At what cost, Love?

Starting now, I am getting back into blogging after a lengthy absense. This is my attempt to make sense of my life as it is now, and to hopefully create for both you, the reader, and myself, a logical, illustrative longview of my life so that I can effectively move forward with my writing career and my duties as a Humanist and a father to my remarkable children. Please take part if you have a minute. Feedback keeps me going. Let’s converse…..

I have been at a major crossroads concerning love and its place in life. I can safely say that I no longer “believe” in love. For as long as I can remember, I looked at love as this all-soothing salve, as though it could cure every last one of life’s ailments. And isn’t what we have been taught about love all growing up after all? Look at the movies and books and songs that we were not only exposed to, but encouraged to buy into when we were growing up. Love, to paraphrase (actually, directly quote) Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge, “is like oxygen, love is a many splendored thing, love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love.” This clip from that film pretty much sums up what I now consider to be one of the biggest collective frauds in the history of mankind. (Yeah, I can’t believe I’m quoting this movie either, but it contributes to the larger point and is therefore necessary).

Lies! All lies!!!

So do any of you still buy this take on love? Yes, by the end of the film we see that regardless of the fact that Christian was able to break into Satine’s once-cold heart, he still loses her (to TB, mind you, so although their love ends up doomed, it is through no fault of their own). But what about the reality so many of us live? What about the divorces, the broken homes? Do any of you still believe that love as we were brought up to believe in it can still actually be real? Because I’m thinking now that love is really nothing more than an excuse to exchange meaningless vows on a symbolic altar, vows that really aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. Because the reality is that marriage is something that is about as sacred as your latest cup of coffee these days. I have decided that the old way of doing marriage, the way that so many find despicable now, was the only logical reason to even indulge in such a thing as marriage: families had their children marry as a way of increasing both families’ economic standing. It was nothing more than a business transaction. This is scoffed at now, but why? Now that the hydra that is love has been jammed into the equation (thanks Romeo and Juliet), you have children growing up devastated that their parents have separated and looking at divorce (after years of therapy) as just another ‘normal’ step in childhood. We prime our kids to get ready for heartbreak. It’s fucking sick, as far as I’m concerned, and makes me sad that I ever could have believed in love or marriage in the first place.

It’s all down hill from here.

Last night I was watching one of those crime show documentaries about this guy who was a Wall Street trader who had a beautiful wife and two beautiful kids (aint that always the story?), but who decided to start robbing banks. Why did he do this? Because when the roof caved in on the economy the money dried up and suddenly he couldn’t afford to pay for the cars or the house or any of the other things his wife had long since taken for granted. His logical solution: rob banks to maintain the façade. By the time he was caught, he had robbed 10 banks. He got off relatively easy when they gave him a 9 year prison sentence, but what do you think happened to his marriage? Yep, she divorced him. Now, I’m not saying that she should have stayed in the marriage. Nine years is an awfully long time to wait for someone, especially when you aren’t getting any younger and you are for all intents and purposes in your prime. But think about the rationale: the guy said he did it because he couldn’t imagine having to lose his house, for his kids or wife to have to go through that loss. But surely he knew that the line of credit he was feloniously taking to maintain the illusion that everything was fine was only an incredibly short-termed stop-gap. I realized while watching this show that he knew his life was going to fall apart regardless of whether he robbed the banks or not. It was all about an excuse. If he stayed on the so-called ‘straight and narrow,’ and then he and his family lost everything material that they had come to expect, the pain of that rejection and yes, betrayal, would have been so much greater than the pain he has surely experienced since being incarcerated. With serial bank robbery under his belt, how can he feel betrayed by his wife leaving him? She deserves the right to leave right? And he can say he was only acting out of desperation to keep his family’s quality of life intact. But what is not said is that he handed his wife an excuse to leave on a silver platter. To quote another movie:

In Spike Jonze and Charlie Kauffman’s Adaptation, Meryl Streep’s character tells someone that if she had almost died because of her husband’s negligence she, too, would have gotten a divorce, “because I would have an excuse, a free pass.” So I ask you, dear reader, is this what the institution of marriage is now? Is this what so-called eternal love has been all along? Because I am now firmly in the admittedly jaded camp that pretty much lives on the belief that people just eat each other alive on a daily basis, all trying whatever it takes to get ahead. Yeah, it’s the stuff of great fiction and film and song, but at what cost?

Pain, destruction, betrayal: merely the stuff dreams are made of.

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33 responses to “At what cost, Love?

  1. Dan Krokos

    Disagree. Love is rare, but I think it’s one of the few real things in our world. I’ve witnessed it.

    Your argument would work better without the film references in my opinion. Loved your book.

  2. nfrankdaniels

    Thanks for commenting Dan. Not saying that love is not ‘real’, just not real enough. If it were truly real, and wedding vows were what they are cracked up to be, there wouldn’t be a 50% divorce rate.

    As for the film references…not sure how they take away from what I’m saying, I was just trying to provide some pop-culture reference that most could relate to in one way or another. More are “well-watched” these days as compared to “well-read.”

  3. hopeful

    Love…. is not a cost. It is not an item that you can buy or sell. No one can tell you WHO you will fall in love with or WHY. Love is the uncontrolled feeling that makes us do things for others with no ability to know what will happen. For those that do it for a “return”… they are the FOOLS for thinking that they could control such a thing. Sad to think that someone would rather marry their kids off for financial gain instead of the belief that there was a special person that can make them happier and complete. Divorce is part of life today and unfortunately it happens all too often. But do WE give up on the potential happiness and settle for misery? Marraige is a sacred union that should not be taken lightly. maybe the thoughts should be focused on what can I make of my life NOW instead of backpeddling and being filled with anger and regrets. Leave the past in the past and learn from the mistakes. Make your future better by using the lessons from your past to insure that you do not fall into the same traps!

    • nfrankdaniels

      I am not trying to argue that marriage would be ‘better’ if it were done merely for the benefit of an already-established family–just that it would have a better chance of surviving if the basis for it were blatantly financial gain as opposed to something as illusive and fickle and fleeting as love.

  4. flutterby3

    People don’t want to work to have things anymore. You have to work at love, it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. BOTH people have to want it and BOTH people have to work at keeping it a healthy relationship. There are times when I am the neglegtful person and times when my husband is the negletful person but we call one another out and talk it through. It usually is something completely non-related like a bad week at work and we are taking it out on the other, or worries about this or that (money usually because we are poor!). We work through it and move on. Nobody’s perfect and it seems as though people have forgotten that. There is a lot of push and pull and a lot of baggage that comes in keeping a relationship together.

    The good in it is fantastic. The love and the worship, we are each other’s favorite religion. When it’s good it’s the best thing in the world. There was no alter at our wedding, and barely any people, we eloped and had only 10 family members present. We were concerned with tying ourselves to one another not to a room of people and spending a boat load of money doing it.

    I am always so sad when I hear people say they don’t believe in love. You did believe in it and feel it at one point, or else you wouldn’t know what to NOT believe IN. Just because you have had yourself broken by love shouldn’t mean you should give up on it. You surely love your children still. Should you give up on them? I know that it’s probably a “different” love (no kids so I don’t have personal experience) but it’s still a love that makes your heart swell and gives you huge smiles and giggles. Love will not save you, but I do think it exists and I think that you don’t have to have a partner to experience love. Start small, get a hug from your kid. Call a friend and meet for lunch. Go to a pet shelter and help walk dogs. All of these things can result in a little love from someone. Then maybe work a little on self love. Buy yourself a nice scarf for winter, reorganize your work area and make it look ready for brainstorming. Do you feel that, you are on your way to healing a little and when you least expect it fate will jump in and finally let you catch a break. Because fate and love both exist.

    Best of Luck.
    A Fan.
    Shana

    • nfrankdaniels

      Love how you put that, Shana: “Wr are each other’s favorite religion.” I know that feeling, PRECISELY. Which makes the loss of that religion that much more unbearable. Look, I agree with most everything you have said here. It takes two willing parties to make a union work. My exception is that there are now far too many EXCEPTIONS that people make, far too many excuses, for taking a ‘free pass’ and walking out. The vows are far more inclusive than all that.

      • Dez

        I agree mostly with Shana. This also makes the stubborn part of me want to make sure my marriage works at all cost. Marriage can be very, very hard but I think loneliness and dying alone is even more sad and hard for anyone single person. Maybe that is why so many celebrities are starting to agree on open marriages. Who knows?
        People also do not take marriage like they used to, do or die trying. My thoughts are, when you got married you were madly inlove, then life happens you fall out of love, (which is where most people give up and throw in the towel, aka divorce papers) last if you stick through it you will eventually fall back inlove with that person again because the things you fell for in the first place will always be a part of that person. You have to at least die trying: till death do us part. I think people do not truly believe in the true since of the honor of marriage. It is a lot to handle, more than most can do. That is why in a way I agree with you, yes for most, and I mean most marriage is the wrong answer.

  5. Love the film references. Marriage can be strange, impractical and infuriating, but there is something to be had in growing old with someone, especially if you can both make it work.

    • nfrankdaniels

      Thanks, Alice. And I agree, there is something AMAZING to be said about growing old with someone. Not knocking that reality. But AM saying that it doesn’t happen nearly enough to justify the flagrantly disregarded marriage vows being tossed about without nearly enough forethought.

  6. Dara Wright

    Frank- considering what you have been through, I understand how you can feel the way that you do. The puppy love , high school sweetheart , through thick and thin, kids, debt, illness, jobs, career slopes, your parents, her parents, doctors appointments, dirty laundry, date night kind of life works out great for some of us, others not so much. You get your kids, and sometimes a clean slate if you are lucky.

    That wedding video really struck a chord with alot of folks because it does not take the wedding so seriously- it was probably the guests that were there saying- “This is really them! This is the personality of the bride and groom!”- it kind of says- look, we aren’t having expensive everything here, just some chicken and Miller Lite and we made the centerpieces and we can’t afford 300 guests BUT…having fun and expressing love can be FREE OF CHARGE!!! What they got was better than a crappy wedding favor people just throw out anyway. But I get where you are coming from. After all of that hoopla and wedding stuff everything eventually ends. You just need a little corner to start peeling. Someone is left and someone does the leaving. It sucks.
    BUT DON’T YOU STOP BELIEVING FRANK!
    If you stop believing you won’t see it when it happens for real.

  7. Doug

    If 50% of all marriages fail, remember that 50% succeed. Just because lots of people choose to do it wrong, doesn’t mean it can’t be done right. And how many in that statistic are the same people failing again and again? Serial divorcers?

    Love is a different matter. To quote Steve Martin in L.A. Story: “Why is it that we don’t always recognize the moment when love begins but we always know when it ends?”

    It is harder to define what love is until we experience it. And it’s worst power over us is only revealed when it goes wrong. This is why I think many people are so jaded to the idea. They are scarred from a love gone wrong, unrequited love, death of a spouse or their own inability to truly return love.

    But to quote Tennyson (you’ve put me in a quoting mood apparently) “‘Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

    • nfrankdaniels

      I honestly cannot say that I agree with Tennyson on this anymore. And I NEVER thought I’d be in that ‘other’ camp. Betrayal is one hell of a box of smelling salts. Makes one question everything one ever believed about one’s life, and the constructs that make up that life.

      • Doug

        We’ve both created beauty in our lives due to love. The reason it hurts so bad is because it was real and it ended. The power is there because it was real.

        Some day our minds will fail. Our bodies will grow old and tired and fail us as well. Is the right course of action to end it all now in a tragic blaze of glory while we only know the joys of today? I hope not. I think there will be joys unknown ahead. Pain too, but I can get over that knowing that there will also be more joy.

  8. nfrankdaniels

    Hmm….well, not saying that i no longer believe such a thing as love exists, but that such a thing as true dedication is close to extinction. When so many are divorcing due to ‘irreconcilable differences,’ there’s a much bigger cancer at work here than a massive spate of domestic abuse. And, to quote Eminem, “This is how we’re supposed to teach kids how to behave? (My middle finger won’t go down, how do I wave?)”

  9. Bri

    Ditto Shana. Especially the part about your KIDS.

    Couldnt have said it better so I’m not even going to try.

    • nfrankdaniels

      I know what you mean, Bri. And I love my son and daughter more than I have ever loved anything. But as Shana also pointed out, that sort of love is a different kind of love than the ‘romantic love’ that is referred to regarding marriage. After all, I would never look at my children as life-partners, nor would I want to burden them with such a distinction.

      • Yes, but my point is that you let the love that you get from them heal you. Feel the joy and the love from being loved in a family & friend way and you will be able to move forward from the hurt and pain you have had inflicted upon you. You can then start slowly moving forward and will usually find that love finds you not the other way around. It is about knowing when to accept love into your life though because there is healthy love and there is love that feels good right now but isn’t the kind of love you can live with forever. The point is knowing how to distinguish between the two and I think many people these days don’t know how. They confuse lust and passion with love, and they don’t always come hand in hand.

        Wow…I sound like a new age hippie. I have seen so many friends hurt by people they love and then had to help heal my friends. It’s a hard process to watch and sometimes it takes a very long time, but they almost always start off by bashing love; “It doesn’t exist” “I don’t believe”, many of them are now very much in love a few years later.

  10. Everett

    You’re walking on “Thin ice” here Frank. But it’s good you express your albeit “Petty Rage” once again. Just don’t forget the wisdom of the great philosophers “Jericho Brown” and “Lefty Jones”. Even if the Internet seems to have nothing but “Gratuitous Nudes” it’s good to see there are some who care about what really matters. Often the Internet can be “Minutes Wasted of Your Time” but you have some real content here. The world is not “Futureproof”! Ladies and gentlemen N. Frank Daniels is back. See Frank blog. Frank blogs hard. Blog Frank, blog.

    • nfrankdaniels

      E, that was a very cool tribute to the olden days. I’m shocked, really. If I actually maintained any sort of wealth or celebrity I’d probably have concerns for my safety. But since I’m poor and anonymous, you’re awesome for keeping up with the ol’ FABLED CAREER. ;)

  11. Sb

    Hmmm…Whether love is or isn’t tangible or do-able or realistic is all in the eye of the person who is either in love or has been destroyed by love.

    I think it’s too easy to cast people aside in favor of something that feels new even if that newness is being alone again. Everything has an ebb and flow and I think if we’re patient enough, things that seem far away will in some form or another spring back eventually. But most of us are not patient and we give up or we screw things up on purpose so that when they fall apart we will have an excuse to self destruct.

    As far as making “love” in relationship terms work, and staying in it for the long haul, I personally think we spend the most time and the most effort on what matters most to us. If that is working, we are probably chasing an identity. If it is a relationship, we are probably chasing acceptance. Regardless, if we do not spend the emotional time necessary on our “love” we supposedly cherish, does it really matter enough to us to keep? I hate it when couples break up and cite their separately “busy” schedules as an excuse. Really? You were too busy to make things work with a person you supposedly never wanted to be without? Rubbish.

    I think if you want to be in something enough, and the other person is at least as committed, it “works” in that you will remain together. Is that love or just a successful long term agreement? I don’t know. I think marriage is an agreement. Like an insurance policy (that sometimes, just like real insurance adjusters, completely f**ks you).

    I think you love children far differently than you love a spouse or girlfriend or partner, right? Maybe that’s real love, in essence. I’m not sure. I don’t have a child but I have two pets that I love far more than any human, because they are unconditional and pure. That to me is love.

    I know from painful and tedious experience that the “family” love you grow up with and deal with the rest of your life is full of conditions and issues and double edged swords. You’re supposed to automatically love your family because you’re related to them. But honestly, would you put up with the shit they dish out from a friend or spouse? That love is one that is still hardest for me to comprehend and be completely sure is supposed to exist the way it does.

    • nfrankdaniels

      I love this comment, as it seems, from my first-read perspective anyway, to be closest to my own beliefs on love (and marriage). And we all love to have our beliefs validated now don’t we. So am just going to quote my favorite parts:

      “I think it’s too easy to cast people aside in favor of something that feels new even if that newness is being alone again.”
      This is perhaps the overarching theme of my whole post.

      “most of us are not patient and we give up or we screw things up on purpose so that when they fall apart we will have an excuse to self destruct.”

      “if we do not spend the emotional time necessary on our “love” we supposedly cherish, does it really matter enough to us to keep? I hate it when couples break up and cite their separately “busy” schedules as an excuse. Really? You were too busy to make things work with a person you supposedly never wanted to be without? Rubbish.”
      this is why i love your books. i’d say what they are but don’t want to ‘out’ you since you left this comment pretty much anonymously.

      “You’re supposed to automatically love your family because you’re related to them. But honestly, would you put up with the shit they dish out from a friend or spouse? That love is one that is still hardest for me to comprehend and be completely sure is supposed to exist the way it does.”
      And this is exactly how I have always thought (and verbalized) that love to the point of marriage should work. When I got married I looked at it as spiritually becoming blood with that other person. For me, there was no leaving. Like not being able to choose the family you are born into. It was that long-term for me. But is anything really forever? Aside from my kids I am guessing not. If Shana is right, that there is a person that one can permanently connect with, then does that mean that once one has been shot in the face that there can be no chance after that, due to cried-wolf syndrome?

      Huh. This is getting way too therapy-y. Scary.

      • Sorry – didn’t mean to see covert in my comments! I admit, these are my own personal thoughts, and musings above, (and I’m sure they’re all over my books aren’t they?!?) Guilty. I think about this stuff WAY too much.

        I think once you’ve been wrecked by loves of all sorts, you sort of emerge questioning not only the purpose of validity of love but more importantly, the purpose of life, and of consciousness. “Why, if it hurts THIS BADLY am I even around to witness it? I don’t feel like I’m learning anything here!”

        And then maybe once in a blue moon, you have a moment of true presence, maybe a second, where the air you breathe seems a little sweeter, and things seem okay just as it is right then, no matter how cracked up it really is, and you think that might be what love and happiness and life really is about: accepting everything as it is, no matter how it is.

        But that in itself will certainly take a lifetime for most of us to achieve. Enlightenment as such is hardly as easy as confession on Sundays. It’s a lifelong pursuit, while also being something as easy as a choice to simply abandon yourself in right now. Wow. I know I’m lagging thus far. But what’s the alternate choice, really? A pursuit of complete misery and a devotion to being as closed off as possible? That works in the short term, if not only to allow some wounds to develop a thin protective layer from more irritation.

        I’m still stuck trying to come to terms with how every time I’m around my family, I come home wanting to divorce them or write a memoir about how they REALLY are and the almost cinematic craziness they consider status quo, because that sort of blood money would be nice right about now, then realizing I can’t. I don’t want to sell their skeletons for my own smug ego fulfillment. Ah, but it’s tempting…That’s not love, though. That’s what I call my own stupid familial obligation mixed with complete arrested development and a dysfunctional family dynamic. Good times!

        I think we’ve almost all been left for dead in love at one time or another. You don’t have to ever come out of it, but aren’t you a little curious to see what everyone would say if you did, like a zombie, vowing to feast on the hearts of the wicked?!?

  12. Lee

    My interpretation is overdone, but as relevant as it ever was:
    Love is a process.
    Marriage is not the pinnacle of the potential of love, but that is how marriage is treated and considered.
    Marriage is also a process and you raise a good point in that arranged marriages statistically fare better than marriage in the guise of love.
    (There are several footholds from which to puncture this argument, but each of them would be better suited elsewhere.)
    If you sincerely give up on love, you likewise give up on chance and hope– both longshots, but well worth the payout.
    No great art exists without passion.
    Don’t let yesterday be the only indicator of tomorrow.
    Great post for thought!
    -Lee

  13. But Frank , there are people not willing to drop it and walk out. Find the person with the same moral compass as you and you will find the person that is willing to keep working at the spark that they felt and the butterflies in the tummy the first time you kiss. It’s important to find the person that feels that the relationship is as important as the love and the feelings of love.

    • nfrankdaniels

      I HAD found that and it turned out to be a massive (and I am talking massive as in 9/11 cover-up proportions massive, except actually a true lie as opposed to left-wing nutjob massive) lie. When you have been made to believe that your love is more real than anything you have ever experienced, and have built your life around that only to have the rug yanked out from under you, things take on a far more sinister glow than a simple ‘better luck next time’ sort of experience. Why trust anything after that? Answer: there is no reason, unless you are a complete moron and glutton for punishment.

      • I don’t know that you will find the answers you are looking for today. It seems like there is an awful lot of hurt that you have to work past in order to find the kind of trust needed to love again. Who’s to say if it does or doesn’t exist. Maybe hurt can be so bad that love just can’t exist. Maybe just maybe with time and healing and a whole lot of trust you will take that step someday and become a glutton again. I am a glass half full type of gal and would like to believe in the latter.

        For now I’d just like to give some evil nasty glares at the person who made you feel this way and tell you to get lots of hugs in the near future, they help heal the soul.

        Regardless, it’s good to see you back online, I hope you can find some solace from your fans. Read our positive cheers for you to rise from the bad.

        Shana

  14. Patrick

    Frank, glad to see you re-surface. I was begining to wonder *coughunreturnedemailcough*. I dont hold it against you. I definately think there is love but do not think love=marriage or that marriage=love. I think the biggest problem is that a lot of people enter into it for the wrong reason or with the movie ideals as there vision for what it is. About that stuff being taught to us as kids, think how cynical and shitty we would all be if we didnt have something to strive for even if it is very elusive and even though all of us arent going to find it.

  15. jessica lowery

    I disagree. Mainly because I am in love and happily married. Robbie and I both make equal pay, etc. So it has nothing to do with money or material things. In that regard I know I would be fine on my own.But he makes my life better in ways that material things never could. I have yet to meet someone who sees the world so much like I do, like Robbie does. He understands me. The world is less lonely with him in my life. And life is so much more fun having him by my side to experience it with. Things like raising our cats or dog, or travelling around together, are so much better with him there.I think love is all this stuff but also just about having a partner you can be completely open with to travel through this life together.

    You focused a lot on the failures of other people when you talked about not believing in love, but I don’t care what other people decide to do. It doesn’t seem to me that someone who is living a lie in their life would be someone I would look up to as a role model. Certainly there are people all over the world doing things for the wrong reasons. I have always tried to do things honestly and for the right reasons though.

    It sounds like you may be coming from a place of a lot of pain still (but what do I know?). I hope you can work through this though if that is the case. And I hope you find someone that makes you believe in love again :)

    It’s good to see you back and writing, it’s always helped me through the difficult parts of my life.

  16. Love is one of the most complicated things to explain. While yes the ideal love is plastered all over the TV and movie screens, I feel that love does exist, but it does not stay.
    I think as we get older, love changes. It has to because we change and what we wanted when we were 20 is no longer what we want at 30. In our lives, we will always wear many hats and be different things to different people. For that, love will need to be different.
    The scariest love of all is loving one’s self. Seldom do people find that love and maybe that is why the other loves fall out of our grasps.
    I openly admit I do not love myself. I do feel I do love other people, but it isn’t nearly as much as I could if I just let myself love me. I still have this Berlin size wall surrounding the very center of my heart. No one is in there…not even me. It’s an empty pulsing pale blue light just waiting for the day I tell myself to tear down that wall.
    I do not love myself because I don’t know who I am. I don’t think people really ever do know who they are and they just go on auto-pilot. Work the schedule until that heart attack or stroke that disrupts the flow kind of thing.
    Before any of us can love another human being completely, we have to be willing to be open and honest with our true self. For so long I buried myself and flew on auto-pilot. I crashed. It was horrific.
    As a little girl, I wanted to be a writer. But I was told it wasn’t pratical, so I gave it up. However, I am a writer and I gave up my first true love and my first part of my real self for what others thought I should be.
    I am allowing myself to become a writer now and day by day I am falling more in love with myself.
    What is love then? hell if I know. I think others can’t define it for us. As much as movies want us to believe there is a generic unverisal love; there is no such thing. The best we can hope for is loving ourselves first, then finding someone who agrees with our idea of love and who is willing to accept us for all the we are.
    It’s just like writing. You write what you love and then you find the publisher who loves it, too.
    I am glad to see you are back writing again. Judging by the amount of comments, I am not the only one.
    Welcome back and welcome home.

  17. James

    I think I know where you are going with this Frank. It seems like at this point a lot of the cherished and most highly held up and esteemed social structures have been devalued and are showing major signs of stress. The pursuit of individual gains and material success may have weakened the allure of these institutions like marriage. So many people are involved in things for the quick fix and reward. It can seem like we have become isolated social mercenaries lending out our precious time if it is in our immediate best interest or only if it can help us in some way.

    Don’t get too disocuraged. You have children and a talent. Don’t forget your writing. These are the emotions that can make for a great character. Remeber Meursalt from ‘The Stranger’. Camus felt this disconnect and cheapening of social constructs over half a century ago…. By creating the isolated character, the reader was forced to feel the emotions and connections the character could not an in a way overcame the reader’s isolation and apathy. Camus was a genius.

    You need to write more, to achieve what you can. Put it all down: scary, self depreciating, ugly… its a healthy release.

    drop me a line any time.

  18. Steven Anastas

    I think I’m going to disagree with you Frank. I think that it is clear, even to yourself, that love, itself, is real. You can’t give up on that, nor should you.

    What I think you have a problem with is the way this society has changed the ideal of love and the fall out of that. The skewed expectations. There is far too much selfishness and entitlement brought into relationships today. Most people will recognize the words ‘selfless love’ but have no concept of it. That type of love is needed to be felt by both parties. If not, the love is likely doomed. There must be equilibrium and reciprocity.

    Even in the past, people wanted to get married for love, but, women were property and as such were told whom to marry. The argument comparing those arranged marriages to ‘free will’ ones is illogical. Even after marriage, those women were/are bound by familial duty and are essentially still hostages of both families.

    Whereas today, we have ‘free will’ marriages. These are the ones that have more issues because not only are the pressures coming from both parties families and familial issues, there is also societal pressures as well, moreso when children are involved.

    I also disagree with the reasoning that marriages fail because of one party. While it may seem as such many times, it is rare in actuality. Abuse is probably the top most of true one-sided reasons for this. Indiscretion on a partners part is one of the few things that can also fall into that, but more often than not it is a males indiscretion and the females, statistically, do not leave and can work through it. Even this however is not as cut and dried as many make it, though this does lend to the selfish wants of one or another of the parties.

    In reality, as it takes two to marry (or ‘relationship’), it takes two to break one as well. To those leaving to seek ‘freedom’ or some such get there many times because of a lack of support from their current partner in some fashion (emotionally is the top one with the in-vogue $$ as a second). Those that fail, themselves as well as their partner, and have ‘indiscretions’ typically have issues with their partner either in that physical area or fail at the connections associated with that with their partner. There are also those who have issues with themselves and follow that path to make themselves feel better, to those, there is a tiny bit of responsibility from their partner still, to encourage them to get help! Those who cite money as the reason for leaving, there again, it is an issue on both parties in some fashion. I’m not saying that the ‘blame’ is equal, but most times no one can be blameless entirely.

    This is where communication and counseling come in. Both need to be willing to do these things when needed. Both parties have to work at a marriage, at love. It is not something handed out on a silver platter along with a ‘happily ever after’. I would venture to guess that many marriages that fail could have been salvaged if both partners were willing, and did, WORK at it. I’m betting dollars to donuts that a vast majority of that 50% fail only because one party was too selfish to work at it as hard as the other partner. That falls back to what our society has done to love and marriage.

    This also brings up another point that was raised earlier, people change. Expectations change, or are not met even. People may go into a relationship expecting that person to be something they are not. Disillusionment happens. I think because of the various ways in which this society has handled love and marriage, our views are skewed, we need to step back and look at this in an old fashioned and honorable way before we get into relationships. We need to take TIME in our relationships before progressing, marriage, children, etc. The relationship you get into, viewing form either party’s perspective, should not be about oneself but the other person. You want to do for them, they want to do for you. They put in as much as you do. When there is not that equilibrium there will develop the issues that start the flaming tailspin followed by the crashing into the earth.

    I’m sorry, I’m going on and on and really jumping around, this issue resounds with me and I know the pain. Good luck, but don’t give up, love exists and is a powerful force. You seem to need to heal from this wound, don’t expect to do that alone. It sucks.

  19. tonya

    Hey Frank,
    I like that you used the movie quotes in your blog, but in reality that’s not the way love works. I guess maybe in the beginning when you have that new-ness in the relationship, it’s exciting~there are butterflies, times when you can’t eat or sleep, smiles that never seem to end.
    When that period is over LOVE IS WORK. It takes both people busting their asses on a daily basis to be able to live and love together. I agree 100% with you that love is much too easy to throw away today. In older times, people didn’t do this as often and I heard a statistic the other day that the divorce rate is actually going down because of the economy. People can’t afford to be divorced. Nice reason, eh?
    My husband and I are not wealthy people, we’ve been together quite a few years now and this is not our first marriages. We just work at it. I try to make the days easier for him and he tries to make the days easier for me. We give before we take. He’s more than my husband, though. He’s my family. Just as much as my parents, my children, etc. I don’t think people get that…when you take vows, it’s not just someone you are married to, it’s your family. t. xo

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