Sharing space but nothing else

First I found this painting from Belmiro de Almeida (how, why, I don’t remember).

Wondered about what happened in this couple. She cries or at least is weighed down, but by what? And this man is smoking, thinking, probably powerless/helpless, but who knows? Maybe he’s angry? “Here we go again…”.

Is it a break up, a betrayal, jealousy, boredom, romantic disappointment?

Maybe like in Chekhov, it’s just some tears, because of the “something’s lacking in my life” syndrome?

My researches showed me the second painting : a crying woman, a “vacant look” man, and flowers on the ground. Mhhh, who copied the other?

Then I thought about Hopper, of course, with no tears but only a… moment.

I remember that some (female) friends of mine told me many times than their guy “wasn’t really talkative”.

Thus I remembered the “bored couples” series, photographed by Martin Parr – who is a love because he includes himself in the series (he is on two photos of the four I found for you). Parr showed many times he’s a part of what he sees…

 

So is it even an article? No I don’t think so! I cobbled these together :

  1. To remember I should find more paintings on this topic (I tried and failed today)
  2. To think about the idea I found in the Parr link : monogamy is maybe dumb
  3. To remember that my lady likes my random lectures (I’m a chatterbox)
  4. To go on liking the “what happens here?” in Arts
  5. What if a man was crying, and a woman sitting aside, indifferent?
  6. To remember I have to take care of my partner, even if she’s a real “handful”
  7. To pass it on to you : what ideas did you get, reading this?

 

Take care! Have a nice day!

JP

 

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Bored Couples on Display in Public Places

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Judgmental

ONE

Decades ago, a was in love with a painter, who one days asked me – a bit solemnly – what I was thinking about her recent work.

Then, the day after, I told a good friend that I didn’t say the truth. I didn’t like her recent work that much, but “I couldn’t have the heart to tell her”.

My friend gave me a roasting (is it the correct way to use this idiom?), and told me something I never forgot :

“When you’re asked that from a person you love, you have to tell the truth, silly!”

I think he was right. And I never forgot this good lesson.

TWO

I talked one day with someone who explained me that the first quality of her husband was “he is not judgmental”.

This annoyed me a lot because I don’t understand why and how should this be a “quality”.

Secondly, we… don’t even have this word in French! Therefore, WordReference and other sites tend to turn around it : “To have a tendency to carry critics”, or “To be fast to make value judgments”. Pfff!

THREE

Thus, my brain works and tries to understand why and how non-judgmental could be a “quality”.

If you ask someone to be non judgmental, is it because you are a mess, a complicated drama person, or a weathercock nobody can understand? Or is it because you have terrible flaws? I can imagine a drunk asking for that… “He doesn’t judge me, phew!”. Is it because YOU are judgmental therefore your man can’t be (because you don’t like to fight)?

So : a non-judgmental person is perfect! He never bothers you, right?

FOUR

All of this aside, it’s very surprising, because I think (like my friend at the beginning) that an important quality of a spouse (besides kindness, honesty, etc) is exactly to BE judgmental.

It means that he sees you, he values you, he wants to understand you, he likes to talk about these things, he wants your couple to be better, etc. Judge, think, connect, talk, ask : that’s couple life!

Hence, for me, to be non-judgmental in a couple is a bad sign. It shows that you lost the spirit of your lover. Or that you did put her on a pedestal, where she is “what she is” (she’s a handful, awe), and you can’t even really get, reach, understand her.

Or maybe that you accept her and everything from her, “she’s always right”, to have some peace and quiet.

If you judge, you’d be attacked as a demon, you should be reeducated. You don’t understand her.

FIVE

Ever heard of a double bind?

Value your man because he’s non judgmental, then reproach him to not get you, to take you for granted.

What kind of ohlalala gap is that?

A good path towards craziness (or depression, or violence), double bind is…

(you can also have sex to shut it off)

SIX

I ask and will always ask my wife to BE judgmental. “Stay connected, love, this is our stairs strategy : tell me what’s good, what’s wrong or weird, let’s talk! I hold you hand. Let’s talk. And tomorrow, my turn, OK?”.

She needs to be valued, recognized, seen exactly as she is, complicated but genuine. She’s amazing!

OUTRO

I maybe don’t get how “judgmental” is radioactively charged in English. Therefore I don’t understand this word. What do you think?

And I am really convinced it’s an important problem. Judge me. Please do! It means you see me, it means we’re interlinked.

Thanks for reading!

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The “Let’s make it a dance” tool

Hefez : La Danse du Couple (really need a translation?) is a book written by a couples therapist. He says that a couple is an impossible thing to build and to live – the other one never “fits”.

Therefore, we all have to think, watch the other and our alliance, and realize that there are stairs to climb, paths to invent, that we have to think and “find a way”. All this gestures-mess is a DANCE.

“Let’s make it a dance” is a tool which says :

“When it’s difficult somewhere but you have to insist and you have to stay in the system, just accept and absorb the difficulties – and invent a dance. Your dance. It’s a mess, but you can dance it, smile, and climb the stairs”. And ignore the others. Nobody can understand your own dance. It’s a secret.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : tammygucci

From Quarrel to Joust : Elevation process

When your couple needs to fight, you argue. You can stay at reptilian or prehistoric levels : you scream, play flying plates & slamming doors, scream louder, or you can try to move the cursor up.

If your quarrelsome mood – oh what a great word! – needs to unfold, there’s are some wrong ways up like becoming sarcastic or using bad faith, stupidity or violent communication (one define the other : “You’re like your mother”, “You’re lazy”), silence icy treatment or using poor innocent third parties (the kids?).

I propose to rise from these low levels of arguing. Of course you can use Reason. If you know Transactional Analysis you can begin to dissect your communication and try to put it on “Adult -> Adult” mode. That’s OK! Think. Or ask a intermediary (not your mother-in-law!) to play the diplomatic card.

My purpose here is to imagine another “Right Way Up” : Jousting. It’s a change of mood. You fight… with a smile for the other. It’s a sparkling competition. Emulation is the key. It can become a game. You can really invent rules like : “You can’t speak until you waited two minutes in silence after I did, I’ll do the same”, or “Argue on both sides of a table… with pen & paper” (find your own rules).

Jousting is a clever way to quarrel. It’s like when you play chess with a friend, emulation is the key. You want victory but you help your opponent to climb too.”Right Path Up”. Finding solutions… and at the same time satisfy your need to fight. Joust!

 

Of course if you read my blog you know that there’s a pattern here, a tool for other situations : Elevation. When and where (and how) do you realize that you’re on a low level? Gaiety? Entertainment? Sex? When you’re in a useful place but you should maybe stop, think and push a lever. Which lever is it? Subtlety. Right?

This pattern is described here : https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-matter-of-levers/

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : such_a_pretty_crazy

Counseling for couples : “Please become someone else”

Yes, yes, it’s a mess. It hurts. Toxicity and boredom alert! She wants to find the “second wind” of your marriage, le “second souffle”. “Counseling?”, she says? Your answer is YES. You’d better!

Then you have to “tell your story”, then listen to huge bullshbleep from a “professional”, many times.

Then, home, you try to do “as if” – at least for a few exhausting months. You know your flaws, right? You’ll “work” on them. Be ready. You’re on a mission now.

Let’s make it short :

“Please become someone else”

So here you are, with a list of “things to change” for your wife. “People can evolve!”, she says! You have four choices :

  1. You obey. Beck and call. Do that, and this too. Bravo! Your flaws vanished into magic. You will get tears of joy from her eyes, great hashtags on her social medias (#bestmoment #happymarriage), and a little more hanky-twalala-panky, probably. Reward it is.
  2. You really do “as if”. It’s about acting, now. It’s impossible to change really, because of course nobody changes, ever, but you can really do “as if”. You want to keep her, right? It’ll last the necessary length of time… until she sees it. Then you’re on you own.
  3. You say firmly “no”, and you’re done. Conflict and drama. Hold the wheel, buddy! Maybe find another therapist, later. A better one, OK?
  4. You run away and find an easier companion. Breathe. Life is made of dotted lines, after all. Next!
  5. Alcohol, accident, heart attack (or other self-sabotage), or any other boring “I go out” : anything DIY in the garage, work-out, biking, duck hunting. Some people even have two bedrooms!

Your choice?

Tools :

This was of course a sarcastic text. There are good professionals. Most of them are good listeners. They take big money to do that and that’s normal. Then, they will probably try to make you understand this : Your spouse won’t change, you have to accept your couple-dynamics.

“But wait, this means I should change myself ? You just said it’s impossible!”

Well : welcome into marriage!

In French we say :

Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop – “Shoo away your nature, it comes back at full tilt”

Well, I think you say “The leopard can’t change its spots”.

Can he?

 

Have a nice day!

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“Alaric claimed that a “demon” drove him against Rome. Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian, and every barbarian awaits his demon”. #Cioran #Quote

Emil Cioran (1911-1995), De l’inconvénient d’être né, part VIII :

Alaric claimed that a “demon” drove him against Rome. Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian, and every barbarian awaits his demon.

Typically Cioranesque : Two lines, irrevocable, interesting.

This quote contains two things, right? Today I’ll let got the second one, to focus on this :

Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian

I think it’s true. I think also it’s a pattern, a dial you can apply on other fields : couple and marriage, companies, partnership.

When this “structure” is done, tired, exhausted, rotten or worn out, many things can happen. The simplest one is to decide to destroy it. But many times – it’s so human – nobody can decide. It just goes wrong, more and more.

Awaiting a barbarian is awaiting an external element, who is new, and has this barbaric quality : he dares, he brings some chaos, or at least some fracture. He disturbs.

Then you extend the possibilities : rebuild Rome or not. Some windows were opened, some doors. You can mutate. You can be lost, cut from the rest, you can dance with the barbarian, you can kill him and insist on the past.

Awaiting another revealer?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : littlemessofpetals

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a “You’re crazy” point in almost every #argument

The “You’re crazy” point in an argument, everybody knows that.

It’s very similar to the Godwin’s Law, an Internet adage which asserts that “If an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler“.

It’s almost a law for “violent communication”. Instead of talking, telling your truth, have “impeccable words”, you just say to the other one “You’re crazy!”, “You should see a therapist”. Or worse : “I’ll put you in a mental institution”. That’s it.

I do think that, at this point, you should stop arguing and take a deep breathe. If you think it’s possible, try to make the other person to talk about himself instead of putting labels on you.

Yes yes, that’s the door to go outside of this.

But… Does the other person want it?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : itspeteski