Wednesday 1 April 2015

The Other Side of Marriage

I was reading through some of my old fanfiction the other day. Back in high school I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction to get me through the day and out of the world I didn't particularly like.

I mainly wrote Harry/Hermione stuff because it seemed like the most obvious coupling to write about. But then I stumbled upon the Draco/Hermione pairing and kinda liked it, a lot.

I've written a couple of stories on both couplings, in each Dramione one Draco isn't the same character he is in the books, he's actually a decent guy who's capable of the basic human emotions which is completely different to how he's portrayed, or how I read him in the books.

In one of the stories the plotline is that the Ministry of Magic discovers that the Granger's are actually pureblood and given that Hermione is the brightest witch of her age, she presents a great threat to Voldemort. Since the Malfoy's have always been loyal followers of Voldemort, he allows them the 'privilege' of marrying off Draco to Hermione in order for them to produce a genius heir for the dark side. Hermione doesn't agree, everyone she loves gets killed, so naturally she goes ahead with it.

As the story develops there's plenty of romance which I attribute to my hormonal teenage brain as well as the ridiculous amount of Mills and Boon books I read as a teen. If I couldn't have romance in my life I could still read about someone else's.

The ideas that I got from rom-coms and romance novels as well as any kinds of TV shows were all overdone with drama and happiness most of the time, that's what I had the idea marriage would be like and it was idyllic. Who doesn't want love and passion and all the super fun happy things?!

Throughout this particular story there was a lot of intimate moments where they were holding each other or being affectionate or whatever. There was also a lot of reiterating that as the characters were married, they didn't have to hold off on how intimate they could be. Looking back on it makes me realize how ingrained religious views on marriage were for me growing up. Pretty much everything except for holding hands, hugging and kissing was seen as a sin.

A lot of the actions and words I wrote now make me cringe at how into it I had been. I remember almost obsessively writing these stories because it made me feel like I was part of them. I could have the romance and passion and whatever else I was capable of writing because my imagination came up with the ideas and I could quite easily and happily live in there.

As a child that grew up with fairytales and overly romanticised Disney movies, I was convinced that it was exactly what marriage was like. An idyllic fairytale, and I wanted in more than anything!

As I grew up I started to realize how little I actually knew about life and romance in general. Of course movies looked great because they're meant to. Once the director yells cut and the lights are off, it's a completely different story. I didn't like to think about that.

I get that some people aren't interested in the same types of romance and whatever that I love, some couples are like that, and others keep the PDA to a bare minimum which makes you wonder if they're a happy couple when you look at them. I always equated affection to the amount of love between a couple and ultimately their longevity, even though it was hardly ever the case.

I still have my reservations about marriage. It is a huge step no matter what your culture or background is. Life is unpredictable at best, but then I guess that's why people commit themselves to another person, they want to know that someone will be there to weather the unpredictability of life with them. I think everyone knows how great it is to have somebody to share the highs as well as the lows.

My views are, like a lot of peoples, based on what I saw of my parents marriage growing up. That's not what I really strive for, but given the dramas that went on before I was born, it's hard to say how different things could have been if things hadn't happened how they did.

I don't want to feel tied down to or by one person for the rest of my life. I want to be equal to someone else, not better or less than. I want to have the comfort of knowing that they'll always be there or at least try to be there when I need them and vice versa. I want to be able to trust completely and love unconditionally another person and for them to do the same for me without hesitation from either party. That's always been a tough one for me to do.

I was telling some of my friends that back in high school when I was bored and in a mushy romantic mood I'd spend hours searching google and ebay for wedding dresses and rings that I loved and still had a few folders on my computer from things I'd saved over the years. I'd imagine the whole thing in my head, the only part that didn't have an identity was the person at the end of the aisle I was promising myself to for the rest of my life. Sure in some scenarios it was whoever I had my eye on at the time, but even that that didn't always seem right. I was interested in them, but didn't see them as marriage material.

At the end of the day everyone does marriage differently and makes it work for them. I'd say that's the other side of marriage. Doing what works best for you.

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