Love as we know it (2)

A friend of mine told me recently that technically she is a widow; her husband died years ago. This surprised me because she is lesbian. I didn’t know about her straight past. I never knew there ever was one. They were married for no less than six years. As we talked on about the subject, she confided in me that her husband had died of AIDS. I got so worried that I completely forgot about her privacy and inquired into her health.

‘O,’ she said, ‘we never had sex.’

She paused for a while to savour my rising astonishment, before she solved the riddle. She married her husband so he could be with the man he loved. The guy was from Libya, so from the viewpoint of immigration, he had no chance whatsoever. Marriage was a solution. Meanwhile, the man her husband loved was married to her girlfriend.

To the outside world these were two straight couples. The real couples were gay, just in a somewhat silly, but comfortable legal position.

It takes guts to marry someone you don’t love. Yet if you do, just to grant them a favour as you would a friend, you do love them. It may not be love as we know it, but maybe we should.

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