Sitting at the breakfast bar one very special day, I listened so carefully as my boyfriend’s father spoke. He shared very simplistic yet wonderful ‘words of wisdom’ to us all present that day. I remember listening, as though there was a movie playing and he was the narrator. The room seemed to become silent. Eyes and ears were on him, perhaps frightened of what he may say… Though, for some reason, I felt excited. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I guess I could feel something in relation to ‘love’ coming our way.
“People here are together because that is what they choose. It is unlike back home, where people have no choice. Here, when you see two people together – you know it is because they want to be. That is very special, but also a very lucky thing – to be able to choose.”
It is obvious for me to say, that these words truly hit me. I thought of my current relationship, how beautiful it is because of how free it is. How special it is because of how equal our want for one another is. How lucky it is because of our contributing power to control it.
From this, my emotion towards the many women and men who do have this same choice in their relationships became much more heightened. I began to think of the women whom live in more controlling societies than the UK & US for example. For most, choosing a relationship is neither about love nor lust, but the economic and social status of much of the women. Though, my thoughts were mainly in the Asia and the Middle East I began to think of those who live within Western countries yet suffer too.
There are many reasons why people do not have such freedom to choose whom to spend their lives with – and the list could cover pages of those all over the world.
However, as an outsider looking into the lives of those in countries whose laws do not support them strongly on this matter, or whose systems disapprove of the separation of a married couple, I feel very angry, scared and disappointed that they do not have the support they deserve.
Living in a Western society, we are often pushed to leave any situation that does not feel right. Especially when it relates to our relationships. “Before diagnosing yourself with depression, look at those you are surrounding yourselves with.” This is a common quote that many share with one another. In Western societies – we have huge networks that work with people experiencing neglectful, unhappy relationships. These networks offer professionals who act as mentors and friends to help regain the dignity, confidence and independence of a person who wishes to leave an unwanted relationship.
Even with these laws and support groups, I notice many unhappy couples all the time. You could speak to anyone in your friendship group, your workplace, your local supermarket who will tell you the exact same thing. As I said earlier, the reasons why people remain together or choose a partner at all could fill pages. But, as my boyfriends’ father asks, “Why be unhappy when you can be free and alone here if you are not compatible?”
What is truly impossible for many of the people who live in less developed countries, is very possible for many Westerners, yet we see so often, that a Westerners live is still so withheld. I ask you, to ask yourself, what is restricting you from living at peace with your heart, mind, and soul?
Write these reasons down. Work with one issue at a time. In doing so, please remind yourselves that we have much of what many others do not. For that alone, we should feel the biggest invisible back-side push of all – to live how we truly wish, with whom we truly desire. Why? Well… simply because we can.