I recalled a conversation with a new friend over lunch 6 yrs ago. He asked me," Did you marry for love or for something else?"
I was shocked. How could a person who knew me for only 2 months dare to ask such a personal question..!! I was offended and replied, " Of course I did, what kind of a woman do you think I am?"
Now it was his turn to be surprised, seeing my reaction. He said," What do you mean what kind of a woman? Of course you are a very nice woman. It has nothing to do with my question."
"So... You married for love?" he asked again.
"Yes I did."
"Well... I am going to get a wife next week," he said. "I've never met her but I believe my parents picked the most suitable girl for me. She is a computer scientist graduated from Stanford University. Looking at her picture, she looks like a nice girl."
I was like...????????
My friend was a software engineer graduated from MIT. He was originally from Bombay, working as an expat in Malaysia for 2 years. He said he was getting married not for love but out of necessity to continue the family trees. The girl who was supposed to be his wife married him because he came from a good family, smart, financially stable and his family allowed her to pursue her career after marriage.
I grew up being a hopeless romantic watching When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Notting Hill, korean dramas, disney princess movies and soap operas. According to those movies, two people get married because they are in love. If a woman married a man she doesn't love, she is not a good woman. The same goes for men.
While westerners can insist that love is the only reason for one to get married, unfortunately in other parts of the world it is not always the case.
People get married for all kind of reasons. Some for companionship, some for family ties, some for protection, some for love, some for money, some for business, some for survival, etc.
During my 10-years stay in KL, I met a lot of couples who got married NOT for love. Most of them were match-made by their relatives or friends. Some of them got married because they were "getting old" and had to get married before their "market values" going further down. Some of them got married because they wanted to have children to carry the family lines.
Can I say that they are bad couple..?? Not at all... In fact, I grew to admire them.
All their marriages last long, at least until now, they are all still married. When I asked them how to get married with someone they barely knew. They all said that both parties learned to tolerate and accomodate each other in the marriage so that it was a win-win situation for the wife, husband, wife's families and husband's families. All of them said they had responsibilities to their parents to make their marriages work so they would do anything to have good marriages.
Meeting them had opened my eyes and heart not to judge other people's choices of lives. Anybody can get married with whatever reasons they have. As long as both parties understand the "terms and conditions" and WILLING TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES, by all mean... get married...!!!