Love’s “Get Out” Clause

In my first post, I discussed about how the French view love according to a New York Times article:

To love truly is to want the other free, and this includes the freedom to walk away. Love is not about possession or property. Love is no prison where two people are each other’s slaves.

The thing is that as much as I would like to believe this, I don’t. At all!

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I come from a culture of arranged marriages. My parents had met each other a few times, perhaps three or four, before they were married, and divorce was never an option. As much as they disagreed with each other, as much as they fought, walking away would never have been allowed by either of their families, particularly since my brother and I were in the picture. Sometimes I used to think that Indian culture was too oppressive, and that they should be able to walk away if they were not happy with each other, but if I asked them now, they would have been glad they did not give up.

There are some relationships that you can’t undo. I can never be an ex-daughter or an ex-sister. Whether I am on good terms or bad, whether I speak to my family or not, they will be my family. And the fact that they are gives me an incentive to make sure things are on good terms.

I’d view my future children on the same level. Once you have children, you can’t undo that, you can’t become an ex-mother again. Even if you disown your children, give them up for adoption, the relationship never changes. They are your kids, it’s a fact. I would want to have the same type of relationship with the person I decide to marry and have children with. I don’t want there to be a “get out” clause. I don’t want there to be the option of being an ex-girlfriend or ex-wife. I’m sure nobody wants a relationship to end but I don’t even want the option of walking away to exist. I think to really love someone means to stay sometimes when you want to go. Not of course in situations where you’re being mentally or physically abused or you are being devalued and made to feel bad about yourself.

Sometimes the harder thing to do is to stay and work through it. You don’t always feel like you love your parents, you’re not always going to feel like you love your significant other.

I suppose I feel this way because I don’t understand what people mean when they say they fell out of love. I mean duh! Those lovey dovey feelings never stay the same, but they change and evolve to a deeper, more companion-type feeling. You also do your best to keep the romance alive. Maybe it’s that there are other issues in the relationship that the couple doesn’t know how to deal with, so they start becoming emotionally disconnected, and rather than addressing the disconnect, they assume that there is something inherently wrong in the relationship. And next thing you know, the love is supposedly gone and there is a reason to walk away.

I’m not saying that all relationships can work. But if you have a good foundation, someone who has the 4-5 core traits you want in a partner, then I don’t see why the relationship can’t be fixed. You just need two willing people….and you need to get the “get out” clause out of your head!

Or am I being too naive?

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