Saturday, December 10, 2005

Love, Seriously

It may be a hangover from being educated in an all-girl Catholic school but I tend to think of love and marriage the old fashioned, till-death-do-us-part, way. Now, before I get rained on with barbed, feminist defense about liberal women having equal rights, let me just say that my firm belief for love and loyalty applies to both parties. And that, it is my ideal which means that I don't discount the fact that there are wrong marriages and abusive partners and other gray areas which might lead to a dissolution of a union.

It's just that I get sad whenever I hear of married couple's separating for reasons that are mostly just an excuse for their own inability to hold true to their vows. Especially if it has to do with third parties and there are children who gets hurt in the process. The choice, when a person marries, has been made. It is there for you to take the utmost care. And, when there are children, it is definitely not just about you and your partner anymore. Someone's security and happiness depends on you both. That is both a privilege and a great responsibility.

Sure, married people are human and they don't walk around with their eyes closed to the beautiful, attractive, or exciting people that they might meet, but that does not mean they should act on it to the detriment of their marriage. Temptations are dangerously sweet and its best to just avoid them. If one cannot, then a married person should close their minds entirely to even the slightest possibility of an affair. Flirtations are a no no. One can't have too much willpower and self-restraint in the face of an exciting fire play so don't even trust yourself about it. Like the plague, or AIDS, or SARS, its best to put oneself as far away from it as possible.

I'm thankful that we don't have divorce here since I see it just as a quick, conveniently legal way for people to change partners at a drop of a hat. It gives them reason not to give their all in marriage. Just look at Hollywood's couples, or rather, uncouples, and you'd know that divorce is actually the rule and not the exception for countries that have it.

Filipinos are generally old-fashioned when it comes to love and marriage. We tend to believe that marriage is a gift and must be hold dear. Children are raised to believe in its sanctity and the wholeness of a family. Separations and annulment are still frowned upon by society.

They say that each person is entitled to be happy. And, that if a person is not happy in marriage anymore, that it's well within their right to get out of it. But, the choice to marry in the first place was made by you. The decision to take on another person as a partner in life has been made by you in full knowledge that it will not always be in happy and perfect times. And that once you bring a child into this world in marriage, it is your sacred duty to safeguard his or her happiness. After all, as you yourself would say, we all are entitled to it.

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