5 Real-Life Couples That Had to Do the Impossible to Be Together
Sometimes due to arbitrary social norms, two people that love each other can’t be together. According to psychologists, secrecy can make a relationship stronger, because it increases intimacy and complicity. Nevertheless, relationships that are not supported by relatives and friends tend to have poorer quality. But there is some good news, social norms, opinions, and rules can be changed.
We at Bright Side, gathered 5 stories of forbidden relationships of people that fought the norms to be together, and in one way or another won.
1. Cleopatra and Mark Antony
Let’s place ourselves in the lives of the famous queen of Egypt Cleopatra and the powerful Roman general Mark Antony. The union of these governors started for convenience and political advancement, but what started as an alliance soon turned into love. However, the couple was separated because Mark had to marry the sister of the Roman ruler, Octavian.
Despite being married, Mark was still in love with Cleopatra, and after three years apart they were reunited and continued their affair. Mark divorced Octavian’s sister, so the angry Roman ruler declared war on Cleopatra. Despite their efforts, the couple lost the war and took their own lives. Octavian decided to honor Cleopatra’s last wish, which was to be buried side by side with the love of her life, Mark Antony.
2. Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson
When it comes to royals, there are different sets of rules and etiquette that they must follow to keep their titles and positions. Edward, Prince of Wales, and Wallis Simpson, an American aristocrat, met while she was married. The couple and the prince were close friends, but Edward and Wallis quickly fell in love. Edward’s father, King George V, died during that time, so Edward was proclaimed king of the United Kingdom.
Wallis decided to get her now second divorce, while King Edward tried to gain acceptance for her with the royal family and the church. But their union was met with strong opposition, so King Edward had to abdicate the crown in order to be with Wallis. While announcing his abdication, Edward said: “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.”
3. Richard and Mildred Loving
The Lovings’ love story made history in America, and it will probably be in textbooks one day. Richard was a white construction worker of Irish and English descent, and Mildred was of African American and Native American descent. Their relationship was forbidden by the laws of their home state, Virginia, since “interracial” marriages weren’t allowed. So, the Lovings had to abandon their home for fear of incarceration.
However, Mildred and Richard loved their hometown and wanted to go back, so they decided to take their case to the Supreme Court. The ruling of the Supreme Court in favor of the Lovings was unanimous, so they could return home and raise their children together as a married couple. In the end, Mildred and Richard’s courageous love helped to end segregation laws all over America.
4. Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams
The reason this couple couldn’t be together was also the color of their skin, but just like the Lovings, they had a happy ending. Seretse Khama was the Chief Designate of the Bamangwato Tribe, and Ruth was a white working Englishwoman. The couple met opposition to their union from Seretse’s tribe, the English government, and Ruth’s father. Nevertheless, the couple married in 1948.
For years, Seretse and Ruth were exiled from his native country, and to be able to return, Seretse had to renounce his chieftainship for him and his heirs. Seretse left his title to be with Ruth and their children. The once chief returned home with his family as an ordinary citizen, but years later, Seretse became the first president of Botswana.
5. Theodora and Justinian I
Let’s travel way back in time, and imagine ourselves in the middle of the Byzantine Empire, when Emperor Justinian was a powerful emperor. At the time, being an actress was frowned upon by society, but that didn’t stop our emperor from falling in love with Theodora, a young actress. The law prohibited men of rank to marry a performer, so as an act of love he changed said law, and married her anyway.
Due to her intelligence, Theodora became Justinian’s most trusted advisor and co-ruler. Together, they became powerful and wise governors. They reformed Rome’s entire law system; some of the new laws they created focused on improving women’s rights. Many years later, Theodora passed away, so Justinian kept reigning by himself; he never remarried.
Do you think ’forbidden’ relationships can exist nowadays? What would you do if you were in a ’forbidden’ relationship? Let us know in the comments.