that it is more about the life spent together with the other person. I believe that. But let’s not discount the exchange of vows either. Marriage is declaring a promise to somebody in front of your dearest family and friends that you will do your best to love and cherish this other person. And he or she will do the same for you. If you’re smart enough, you don’t take this lightly, hey!

Love, relationships, marriage, divorce — these things shouldn’t be simple or black and white. Every relationship has good, bad, so-so, exciting, boring, angry, passionate (and so on…) moments. And I’m sorry, Summer Finn, but that’s what always happens, life. It’s your choice.

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