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)

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Shortly after this mutual commitment, Martin and Victor went for HIV testing and found that they were both HIV positive, suggesting that each of them might soon need the support and understanding of their partner. Victor observed that the tables are now turned, and that he is greatly appreciative of Martin’s commitment to him. Martin observes that:

. . it was the same thing now, with Victor being sick. He was always saying he’s so glad that I’m going to stay with him, and to me the idea of leaving was just too foreign. I said to Victor: “You know, of course I’m going to stay. Our lives have become too intertwined to leave.”

What is the nature of this remarkable, enduring commitment that Martin and Victor have made to one another in facing these two parallel intrusive events? Martin describes the two of them as a “family”:

I really do think we became family at that point, we went further than being a couple, we became family. We became the center and everyone else became bit players. Even in the way our family treated us became very different.

Apparently, their families of origin began to recognize that something special was occurring between Martin and Victor. As a result, Martin and Victor began to take on different roles with each other and with their families. They have even now become role models for their own siblings. It seems perfectly appropriate and somehow just that two people who recognized the importance (arid absence) of role models in their own lives, were able to build a relationship that is now worthy of the admiration of others. In Martin’s words: “It’s amazing with our families . . . Victor’s brother and my sister look at us as the most stable couple they know. Victor’s brother in particular views us as a role model in his own marriage.”

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