Sinful Spouses: Never Say Forever
By Nabila Malick
Ideal marriage, we are told, is the one in which both partners are in love and have this pressing desire to spend their lives together. In real life we see partners who are in love, we see partners marrying because they believe they are in love and we also see couples who think they want to spend their whole lives together. What we don’t see is the love that lasts for a life time, or the desire to live together forever, while existing outside the world of fairy tales.
I know a friend who is exceptionally stupid when it comes to dealing with the matters of heart but insists that she is some kind of an authority on the subject. Now this is also very common, people who are most gullible in these matters often suffer from the illusion of being the know-it-all types. This self proclaimed authority, my friend, fell for Mr Wrong and insisted that there is no such thing as Mr Wrong in matters of the heart. Well that is another debate but right now what I want to share with my readers is an incident that proves my point. Mr Wrong presented a gold wedding ring to our Ms Gullible with forever engraved on the inside. Everyone raised an eyebrow seeing a wedding ring on the hand of an unmarried girl but that did not discourage our bold and beautiful Ms Gullible to proudly exhibit it on her finger. Ms Gullible ended up marrying Mr Wrong. Mr Wrong being Mr Wrong proved worthy of his title and did everything that a Mr Wrong is supposed to do after signing the nikkah papers with our Ms Gullible. For a long time Ms Gullible pretended that the ‘wrong’ part is just a phase which will pass away and happy ever after will start soon but what kept passing away was life and time but nothing else.
The gold ring became a symbol of her undying faith in the institution of love. She would take strength from the ring and it kept her hope in her relationship with Mr Wrong alive. However, our story takes another ugly turn when dacoits looted Ms Gullible’s house. By that time she had become a mother of two and struggling with her failed attempt at marriage. The dacoits along with all her jewellery took away her wedding ring.
Losing the ring was one of the most painful experiences of Ms Gullible’s life. At first she expected Mr Wrong to see her hurt and get her another ring made but that never happened. So one day when they were sharing an intimate moment she asked him for the ring and he promised that he will get one made. Now you must understand that money is not an issue here. Mr Wrong is wrong in many ways but not a miserly husband. He takes care of his family economically; it is the emotional side that is lacking. Asking for the ring raised Ms Gullible’s hopes beyond repair. She was so confident that Mr Wrong will get her another ring because it wasn’t such a big deal anyway. However, years passed after such a shameless exhibition of her emotional dependency but the ring never came.
The point to this story is that the ring symbolizes the love which once lost, cannot be reordered. And one of the myths attached to love is that it lasts forever. It is the most transitory feeling a human can experience. Marriages don’t last because couples stay in love forever but because the love keeps changing shapes and forms. From passion, to concern, to mutual benefits, to dependence, to convenience, to fear, to habit, to responsibility, to traditional values etc etc.
You can argue that Ms Gullible was not lucky enough to find Mr Right and that is the reason why she could not be blessed with love that lasts forever. I know a million Mr Rights marrying Ms goody-two-shoes but the love evaporates like a cheap perfume sooner than you would expect, leaving behind disappointments, hurt and heartaches. Mutual dependence and jointly sired kids is what keeps most of the marriages alive but if we let ourselves face the brutal reality we will not be able to take it for long. So we cover it with beautiful words like faithfulness, care etc.
How do we decide who is sinful in a relationship that is based on so many false pretences? Is it the husband who cannot find time to buy his wife a simple ring with forever engraved on it or is it the wife who expects her husband to continue with the charade of love when she knows it does not exist anymore? Is Ms Gullible, when she discovers the truth and her gullibility is marred, still decides to continue with the act, our sinful spouse? Or Mr Wrong who was misperceived as Mr Right our culprit?
At the risk of sounding clichéd I must say that both of these characters are a victim of life. They may not be responsible for the things happening in their life, but when they understand it and still don’t do anything about it, they both become sinful. Ms Gullible on losing gullibility should have had the courage to change things at her end and accept that she picked Mr Wrong and Mr Wrong should let Ms Gullible go if he cannot be pushed to buy one teeny weeny little ring to keep up the appearances.
Living alongside people we are no longer in love with, has to be a sin and we should sum up enough courage to stop living in sin, just because it is so perfectly covered by social norms and religious sanctions. The hardest thing in life is to know the truth and to own it up. We all prefer to look the other way because it makes our life so much simpler. So what if it is not what we expected it to be.