Sunday, November 20, 2005

Love the Enemy

I've frequently wondered how former lovers can act so nasty to each other during a divorce. Regarding each other as the enemy in a war, going to extremes to inflict suffering on the other, drawing out battles over such matters as property division and custody rights. Don't give in to the enemy and keep your children away.
But I love my Lucia, how could I wage a war against her not matter what she might do? I cook for her, make salads, wash the dishes, work hard to pay the rent and bills and for the grocery shopping that I also do. She does her clothes shopping, takes her voice, Indian dance and swimming lessons, does the laundry, teaches her Yoga classes, shares the duties of parenthood and manages things with the landlords. She's also been my companion in conversation, Yoga, meditation and various esoteric purosuits.
We made a lovely two-week trip to Turkey with our son Eldar this September. I showed her a country I came to love on six previous visits. We entered the great mosques of Istanbul, haggled together in the grand bazaar, traveled South to the ruins of the ancient city of Ephasos and I took her to one of my favorite places on Earth, the secluded lagoon of Butterfly Valley where we spent four magical days of sunshine and crashing waves. We managed to exhaust what savings I had to accumulated. But we felt so close and happy I felt for certain it was worth it. Yet no sooner than a week back to Budapest and she was running around with a dude she suddenly "had fallen in love with," praising his character at my expense.
I remain equanimous. Meditation, Yoga, running, domestic duties, fatherhood and work. But a certain sadness overtakes me, a disappointment. This is the third time Lucia has "fallen in love" with someone other than me since we've been married. Now I've had a trio of lovers myself. Only with one did I have sex more than once. And excepting the first, a messy drunken one-nighter while Lucia was in the heat of an affair with the man I had regarded as my best friend, they occurred while she was away with Eldar in Russia and were safely over and done with by the time she returned. But just when I felt things were being rebuilt between us, she allowed herself to get carried away by another.
He's married with children and works a lot. His unavailability first drove Lucia to hysterics, but she's convinced she understands things now. Perhaps it has the makings of a nice thing between them and could be OK with me if it didn't haunt the hours of the life we share and serve to distract us from enhancing our life together, or so it appears.
For her to find a lover she just had to make herself available, go out one night and give a guy her phone number and her little life of fantasy begins. For me to do the same would require me to make a conscious decision to pursue another woman, an activity I've been happy to have put behind me, embracing instead the demands of family life, utilising what talents I have to make ends meet first and formost.
At times I drift into thought, what if I took Eldar and ran away from her, said goodye for good. I taste revenge. I imagine the freedom to be more myself. And for just these moments, Lucia becomes the enemy. A person of no other consequence than that she threatens my designs on life for my son and myself. How the divorce warriors can regard each other becomes quickly understandable.
But of course this isn't what I choose. The product of a broken home myself, a truncated childhood is the last thing I want for Eldar. Instead of bemoaning how such a lovely time in Turkey could be followed by a sour return to the life of a cuckold, I choose to be thankful that such a lovely time could have been had at all, and focus on what I can do to make life at least more bearable, take the long-term view that she may not and build for the future. To accept that ups and downs happen and things always change. To remain thankful and equanimous. To observe and and not react. To teach by setting a good example. To forgo the temptations of wrath. To love. To share. To release. May all beings be happy. Including this one. Meditation, Yoga, running, domestic duties, fatherhood and work. Books, writing, friends, projects. Optimism. No worries.

Sure, affairs outside of marriage can be great. Passion sans consequence. No thoughts about bills or schools or who washes the dishes. Building a life of love together must be a labor of love, as well as a love of labor. More often a commitment than an obsession.


  • At 9:12 PM, Blogger Queen Neetee said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 7:35 AM, Blogger Queen Neetee said…

    As you can see, I've deleted my previous comment because....well was a bit too strong. In fact, I wrote a novel as to my opinion. So now, I'll just encourage you to do what you know is right. Be strong, trust your decision, and do it. I wish you the kind of happiness that will help Eldar to flourish in life.

    Thank you for visiting my post and for the nice compliment. Please visit again.

  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger fozzie said…

    Jake i was in love you from the moment I saw you. And I loved that you sat beside me on the couch and talked aout Morocco, and you don't what a profound effect you had on my life and my sense of loyalty to Brent, and how I will always wonder if you were the love of my life. And wish you could understand my over-inflated guilt complex.

    kiwi Babe


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