Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Athena's Divine Comedy
Similar to Dante’s The Divine Comedy, marriage moves through three realms but in the opposite direction to Dante’s journey. Let me explain.
The first realm - Paradiso.
For the newly married, it is paradise. This is the beginning of the relationship where your significant other can do no wrong and where their little “corks” are considered cute.
Ahhh paradise, where the butterflies seem to live in your stomach without break. Where you have an aching to see each other every minute of everyday and no longer have a need to have any life without your partner. Your single and fun friends disappear and you won’t notice. Where sharing food, holding hands, and making your new “couple” friends blush over your public displays of affection feel so natural. All is perfect and you have embarked on a new and exciting life together awaiting a perfect future. You think to yourself that if you love someone so much now, this love can only increase, right?
The second realm – Purgatorio.
This is when you have you been married a few years and the routines begin. Spaghetti night on Mondays, cards with the neighbours on Tuesdays, Wednesday is boys/girls night (purely, good clean fun consisting of other spouses of other couples you met together), Thursday is Grey’s Anatomy, Friday is help yourself to anything in the fridge dinner night, Saturday is housecleaning and errands, Sunday is visiting with family. These are things you start to do religiously, in fact the routine has become so routine you can’t think outside of the box you've created.
By this time, your single friends have all but disappeared. They do still send an occasional email or give you a quick call, but have a running joke that you're no longer allowed to go outside. You bump into them on occasion and they tell you about their super exciting weekend, people they met, traveling they’ve done and you politely smile. You tell your partner later that you ran into them and regurgitate their stories. Usually during this time your partner will laugh it off and talk about how “empty and shallow” their lives seem and you yourself may even agree.
Your significant others corks have become who they are and have lost the “cute” appeal they once had. No spontaneity is left in your relationship, except for the occasional birthday or anniversary and those "events" seem more like you're being put out then having a good time. There are NO surprises and nothing is left to the imagination. You think about it sometimes but swallow this fate as you can see no problem with it other then seeing no problem – your mind is locked inside it's own purgatory.
The third realm is especially tricky and in fact consists of 9 circles of hell – Inferno.
1_Limbo – You start to find your existence dull and unfulfilling yet you still haven’t found a way to fix it, so you sit and ponder. You start to email and call your old friends, plotting a way out of the house.
2_Lustful – It seems by this stage you will look for a new model where life will be again fun, spontaneous, and eventful. You look for anyone to fill this void. You start to envy everyone who is still allowed to have fun, and you want your friends back.
3_Gluttonous – You want more! You crave food, sex, or anything that will make you feel better and you want a lot of it. The more the better!
4_Hoarders and Spendthrifts – You start to plot, you want out, but you don’t want to give away everything you’ve worked for. So you start a little secret nestegg and become increasingly aware of every dime your partner is spending – this builds resentment.
5_Wrathful – Your resentment has turned to anger. Your partners corks now feels like nails down a chalkboard and the hair on the back of your neck stands on end when you see them. When they make a little snort when they laugh or tell the same story you’ve heard a hundred times before, you feel nauseous and you can feel your hate swelling in your stomach killing each butterfly slow and painfully. You become increasingly pissed off because you used to have friends and now you’re stuck with these married, spouse approved bores and you want your FUCKING FRIENDS BACK!
6_Heretics – You start to hate marriage, everything about marriage. You believe it to be a barbaric institution that your friends and family had convinced you was a logical step for human nature. You start to resent them for pushing you into this horrible life and wish you had never been born. You now start to see your old friends again and condemn marriage. You constantly talk of it horror and warn others against it. You are no longer yourself and your old friends can easily pick this up. Hatred spews from you and you can’t remember the last time you said something positive.
7_Violent – Your anger has been festering for so long that you can’t help but express it in physical ways. You may take your frustration out while weeding and tear up your entire yard in a fit of uncontrolable anger. You may come across a broken appliance and throw it out the window – there will be many ways you will lose it. You start to scream at the smallest of things. Those “corks” now cause a fight and you can’t help but express your hatred towards everything they do and say. You say all the nasty things that have been festering for years and now you want your partner to know that you hate them, in fact you’ll tell anyone who will listen that you hate them. You stop wanting to see your “couple” friends because you hate them too. Your old friends may not want to see you, because you're horrible to be around – your constant complaining and frustration is a downer and as one or two of them may try to comfort you, but they can’t help you.
8_Fraudulents – You now know your leaving and its time to start covering up all of the horrible things you’ve done up to this point. You deny any wrong doing and you convince yourself that it is entirely their fault, for everything! You twist everything, you lie and deny every horrible action, in fact you can’t even tell what the truth is anymore. The only thing you are completely sure of is you hate them!
9_The Bottom of the well (DIVORCE) – This is hell on earth, when the thoughts of killing them and spending the rest of your life behind bars seems favourable to living with them for another second. So what sits at the bottom of the well? LAWYERS! This is the accountability circle, when all of your actions from the previous eight circles get thrown back at you. When the lawyers dig, and pry and get rich off your misery.