|Are there keys to happiness?|
No question about it, if I hadn’t moved to (and stayed) in France I wouldn’t be the same woman I am today.
You might think that’s obvious, that our life experiences no matter where we live mold us in unexpected ways. I agree.
I doubt though, that I would be as tolerant and accepting of some of the choices and compromises couples make to keep their marriages and families seemingly intact, or at least under the same roof, after what I would consider unforgivable breeches of trust, loyalty and respect by one or the other — or both — members of the couple.
However, what I can live with or find intolerable in my own life has no correlation to any other relationship in the world. A couple, a marriage, is infinitely complicated, delicate, private. Who am I to try to understand or worse, judge?
I’m floundering here because I so want to make sense of what I’ve been thinking. As you may have surmised, my latest ruminations on the subject of couples, marriage, love and all the details and nuances thereon grew out of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case which is on the French news every day.
The former International Monetary Fund director, as you no doubt know, has been accused of attempted rape of a hotel chamber maid in New York. The case will be back in court later this month.
But, what has unfolded since is the revelation of a “secret everyone knew,” that he is purportedly an unrepentant, voracious womanizer. His beautiful wife, Anne Sinclair, has always known this and accepted his behavior. She famously said that as long as they were attracted to one another, that was good enough for her and that part of being a politician is to seduce. After a consensual encounter at the IMF in Washington, D.C., which splashed across the world media as “inappropriate behavior” on his part, Sinclair said the incident was one of those blips that happens in every marriage and that their love was as strong as the first day of their romance.
Reportedly, when her girlfriends tried to convince her to leave him or criticized him Sinclair abruptly terminated the friendships.
I’m assuming she felt they had no right under the banner of amity to cross the line into her marriage. I think she was right.
I believe if I never left the United States, I would have been one of those girlfriends. And, truly, how dare I?
When all the world discovered another “well-known secret” — that President François Mitterrand had a mistress (as well as, many “adventures” on the side — I actually know one woman who would come under that heading) and their child living in government apartments with bodyguards, the national response seemed to be one of mild surprise, not shock. I was shocked by the fact taxpayers were underwriting his second family. Not one French person I asked had any problem with their taxes being used in this way.
Do the French have more adulterous affairs than other nationalities? I doubt it. I tried to find comparative statistics, but all seemed somewhat fuzzy. Furthermore, different nationalities have diverse degrees of what is acceptable and forgivable.
We have a close friend, a handsome man and an Air France pilot, he told MRFLIF that a stewardess once asked him what his “specialty in amour” was. He replied, “fidelity to my wife.”
|Can you heal a broken heart?|
Talk about stream of consciousness. . . I suppose bottom-line my point is, I would probably be out the door if I felt betrayed, but if my best friend chose to stay with his or her partner I would support that decision even though deep, deep down inside my heart I would feel that infidelity chips away at our hearts and if it doesn’t break them, it leaves cracks.
And, finally, let me share a few words from MRFLIN written for my daughter, his stepdaughter, at the reception of her marriage. It’s rather long, but truly, truly worth the read.
“It’s difficult to create a successful couple — at least that’s what everyone believes.
I don’t agree.
Whatever the disparate personalities within a couple, the most important condition for success is that each of you is attentive toward the other — every moment of the day — in your thoughts and in your actions.
No one is perfect, but a perfect marriage is possible when both partners replace “I” with “We.”
No one should ever hope or try to change the personality of his or her spouse. A couple must be the sum of their two distinct characters which ultimately creates the richness of a shared life.
Love is easy — it’s chemistry.
Happiness is not merely a word. It is a decision.
Once that decision is taken, it allows you to face any situation no matter how difficult. And, you can be sure there will be difficult situations.
A sense of humor is essential.
And what about fidelity? Fidelity is the supreme luxury one offers the other no matter what the price in order to preserve and protect your precious couple.”