As it turns out, this is a tremendous sociological coup for everyone, the cancellation of My Generation, a show marketed by ABC in such a way that a person of acute sensitivities and sensibilities did not need to see.
Watching the show was not on my to-do list, did not make it to Google Alert, did not even rate a 'don't forget to record this one' on a napkin, but someone told me it was already legend, had a huge following, which I guess, in the end, it did not.
A couple of weeks ago I took a walk and passed a bus stopped at a stop light. And on that bus, splashed across the entire length of the vehicle, drawing one's eye in such a way that nobody can look anywhere else but, is an advertisement that hypnotizes in the way that the Calvin Klein underwear ads once did, perhaps need not anymore. The riders, human faces of all sorts, excellent faces, staring at us or into Iphones only a foot above the ad, framed in cloudy but in the right light, decipherable glass, are insignificant. (This is a process statement for those of you who study process in your family therapy or psychology classes, laced with content for those who ventral process).
The enormous face on the ad, in a knowing pout, is a seductive brunette.
You may have his hand, but I have his heart.The caption is a glorification of the art of seduction, validation that partner-capture is okay, indeed it is a competition, who knew, and may the best woman (sure, it has to be a woman, perhaps the networks first mistake) win.
Nobody could like this I'm thinking, knowing that that's not true..
But, you might think, if a person is in a good marriage, rests comfortably in a safe, secure, supportive relationship, the best of all possible s-words, and the r-word, why then, how can, a bimbo, threaten this? More to the point, why be sickened by a media event that explores relationships like this? Shouldn't someone draw attention to the fact that all marriages are vulnerable because people are human?
There are marriages that are secure and solid, safe, the rubber bands so thick that the literal death of a mate does not affect the integrity of the relationship, not in the mind of the survivor. And then there are the rest.
It is the rest that we need to talk about, if only for awhile, and no, we're not going into everything, not even talking about abusive partners who cheat and brag about it, or mentally torture, or suffer huge character deficits (AA language) or as we way in the biz, personality disorders that will take forever to turn around.
When one partner opens the marriage, even covertly, with no intention of hurting the other, perhaps, for this is usually the case, but the other finds out, for the other inevitably will find out, there is permission, a big fat letter from an unapproachable court, no appeal, a din, (Hebrew, rhymes with tin) a judgment, that this is something that we do in this relationship, we have sex with others. The seemingly irreparable crack is reparable, but the scar remains.
And when the extra-marital relationship has petered out, the other woman, the other man gone, the thrill, the glitter in abatement, the fissure might still fizz, crackle, and the jury is out, if either partner will now feel free to indulge in extra-marital relations, for this is only beginning, a new marital norm, and sometimes there's no stopping this boulder of a rolling stone.
You may have his hand, but I have his heart?! #
The Post Script: The truth is that most marriages survive infidelity, with or without therapy, and some defined as open marriages seem to work out quite happily. We're dying to hear more about these. It is the subject of much hard work in marital therapy, repairing relationships that have cracked under the strain of too many intimates, and it only takes about a year for both partners to feel that the marriage is on the mend, barring those severe character defects mentioned above, and a lack of desire to change them.