Today's Philosophical Question

>> Saturday, December 17, 2011

If someone falls in love, fully and truly, for the first time, believes in it whole-heartedly (soulmate, epiphany, finding each other through eternity, all that jazz) to find out (a decade later) the other person just wasn't really that involved and never saw it that way and, well, goodbye...

Doesn't that argue the first someone really doesn't know squat about love?

Does this mean she isn't qualified to write about it any more (given that it was an element in all her work to date)?

What do you think?


  • Roy

    I don't think it means you don't know squat about love. I think it means that he was a great con man who could have fooled anybody. So relax and keep writing about love; all you've done is learn a new dimension of it.

  • flit

    you already know what I think.... you're not the one that doesn't know squat about love - he is.

  • Stephanie Barr

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Stephanie Barr

    I'm not trying to bash my soon-to-be ex. He was very young when I married him and (at least at this point) I think he believed he loved me. We just meant different things by it and felt it to different depths.

    I wanted to believe what he felt meant what I meant. It was more deceiving myself than deceit on his part. And if there were promises broken, perhaps they were because they should never have been made. I'm not blaming.

    I was the one so sure this was IT.

  • soubriquet

    Good question.
    If you believe in it whilst it's there it's real.
    Don't beat yourself up over someone else's choices.
    Been there, wasted too many years thinking that it must be a sign of something wrong with me, when really it came down to my ex's choice to take up with a guy who seemed able to provide her with the more affluent lifestyle she felt entitled to.
    Three years later, she contacted me, in tears, asking me to forgive her, and take her back, that it had all been a stupid mistake, and I was the one she really loved.
    If I'd truly loved her when we married and said those vows, then surely I'd have no choice but to say, of course, my love, all is forgiven.

    I told her that after living through at least a year of lies and deception, I could never trust a single word she said again. "You chose your bed, now lie in it."
    I can't say it made me feel good.
    But you know, by then, I never wanted to see her or hear her voice ever again. And I haven't.

  • soubriquet

    I've not been here for a while, I guess I'm not interested in anime, I just thought you'd gone off on a different track, I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.

    You have always to me appeared to be an inherently good person, a person deserving of good too. My own experience can't tell me how you're feeling, nor can I do anything really practical to help. I know I just internalised the pain, refused to talk about it, changed countries, fled.
    I wasn't going to fight over posessions, nor over money, I just wanted to pull clear of the wreckage and row toward the horizon.
    People said I should have fought, raged, demanded, but you can't force someone to love you, if that love has gone, nor did I want to stay, if every day was a lie.
    Like I said, I spent too long blaming myself, asking what I could have done differently, why I didn't see it coming, why did she feel the need to do that, why did she lie to me?

    It took a long time before I could free myself from my own accusations, to realise that I'm not responsible for her choice.
    I can't say whether I should have seen it coming right at the start.
    Which seems to be the question you're asking here. Whether I'm an idiot to have believed.

    Nor can you. All the wisdom I can offer you is to say, don't blame yourself. Don't hate yourself. Don't waste your days asking where you went wrong, how you could have done it differently. Let it go. Look to tomorrow, not yesterday. Lean on friends, cry on shoulders. I didn't, and I should have.

    You're a good person. Others see it. If he's too stupid to value you properly, that's his fault, not yours.
    Good luck. Smile, Stephanie. It will get better.

  • Stephanie Barr

    Wow, Soubriquet, I never intended to open someone else's wounds. More than that, however, I appreciate you offering me your experience to help me with mine.

    It is in my nature to examine myself to see what went wrong, what it says about me, what I could have done differently. After all, I'm the only one I have control over and, frankly, I'm the one who is most hurt by the end result.

    I am fortunate that there are people actively working to keep me from wallowing, insisting on supporting, reminding me that there are people who care about me. I'm sorry you didn't have that.

    I'm very very fortunate that I do.

    Thank you, Soubriquet.

    (By the way, I'm mostly limiting my manga/anime to my "Unlikely Otaku" blog, leaving Rockets and Dragons and Rocket scientist to writing and everything else respectively).

  • A.

    Before I reply to your question, I really have to say that although I rarely comment on your blog, I'm truly sorry to hear your news. I couldn't wish that sort of betrayal on anyone.

    Your questions:
    "Doesn't that argue the first someone really doesn't know squat about love?
    Does this mean she isn't qualified to write about it any more (given that it was an element in all her work to date)?"

    I don't agree on either count.

    First, there are at least two different types of love: the first all-encomapssing passion which gives way to the more companiable or compassionate love. Clearly you experienced the first "soulmate, epiphany, finding each other through eternity, all that jazz", and very likely the second, given that you have lasted the ten years.

    If you've experienced it, you can write about it whether or not it was reciprocated. I imagine you are more often than not writing about passionate love, though not necessarily.

  • History Doc

    One could make the case that the experience makes you more competent as an arbiter and chronicler of love--even negative experiences contribute to our world view.

  • Stephanie Barr

    What do C. S. Lewis say about experience?

    "Experience, the most brutal of teachers; but you learn, my God do you learn."

    Point taken.

  • soubriquet

    Not so much opening wounds as reminding me of old scars, and the lessons I learned from them.
    From my perspective I'd say, it may seem like the end of the world, but it's not. You deserve better, and better will come.

  • Shakespeare

    The capacity to love is one of our best traits--and realizing a relationship is not what you thought it was does not make you wrong to love. But unrequited love is torture.

    You will love again. And perhaps again. And each one will help you grow even more as a writer, as a person, as a lover. Your love, in this case, was not wasted, either. Whether he appreciated it or not (felt it or not), your loving him so strongly made YOU a better and more fantastic person. I cannot predict the future, but now you have a chance to find even more authenticity for yourself. It's a great chance, and my hopes go with you every step of the way.

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