Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Limited Liability Love

I've just been to see sex and the city 2, and yes story-wise it probably is as bad as the reviewers claim. Maybe not like being lobotomized with a pink plastic teaspoon....... as Hadley Freeman of the Guardian would have it. However the insecurity that Charlotte feels surrounding what her husband might do with the Nanny whilst she was away got me thinking.

If not exactly triggering, it made me return to my own experience of infidelity and how I might handle it differently next time. The train of thought went something like this:

I will never demean myself by getting into such a state about my partner and another woman
I will trust him implicitly....
...no hang on....
I could never trust any man implicitly
I will keep my own counsel and have enough going on in my own life not to waste time obsessing about this....
Whilst at the same time loving him appropriately and giving him enough attention so he doesn't want to stray.... and if he does I will love him enough to forgive him....
but hang on, all this love and forgiveness... will he do it for me?
or will he waltz off with my home, my child, my savings....
I will be hurt
Best not to go there at all
Best to just have an arm's length lover
...And won't "having enough going on in my own life" and "giving him enough attention" be mutually exclusive?

It seems in love there is no compromise. As I seem to recall the archbishop of Canterbury saying a couple of decades ago (before I got married).

If we love on a limited liability basis, we limit our ability to love at all

So I feel that all this self protection and boundary setting will ultimately be futile. If you love you need to do so fully. It is not inconsistent with having a really healthy self esteem however. In which you know you can survive whatever happens and you only rely fully on one person - yourself. It's a tough call.

1 comment:

Bernadine said...

Hey Fiona,

It sounds like a triggering movie, for sure. I get why it's confusing for you. Sometimes I have similar conversations in my head about what is healthy... because the day I do have a healthy relationship, it will be for the first time. What helps me is knowing if I feel too afraid to trust anyone again, I'm not ready to really date, anyway.
I'm waiting for the day when trust in others has grown back-- then, we'll see.

Great post! And sorry I haven't been great about writing back to your comments-- I've been super busy. I really relate to, and appreciate much of what you've said.