How do you view people?

This post is motivated by not understanding what has gotten into some people and how they treat the people who they supposedly love. Sorry for being so blunt, but I can’t express the lack of understanding that occurs with some people when their relationship moves on.

Working with models, I hear a lot about their personal life, and how it impacts them from day to day. Several of the models who I work with have commented how their relationships have failed and are not reconcilable. In all the situations I am commenting about here today, they all have at least one child together. These are people who were in love with one another. I personally can’t understand how people can “fall” out of love. There are six people in my life that I have fallen in love, and to this day, I care very deeply about them all still to this day. Sometimes, it causes problems – but the good news is that with the exception of one, they all live across one ocean or the other. When you love someone, it is a permanent situation for me. Love never changes. I will go to my grave loving all of them.

Why am I writing this? I can’t grasp how anyone can be mean, vindictive, and in some of the cases, hit someone with malice that they love or have loved. It is something I can’t quite fathom or even comprehend. Worse, being abusive like this in front of your children. I know that feeling sometimes run fairly deep when love is concerned, but this kind of reaction is horrible and makes no sense. Why would you do anything close to this to someone you love? The answer that a few people have told me is that they no longer love one another. This leads to the second reason for writing this post.

When you work with people around you, do you see them for what they can do for you? For instance, in a work environment, do you make business contacts with just people who can help you get further in your work or that are good at resolving issues you may face? In a relationship situation, do you look at your relationships for the gifts you may be given, the sex you might get, or the promise that one of these are almost for certain? Think about it for a little bit. As I get older, I seem to be more sensitive to seeing people do just this. I hate to admit that I am guilty of this, too, in that when I am frequently after a specific artful image, and know someone will be able to create the image I want, I pull out the stops to get them in that image. But, beyond this, I don’t. Yet, I see it every day from other photographers, business relationships, and even some people’s personal relationships. I don’t understand how people can view life in these terms for everything they do – but they do. The more popular and charismatic a person is, the more they do exactly this with everyone in their life. Watch people, and you will see exactly what I mean.

Getting back to the first part about abusing their loves of their life, I have to wonder if there was something that they were getting from that significant other and then once removed or lost, they lose all control and get this way. If so, what they had wasn’t love but rather a mutual arrangement of getting something from someone else. Let me repeat – this isn’t love.

Take a long hard look at your own relationships with other people. Are you someone who is taking advantage of them or are you someone who is being taken advantage of? Knowing this will help you understand some of the dynamics of relationship you are in and how to deal with some of the ups and downs you face.

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Love

Have you ever gotten that look from one of your children, one of total disbelief and where they can’t grasp what is going on? I recently had one with my daughter. Let me explain.

We were shopping for something – don’t remember exactly what – and my mind drifted. My daughter noticed and asked what I was thinking about. Obviously, I was in deep thought. I told her – I was thinking about an ex-girlfriend of mine and what she was going through. That started that look. Then she asked if I still loved the girlfriend – to which I answered that I do still love and care about her. Her chin hit the ground, her eyes were about to water, and she somehow managed to say this somehow, “Does mom know about her?” “Mom does know about her, how I feel, and that we talk all the time,” I told her, and then continued with “and Mom has some of her ex-boyfriends that she stays in touch with and talks to frequently, too.” The expression and shock on her face surprising to me. As my daughter came out of her shock, she said, “I wouldn’t be allowed to with my boyfriend and it just isn’t right.You don’t do this kind of thing.” Keep in mind that my wife and I have been married for almost 19 years, and were engaged for another 3 years on top of our marriage. My daughter refers to my wife and I as geese because we are always together and it is her romantic vision of who we are. I went on to explain to daughter that I still love and care about all six of the women who I have loved in my life. It isn’t something that goes away or that you fall out of. Love is something that lasts through the rest of your life.

Therein lies what I think is a problem with the love and marriages today. Is it really love if you can’t give up control and trust your spouse? There is a saying and I don’t know who said it, but it goes like this: “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they are yours. If they don’t, they never were.” If you love someone, that person is there because they love and trust you. They don’t need to be controlled and manipulated to stay with you. My daughter’s boyfriend forbids her talking with ex-boyfriends because he doesn’t trust her boyfriends and what might possibly happen if their talking goes on for any amount of time. I know it isn’t my daughter that he doesn’t trust. But, still, I have to wonder if she gets married to him if he really loves her because there are trust issues.

I have also seen this happen to a few of my wife’s ex-boyfriends and even smaller number of male friends that I hang out – they get engaged, and all contact with previous lovers is to stop. My question: why did you say you would marry them if you don’t trust them? Controlling or manipulating someone isn’t love. Doing this is a lack of trust – one that makes me wonder why they want to be married in the first place. I would think that this thought – are they going to be there tomorrow? – would overwhelm and tear up a solid marriage.

Does this mean you will be together and everything will be wonderful if you do trust your spouse and let them talk with their exes? I can’t answer that. I can tell you that the ex-girlfriend we are talking about is someone who I let get away because I let her get away. I still have questions in my mind if I was wrong for not chasing after her, and pursuing her more than I did.

I can also say that love is something that lasts a lifetime. Just because your relationship is over with someone, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t become a part of your heart and that you won’t think about them anymore. You do think about them and you will care. Each person who you are or have been with will be special. They are a part of your heart. If you loved them, they will be with you the rest of your life.

Bad Dinner

Today, I want to mention something after a long day of reflection for me. My adopted daughter and wife got into a rather intense fight (more than the usual mother/daughter fighting that goes on), and both acted up without any warning – it was like this had been brewing for some time and both wanted to fight. Yes, they fight every so often, but never this intensity or veracity. It happened when we got out of the car to get something to eat for dinner. According to my daughter, my wife’s eyes were bugging out correcting my daughter’s son and she was being down right mean to him – not to mention that she had been complaining about her yelling at her son the whole trip to the restaurant. My daughter’s son is to that age he doesn’t want to wear a seat belt and be free – so it always ‘hurts” unless he isn’t strapped in. According to my wife, she was only saying his name and looking at him while he cried – and never got his attention. She just called his name. Being oblivious to this because I was walking around the car to help my wife out of the car (who says chivalry is dead?), I only caught the tail end when they were well into the fighting. My daughter wanted to leave and just go home, and my wife the same. The first 20 minutes – my daughter and her son were in the bathroom hiding. Finally they came out. My daughter and her son sat at one table in the restaurant — my wife and I sat at another — when I finally got them both to sit down and eat. The ride home was silent.