Love shouldn’t be like the creative process, happiness can and should come into it.
I love writing. But during the creative process, as Slovoj Cicek points out – feeling ‘happy’ doesn’t come into it. I don’t expect happiness when I’m creating something. I’m willing to suffer; to agonise and edit and re-edit, to try and try and try. Then, when its over, I’ll suffer some more wondering if I’ve done any good. Any artist would probably agree, suffering over their next piece (writing or otherwise) is part of the process of (hopefully) producing something good.
The Nigella Lawson incident recently left me wondering if, sometimes, relationships can be like a creative endeavour; something we suffer to construct within ourselves and to those around us. When I look at pictures of Nigella with her husband, I see a woman totally transfixed, what does she see? When he has his hand clasped around her throat, she looks afraid that the reality of their relationship is breaking through her hearts careful construction. He doesn’t respect her, he refuses to worship her self-constructed “Domestic Goddess” image by publicly declaring he refuses to eat any of her food. For her, he is the last frontier of approval and no doubt her harshest critic. Living in a relationship where you are being constantly detracted from, either from working like a slave to run a house or never being good enough- you are suffering for love.
Girls have been conditioned to think they should suffer in relationships. In some ways the message has (always) been the greater the suffering, the better the love story. Consider girls watching 90210 or The Hills or Eastenders. Where are the normal relationships in these programmes? The ones where nobody is being unfaithful? Where nobody is scheming in mad jealousy or paranoia? Where nobody is being abused in some way? Where day to day life isn’t dominated by dramatic bust-ups or fraught emotions? I know it probably wouldn’t make for very exciting television but where are the presentations of relationships that are just happy? It can take a long time to find and girls need to learn not to settle for the first man that pays them any attention; to look out for the kind hearted ones- who love being your biggest cheerleader, who want to avoid hurting your feelings or making you feel bad about yourself.
If, after everything, making you happy doesn’t come into their daily equation and all that happens is you get torn down or under-appreciated; why are you suffering?