I came home from school and saw suitcases and bags packed by the door of my room. As a naïve 10-year-old girl, I thought we had visitors that will be staying with us for a couple of days. But little did I know, it was my mom’s clothes and shoes that were packed in those green, blue, and black bags.
I asked my sister why there were suitcases by my door, and she responded in a tone of despair, “Mom’s leaving… Daddy hurt her.”
Frustrated, confused, and heartbroken were the first emotions I felt. I stormed out of the room and searched for my parents to get a real answer from them.
Coming into their bedroom, I saw my mom angrily pushing my father aside and my father crying hard. I became scared of what I saw and sad for my father. My mother saw me and told me, “We’re leaving! Pack your things. Now!” I protested and asked her what was happening but she just shrugged it off like how she was shrugging my father away from his grip.
From then, I cried. I cried for the fear of my parents separating; cried from the confusion of it all and the uselessness I felt of the situation. I have never felt smaller than in that moment. I did not pack anything. I just sat in my room, holding my little sister in my arms as we cried a pool of tears.
That was the day my mother found out my father had cheated on her with another woman — a woman who knew my father was a married man, and yet still deliberately continued a relationship with him; a woman who did not respect herself, her own family, or the sisterhood of women. It was the day my mother felt an overpowering anger and hatred stream throughout her body. It was from this day and onward, I believed in love but not in marriage.
Love is love. You feel it everywhere. When you truly love somebody, there is nothing in this world that could destroy it. I have seen friends and relatives deal with their issues in a mature way. No matter how much the other gets jealous or angry, they talk about it and maturely move on. Both partners in a relationship know that their love weighs heavier than any amount of financial problems or a “side chick.”
Marriage is just a contract. It’s a ceremony created by human beings. It does not measure how much a person loves somebody. There are plenty of people in the world that only marry for money, security, or anything else besides love. It’s a status and a statement that says, “We can legally love somebody now because we have a contract,” as if loving somebody legally equates to true love. In the early 1900s, black men and women couldn’t love anyone outside of their color. Many of them had fallen in love with someone outside of their race, which they hid from others because it was not legally deemed acceptable. But to them, it was love and nothing else.
Couples nowadays tend to focus more on having a perfect wedding rather than having a good relationship with their significant others. Their need for perfection and approval for something as materialistic as a wedding is one more reason why marriage is irrelevant.
The bottom line is that marriages tend to allow couples to lose track of what it means to love. The definition gets reiterated in forms of human connections yet also to disloyalty and heartbreak, much like in my parents’ relationship. Marriages, as sad as this may sound, do not equate to true love. If you love somebody, you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money to tell them you love them! You do not need a binding contract to support your love. All that matters is whether or not your partner feels the same way you do. Other people’s opinions and judgments should not matter because in the end, it’s only you and your significant other running the relationship, and no one else.