Home Couples & Family Psychology Developmental LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XVIII. PLATE FIVE: SEPTEMBER SONG (GROWING OLD AND FACING MAJOR LIFE CHALLENGES AS A COUPLE)

LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XVIII. PLATE FIVE: SEPTEMBER SONG (GROWING OLD AND FACING MAJOR LIFE CHALLENGES AS A COUPLE)

110 min read
0
0
47

Obviously, Martin’s hospitalization with AIDS-induced illness served as another marker event in their relationship. It forged a new level of commitment and intimacy for Martin and Victor as it does for many men and women who must share an intrusive life event with another person. When the interviewer asked how AIDS changed their relationship, Victor indicated that part of the change related back to Martin’s relationship with his family:

When Martin was in the hospital and I took control of his family. That was a major change in the way in which I viewed our relationship. Up until that point, we hadn’t had anything serious happen. That was the first time that we had a crisis and how we dealt with that was important. It changed our relationship. We both realized that we were there for each other, that we could support each other in a crisis, that we weren’t going to run. And, I think we were surprised in some respects.

Martin commented at this point that he was in fact quite surprised (and gratified): “Oh yeah, I had completely prepared myself for the idea that you were going to say ‘I packed all your bags and you need to make other living arrangements.'”

Victor, however, was very much there for Martin — “for better or worse, in sickness and in health”:

When I called him [Martin] at the hospital, he said he would understand if I left and I said “what are you talking about?” And I think then we understood that this was for good, and we were going to make it work. I don’t even remember making a conscious decision that “yes, I was going to be committed to him through this”. There was just no question.

This was certainly a marker event for Martin and Victor. They had previously come to define themselves as a partner because of their parents’ recognition and acceptance of them as a couple. The identification and acceptance of other people of a relationship, and even the acceptance of one partner for the other is important; however, commitment rather than external acceptance is the essential ingredient in enduring relationships and the support of Victor for Martin at this point is clearly a marker of this commitment:

That was a very important point, because I [Martin] changed dramatically after that . . . all of a sudden I had someone in my life who I was sure of, and I was able to become stronger because I had someone that would support me no matter what . . . and it’s like our relationship really grew from that, because I think at the same time Victor really realized that he had never really cared for someone that much.

Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Load More Related Articles
Load More By William Bergquist
Load More In Developmental

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

The Intricate and Varied Dances of Friendship I: Turnings and Types

Miller, John and Scott Page (2007) Complex Adaptive Systems. Princeton NJ: Princeton Unive…