Sincere apologies; couldn’t resist that pun.
On TV, I was watching this discussion about the separation of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie where one of the senior panelists said, “Love is on a diet.” I simply loved that phrase!
Is love really on a diet? Are marriages failing because the head is taking over the heart? Or is it all for the better? I have a friend who blames everything on global warming. I bet he will do the same with failed marriages too.
The other day I was working on a marketing content when one of my girlfriends called and screeched, “Competition down! Competition down!” and went on to explain how Pitt will soon be an available man.
Unlike my friend and like most people across the globe, I was saddened by the news. Not because I do not consider Jolie a competition and do not see this as an opening into Pitt’s love life (As if my considering that would change a thing!!), but because this pair was indeed a good illustration.
I believe people loved Pitt and Jolie because they gave us a tangible picture of what we all want. Look at the check list they cleared, great looks-check, fame-check, money-check, love-check, family-check, adopted kids-check, own kids-check, marriage-check. They had us convinced that one could have everything, until recently when they proved that one, after all, cannot have everything.
Lately there was another bad news. Someone who is very dear to me found out that her husband has been cheating on her. She is an educated, young, smart lady from a rich family. She has always been vocal when one of us had a crisis. But now, when it’s come to her, she chose to forgive her husband and try working on their marriage.
Sometimes you hear about a divorce and say, “They should have tried harder!” And some married couples make you ask, “Why are they still sticking on?”
In a society where perfect couples are falling apart and imperfect couples are holding it together, you wonder, when should one give up on a marriage?
I think one should give up on a marriage when they begin to set the wrong examples.
Unlike other fellow animals who work purely on instincts, humans chose to build a society, regulate norms and work within those set norms. People who followed those norms were called, normal. People who chose or may be couldn’t follow those norms were called, abnormal. Now, the normal and the abnormal are a completely separate blog altogether, let us get back to marriages here.
Let me remind you of something that clearly most have forgotten. Marriage is a social institution. It is not instinctive to humans. We were born to fall in love and mate, not marry.
So, when you fall in love and choose to be in a relationship, you might take all the liberties with yourself, you are free to do that. However, when you get married, you enter a social institution where you are bound by norms, mostly moral and social. Everything you do as a married person sets an example that the society will consider at all times. You become the precedence.
Therefore, if you continue to be in an abusive marriage then you are harming the society by setting a wrong example! People will consider it normal to be in an abusive marriage and therefore anyone who chooses otherwise shall be judged.
Likewise, if you are quick to give up on a marriage just to prove a point, you are also setting a wrong example. People who are uncomplaining in a marriage will be judged because of you.
Love is all about you and your partner, marriage is not. I believe the same happened with Pitt and Jolie. Clearly they had a much longer love relationship than marriage. They took liberties when they were in that relationship because they were not answerable to anyone. But once married, they realized that their issues were setting a wrong example for their children. Ergo, they chose to set the right example.
Getting and staying married is known to us. It takes a lot of courage to break free from that known. No matter how difficult, challenging or even abusive it is, known always wins over unknown. I appreciate people who have the courage to embark upon unknown for the fitting reason.
My suggestion, do not marry unless you are absolutely sure that you have an understanding of what is good and what is bad for the society. Not unless you are aware of your responsibilities as a social animal, and definitely not unless you are ready for the unknown. Until then, love with all your instincts, after all, that’s what you were born to do!
A thought for this weekend, feed love well. We must encourage it to stop dieting and assure it that we like the extra weight.