Saturday, June 09, 2012

On Commitment

One of the first questions when you meet Indonesians is are you married. That's how committed Indonesians are to family and married lives.

As a single female in Indonesia, it is a given part of life to be harass by people about getting hitched and produce babies, lots of babies, as soon as possible. Because, the clock is ticking... rapidly in my case. It's like you are only half a human if you are unable to accomplished those feats. 

On the other hand, I kept reading and meeting people, especially Westerners, who supposed to have commitment problem so severe that they've decided that they are not the marrying kind. What I dont understand about these type of folks is that they refused to get married but have no problem having not just a kid, but kids, with their partner.

Personally, having kids is a much bigger commitment than just marrying some guy. With no kids involved, if things didnt work out with the guy it's easy to get a divorce/separation, but not when kids are involved. Having kids means putting (a) person(s) in this crazy, full of suffering, yet enchanting world, which also means you are committed to that new person and also to the former partner to bring the kid up the best you can. Having both parents involve helps.

So why people are scared of getting married but not scared of having kids? Is it because that piece of paper that makes things finalized?


colson said...

Can't but agree. Having children is a huge responsibility. It's not a natural obligation to produce babies. Birth rates would drop significantly if people kept that in mind.

Once the kids have been born both parents have to live up to their unconditional commitment to the welfare and well being of their offspring. Whether they are officially, legally married or living in a steady lasting relationship is not that important though ( in my opinion).

Though sometimes the family conditions the children live in are pretty complex and confusing (one of my wife's friends has two kids with her ex who in his turn has another two kids with his new wife who already had a son with her first husband, while my wife's friend herself has a third child with her new husband), in as long as the conditions the child/children live in are relatively steady and harmonious, it will be okay I guess.

By the way: single parents I know also do a great job as dedicated educators. But, being an old fashioned man, I gladly quote you: "having both parents involve helps".

T.A. said...

Colson, I think when you are married, the decision to break up the relationship would be 'harder' than when you are not married. That's why I think, personally, it's 'easier' to commit to that one guy than having a kid in an unstable relationship. I have to say that I know some single parents who 'are more successful' in bringing up their kids than some married couples. however, I also know enough people who 'are in some way traumatized' by their parents separation because the contact was cut off with one of the parents. Hence the questions. :)