Love in its many forms...and love and gender

May 23, 2009

I read some great words when talked about love and marriage; here's what she said to me, in response to a comment of mine:

“It’s a question of knowing what you cannot change and moving on. I learned the hard way…. that hearts don’t break and one can love again. It won’t be the same, nothing ever is, but it won’t be bad or inadequate either (unless you allow it).

…It’s funny to realise how much love (one can be ) surrounded by …..(love for, and of, the children, relatives, colleagues and friends.) Too much attention is often given to romantic love, but yet we’ve all seen how transient that can be as well. It’s pretty, it feels good, it can be intense, it can be lasting, but so often, it’s gone in a wisp of smoke as well.”

What fantastic words!

Love, and relationships, have been on my mind lately. I went with my daughter to a La Leche meeting, and there were several mothers there.

One was in tears as she described how her husband feels that their seven-month-0ld son is hogging all the attention, and “manipulating” his mother…they both grew up, she said, in very parental-control environments, where “children were seen and not heard” and the husband cannot understand her not “disciplning” her child a little more….I really did want to give her a hug, but it’s another country, another culture, and I let it go…

There was a lesbian couple; and the “wife” in the partnership discussed the issues she was having with the baby’s feeding. The other partner remained very quiet throughout, but her love for both partner and baby showed through clearly….she cuddled the baby as he cried, and then gave him back to the mother to feed him….apparently, they had tried artificial insemination to have a baby, but finally had the baby by in vitro fertilization.

I realized, then, that the need to procreate is NOT the exclusive impulse of heterosexual relationships. Given the very high cost in terms of effort, frustration at failed attempts, the extreme expense involved, this couple, at least, has had a very strong impulse to have a child. How, I wonder though, did they decide, in this case, who the mother would be? Did biological factors decide it, or did emotional orientation? The partner was definitely (sorry to use a politcially incorrect word, but it’s very descriptive) “butch” enough to perhaps make this part of the decision an easy one.

If one was the “butch” partner in the relationship, how would one then relate to the child? If one was the “male” in the sexual relationship, would that carry over to thee parental relationship? Or would the baby awaken a maternal instinct, and would these two then conflict with each other? ...any thoughts from you on this?

Love is such a complex emotion; it often seems to bring as much pain as it brings happiness…a combination of instinct, emotion, intellect, and conditioning. To live is to love, but to love is to open one’s heart to both happiness and sorrow, joy and anger, fulfillment and disappointment…

Obviously, I am the captain of the bad ship I N S Omnia again (if I go to sleep after 10pm, this is the invariable consequence!)….off for my morning walk now!