I remember hearing this line in the series One tree hill- ‘that two people love each don’t mean they must be together’. That’s a fact most people have failed to realize. Love really is not enough to keep a relationship or hold a marriage strong. Love at times makes us stupid to think that once two people are in love all other factors have no role to play in making it work. These factors are real and affect us in every way. Some may seem less important than others but then we leave in a social setting and what the society perceives as the right way at times tends to influence our relationships. No matter how hard we try to tell ourselves that what other people say don’t affect us; in the long run what people say actually matters because no man is an island. No one really can do well when it seems everyone around us is against us. Imagine living around so much hate and negativity. It really would be hard to breathe; you either give in, suffocate or leave. You may try to hold on and be strong, after all it’s your happiness that matters most, but most times after a while, we realize we really can’t make it on our own and then gradually one of the couple would start falling to external pressure and that signals the beginning of the end of that relationship or marriage.
Age may seem a less significant factor, but it seems there is this silent unwritten law that says the man must be older. I know of quite a number of marriages that couldn’t see the light of day because of age difference especially when the woman is the older one. Most parents and friends usually frown at such relationships no matter how much in love the couple seems to be. Just a few marriages of such actually exist when compared to marriages where the male is older. It’s even worse when the age difference is so large; the younger one is usually seen as a gold digger or gigolo. Religion too could be a great barrier especially in the northern parts of Nigeria and strict Muslim nations. Even amongst Christians, Jehovah witnesses are expected to get married to fellow witnesses and same goes in other denominations. Excommunication from their congregation may be a price certain couples have to pay when they decide to go ahead with the marriage.
Other factors that may keep two people who love themselves dearly from spending the rest of their lives together may be their tribe and ethnicity, though this is usually more common among the less literate class of the society. Even well learned people at times still insist on their children getting married to people of same tribe. It’s usually not a nice struggle when kids try to argue with their parents on such issues as parents seem to be adamant and hold strongly unto the traditions of their fathers. Doctors have advised that people of certain genotype should not get married to avoid complication amongst their children when it comes to sickle cell anemia. Now do we all go about writing our genotypes on our forehead to avoid falling for the ‘wrong’ person?
Amongst the more literate and learned ones, issues like spending could be a great cause of separation. Also when both parties have different ideas on how to raise children, serious conflict could arise if a compromise is not quickly reached. As insignificant as these may seem, they really can destroy even the most beautiful love filled relationship if not tackled wisely. Where one partner believes in saving and the other likes spending so much on luxuries or one believes so much in spare the rod, spoil the child and the other detests copra punishment, only a well matured agreement can keep that relationship alive.
The most touching factor is long distance. Two people can be so deep in love, but long distance has a way of making two people become strangers even before they know it. Communication is an essential part of a relationship, even so is physical contact. So many marriages and relationships have been destroyed by distance. It’s more or less like mental torture at times, because certain times you may really need your other half around to hold on to and draw strength from or hear those soothing words telling you that everything is going to be alright. But then all you have at such times is a picture in a frame or a voice over the phone without being able to see the warmth in their eyes or the smile on their lips. Even then their absence at times of pain can aggravate such pain. Personally, I feel long distance relationship is for the emotionally strong and independent because in all, relationships are meant for companionship and long distance negates everything a relationship stands for.
Love is very essential in making a relationship or marriage work but still other factors needed to make it work cannot be ignored. Love is a beautiful feeling which I believe cannot really be explained or defined rather is better felt. Love really is not enough to make that relationship work.
Well, what do I know? I am but just a kid…..