Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Martyr Syndrome

I am sure you've all heard or have met someone who has gone through a similar situation: Girl and boy marry and have kids. Husband turns out to be a hopeless philanderer but wife turns a blind eye to all his daliances. He finally leaves wife for another (younger, trophy) woman. Along the way he gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. Trophy mistress leaves him for another man because he can no longer afford her and she can't bear to take care of a sick, old man. He goes back home with his tail between his legs. Wife forgives all and welcomes him back with open arms like the Prodigal Husband he is. She uses up all her remaining resources to nurse him and is only the one with him at his deathbed. Not all of their kids can forgive nor forget what he's done to their family but most of them show up at the funeral anyway which incidentally, the trophy mistress doesn't even attend.

Is there something wrong with this picture???

This exact situation actually happened to a close family friend of mine. I was aghast at how my Tita Vicky supported her husband even after enduring years of emotional abuse; abandonment and deceit! LOVE (Or is it partly Catholic GUILT? After all, in the eyes of the Church they were still married to each other and maybe she felt that she had to uphold the "in sickness and in health, til death do us part" bit), actually won over everything and in the end, decided to forgive and forget all. A teeny, tiny part of me admires her for her big heart, but a huge part just cringes at the thought! How can she take him back???? Either I am the most un-Christian person I know or maybe I just refuse to be a martyr in this day and age of the independent woman. After all, I have my pride, you know! I understand that pride should never get in the way of any relationship but I believe that women should have a high sense of self-worth in order make quality decisions especially in life's major milestones -- like marriage. I believe that if a woman has such low self-worth, she'll end up with someone who will never be good enough, who will never treat her well -- exactly like the picture she paints of herself. Case in point, I have two friends who have such a low self-concept of themselves that they don't mind if their husbands sleep with prostitutes at stag parties or have flings during their marriage. They argue that men are born to be cheaters and it's up to us women to tolerate this since you can never change their nature. What a crock of sh&t! They have actually tricked themselves into thinking that they don't deserve men who will treat the covenant of marriage as sacred or (even for non-religious people) treat them and the marriage with respect! And, ladies, the worst is yet to come...if their kids see that their mothers constantaly tolerate their fathers' stupidity, daughters will end up disrespecting both parents or worse, end up with philanderers like their dads; and sons will use this as a license to perpetuate this ugliness in their own marriages!

I am so certain that so many people out there will disagree with me and my brand of "tough love" but Jay knows for sure that he can never expect tea and sympathy from me if he ever gets out of line! It literally took years for me to choose someone worthy of marrying but I have absolutely no qualms about going back to being single again if need be. It certainly won't be the end of my world.

4 Comments:

Blogger Bandit said...

Do you feel better now Shy? It feel good after venting out your frustration on the keyboard, huh? Ay, I totally agree with you. I also have delusional friends who think the same way. In the end I just pity them na lang because they weren't brought up with confidence and self-worth. This is a great topic to discuss when we meet up on Thursday.

4:48 PM, April 12, 2005  
Blogger midicrux said...

Ah, yes. The premise behind my personal belief that a woman should have her own money.

A working woman, a working mum--at least when the time is right, a time which is only determined by the woman herself--reinforces the "bubble" of respect which her husband graciously bestows upon her socially, but not consistently in other respects.

Always in a state of getting ready,

Midee

6:25 PM, April 12, 2005  
Blogger mae said...

I totally agree with you, Shy. This is a constant enigma that is sadly tolerated by women and the society like in the Philippines. I cringe every time I hear something like this. :(

8:10 AM, April 13, 2005  
Blogger ragamuffin girl said...

Own money-i could'nt agree with you more, mida.

i have friends who are exactly the same way -- delusional, insecure, those who feel men will only love them and stay with them if they make their bodies available, make no demands, and tolerate their shenanigans.

we are lucky to be such "strong, secure, confident" women who can hold our own with or without a better half.

we are luckier still to be loved respected, treated as equals by our committed, faithful husbands.

they, however, are the luckiest of all for having wives who are talented, good-looking, and near-perfect. ;)

11:08 PM, April 13, 2005  

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