Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dr. Phil, Love and Apathy

I had a dream the other night that was both sad and funny. Even though I spend a little time writing my dreck, I spend much more time thinking about some of my readers. Well, it looks like some of this has crept into my dreams.

The other night, I found myself on the set of the Dr. Phil Show. This is sort of weird because I know little about Dr. Phil. Yeah, I have seen his show once or twice while visiting family, but that's all. Anyway, one of my blogger friends was on Dr. Phil – let me call her Muse. As in, she is sometimes my muse. Okay, we all want a piece of this delightful heart.

Anyway, Dr. Phil is talking about it taking longer for men and women to marry, mostly because the women have to save up to do extensive background checks. You know, see if there are any paternity suits out there, do a bit of psychological testing, whatever. Totally bizarre, but in a sad sense, believable.

Anyway, I don't know what this has to do with Muse. Muse is waiting to get on the show, to share her perspective. And that's all of the dream I remember. No lesbian sex, no sexual innuendos, no Ninja Turtles, and no flying through the air. Not sure of what it means.

Guess it means I have been thinking about Muse, partly because I care about her, partly because she and I seem so alike sometimes. I get bits and pieces of her life – and I don't want to display them here. She does that herself in a more real and raw way than I could ever duplicate.

One thing that struck me was a phrase that I heard recently, "placing the blame appropriately." Okay, I probably heard it on some political show on Sunday mornings, but it means more to me personally. I really think many people do not place blame appropriately, and that is the source of much pain.

When I was going through my toughest struggles, I placed nearly 100% of the blame squarely on my shoulders. Well, I was fucking random guys and being unfaithful. That sort of made sense to me. But the dynamic started a long time before being unfaithful physically. Our marriage became stale – that is the polite way of putting it. I did not hunger for hubbie, and he had little interest in me, physically (which was very evident at the time), emotionally, spiritually or any other way. I really don't know exactly what caused this, and I have tried thinking about it for hours. I took the blame for this, also, and I now realize that we probably shared blame for drifting apart.

Many people think love and hate are opposites. And I did as well, when I was young and inexperienced with the nature of love. The more I live, the more I love, I think love and hate are entangled, like the positive and negative poles of a magnet. Positive needs negative to exist. They are right next to each other, and exist because the other exists.

Loves antonym may be hate in Roget's Thesaurus, but in real life – where people get married, live on and love on – I think love and apathy seem to be more true anonyms.

When hubbie and I started living our own lives, we had more apathy for one another. We made nice at home, divided chores, ate dinner together, and what not. We were housemates who occasionally had sex. Please stress the word "occasionally." And it seemed so comfortable for us. We just did our own thing, and to the outside world, I am sure we looked like a happy couple. No arguing, no fights. How can you fight with someone for whom you have little feeling? And that's where we were.

Then things happened – well, things did not really happen, we did things. Notice how we use passive language when we don't want to acknowledge what we have done? I did not fuck random guys. Things just happened. What a freakin' copout.

Anyway, my Muse and I had similar experience, I think. We have not often talked about it, but we seem to find comfort in each others' stories. But there are differences for Musey. She has children; she moved out. And I did not know if I ever would have moved out unless we were splitting up.

I mean, if my hubbie continued to be apathetic, what would I have done. Moving out would have added some urgency to the situation – apathy and urgency are not bedfellows, and even though hubbie and I were not either (at the time), perhaps it would have helped us heal faster. Perhaps it would not have.

You see, when we were around one another during the early part after the discovery of the affairs (again, wimpy passive), we fought horribly. We tore at each other – and we started to hate again. After a while, when the wounds were not so fresh, we started to love again. Hate and love. Who would have thought? But if we had kids at home, I am not sure the hate would have been good for them to experience. I have forgot about much of what happened, but every once in a while, I remember the hate. Not sure if love is related to the mythological phoenix, who has to be burned to be born. Once love has been damaged, do we have to hate to love again?

This is a messy post, as I rarely finished a thought. I am not as pithy as our dear Dr. Phil. And maybe what I have written is pure garbage, amateurish psycho-babble. For that, I apologize. All I know is that hubbie and I love again; we are no longer comfortable roommates. We love, we hate, we grow together. At times, I don't know where he ends and I begin. He would probably point to his twenty-first digit and proudly say, "This, sweets, is where I end and you begin." And if I argued with him, perhaps I would end up loving him just a little bit more.


halo said...

I kept refreshing until you updated. ;-)

Yeah Babe, we have alot in common when it comes to our marriages. Your words on the hate spewing, been there, done that. Then the peace that somehow comes after, been there too.

Ive been fighting myself about leaving for a very long time. Going back and forth on the whats whens and hows. Oddly, the when revealed itself quite nicely and the transition has begun.

I believe that in the long run what Ive decided to do is for the best, no matter how hard it is right now.

Im willing to let him love me again, but only on my terms now. I wont settle anymore, I just cant. I let him clip my wings once, I wont let him do it again.

That you and your huby have been able to overcome all youve been through is inspiring, and I do hope somehow me and mine can end up someplace as lovely.

Huggss to you chicka, on my mind as well.

mal said...

"we love, we hate, we grow together"

significant terms being "we" and "together", not "him" and "me". A wonderfully put sentiment

I doubt that any relationship is always idyllic (ours has not been) The only question I think we really have to ask is does the relationship lessen or increase us?

mal said... weird stuff when I tried to drop in the last couple of days

JD said...

really great post. it really spoke to me. thank you Leesa.

Rob said...

Leesa, how'd you get to be so smart?! I thought pretty girls were just supposed to look cute and sexy (like Barbie dolls) and leave the heavy thinking to the likes of Dr. Laura! Sheesh, another stereotype blown all to hell!! ;-)

As usual, I really enjoyed reading this post. You put so much thought and feeling into your writing. It makes us all think and that makes us all a little better!

Now, how 'bout some nice steamy sex posts again just for "balance"?! That should help to restore your image! ;-)

Prata said...

Love and hate are as entangled as hot and cold. You can not have one without the other. It's absolutely true that love and hate are opposites. Apathy and love aren't opposites so much as they are related to some degree. Apathy is to lack emotive response. Or to lack emotive presence period. But love is an emotion..not the emotion. It may be that in context they seem to be antonyms, but that would then insinuate that love is the only emotion you feel toward a person. You weren't apathetic at all. Hate is also an emotion....and you do not typically find that you hate someone as much as you love them.

Ian Lidster said...

I think, having been down the marital road three times, and having (thought I was) been in love more times than I would care to think about -- and was loved back in many of those instances, I think your assessment of the process is terrific, Leesa. And, yeah, apathy is a great killer of relationships, and the ironic thing is you can still be in love, but unable to find the process to put it back together. You seem to have found the means to do that, and I commend you. I would say without hesitation that I still love my my former wives, but never did find the means to fix what had happened.
You are mighty sharp, Ms. Leesa and I am happy I drop by to visit.

Tony said...

It’s far easier to place blame than it is to accept responsibility. I can blame my wife for our first divorce, as she was the one who strayed, however it was my responsibility to communicate to her in the first place. Had I accepted and fulfilled the responsibility of the relationship then she wouldn’t have strayed. I think laying blame and accepting responsibility are often times confused.

We all know that marriage takes work. It’s easy to say “we just ‘fell out of love’”. Anyone can do it, it happens all the time. It’s tougher to work through the problems, but the rewards are so much greater.

Yeah, “things” happen. We make bad choices, we do bad things. No one is perfect, it’s a part of being human. It’s how we handle the situations that signifies the meaning of our relationships. Communication is the key. Try as hard as you might, you can’t read each others minds. You have to talk. That’s my experience.

My wife and I divorced for a short time before we remarried. We’re a lot stronger now than we were back then. We have a better understanding of what it takes to make a marriage work.. Do we still make mistakes? Yes, from time to time. Do we work it out? Always.

Sorry for the long response. My thoughts are with you.

Leesa said...

halo: sometimes I forget how tough it was initially. It nearly broke my heart the other day when you said the one meeting was without tears, yelling, whatever. I just saw apathy all over your hubbie's face. Probably reflective, but painful nonetheless.

mal: "does the relationship lessen or increase us?" What words to chew on. Thanks!

jd: you are quite welcome.

rob: yeah, I have a heavy heart right now. I need something light for tomorrow. No sex, probably, but light.

prata: I understand your viewpoint. Linguistically, you are correct, but I was stretching terms to meet my needs in understanding the world.

ian: thanks for your kind words. You sure do know how to flatter a lady.

tony: very interesting post. Funny thing about "being perfect." Not sure I have heard any mature person say, "I married so-and-so because they were perfect." I have heard people say after a loved one dies, "You know, I miss some of so-and-sos faults. Thinking about the faults makes me miss so-and-so."

Prata said...

Ah hah! Well in that case ignore what I said lol

Edtime Stories said...

Hun, your stuff is never "dreck".

This was an awesome post and so true. I don't think I can add anything. Thank you again for being so open.

Heather said...

This is late.. sorry

What an insightful and very true post.. I firmly believe that is what is wrong with most marriages now-days. Nobody tries anymore, they just become "comfortable".

Leesa said...

prata: thanks, sweetie!

ed: thanks.

heather: I agree.

Leigh said...

I love the way you put that into words. My home there are people living there, but not together, we just exsist. I could not put my finger on what was missing. We don't hate, or love. Thanks again Leesa for a great post. You have no idea how you have touched me with your simple words. Thanks for the help.

Leesa said...

leigh: thanks, sweetie.