Recently, I saw sylvia, a movie about Sylvia Plath, or, more accurately, about her relationship with Ted Hughes. Ted, of course, was a rake, and the movie is peppered with scenes of Sylvia confronting him. Nasty scenes, similar to ones I've acted out in real life. I'm talking about primal jealousy, that sick feeling in your gut. The green-eyed monster raising its lousy head. Call it adultery radar.
Talking with a friend who's a therapist, I learn that people who were abandoned by a parent in their childhood may pick partners who always leave them in one way or another.
Sylvia Plath's father died when she was nine.
By the time I was nine, my mother had been unfaithful to my father many times over. Eventually, it blew up in her face and got all over us kids.
By some twisted alchemy, I've thus far been doomed to repeat that scenario. Not by following in my mother's footsteps - no, I made a special note as a child not to become the perpetrator of such pain - but, rather, by always picking men who were destined to bring this same sort of heartache to their loved ones.
Gwyneth Paltrow as Plath, near out of her mind with grief over her husband, who has left her for another woman, intones through tears, "I conjured her."
Poor Sylvia, blaming herself. If anything, it was Ted Hughes himself she conjured.
Some time ago, a man I was in an LAT (living apart together) relationship with took a woman (and her child) into his home after she convinced him she had nowhere to go. He said she could stay until she found a place. Her story turned out to be a lie, but before he knew it she was making his place her place, and before I knew it she was making my man her man.
Unexpectedly walking in on this strange arrangement one day, I quickly confirmed his infidelity by finding a used condom in the bathroom. Stricken, broken and in a rage, I picked up a tube of the interloper's body cream and began squirting it all over the bathroom mirror.
To this day I boycott that brand of cream.
As for the other women (three that I actually knew of), I more or less absolved them. I assume it's because of this that one of these adultresses told me, "You're a class act."
I attempted to use those words as balm to heal my broken heart, but one night I dreamt I grabbed the two-timing broad by the scruff of her neck and shoved her onto a couch. "Still think I'm a class act now, bitch!?" my dream self screamed.
And so I wound up confronting her in waking life. Eschewing the fury of my dream, I went with a more "cerebral" approach and called her some cheap names. But when I realized barbs like "strumpet" and "harlot" and even "whore" are nowadays often construed as compliments, I let it go.
Would that I'd been as cool and collected and on the mark as Trinity in The Matrix Reloaded.
The character played by the luscious Monica Bellucci wants Neo to kiss her the way he does Trinity, in front of Trinity. If he refuses, Bellucci won't give him what he needs to save the world. It looks like a classic Catch 22 for Neo, but he handles it beautifully. But not before Trinity sticks her gun in the other woman's face and all but says, "Why don't you suck this instead."
Neo then proceeds to calm Trinity, kiss the woman and get on with business.
As I watched the film, I couldn't help but think the writers would develop this plot line later on in the story, revealing Neo to have a raging hard-on for the bitch ever since the kiss. (Shows who I've been hanging out with for too long.) Of course, it never happens! Because Neo is "the one"!
Which reminds me of what one of my former husbands said to me after the first time he cheated on me. While he was down on his knees to win me back, I asked him why he wanted me. His eyes swimming in tears, he replied: "Because you're the one." How did I fall for that?
If it happens to you, you just have to dig yourself out of the cuckold muck and go forward.
For a while it seems endless, like moving through sludge - thick, brown horrible stuff.
But one day you emerge, clean and pure again. Wiser, you go forth to seek your Neo. Hopefully, you find him within.