My daughter and I were watching “Not Easily Broken” on Sunday. There was a line in the movie, when the wife was trying to get back with her husband. It was something about no one ever teaching her how to love back. The Daughter, she had to know: “You gotta be taught that?” The question brought something to my mind as I was answering her, that yes, sometimes one has to be taught how to love, and to receive love.
It was funny that she’d asked me that particular question because just that morning, I was thinking about myself and my failed marriage and how I might be, or might not be, particularly ready for another serious relationship again.
I mean a relationship where I’ll have to give AND get. I thought about how in my failed marriage, I wasn’t very giving. And I wasn’t really ready to get, yet either. And I wondered if that might have had anything to do with the fact that I hadn’t really witnessed any “successful” relationships before my own.
In the movie “Not Easily Broken”, the woman had been spurred on by her mother to put her husband out of the house. Her husband had really done nothing wrong, at the time, but in the woman’s eyes (and her mother’s), he wasn’t paying enough attention to her. When the man wanted to pay attention to her, she was always on the go, throwing the fact that she was basically supporting the two of them on her salary as a real estate agent. Basically, she was beating her husband down, not knowing it, and not watching/caring how it was affecting him, or paying any particular interest on how her words may have been hurting her relationship.
While watching this movie with my daughter, I noticed some things that might have been similar in my own relationship with my (ex)husband. Not that I beat him down with salary words, but most of the time, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t do much to lift his spirits in our little sparse surroundings, either. I was not a very nice woman to that man. And the fact that we were both very young, (too young to be married, in my opinion, but ‘hinds sight is 20/20’ as they say…) just isn’t a very good sounding excuse either.
I could say that my mother didn’t help me learn it either, but I’d be lying. I believe that when she was married, she tried to give as much encouragement to her men as she could (even if they didn’t deserve/want it). She was always quick to tell me that I should be the one to uplift, praise, and basically give some type of “good” to my husband. I just didn’t want to, or I didn’t know how to. She was not married by the time I was married. And for the longest time, she didn’t even like my (ex)husband.
So, when my daughter asked me if one had to be taught how to give love, and to receive love in return, I had to tell her that yes, sometimes one has to be taught that because it’s not often something that’s inherently known. I think she understood me.
My question was: Who does one learn such a lesson from if there’s no one around to teach it?
How does one learn to give love, and receive it, if all the role models in life are too busy faking their own lessons?
And, more importantly, how am I to teach her if I’m not even sure that I know how to do it myself?
Do you ever wonder such things?