I have, by now, seen at least a few dozen marriages, known double that number of couples. But I have known a few very closely. Take the one I was born out of and the one I am living in, for example.
I am on Erich Segal’s Doctors – a few pages every night before I crash – since two months or more. It’s progressing at a snail’s pace, but that is because it’s making me mull over what I read every few pages.
Laura, the protagonist’s parents are well past their 50s and will be separating a few pages hence. Her deeply religious mother now wants to spend the rest of her life in the nunnery, while her father, a doctor, wants to devote the rest of his life to the service of humanity. Laura is barely in her mid-20s, is the only child (her younger sister died of malaria) and still graduating from Harvard med school. She feels betrayed and orphaned by this unanticipated decision made by the people who meant "home" to her. While my heart went out for our dear heroine, Erich Segal held me from chastising her apparently avant-garde parents. Instead I admired them for their courage. It needs enormous courage to walk out of matrimony and when couples at Laura's parents' age do it – you know it wasn’t a whimsical decision. They are “parents”, well past their heydays, yet want to make the best of whatever life is left in them. And that is exactly what I admire.
I am not slandering the institution of marriage in any way. Nor am I advocating divorces. What unsettles me is the way we live marriages...especially in our part of the world.
Many a bride walks up to the mandap with this gut feeling that she should instead elope but “what will happen to the guests?” “My father’s reputation?”. And within minutes she’s married.
You realize you’ve made the hugest mistake of your life by landing yourself in that marriage, but you think “it might get better with time”, “now that we’re married….”.
Your husband is a wife basher / Your wife is in an extra-marital relationship and both have absolutely no mutual respect left. You crib, yell, beat one another up. But you still continue to coexist under that same roof. “What will happen to the kids”!
The marriage is a mess, but you still “reproduce” hoping to find an anchorage in your child. (HOW INSENSITIVE!)
All I ask is WHY?