Romantic love, a blissful feeling, is the most desirable thing on this earth after survival in adulthood. Those who have experienced love at first sight would agree that it is really almost impossible to perceive, what makes us fall for that person. One may try to rationalize and attribute to various visible aspects of the person, yet one knows there is something beyond the visual aspect. It just happens! We fall for a stranger! There are those who fall in love with their best friends. In this case, they are not strangers and they feel something so endearing, yet mysterious, about each other that they fall in love. Sometimes, this happens to be a mutual thing, without any external stimulus. In some other cases, one (of the two best friends) falls in love with another and this stimulates a new thing in their friendship. If recipient of the stimulus feels comfortable enough to take their friendship to the next level, they become lovers. In this case, I am not sure whether the person, who is non-initiator of this relationship, really feels the intoxication of finally being with someone he/she truly loves (not just platonic love). Yes, for sure, they two are happy until the non-initiator of the relationship comes across someone lovable and sexy, which is a good enough possibility.
In Indian culture, arrange marriage has a different style of inducing love between two persons. Two persons are made to share life and are expected to fall in love with each other. Though I find this expectation very strange, but it is a basis of arranging a bond, trust, respect and LOVE. According to theory of randomness, it happens to be randomly successful in certain cases. For the cases where the expectation fails, does need and craving for love evaporate? I doubt. If two persons despite of sharing their lives could not find true love in each other, is there something wrong with them? Not necessarily. Do they have a chance to find love outside their marriage? Yes, unless they are on some uninhabited island. How WOULD they respond to this ‘late love’ encounter? They would experience the same aliveness, intoxication and strong urge to be with that person. How SHOULD they respond? Another expectation of the society is to be respected- save marriage. With this scenario people tend to do things in disguise. They love someone secretly and try to live their authentic self behind the doors. One fine day, someone sneaks into their privacy and throws disgust on them for loving someone outside their marriage. Society has a well-defined term for this love- infidelity.
Before marriage, one may have a romantic relationship with someone for couple of years and then may find someone else more desirable. Most of us think that’s not disastrous because we all make mistakes, obviously, different from each other. It is very much possible that first time it was infatuation and one confused it with love. Some of us will ridicule the person for cheating the other person involved in romantic relationship. But none of us will regards it as CRIME or SIN. We are likely to think that it is in best of their interests to separate and the whole society comes out of this event very soon. Not much attention is given, because this is not something out of the world- it happens and it is very natural thing to happen.
We have a concept of infidelity because we have a concept of marriage. What if we had not have the concept of marriage? Why we established this institution? Why we tried to tame human instincts and wants? Why we tried to deny the natural blissfulness of one’s existence to someone?
I think there are two major reasons for the marriage institute establishment. We all know, sooner or later, we give in to nature’s trick (sex) of pushing us to perpetuate. To keep it under control we created moral mesh around sex. Sex resulted in reproduction. For humans giving birth to a child is not the end of responsibility. We needed a controlled, secure and safe environment to raise kids. Control that could help a couple to concentrate on their kid rather than trying to manage all the unnecessary worldly affairs. Security and safety included emotional, financial, sexual and social stability to further help the couple to focus on their responsibility of raising their kid. I think this is the first reason why we conceptualized institution of marriage. It doesn’t matter how strange it sounds, but marriage was more in favor of kids than the couple themselves. We divided workload and separated work places of female and male. Work load was divided according to the skill sets of the two genders. Workplaces were separated to minimize the cross gender interaction which could possibly challenge the structure of society and chemistry of a married couple. Although it seems a meek possibility but it could be a reason. We gave more importance to our next generation than our lives. Many people strictly followed moral codes and societal rules and I am almost sure that some were defiant, openly or in disguise depends on audacity of those persons. As individual values and societal values were mostly in harmony, the institution of marriage became a success. With success comes blind follower-ship. Slowly people got drifted away from the values that were the basis of the marriage institution, but they kept on blindly following the norm of getting married. A serious issue!
I think, second reason for marriage establishment has something to do with pessimist, realistic and mediocre mindset. GOOD is often the biggest enemy of the BEST. People who have very less hopes of finding their love (the BEST life partner) in their life time were ready to settle down with someone GOOD. Might be, they were so realistic that they concluded it as a minimal probable event to occur in each and every human life, based on observation of the randomness of finding true love and its reciprocity. Having said this, the question to be answered was: how to address the other powerful need of adult life, sex? These people sat together and established the institution of marriage to live mediocre life and settle down with a good partner. This was ,I guess, the second reason of establishment of marriage institution. Since, they were pessimist and realistic people they could not think of meeting ‘the best partner’ after settling down with a good partner. And hence, no scripts are available regarding occurrence of this event. What is available is a heap of criticism, disgust and huge insult to a blissful feeling, love.
With industrialization, rise of individuality in both the genders, and women empowerment the balance of distributed workload seemed skewed. Women started successfully competing to get into male work-space and consequence was increased opposite gender exposure in the workplaces. If pessimists could have envisioned this possibility, maybe, their probability calculations would have been different. Now, even after getting married we have enough possibility to meet someone, our true love. And I would give major credit to women empowerment and individuality concept for this increased possibility of finding and pursuing love. I often come across true stories of married couples falling in love with their colleague.
We do not know how to gracefully deal with falling in love after marriage, because we don’t have examples to follow or some script to check upon. We mostly behave in insane and inhuman ways. The person who has fallen in love after marriage seeks the reasons why it happened to him/her? In course of finding reasons, unfortunately, one falls in the trap of listing his/her partner’s shortcomings. Actually, he/she is trying to free himself/herself from the blame of destroying his/her marriage. However, I believe, it has nothing to do with the failure list and it is just randomness that you met with your love at a later stage in life. As I said earlier that you fall for mysterious reasons. After being in love with my partner for more than 15 years, I still don’t know exactly, why I fell for him. I am neither forced to invent reasons to validate my feelings, because I am lucky enough to meet him on time. I have no moral obligations 🙂 But, these fellows are forced to find reasons for their feelings and validate themselves. And the consequence is unintended incivility, disrespect, blame, hurt and disgust.
I read how people try to validate/ invalidate themselves or their partners for falling in love with someone else (cheating). Females are overburdened by the thought of not being good enough for their husband, and they brood over how they got busy in their kids, and career that resulted into negligence of their husband and hence the consequence, infidelity. I personally feel bad for calling and shaming love as infidelity, but I have to reference it in this term here, for readers’ sake.
I often wonder what if both the partners would have found true love outside their marriage? Would they be doing and saying same things or they would understand each other and would find a graceful way to deal with the situation? What if we could muster the courage to say that norm of getting married to a good partner is not good enough with our new progressive generation? It is an obsolete concept that held significance when people in the society were obsessed with morality. What if we could dare to admit and announce that we have transformed into completely new selfish generation with our individuality at its core?
More on this in my next blog. 🙂