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Passions in Poetry

You’re Not My Father!!

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Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


0 posted 11-09-2004 01:26 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


By some estimates, forty percent of America’s
children are being raised by a single parent.

Diane’s first husband left her when she was forty
for an affair with a nineteen year old and to go off
to do his free spirit thing in Alaska.  After a couple
of years of dating,  (Diane was very attractive), she
married a man she had known through work for
some twenty years who had moved on to another
well paid god job nearby.  Diane has two children,
a son, and a daughter two years younger.  They
lived in a house that ten years ago cost half a million
dollars with access to a private lake.  The children,
(both bright), particularly the daughter, never took to
Diane’s new husband.  The son after graduating from
high school went to the West coast to be a bellhop
at a minor hotel.  The daughter went into a drug period
and when the step father and Diane tried to discipline
her, she responded by attempting suicide; she then
dropped out of high school in her sophomore year
and soon after married an enlisted sailor and is currently
working as a waitress in Norfolk.

Roslyn  divorced her husband because among
other things he was an alcoholic, (wrecked every
vehicle they owned).  She began dating which
apparently pushed her fifteen year old son over the
edge.  He also attempted suicide, and is periodically
in an institution for the disturbed, for which she is
footing the bill.  She has had a number of
relationships with men since, none lasting
more than a few months.

Bill divorced a woman he had married two years
before whom he still loved as she did him, because
her children were making life, in his words, a living
Hell, including trashing their home with such things
as putting cigarettes out on the living
room carpet as they watched television.


Henry is dating a woman who was once his neighbor.
One her sons, who has frequent tantrums, (some
but not all directed at her), as well as fits of
violence, (which at times ends up with broken furniture),
keeps asking Henry when is he going to
marry his mother.  Henry is having second thoughts.


In all the above examples, as in others, there were
rants, loud arguments, etc.

So how does a woman explain the new man
in her life to her children?

When her son or daughter tells her new man or husband:
“YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER!”, what does
the mother say, do.  What does the man say, do?


If you were a man’s friend, or his parent,
would you recommend his involvement
with a woman with children?

One expert suggested that a couple, where
the woman had children, should consider
a trial relationship of at least two years
before making any decision concerning
marriage.  That sound about right?

John

Midnitesun
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Gaia


1 posted 11-09-2004 01:35 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Sheesh, it all depends upon the people involved, it's impossible and just plain lame to try to offer one answer that fits anyone except the individuals involved.

Do you know the expression, one size fits all, means one size really fits no one?

It's always sad when families that don't blend well have one or more members turn to drugs, running away, violence, or withdrawal.
OFten, a good counselor can bring everyone together, but even the best counselors can't usually put Humpty Dumpty's world back together again once it is shattered.
Cloud 9
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since 11-05-2004
Posts 988
Ca


2 posted 11-09-2004 01:54 PM       View Profile for Cloud 9   Email Cloud 9   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cloud 9

Not all families come out like that. In my family my husband and I deal with our own kids, there IS a fine line when it comes to dealing with the others children. My son has never said "your not my dad" to my husband. I think that is very disrespectful..but thats JMO. Its about how you handle your situation and respect one another.
Skyfyre
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since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap


3 posted 11-09-2004 02:26 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

You've put some pretty extreme examples up here with no counterpoint, John.

Nevertheless, I would say that a two-year trial arrangement is not only prudent for the prospective stepparent, but courteous to the prospective stepfamily.

Obviously, some families will figure out sooner that it simply won't work.  Or, as in my case, that it will work just fine.
Ron
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4 posted 11-09-2004 06:02 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Two years? Even without kids and previous marriages, a couple should wait at least five. Ten would be better.


Larry C
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since 09-10-2001
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5 posted 11-09-2004 06:59 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

Ron!

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


6 posted 11-09-2004 07:56 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Skyfyre,

All true cases.  If you played Russian Roulette
I don’t think it’s the empty chambers that would
concern you.  I didn’t go out and seek these examples;
they came to me by mere association in the workplace;
and I don’t believe I was in an extraordinary environment.
Diane, my good friend,  said to me “John, never get involved
with a woman with children; it would destroy you.”  How many men
are hearing that.  Her words, example, and the frequency
of other’s like hers gives one pause.

John

Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
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Hurricane Alley


7 posted 11-09-2004 08:03 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

5 down
5 to go

LOL

I agree with Ron...but maybe 10 years is too short...why get married at all? It's only a piece of paper! I think it would be cool to live in a duplex next to the man of my heart - that way HE can have his space and so can I. We can get together for meals if we want..or sex..or talking..or just hanging out. But if he or I want to be alone, we just go to our own place and lock the door!
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


8 posted 11-09-2004 09:00 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Poet deVine

Katherine Hepburn said that men and women
shouldn’t live together; they should be neighbors
who occasionally visit each other.  Still, I think
that idea wouldn’t be generally popular.

John

P.S. Saint Paul was also no big fan of marriage
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


9 posted 11-09-2004 09:56 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
I agree with Ron...but maybe 10 years is too short...why get married at all? It's only a piece of paper! I think it would be cool to live in a duplex next to the man of my heart - that way HE can have his space and so can I. We can get together for meals if we want..or sex..or talking..or just hanging out. But if he or I want to be alone, we just go to our own place and lock the door!


YES! I was just talking about this today, exactly how it should be.
Poet deVine
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10 posted 11-09-2004 10:07 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

We should start a movement... Friendly Lovers, Inc.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
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since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


11 posted 11-12-2004 01:17 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I agree with Ron...but maybe 10 years is too short...why get married at all? It's only a piece of paper! I think it would be cool to live in a duplex next to the man of my heart - that way HE can have his space and so can I. We can get together for meals if we want..or sex..or talking..or just hanging out. But if he or I want to be alone, we just go to our own place and lock the door!



In response to some of the replies, I wanted to quote Professor Allan Bloom ...


quote:
Part of the inablility to make sexual commitments results from an ideology of the feelings.  Young people are always tellling me such reasonable things about jealousy and possessiveness and even their dreams about the future.  But as to dream about the future with a partner, they have none.  That would be to impose a rigid, authoritarian pattern on the future, which should emerge spontaneously.  This means they can foresee no future, or that the one they would naturally foresee is forbidden them by current piety, as sexist.  Similarly, why should a man or a women be jealous if his or her partner has sexual relations withe someone else?  A serious person today does not want to force the feelings of others.  The same goes for possessiveness.  When I hear such things, all so sensible and in harmony with a liberal society, I feel that I am in the presence of robots.  This ideology only works for people who have had no experience of the feelings, have never loved, have abstracted from the textures of life.  These prodogies of reason need never fear Othello's fate.  Kill for love!  What can that mean?  It may very well be that their apatheia is a suppression of feeling, anxiety about getting hurt.  But it might also be the real thing.  People may, having digested the incompatibility of ends, have developed a new kind of soul.  None of the sexual possibilities students have actualized was unknown to me.  But their lack of passion, of hope, of despair, of a sense of the twinship of love and death, is incomprehensible to me.  When I see a young couple who have lived together throughout their college years leave each other with a handshake and move out into life, I am struck dumb.


and


...  "relationships" not love affairs, are what they have.  Love suggests something wonderful, exciting, positive and firmly seated in the passions.  A relationship is gray, amorphous, suggestive of a project, without a given content, and tentative.  You work at a relationship, whereas love takes care of itself.  In a relationship the difficulties come first, and there is a search for common grounds.  Love presents illusions of perfection to the imagination and is forgetful of all the natural fissures in human connection.  About relationships there is ceaseless anxious talk, the kind one cannot help overhearing in student hangouts or restaurants frequented by men and women who are "involved" with one another, the kind of obsessive prattle so marvelously captured in old Nichols and May routines or Woody Allen films.  In one Nichols and May bit, a couple who have just slept together for the first time, assert with all the emptiness of doubt, "We are going to have a relationship.


and


...  When marriage occurs it does not usually seem to result from a decision and a consious will to take on its responsibilites.  The couple have lived together for a long time, and by an almost imperceptible process, they find themselves married, as much out of convenience as passion, as much negatively as positively (not really expecting to do much better, since they have looked around and seen how imperfect all fits seem to be).  Among the educated, marriage these days seems to be best acquired, as Macaulay said about the British Empire, in a fit of absence of mind.

(from "The Closing of the American Mind")

I can't help seeing much of what he sees.  I know the answer is deeper than just "Marriage" as an ought.  For we know that Marriages can be as shallow as live-ins.  But what have we lost as a whole?  Where is the passion, the romance, the forever kind of fairytale love?  Where is a love that is too lost in self forgetfulness to be anxious about making sure it "works" for a few years first?  Love is idealistic first, and practical second.  When the first is lost, the second becomes difficult if not impossible.  Machines without oil grind gears.  I've heard Marriage knocked here and there on these forums, but I believe the old views of it are those we should desire back, and the stablest, as long as we hold Marriage as something more than an asset to one's self goals ... mystical, wonderful, and dare I say, sacred?  Do some of the above descriptions of relationships, as shallow as they sound, fail to strike our humor because they aren't really a joke anymore?


Stephen.    
hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


12 posted 11-12-2004 09:58 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Stephen-

'Marriages can be as shallow as live-ins.'

That's really offensive to me. I live with my boyfriend, and it's not a shallow, loveless thing at all. We plan to marry- and out of loving reasons- because we're meant for each other, despite our arguments and annoyances, we love each other. Not because we already live together, or because it's just easier that way.

But I'll not have myself pigeonholed into a loveless marriage, and your author who calls liberals "robots" seems to neglect that as a possibility.  That's right, someone with the freedom to leave but who stays out of love, someone who stays because they are bound by love is so much more the automaton than someone in a stale or abusive marriage who stays because the legality or divorce is too daunting.

Interesting.
Denise
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since 08-22-99
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13 posted 11-12-2004 09:24 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

My girls never said that to their step-father, but he swears they thought it! Could be. They've yet to admit it, though!

I think wisdom would dictate at least a ten year wait to remarry, if at all.

Where is wisdom when you could really make use of it?


Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


14 posted 11-13-2004 12:33 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
That's really offensive to me. I live with my boyfriend, and it's not a shallow, loveless thing at all. We plan to marry- and out of loving reasons- because we're meant for each other, despite our arguments and annoyances, we love each other. Not because we already live together, or because it's just easier that way.



I didn't intend to offend you Amy.  It sounds like you are heading toward the right direction anyway.  You know there's something deeper to love, and you're planning to marry.  And I'll bet it's for more than just financial perks too.  But how many women I've known who have been used like that?  Many men want a live in sex partner, but don't want a life mate and companion, and keep someone dangling on the line.  


Though Bloom paints an austere picture of things, he's generalizing the predominate mood.  He's not saying a rose can't grow uncultivated.  But he is saying that we (as a society) have given up the way of gardening.  And as John's original post shows, the wild thorns and weeds abound, and people get hurt.    


Also, the ideal of covenantal love (ie, traditional marriage) is not one that suggests irons and chains.  Staying with someone out of "love" is a sweet and naive idea to me.  Unless by "love" you mean committed promise and devotion.  If by "love" you mean the way you feel at any particular time, particularly in the beginning, this arrangement is precarious.  Feelings flag, and with no grand promise to break, it's much easier to fly.  Love and infatuation are easily confused at times.  But I think the ideal of covenantal marriage is this ... if someone really loves you (the way it takes for the long haul), they will be willing to make a solemn oath and commitment to stick with you through thick and thin.  Of course there's a risk that the pledge (on either side) could be non-sincere.  But every treasure hunt involves a risk.

Stephen.
hush
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15 posted 11-13-2004 01:19 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

"He's not saying a rose can't grow uncultivated.  But he is saying that we (as a society) have given up the way of gardening."

You're missing the point. That's like if I thought someone was stupid, saying, "He can't help it- he's black. I mean, some of them are smart, but not most of them."

Maybe there's more than one way to garden. Maybe my chosen plant isn't a rose. Not everybody actually even plants roses.

Stephen- there is more than one right way to do things sometimes.

I don't knock it when people get married before they hop into bed together- although I shake my head when I see girls I go to school with engaged after about 2 months of a relationship. I also don't knock it when people choose never to get married- to date different people for life, or to have one monogamous partner who they never marry.

I know that your religious faith influences your beliefs, but you ahve to understand that everyone's a Christian and they may not live as such- and furthermore, they might actually not even think they are wrong.
Stephanos
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16 posted 11-13-2004 06:22 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Amy,

I understand your irritation.  However, it's not convincing that living together to "try out" your mate is the best way.  

When speaking of your situation, you said that you and your boyfriend were "meant for each other".  What do you mean by that?  I just seems like most others (who choose to live together as a trial period) don't believe in such a romantic notion, and that living together is to find out if they are "compatible".  I think you see the difference in these answers too.  The sparkle in your eyes when you typed "we were meant for each other", and your reference to your future marriage, let me know that there's a conflict of ideals somewhere, a mixture.  


If I were talking to a couple who was interested in living together, and yet who also believed somehow in the romantic notions of predestined and forever-kind-of love, I would ask them why they felt they should live together first?  Why should they involve themselves in deeply intimate affairs before the commitment?  How many times does it turn out unsatisfactory, so that each of the partners have to go look elsewhere for the "ideal" kind of love?  Yet when they go looking, they have all the baggage of a marriage experience, just no marriage.  They've already given away what was meant exclusively for a husband or wife, to someone who turned out to be a failed experiment.  How many times could it happen?  Do you think any of these would be detrimental to their finding and honoring of the one really "meant for them"?  


There may also a seed of distrust in saying "I'll live with you, and see how things go.  If all goes well, we'll love each other and stay together."  When they are married later, what about when things don't go so well?  Will it be easier to distrust your mate and to not be so sure the "trial period" is over?  Can this happen with marriage done the other way?  Sure it can.  But much less.  And remember it's not mere marriage that I am proposing (puns aside), but a certain approach, a certain way of looking at marriage and sexual love.    


Stephen.
Ron
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17 posted 11-13-2004 09:32 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If I were talking to a couple who was interested in living together, and yet who also believed somehow in the romantic notions of predestined and forever-kind-of love, I would ask them why they felt they should live together first?

To which one might reasonably respond, "Why not?"

quote:
Why should they involve themselves in deeply intimate affairs before the commitment? How many times does it turn out unsatisfactory, so that each of the partners have to go look elsewhere for the "ideal" kind of love? Yet when they go looking, they have all the baggage of a marriage experience, just no marriage.

The fallacy in your thinking, Stephen, is that anything other than your own ideal is necessarily objectionable. Have you ever experienced a friendship that failed to last forever? Did the lack of permanence make the alliance less rewarding? Were you lessened in some way because it proved only temporary?

Baggage is something you carry around even though you can make no immediate use of it. Seems to me, that's a poor description for any human relationship, especially one based on love. You cannot love someone, I think, and not be changed by that relationship. It's not baggage, Stephen. It's growth.


hush
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18 posted 11-14-2004 01:06 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'I would ask them why they felt they should live together first?'

Well, for one, I feel a bit young and immature to be married. I know it doesn't have to be this way, but in my mind marriage means a sort of settling down, thinking about kids, the career in line, etc. I'm not there yet, so I don't want to get married.

For two, we were shacking up all the time anyway, but our parents were annoying, and logically it's much cheaper to just split rent- so why not?

I have no moral aversion to this, so there really isn't a good reason not to in my mind.
Stephanos
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Statesboro, GA, USA


19 posted 11-15-2004 08:50 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
Have you ever experienced a friendship that failed to last forever? Did the lack of permanence make the alliance less rewarding?



But how different are the liberties of friendship and friendly expressions, (hardly ever given in exclusivity, or limited to one person) from sexual intimacy?    


But (to go with your analogy anyway), yes, to be honest, friendships that end are much less rewarding than ones that endure.  Just because friends get separated doesn't mean there is a cessation of friendship.  Usually once a friend, always a friend.  Not so with the romantically involved.  When there is a true end of friendship, usually it's a result of some kind of unforgiveness or bitterness or pride... and that doesn't quit hurting ever, though it might get easier to accept over time.  And if broken brotherly ties cause such pain ... how much more will the broken ties of sexual and emotional intimacy between lovers?


And Ron, I'm wondering...  Do you really think that the standard of committed monogamy as the proper parameter for sexuality, is mine?  Do you have no personal or social apologetic for why the scriptures of your religion forbid fornication, and warn against straying from the way of marital fidelity?  Do you believe these things are taught without any pragmatic or social support in the real world?  Or are they just arbitrarily imposed dogma?  


quote:
Well, for one, I feel a bit young and immature to be married. I know it doesn't have to be this way, but in my mind marriage means a sort of settling down, thinking about kids, the career in line, etc. I'm not there yet, so I don't want to get married.



Sharing one another's bodies in such intimate closeness, the delicate emotional skills needed for a lasting personal relationship, approaching the management of house and home and domestic responsibilities, etc .. etc ..  You have taken on many of the responsibilities of marriage anyway.  How do you reason that you're mature enough to handle these kinds of things, if not mature enough to enter the commitment of marriage?  

(I'm not saying whether or not you're immature BTW, only basing my question on your own admission)


Stephen.
  
 
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