Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Lessons On Love & Other Delusions

On the subject of delusions. I was chatting to my sisters the other day, random stuff y’know…movies, Umrah, pilates, Imperialism, boobs, Greece, social and cognitive constructs, shoes…the usual. Topic of conversation turned to relationships and secrets. It just so happened that recently my sister caught the husband of one of her closest friends in the arms of another lady. She agonised over it for days, vacillating between revealing the truth to her friend and keeping her mouth shut and when she eventually did tell her friend…well lets just say that sadly, they’re not friends anymore.

My sister told me that after her experience with her now ex-friend, she wouldn’t dare put herself in that position again, and that if she could do it over again she would rather approach him and tell him to tell his wife before she does. At this juncture, I told both my sisters that if they knew that my future husband was messing around, they should tell me regardless of their reservations. They both objected and I said: “Listen, if I had to find out ANYTHING that either of you should know, whether it be about your future husbands or kids, whatever – I’m going to call you up and say Your husband is fucking around, deal with it or I will’ – full stop. I’m not interested in any long stories and I expect the same courtesy from both of you”.

How embarrassing it must be, for the woman who is the last to find out about something like that. Imagine, the whole world knows…and the one person who should and has the right to know, doesn’t, because everyone else wants to save face and are cowards. How humiliating. If I had to find out about something of that nature, and then find out that my friends and relatives knew about it? Think Apocalyptic proportions. Hell hath no fury…for real. The devil himself will run and hide. The wounds would cut deep…so deep that they would be irreparable and would leave bleeding scars and blisters oozing treachery and deceit, because the fact that they knew and said nothing makes them accomplices…guilty of aiding and abetting. And I’m not one of those women that will let my pride rule my fragile ego - don’t shoot the messenger because you’ve been betrayed and feel like a dumbass for loving and trusting an asshole that can’t get past his own insecurities and inadequacies.

On the subject of love and more delusions. One of my friends recently got divorced after almost a decade of happily never after. I was floored when she told me because if there was ANYONE that I would have put my money on as a couple, it was them. They epitomized perfection on a Brad and Jennifer scale with no Angelina in sight to ruin it. I expected to be invited to a 50th anniversary soiree sometime in 2050-something, but alas it was not meant to be. Instead, we have a lot of he-said-she-saids.

My father always says that there are three sides to a story…in this case, his, hers and the truth. She says he puts everyone else’s needs before her own, he’s unsupportive and that she’s had enough of it. He says that she’s too demanding, stubborn and wants everything done her way. In any story, when you listen close enough and read between the lies or lines you’ll always find the truth, especially if you know them the way I do. They were both wrong, and they’re both right.

Knowing him, he probably paid a lot of attention to his family because he’s the only son, his father passed away when he was little and he feels responsible for them. She probably felt neglected and began to resent the fact that she always felt like she had to “share” him (which is what will happen when you grow up in a home where your parents indulge your every whim and you’re used to always getting what you want when you want it). He wanted her to be more accommodating to his lifestyle and accepting of his position in the family. She compromised at first, putting their needs before her own. After some time her patience wore thin and she retaliated by being spiteful and selfish. He tried to control her. She rebelled…

I can see the entire story unfold like a movie, both of them the lead actors. According to her, he’s at fault and according to him, she started it. Neither take responsibility and ownership of their part, their roles in the deterioration of their marriage because that requires a degree of honesty about their own shortcomings, their own faults…and of course, no one is going to say “I should have been more patient” or “I should have paid more attention”. They’re only too ready to place the blame squarely on the other’s shoulders so they lie to themselves, convince themselves that they were in the right.

The problem with most people today is not only do they think they know everything, but they think they’re right too. The reality of the situation is that until they can be honest with themselves and the world, and take ownership for the part they played in the destruction of their marriage, they will never learn the lesson. And when you don’t learn the lesson the first time around, life and history has a way of repeating itself until you do.

The one thing I always keep in mind when I dance with adversity or watch as others attempt to sway with two left feet, is to learn the lesson. To me, life is a constant stream of lessons and we either choose to learn the easy way or the hard way. I may bide my time here as a suppository for my thoughts but I don’t come here to feed gossipmongers. I don't judge these people even when I hate what they do, I try to understand them and learn from their mistakes. I come here to pass on the knowledge, the lessons.

Learn the lessons kids. These are the easy lessons, the ones we learn from each other. The hard ones are those you have to learn and experience yourself, so that you too can impart your knowledge and wisdom to others. And such is life. We have and make choices and our choices determine favourable or disastrous outcomes (and everything in between), and we have to take responsibility for that. Take responsibility and ownership of your life, your decisions, your actions…and the consequences that follow because at the end of the day, YOU will be held accountable, no one else.


  1. no finger-pointing. your life is what it is because you got it there. excellent post, azra! as for the ex-friend, well i imagine that shes having a tough time right now, but to shoot the messenger is a bit of a tired, dated response. a pity indeed. and it comes down to this: could you or me or your sister live with ourselves if we kept knowledge of that sort under key? what were we doing having it land in our laps anyway... moral imperative, tell your friend. what she does with it is up to her. sadly :P

  2. Shafinaaz - Exactly how I feel :) I couldn't live with myself, knowing something like that. Nothing good can come from keeping quiet. Granted, its not the best piece of information in the world, but I'm adamant that she has a right to know - regardless of how she reacts. Also, the intention is not to hurt her, it's trying to help her.
    Like I told my sis, rather have the friend be angry and know whats going on, then be cluesless and on good terms...only to find out that the betrayal is so much worse in the end.

  3. Ooh messy, but necessary. Many years ago I found out a friend was 'seeing' a married man, and I told her that if she wasn't going to end it then I would speak to him, and also tell the wife. She was a very good friend at the time, but after my ultimatum she fell out with me, and got back in touch after months of not speaking, and her attitude was 'I hope you're happy now'
    WTF?! I couldn't care less if she was doing 5 different guys, but married men are off limits. Always.
    Incidentally, it was her cousin's husband. Yuck.

  4. HonestWaffle - I hold true that if women had more self-respect, they wouldn't sell themselves short like that. It never works out anyway :P