Home Bookstore Love Lingers Here: Stories of Enduring Intimate Relationships – A sample chapter

Love Lingers Here: Stories of Enduring Intimate Relationships – A sample chapter

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Early in the day, Kevin and Arlene took a hike through the hills and “just enjoyed time with each other.” Kevin said that the whole trip was really wonderful and that he “drove home feeling closer to Arlene than ever before.” He remembers feeling that Arlene understood everything that he was trying to communicate to her that weekend. “This is very different from friends who just hear what you’re trying to say to them. Sometimes it feels like we are so in-tune that we can see into each other’s heart and mind.” It should be noted that Kevin is hyper-romantic and that the bloom may soon come off the rose of this remarriage, just as it did off the bloom of this couple’s initial infatuation with one if another. Nevertheless, brief remarriages of this type — be they ever so simple and seemingly inconsequential — can keep a relationship intact through many difficult periods of trial and tribulation.

Some couples, like Jim and Dora, go through a slow, often painful and very public re-evaluation of their relationship, leading to a gradual shift in the norms, rules and shared values of the relationship. By contrast, other remarriages seem to be precipitated by a single, defining event that is often quite private, as in the case of Kevin and Arlene. A single moment of clarity brings about the remarriage.

Tally and Kasha live in the United States, where Tally works with a computer firm and Kasha is a schoolteacher. They both come from well-established families back in India and seem to have made a successful adjustment to American culture. After some difficult years of transition, they are now happy with their life together and proud of the hard work they have done. The largest and most continuous cause of stress in their relationship has been their relationship with Tally’s mother. She was against the marriage from the beginning. In fact, there had been a problem even before they met. Tally was alienated from his mother and was living on his own from the time he was sixteen. He didn’t invite her to the wedding and when she showed up, he ignored her. Soon after Tally and Kasha moved to the United States, his mother followed. Tally continued to ignore her, but he was becoming more and more consumed by his anger and resentment. This took its toll on the marriage.

The time that Tally and Kasha spent together was becoming routine. “Every night we would go through the same thing,” said Tally, “how was your day today? How was school? How’s so and so? “We were talking,” adds Kesha, “but I never thought we were getting through. He was so angry and intense those years. He wasn’t mean, just fearful or domineering. Finally, I got a job. I felt he had stressed out so much that I had to leave the house. I couldn’t be around this person with all his troubles. I spent more time with my friends and my children. I couldn’t deal with him.”

The problem for Tally went back to abuse that he suffered at the hands of his mother when he was a child. Tally was unable to deal with this directly. He talks about how this was finally resolved:

My whole personality had to change for me to finally learn how to deal with my mother. The funny thing was I had been doing all this work with other people with human development workshops and marriage encounters, but when it came to my mother, I would react so negatively. I think the fact that when we left India, Kesha and I had to depend on and trust each other made us able to work through this. It was when I was finally able to admit that my mother was ill that I began to feel healthy myself. While I was trying to deal with all this, my sister and my brothers all came over and came to me with their problems with my mother. I had to keep going through the whole thing again and again. But when I realized finally that I was not the only one abused by my mother, I was able to get a clearer perspective. That was the real turning point — when I was finally free from my mother.

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