When I published my posts about the preparation of my wedding, questions came at the drop of a hat.
“WHY? HOW? ARE YOU SERIOUS, THIS IS NO JOKE?”
I was nervous at the first time I got the questions. It made me think twice, confused about how to explain about my decision, and my crazy side that needs external validation started to panic. I know that marriage is a serious matter, that it needs to be well thought out, and I know why people feel like having the urge to ask those questions (I’m relatively younger than everyone else in my circle), but knowing these doesn’t help me overcome my anxiety.
I trailed back and compiled some answers for the question.
“Why do I get married?”
Why don’t I? That’s my first answer to a friend who asked me this. This is the kind of question that I need to understand comprehensively before answering, it depends on what kind of person who asks me this. A religious one? (Easy, just answer that it is to complete half of the religion). A romantic? (I fall in love. Deep, deep, deep, deeply in love. And this is my actual answer!). A philosopher? (Man, this one is hard). A feminist? (I need to carefully pick my words so that it does not make him/her think I surrender to a form of women’s oppression).
So why do I get married?
Because I want to. I’ve always wanted to. I know that this seems weird because I look like an independent woman (*cough*) and marriage seems like a thing that society uses to cut freedom (for both sides), even a symbolic institution signifying the subordination of women to men. Moreover, if we mention about the correlation between marriage and commitment, about how marriage does not necessarily increase the commitment between two lovers, why bother taking a hellish surf in the marriage tide while you can just relax on the girlfriend-boyfriend beach? (Let’s put the religion aside on this argument). Logically there is no good reason to say yes to marriage, so why do I keep doing that? To avoid the Satpol PP sweeping?
It may be half true. The reason about why I think marriage is necessary is because I feel like I put the same amount of effort in the means of committing myself in a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship as in marriage. For example, I don’t mind switching priorities. I put my lover first, always first, if I want to, or if he asks, or if he deserves it. My current lover, the one I am about to marry, meets the three categories. So I put him first. You know what happens when I put my relationship and my lover as my priority? I ditch almost everything else other than him. My friends, my organizations, my colleagues, my leisure time, everything. I become dependent. I cut my own freedom. It is not that extreme, but it can be perceived easily by people who interact with me. It seems like I withdraw myself from the crowd.
The problem with (my) society is sacrificing that much for a lover is considered too much if that is not a marriage relationship. They will say that it’s a careless move, done by a silly lover drunk in love who can’t think clearly about the disadvantage that may come. What if we break up? What if we don’t get married while I already put that much effort, letting go almost everything that defines me, only for a pseudo-relationship? It is different with marriage. If it’s for a marriage, what I do is normal, it is even encouraged. You indeed have to put your lover (and family) first.
To be fair, the judgements probably only happen in my head. But the problem with me is that I care too much about what my society may say about me. My constant need of external validation is just too strong to ignore. I, who love to put that much effort in a relationship, want an external validation. I want people to think that it is normal for me to refuse to go out because I want to be with my boyfriend, sitting in silence doing nothing, rather than spending the night sipping coffee with my friends and talking endlessly about how funny life is. But, no. People react differently to the word “boyfriend” and “husband”.
And after all the effort I do willingly, I want the husband effect. Society may change, but for the time being I am the one who needs to adapt. If I want the husband effect, I need to get married. With this person, I would love to.
Speaking of which, another question that also comes often is: “Are you sure?”
You mean, getting married? With this person? 100 percent sure. This person is always kind to me. I can tell him everything, he can tell me everything, and I never have any desire to hide anything for him. Any. Being with the one who knows your flaws, even the biggest ones, really helps. I started to accept my own self because of him. And perhaps because of that, I am willing to adapt to him. Me, the idealist, the perfectionist. I even feel amazed. Also, this person is the first person who never makes me doubt my efforts, I know he is willing to do the same for me.
I may be wrong. Things may change, I may change, he may change. I know there can be inherent risks that make our marriage be very hard to handle.
It is okay. He is worth the trouble.
*Satpol PP (Civil Service Police Unit) is a unit in Department of Home Affairs that assists the local regional head of the government affairs to enforce regulations of the region. In this case, Satpol PP duty is to look for the couples who live together without being married (normally this is not allowed in Indonesia). The question “to avoid Satpol PP sweeping” is actually asked by a friend. Hahaha.