Sharing vision - Bringing Empowerment

Still in love…

  • Perform: Phuong Anh (Translator: Linh Dieu Tran)
  • 18/03/2022

There is no happiness without experiencing bitterness, no peace without hurt! To end a relationship, people can come up with a thousand reasons. But to stay in it, just one reason is enough, that is: still in love! Can the love of a boy with a disability and a girl bearing a family burden have a happy ending? Let's hear their story!

H.V.P is the younger son in a family of four living in V city. Because P's legs have been paralyzed since birth, his parents and sister always try to care and create favorable conditions both materially and spiritually for him so that P can grow up happily like many of his peers. Thus, P is not only a very optimistic and confident boy, but also a good young man and the pride of his family.

At the age of 18, P passed the entrance exam to a prestigious information technology university in the capital. His family was very happy with his achievement, but there was the worry that P would not be able to take good care of himself while studying away from home. However, his determination to pursue an academic path and his desire to learn to live independently, the parents had to carefully ask an acquaintance to find accommodation for P in the capital. After the first 2 years, P gradually got used to the student life away from home. With a lot of good achievements in his studies and his singing talent, he became quite "popular" among the students. At a cultural festival organized by the Youth Union, that talented and intelligent disabled boy met his first love, P.T.M - a beautiful and gentle first-year student girl with sad black eyes and sweet voice! Love quietly arose after each meeting, sharing about feelings away from home, about the girl's mother with mobility impairment, about the difficulties in daily life of the disabled boy, about the dream of a young man, the future of having each other… They sympathized and supported each other.

However, everything didn’t go smoothly like that. At the beginning of the 3rd year at university, M's father died and her family life became difficult with the disabled elderly mother and a little brother. M could do nothing but decide to drop out of school and return to her hometown to take care of them. It happened so suddenly that P didn't have time to react when he received news that M had dropped out of school. P constantly texted, called to encourage his girlfriend and asked M to send him the address so that he could visit her in hopes of finding a way. However, M cut off contact. P asked friends, acquaintances and anyone possible but still could not contact his girlfriend. They lost touch...

The unfinished love made P suffer for years. Then, as time went by, the hurt also eased. After graduating from university, P returned to V city to build his career. With his efforts and the support from family and friends, he designed and put into use an online agricultural product sales website with a steady and growing number of customers. He kept rushing into business with one plan after another without opening his heart to anyone, while his parents asked him tons of times about his getting married and having children. On the pretext that he was focusing on expanding production, business, and career development, P knew that he still couldn’t forget M. From the bottom of his heart, he still hoped one day, they would meet again! P had called many times to find out about M's information from a few M’s classmates, but they did not have any more information, because M had not been in contact with her old friends since leaving school.

While taking a trip to a North Central province to survey the new product, he happened to see M, who was currently working as a worker in a local garment factory. The two met again, happy and sad, old feelings rushed back as if they had never been apart for many years. Due to the time limit, they didn't have time to explain, so they exchanged phone numbers and he did not forget to tell M: "Don't block me and make me crazy like the old days!" Since meeting his ex-girlfriend again, the memories and feelings of the past in P became more and more intense. For M, over the years, she honestly had never forgotten this boy. At that time, the reason she had to do so was only because of the complex about her family's difficult and tragic situation. She herself thought: "My family is in such a difficult situation, plus, P is disabled, it will be difficult for the two of us to have a future, I can't, nor dare to think about love at this time! It's good for both…” But after meeting P again, she couldn’t lie to her heart anymore!

Illustrative picture

Since then, the two kept texting and calling to share and talk about everything. Knowing that M was still single, P was overjoyed and determined to pursue her again. He went to M's place more often, they hung out, cooked together, and sang songs that both of them had loved since college days… They found each other more and more indispensable day by day!

And whatever happens, happens. P's parents realized that the time and frequency of their son's business trips got longer and more frequent. When at home, their son talked and smiled more cheerfully, or whistled, and sometimes he played some music on the guitar that he had thrown away since he graduated from school and never touched it. They wondered why. They kept asking a few friends at his company and learned about M and their current relationship. After asking someone to inquire, P's family got information about M's residence and economic situation. Ms. M's house didn’t have much with a few dozen square meters, no garden; she worked as a worker to support the whole family with a disabled mother and a younger brother who was in college. Compared with P’s family, there was a huge gap between the two families. P's mother was the one who wanted him to get married the most, but in this case, she was the one suspicious, worried, angry and was the most fierce opponent. P's father and sister-in-law also disagreed, thinking: "M's family is poor. M is not disabled but keeps "clinging" to P - a disabled person but has some money. Surely M just wants to take advantage of P…”. With that thought and pity for her child, fearing that her child would be hurt, on the one hand, mother P pretended to be ill, threatening her son not to interact with M; on the other hand, she sent someone to meet M and talked to M about her disagreement.

Despite the family's disapproval, P was still determined to marry only M. The two promised to register their marriage one day in mid-May. Knowing that, P's mother reacted fiercely and tried to hide his personal papers and phone, forbidding him to go out, and sending someone to monitor him. She was always crying and struggling, and threatened that if he persisted, she would go on a hunger strike to death. She also said that she had found a suitable wife for him even though P had to explain, dissuade, and beg all his words. Listening to her mother, P’s sister and her husband also went to the place where M lived, in front of the neighbors, constantly scolding and insulting M and asserted that M was taking advantage of P. P's sister also forbade M from interacting with her younger brother and that M wouldn’t dare to do otherwise! M was deeply hurt when her feelings and the honor of her family were mercilessly insulted. But because she loved him so much, she wanted to meet P with his family so that they could talk properly, rather than let the misunderstanding go any further. 

Knowing that, P was extremely angry and decided to leave home but M did not agree. She wanted to receive recognition and blessings from everyone in his family, because they were blood related and truly loved him. Thus, with the help of friends, they often sneaked in contact and shared with each other. They knew that they couldn’t live without each other.

In July, P had a serious traffic accident on his way home from work and needed urgent surgery. M immediately took a couch to the hospital where P was going to have surgery that night. At the same time, the hospital announced that there was a shortage of blood group P needed. As soon as she heard the news, M quickly shared that she was of type O blood, so she wanted to donate blood with his family so that he could undergo the surgery the sooner the better. With the efforts of doctors and family, P overcame the dangerous stage. M, because of overthinking and deteriorating health, needed to stay in the hospital for observation for a while. After her health had stabilized, M asked P's family's permission to stay at the hospital to take care of him until he was discharged. She was willing to leave all work to focus on taking care of his recovery. At this time, M's younger brother had graduated and worked at a joint venture company in the province, and her mother was also receiving a lot of orders from an embroidery shop in the city, so the family's economy was also less difficult. M's mother and younger brother loved P very much. They understood their love story well, so they did not oppose M's decision. As for P's family, at first, they were hesitant to let M stay to take care of him, but due to her sincere attitude and the fact that they were old and their relatives could not stay on duty day and night, they had to accept it. During P's treatment and recovery, they saw P and M's feelings for each other, and they also gradually understood. The attitude of suspicion and contempt for the girl P loved was gradually replaced by esteem, trust and respect. After being discharged from the hospital, P's mother invited M to stay at home for another week to "instruct her on how to take care of P from the hospital". Deep down in her heart, the feeling of wanting to accept this girl as a bride kept growing and growing! Living in love, M became more and more beautiful, and now it was time P’s mother became worried: "If she doesn't decide quickly, if her son may lose this "golden girl" again, she will regret it for the rest of her life!”

A year after P's accident, P and M married in front of the witness and blessing of both families. On the day of the wedding, P's mother choked up and confided: "M, I'm sorry. Although we have tried to give P a life without worries, we used to think that P had better marry someone of the same situation, and that persons without disabilities would only take advantage of him and not love him. But thanks to you, we learned that we were wrong. We thank you very much and wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!”

Now, the family of P and M has a very beautiful princess and prince. The love story of a disabled student and a girl who sacrificed her future for her family had a happy ending. Happiness will come to lovers who persevere and hold hands to overcome ups and downs!

Clause 6, Article 14 of the Law on Persons with Disabilities 2010 prohibits:

“6. Obstructing persons with disabilities' right to marry and raise children."

Clause 10, Article 3 of the Law on Marriage and Family 2014 explains about “obstructing marriage” as follows:

"10. Obstructing marriage or divorce means threatening, intimidating spiritually, maltreating, ill-treating, demanding property or another act to obstruct the marriage of a person eligible to get married under this Law or to force a person to maintain the marriage relation against his/her will.”

In addition, Point b, Clause 1, Article 11 of the Government’s Decree No. 130/2021/ND-CP dated December 30, 2021 on punishment of administrative violations in sponsorship, social assistance and children stipulates as follows:

“Article 11. Violations against regulations on prohibited acts towards persons with disabilities

1. A fine of between VND 3,000,000 and 5,000,000 shall be imposed for one of the following acts:

a) Stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities;

b) Obstructing persons with disabilities' lawful marriage and child custody rights;”

Article 181 of the Criminal Code 2015 amended and supplemented in 2017 stipulates the crime of forced marriage, divorce or obstruction of voluntary and progressive marriage, and obstruction of voluntary divorce as follows:

“Article 181. Forced marriage or divorce, obstruction of voluntary and civilized marriage, obstruction of voluntary divorce

Any person who forces another person to marry against his/her will, obstructs another person from marrying or maintaining their voluntary and civilized marriage, forces or obstructs a divorce by means of abuse, mental intimidation, demand for property, or other methods despite the fact that he/she incurred a civil penalty for the same offense shall receive a warning or face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence or 03 - 36 months' imprisonment.”

The law prohibits acts of obstructing the marriage rights of persons with disabilities. Acts of obstructing the marriage rights of persons with disabilities can be fined up to VND 5,000,000, in addition, may be prosecuted for criminal liability in accordance with the law.