Saturday, March 7, 2009


I am reading yet another Jodi Picoult book. What is it about her topics that are so addicting? They almost, without fail, always make a great discussion for any book club. The only one I really didn't like was Picture Perfect because Picoult just didn't understand the nature of being a domestic violence victim/survivor. But, barring that one book, I have enjoyed most of the others of hers that I have read.
I am currently about half way through "Mercy". It is the story of a man who murders his wife because she asks him to. It is a mercy killing as she is in the final stages of her struggle with Cancer.The story certainly raises the question about what the true nature of love is.
In the story two characters have a conversation about 70/30 - this idea that in any relationship there is always a disparity among the partners regarding an unequal sharing of love. Jamie, the male character, suggests that one person always loves more. Do you think that this is true?
I can look back over my own life and see times when that has been true of my own relationships. The first boy I ever loved - I know that I loved him more than he ever loved me. I loved him so much that I risked everything for him, I would have done anything for him. It was an all-consuming and unhealthy relationship.
In the recovery phase of that disaster, I overcompensated in my life and made a stunningly bad choice in husbands. My relationship with my first husband is one that I rarely think about and barely consider except for the time in our lives that can't otherwise be explained. I married him because he fooled a lot of people - even me. I married him because he was a "nice boy" and what was wrong with me that I didn't want a "nice boy"? I can honestly say that I never loved him. I thought it was better that way, that I could protect my heart. I thought that friendship was enough and that maybe over time, I would learn to love him. I believed that passionate love was dangerous. I convinced myself that his love was enough for both of us and that it was better that way. I was so wrong.
They say that when you really love someone, it just happens, out of the blue. I can say that it was that way for me. When I became involved with my husband now, I wasn't expecting to feel all the things that I felt. He took me by surprise in so many ways.We do have a burning passionate love, but it isn't consuming - it's sustaining. It's such a beautiful difference.
I love my husband deeply, passionately and I would be lost without him. We have had ten beautiful years of married life and I can't wait for the next ten. He is, together with our daughters, every moment of happiness in my life.
Back to the point of this post though... I honestly believe that in real love - there is equality - it's 100% and 100% not 70/30. One of the readers here would ask how I know? The truth is that I don't know, I just feel it. I am sure that my husband loves me and I always make sure that he knows I love him.
It will be interesting to see what the outcome of Mercy is. I suspect that Jamie will also learn that real love isn't always 70/30.