Years ago when I read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina – yes, all 300 or 400 some pages – I couldn’t figure out why Anna had decided to step out on her man and have an affair. Her husband had a good job, great social standing and was apparently quite handsome. Then I saw the movie Anna Karenina and realized how horribly boring Anna’s husband was and immediately understood everything. I would have left his dull behind, too.
Sure, back then in the late 1800’s marrying for love wasn’t the norm. And part of the whole plot is why falling for a man purely based on chemistry and having his love child while you’re married doesn’t usually lead to happiness but devastation. Tolstoy was trying to tell us intense love can drive you crazy. You just might commit suicide, like Anna did. (Not to give away the story, but, I think everyone knows Anna goes mad from her love for Vronsky and jumps in front of a train.)
Women should strive to be “women of honor,” the movie points out. Well, I think of myself as “a woman of honor.” But, who hasn’t thrown caution to the wind to chase after some seriously good looking man only to wake up a few months (or years) later to wonder “What in the world was I thinking about?” A man who is sexy and exciting today can become a real bore years later.
But, aside from the obvious points all of this indicates like love is patient, love is kind, and true love isn’t always wrapped up in a seriously, good-looking sexy man, it also tells us there things we do to ruin perfectly good relationships. I mean I know there weren’t any counselors and therapists back then. But couldn’t Anna have worked with her man Alexis and turned that dull marriage into a hot one? Alexis Alexandrovich Karenin was a patient guy. He initially forgave Anna for her adulterous behavior and was willing to give her a second chance. But, he was just really weak in the emotion and seduction area. He was clueless about what his wife was feeling.
Anna didn’t exactly share her feelings either and she expected Alexis to be “every man.” – But, no man can fulfill everything we need as SuzyKnew’s very own Janice pointed out in ASK JANICE. Also, the lady also didn’t take responsibility for her own feelings and sense of security. She used Vronsky, her dashing military lover, to fill her emptiness. And once Anna hooked up with her cad of a lover, she spent her every waking moment thinking about him and doubting herself. Another good way to ruin things. YourTango’s A 7-Step Guide To Ruining Your Relationship gives you blow by blow the ways you can mess up a good thing you may have.
It’s hard enough to get into a decent relationship or marriage. Once we’re in one we have to address our own insecurities and try not to ruin things without realizing what we’re doing.