Friday, December 10, 2004

Men Who Fall, Marry

i watched Ally McBeal earlier today and got teary-eyed from the episode.

ally was assigned to mediate a case between a church pastor and his ex girlfried, who, for some reason, was probably threatening to sue him because he called off their long-standing relationship "just like that", despite previous promises of marriage, making plans, etc. (i wonder what the case would have been about... i didn't catch the earlier part)... or because the ex girl friend, who was the main singer in the pastor's church, was singing secular anguished love songs during church services and the pastor wanted to stop her from doing so...

anyway, the crux of the story was that the ex-girlfriend's angst was not because he ended it with her but that he ended it with her so abruptly, and the only reason he gave her was that he had a "change of heart". the ex-girlfriend didn't buy that; was, in fact, even more confused by that. so ally tried to help the two talk again, at least, to find out the truth about why the relationship ended.

so after much hemming and hawing and cajoling, the pastor mustered up the courage to tell the ex-girlfriend the truth -- that it wasn't really her to begin with, that she was perfect, that she was all the things he wanted, that he loved her... BUT... he was never in love with her, no matter how much he tried to convince him self he did or that he should.

the ex girlfriend was hurt by the truth of course, but also felt released from the bondage of her confusion, and now truly moved on by singing her more secular songs in a new night club.

as for ally, it helped her come to a confrontation with her ex, billy, who also finally admitted to her that the reason why he ended their relationship years ago after seeing his current flame for only 10 minutes was that, according to billy, "he knew, in those first few minutes, that this was the girl he was going to marry" and not ally.

anyway, the episode got me teary-eyed because it rang some truth for me, except that the culprit who ended a number of relationships was me-- for not feeling in love enough with the other party, even if i loved them. or maybe, it's because, on a deeper level, my gut told me they weren't "it", they failed some basic tests, and so i fall out of love fast.

i remember the ex: looking back now, oh he was definitely in love with me! that's why it became a whirlwind romance of only 1 month before he proposed, and another 3 months for the wedding. for a while, he was a transformed man, everybody who knew him told me. he brought me around and introduced me to every one as his fiancee, although i thought we were only boyfriend-girlfriend then. he stopped drinking, gambling and womanizing, called me at all hours of the day, couldn't get enough of me, told everyone how lucky he was, how i was the best thing that happened to him, how with me he has found meaning in his life...

from this perspective now, i could understand his suicidal anguish when i finally left after 10 years. i was the bad girl. everybody talked behind my back. we seemed like a perfect couple, never having been known to fight or have rough patches in our marriage. everything seemed peaceful, idyllic. and then i blew our cover.

what everybody didn't know was this: that being madly in love may cause men to decide to want to marry you, but it isn't enough to make a marriage work. being in love may cause men to shower you with all the attention you need during the courtship stage, but it doesn't mean they will still pay attention to you and your marriage after you have been married. being in love may cause men to worship you and put you on a pedestal while they are romancing you, but it doesn't mean they will even respect you and love you and accept you for who you are, just as you are, after you have been married. being in love may cause men to be possessively jealous of you, but it doesn't mean they will not verbally abuse you and emotionally manipulate you just so you do and be exactly as they wanted you to be.

it is unfortunate that most women grow up conditioned to see the proposal and the wedding, as the be-all and end-all of their lives, and are not prepared to learn how to discern the real stuff: the character of a man who can not only be in love with you in the heat of the moment but who can stay in love and be truly loving to you for keeps.

and i guess, that is the bottom line of the confusing state of my love life these days: men falling, men proposing? hohum. i am looking at the tests of character and friendship now, playing for time. so i guess that makes me a bitch to some people who want it fast and soon. girl friends keep telling me i have it good, that i can have my pick, why am i not going for it still?

add to that the fact that i am still very challenged with containing my own passions, as i too have a tendency to fall in love fast, the bighearted girl that i am. why do i torture my self so by keeping unattached and celibate?

they do not understand: i learn my lessons at first try, and i learn my lessons well.

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