Saturday, April 25, 2009

The perfect match

After months and months of preparation, the day has finally come. Between the flower arrangements, choosing the theme color and deciding on who will be in the entourage, the day has finally come. From the first encounter to the rehearsal dinner, the day has finally come. Today, we will get to hear two heartfelt, crystal clear “I do's”. Let’s celebrate and toast to the newlyweds!

No matter how often we’ve attended one, no matter how frequently it has shadowed our own dreams, and especially, it surely does not matter what our stand is on the subject -- whether we believe in the sacrament of marriage or rather despise the very idea of it -- there will always be something extraordinary, terrific, really breathe-taking about weddings. Undoubtedly, there are various types of celebrations: we have the couples who’d rather wish a quick fix like the ones they get in Las Vegas, others will prepare the wedding of the century and finally, some simply prefer to keep it low profile. Either way, all of them are wonderful since they all lead to that crucial point where the twosome pronounce their vows and lovingly accept themselves as husband and wife. At that precise instant, although it is perhaps cliche to think so, it is not only the sensitive souls who will get affected by such a poignant moment, even the strongest will have a few tears rolling down his/her cheek.

There are thousands of reasons to disagree with marriage. In fact, I can recall just how many people do not believe in it anymore. Instead, partnership has become very popular in the last couple of years, maybe because these couples are sure that it will be easier if (or when) they (eventually) separate. And who can blame them? It is a harsh reality that the percentage of divorces grows higher every year. It is not only the case with the fabulous couples in Hollywood, but it’s a predominant factor in all societies, even more so in countries such as Switzerland or Sweden. When we carefully think about it, marriage is a frightening idea and the idea of making a lifetime commitment to someone may even become repulsive. It does not help to witness other couples not reach the end of the road together, in particular when they are "ideal" couples whom we admire and we've also aspired to become them one of these days. It is a pessimistic observation, but it’s a hurtful truth.

This thought suddenly got me pondering on the importance of commitment and eventual marriage. All those couples who decide to (and will) get married know sincerely, in their hearts, that the person sleeping next to them is right for them, he/she is the one they want to discover this world with, together they will go through life. He/she is the perfect match, together they fit… On the six billion people on this planet, this man/woman has found his/her soul mate. It is beautiful, really. So why are there so many court hearings for divorce?

In the end. Who knows, really?

There is a formula for a perfect wedding – because despite the fact that during the ceremony, little mistakes can occur, the “I do’s” will always make up for it. On the other hand, there is no formula for a perfect marriage, neither is there an non-burnable paper (although the certificate of marriage says otherwise) that has that lifelong assurance. As mentioned above, we will perhaps always question why it comes to that final result. But on another note, we cannot put aside the other twosomes who have made it -- who have grown old together. It is hardly debatable not to name at least one. And if we get a closer look at them, we shall try to discover what's their secret.

Once again, we’ll get to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage, but it is sincerely just two imperfect people who have formed a very strong – maybe even the perfect foundation based on their love. It is important to underline that this foundation is only about the love the couple has for each other, because the tricky thing is: there will always be hard times that life; society and also couple duties will throw at them. But the core -- the centre of the couple must stay rock hard. The periphery i.e. the other external aspects in life – namely issues that cause tiresome periods in the year – should have some sort of destabilizing influence, yet not manage to break the centre down. In other words, these difficult factors will leave holes, but not enough to destroy the love. To face bad times alone is hard enough already, but contrary to common knowledge, handling it with another person does not make it much easier. As a matter of fact, it is the opposite; we have a double dose of pressure since we think for two. Yet one of the great reasons to why a relationship works, and the only way we will want to fight for it when it gets rough is to learn how to handle the pressure and make the difficult times worth it. What we get in return -- a lifetime with our partner -- becomes indescribable: what love and marriage is all about. I honestly think that couples, even great ones, break up because their foundation was not strong enough to begin with as they let petty issues get to them: love is all that is needed as everything starts from there. Counting outside factors like job or money problems, maybe losing the house or difficulty with the children are excuses, not reasons to separate or divorce. Is there really such a thing as “irreconcilable differences”? Giving up on love is not at all similar to giving up because we cannot handle that (or those) bump(s) on the road.

So for all of us who are pessimistic, against all the odds, once we get to see two individuals looking into each other’s eyes and exchanging their “I do’s”, once we get to observe such a wonderful celebration of life: How can we not believe in everlasting love? The fear of commitment, intimacy, breaking up, eventual divorce… The fear of taking the next big step to saying those vows just flows out of the window, in a second. All we can do is wish the couple the very best: a beautiful, lifelong love story – with all the great and hard challenges in life.