Life Would Be A Choice, Sweetheart

August 16, 2007 at 7:41 pm (Love, Marriage, Relationships, Second Life)

Leo Buscaglia, popular university professor and author of countless books on relationships, is famous for saying “If you’re bored, you must be boring.” His statement eloquently captures the powerful idea that we are all responsible for the state we are in at any given moment. Our human tendency is to blame others for our predicaments, playing the role of victim with academy award-winning aplomb. But it all comes down to a choice: we choose how to be and how we react to certain situations. [This concept of choice is a prominent theme in my life. I have a tattoo of the Chinese character for choice on my foot to remind myself of my own power to choose my reality.]

As I read last weekend’s Wall Street Journal article on Second Life, this concept of choice, or the responsibility we have for our own lives, rang in my mind. The article titled “Is This Man Cheating On His Wife?,” chronicled the triangle of a married man, his RL wife, and his SL partner (ie wife).

As you can guess, the author’s microscope was squarely aimed at this gentleman’s dual life, and the effect it was having on his RL wife and marriage. The author reports that the man’s wife is basically a widow living alongside her husband as his attention is diverted to the life he’s leading on the computer screen. The wife continues to serve him meals, clean up around him, and spend her time watching TV.

Through the portrayal of her as a victim, we readers are piloted to feel sorry for the wife whose husband has deserted her for a perpetually beautiful and thin pixelated partner. Yet something is very wrong with this entire picture, and the husband–while certainly sharing some of the blame–does not own the problem entirely.

From what I’ve seen first hand, married men and women are flocking to Second Life and finding “companionship” with people who see them differently than perhaps their spouses see them or differently than they may even see themselves. And–like I’ve heard from my friends in SL and as mentioned in the article as well–the spouses for the most part do not care to venture into SL to see what their partners find so appealing about it.

Husbands and wives alike are expertly playing the role of victims; blaming the other and then tuning out to the television, computer, poker game, bag of Doritos–whatever is going to fill them up–instead of taking ownership of their part in enabling the state of their relationship.

So I’d like to issue a challenge to my fellow married men and women. Take control of your relationship. Meet your partner on their territory once in awhile. Men, would it kill you to sit down with your wives for an occasional stroll down Wisteria Lane? And ladies, venture into Second Life and check it out. Who knows? You might just meet your own prince charming in there!

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4 Comments

  1. supermeme said,

    Agreed. Although the reality of things may be quite surprising and unexpected if not, disturbing.

    It is so hard to state things like that… things out of our boundaries, but you did it differently, you suggested it… A charming and emotionless blog post.

    I really liked it.
    Write beautifully.

  2. Argyle said,

    I agree, too, mostly. But I’m also fighting hard not to laugh…

  3. axinia said,

    Interesting idea, I did not think about that in all that hype about SL 🙂

    The issue of betraying I believe arises mostly because the choice of a partner is done on the wrong base (often so called love that vanishes).

    You might be interested to see my article on marriage with some fresh ideas. http://shaktipower.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/marriage-made-in-heaven/
    thanks!

  4. Trow said,

    Nice post (again!) Cindy…right to the point on choice and ANY diversion…the WSJ article sited unfairly looks at one strange situation and extrapolates (poorly) across the SL population…rather than lend it creedance by picking it apart point by point (which would have been easy but lengthy) I love how you just cut to the chase, and point out that SL is a coincidence to the real focus of this article…one of many unhappy marriages where both partners play victim and are unwilling to meet the other half way.

    Honesty, consideration, responsibility and compromise in any relationship will make and keep it a strong one. Cheers.

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