Champaign’s, “How ‘Bout Us,” played on the radio this morning whilst at work. I love this song. It’s full of romance and hope for the future, together with an air of shyness and trepidation. I can see the singer holding the hands of the woman he loves, his head bowed; and as he asks her if she thinks they will last forever he raises his eyebrows as though to force his eyes to look at her, despite his nerves, in order to see her reaction. Will she say yes? Does she want the same as him? Will he be rejected and broken hearted?
It sparked a conversation with my colleagues and one chap said that this had been his wedding song, many years prior. His marriage has since been dismantled, so these days the song just fills him with dread. It got me thinking about the promises we make to a partner.
I can imagine the love surrounding his wedding day; the Bride and Groom dancing their first dance to their chosen song, hopeful of a lifetime together with no obvious end in sight; and yet all that remains for him now is a memory of a day that didn’t fulfil its purpose. It wasn’t ‘til death do us part;’ it was, ‘til life gets in the way and we fall out of love only to end up as acquaintances at best, do we part.’ It pains me to know this!
Nobody can ever predict the future, of course. When a couple marry, preferably for the right reasons and at the right time, all those promises made are real; they are intended, they are heartfelt. The demise of love, however, is one of the worst things we have to contend with. It’s so confusing, so hurtful. How can promises be made and then broken? How can a love you thought was so real, real enough to commit to, end up by the wayside? This chap at work never remarried, but what of those who do? Or to break it down even simpler…..what of the love we have all had, and lost? We have all made promises to people; some of us have broken them, some of us have had them broken; but as time goes by and we overcome the sadness and disappointment, the hurt or the betrayal of the last, we find ourselves making new promises; feeling love anew. When I say promise, I don’t necessarily mean, “I promise to never cheat on you;” or even more implausibly, “I promise to never leave you;” more simply I mean when we say, “I love you. “ That in itself comes with its own unwritten promises.
No-one has the right to make a promise. None of us know the future so it would be foolish to even attempt it. I suppose, when it comes to love and/or marriage, all we can really do is know that we mean it at the time. Should life step in to break a couple up, then it’s just a case of getting over it and moving on. Yet, I can’t help but think what a mind bender it is…….to fall in love, only to subsequently fall out of love. Although one might argue that these people in such situations were basically sent to us to teach or to be taught some kind of life lesson; it seems a beautiful, unforgivably cruel, and yet necessary aspect of life.
It’s bad enough to have to go through the trauma of a broken relationship or a broken heart, but as someone that would love my moment at the altar, I don’t think I could cope if divorce came to my door! I think an irreparably broken marriage would destroy me. Almost certainly it would destroy my faith in love (and that has been tested quite enough, thank you very much). Marriage is so abused these days and I am much the traditional suitor. If I was to agree to become someone’s wife I would take my vows extremely seriously. “For better or for worse.” “In sickness and in health.” In other words if my partner fell on hard times I’d be there. If they became handicapped in an accident, altering our way of life for eternity, I’d still be there. If I love a woman enough to want to spend the rest of my life with her, then I’m going to damn well make sure I don’t let life get in the way. Love is too important. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’d stay in a loveless relationship, if heaven forbid we did fall out of love for some reason; neither would I stay if I was being mistreated or disrespected. I don’t believe in marriage, or any relationship, for the sake of it. Separation or divorce, when togetherness had once been good, is a monumental tragedy in my book, but ultimately it just to be accepted that love, in all of its forms, comes and goes. The trick is to have no expectations.
One must always hope to love again though, despite any previous hurt. There will never be joy without pain, nor loss without gain, so one may as well jump back on the love bandwagon when it rolls into town, crack the (proverbial) whip and set off into the sunset! Be bold enough to make that promise again, because actually, there is nothing so beautiful than sharing love.