Becoming a Couple

How Two People Become a Couple

Betrayal or Wisdom?

Vanessa is 16 years old and her boyfriend, Mark, is three years older. He is working as a carpenter and he hopes to open his own business one day. He is a decent boy, hardworking, humble: He goes to visit her on Saturday night and they spend every weekend together. At Vanessa’s house, he can enjoy not only the delicious meals her mother prepares for the family, but also the bedroom he shares with Vanessa. Everybody loves him: Vanessa’s father, a hardworking man appreciates this “in-law” with good values. Vanessa is considered married before she realises it. Her parents, over the last few years, buy a small apartment near theirs: it will be their present for the young spouses. The two of them keep living their relationship, attending together any family reunion. For everybody, they are couple. Mark loves Vanessa’s mother as his own. After the apartment, the parents pay also for a new kitchen. It is about time: the couple are getting married within a year. Vanessa is now 27-year-old. She graduated from university and she has a good job. After dating Mark for over nine years, she suddenly leaves him. She does not want to know anything about the wedding or Mark. She says that their relationship is boring, that they never go anywhere. She has tried to take him to an exposition or to a cultural event. He goes with her but he clearly does not enjoy this kind of experience. He prefers fishing. Her decision is like an earthquake for the family. Everybody sees Vanessa as a traitor, the father is ashamed of her, the mother feels guilty for “poor” Mark and she keeps cooking for him when the daughter is not around. Mark is inconsolable.


Food for thought: Why does Vanessa break up with her fiancé? What was wrong in this relationship? Are her parents more loyal to their daughter or to their plans for her? Was it wise for Vanessa’s parents to allow Vanessa and Mark to share a room from that early age of 16 and 19 years old? What would you have done differently, as Vanessa's parents, as Vanessa or as Mark?

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