Wuv. Twue wuv. Universally embraced by songwriters, filmmakers, novelists, story tellers of all kinds. Love is a cross-cultural standard to which all humanity can relate. And with that universality comes the reality that everyone defines love uniquely.
I've long lamented English's poor choice of words for the matter (ancient Greek has at least 4), and so to define love in all its forms would prove impossible, or at the very least, beyond the scope of this blog post. What I'm focused on at the moment, quite simply, is marital love: the love shared by two persons (of any gender) who have committed their lives to one another. And more specifically, I want to draw out one aspect of that love: "for better or worse".
It's easy to love when life is peachy. True love, and I believe only true love, perseveres through hardship. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) I find my absolute favorite scenes depicting this deep and powerful love. Charlie Bucket's house is in shambles, there are gaping holes in the roof, his parents have Charlie's 4 grandparents, as well as Charlie himself, to care for, and then Mr Bucket loses his job. Mr and Mrs Bucket have every right to lose faith in the world and in each other. Sadly, were they a real-life couple in modern day America, one might expect the next chapter in their story to be divorce.
Instead, Mrs Bucket reassures her downcast husband that they will persevere. Their love transcends their adversity, and hope exudes from their very beings. I tear up every time I watch those scenes, honestly.
For me, the Buckets represent an epitome of true love. Unconditional. Unreserved. Unabated. It's beautiful. Some day, when I'm married, that is the kind of spouse I desire to be.