I have been watching Dr Zhivago, again after very many years. Like so many, I have visual memories of the film: rough trains taking the people to the ice-bound snows where Dr Z encounters his lost love…. All very cinematically wonderful. But it got me thinking about Omar Sharif (not hard) and the general tendency of men to find ‘irresistible attraction’ in the face, eyes and arms of other women. Primitive people’s had a vague policy, it seems from what little we know, of preserving the family unit for reasons of wealth and progeny, rather than monogamism. Having ‘one true love’ is a romantic notion developed in Victorian times, finding echoes in swans and other beasts who mate for life. As a woman raised in that monogamous culture, I have always found infidelity in my friends amusing and dangerous (like snakes) and in my own spouses intolerable!
But what are we to think of a man who, following the biological imperative, finds fascination in the eyes of two different women? Somehow it is more threatening to the spouse to find she has a single competitor than multiple one-night liaisons. Or at least that is my view. (Bonk-and-go raises issues of disease and pregnancy but hardly threatens the home unless he spends millions on his besotted.)
In a world where women out-number men by almost 2 to1, the cultural conditioning can be seen most obviously in retirement villages and nursing homes where men are pursued avidly by women who should know better! Long gone are the days when strong men on big white horses (bank accounts) appear over the horizon to protect us from ruin. Mostly they are old ruees (look it up!) who want someone to give them one last orgasm to send them to the stars and the moon, and the sun if possible!! Haha! As if.
Do I sound bitter? No, I sound realistic. The real hero of Dr Zhivago is the wife. She recognises the important role that Lara plays in her husband’s life, and even survival in the ice and snow of Winter in Russia. She uses the love that Lara has to let her husband (Omar-of-the-huge-moustache) know that she has another baby and they are ok. Now THAT is some kinda saint right there!
I know of a lovely woman in her 80 s who took her dying husband back after he had left her for a floozie, and nursed him til his death. Lest you think she is a saint…no, she was a very attractive woman who had ‘other interests’ in the interim, but whose husband did a Zhivago and formed a deep relationship with another woman.but he came home to due. Thanks Very Much!! What are we women to do?! Destroying trust eats away at the foundations of a relationship and cannot be re overhead without total reconstruction of the scaffolding of trust. It’s not impossible, but it is very difficult.
So, what’s the point, Maura?? The point is probably that life and love are not in our control. We learn what we need to learn….. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we heard it all before.
BUT… what if…. we are here to learn…. And here to get wise…. And here to understand our human AND spiritual natures…? Not just women, but maybe men also need to learn the effects of simply following their biological imperatives. Maybe following the ‘script’ we laid out for ourselves before we had this incarnation has merit we can’t see yet. Follow that, with all its narrow corridors and paths so it can take us..where we were meant to go in the first place.
What do you think, girls? Please share your thoughts.