Call me old fashioned, but I believe in traditional values, the ones we’ve stood on for centuries. That children are the future. That family comes first. Most importantly, I believe that marriage should be between a man, a woman, and his mentally ill wife who lives in the attic.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some dinosaur. I realize that the times have changed, and we treat the mentally ill with compassion. That’s why I would only marry a man whose first wife willingly confines herself to the attic, only to come out and wreak havoc when her caretaker gets drunk on the job. And I’d never insist that my future husband abandon his first wife — she will be as much a part of our family as our pale, stone-faced children.
At those times, in the dead of night, when she tries to set fire to our home, I’ll know that she’s really saying, “I love being a part of this traditional family.” Sometimes, sticking to traditional values means continuing to do things that are no longer popular, and in fact are downright cruel, because… well, because it’s tradition, that’s why!
I believe in traditional gender roles, which have served us well for generations. I fully expect my husband to be the breadwinner, while I take care of the home, and his first wife wails and paces the creaking floors in the night from somewhere above our heads. People these days undervalue the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve made a comfortable home for your man, especially when you’re rocked awake in the night by unearthly moans and shrieks.
Marriage is the most sacred of sacraments, and there’s no greater honor than being asked to obey your husband in the vows of marriage. When I dream of my perfect wedding day, I see something old, something new, and something that’s been destroyed at the hands of my husband’s first wife in a fit of jealous rage. After all, what’s a dream without a bit of nightmare in there for comparison?
The vows of marriage are bound by God and the laws of man, and I imagine taking mine with the love of my life in a beautiful church ceremony that will, of course, be interrupted by my future husband’s brother-in-law when he announces to all our friends and family that my betrothed is still legally married to his deeply unwell sister. Rather than be embarrassed, I’ll be proud to be a part of a great traditional romance, as dictated by the Gothic novel.
These days, people give up on their marriages so easily. At the slightest hiccup in the road, they’re running for the divorce court. But I don’t care if my husband snores, or leaves his socks around, or if he’s still legally married to the mother of his children: I’m committed to staying and working things out. Or, I will be, after I take a very long, dramatic sleep on the moor.
There’s always a way forward for love, even if that means your husband loses an arm and his eyesight when his wife finally burns down their home. Do you walk away from his hideous face and problematic ideas about treating mental illness, or do you stay the course? I know what I’d do: reader, I’ll marry him… and his wife in the attic.