life, love, relationships, thoughts

Birds of a feather?

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Birds of a feather often fly together, as it said. But it is guaranteed to last forever if you marry someone who comes from the same professional/social circle than you? Of course not. In the book “Serotonine”, the writer Michel Houellebecq narrates the live of an aristocrat, Aymeric d’Harcourt, who’s an agriculturist, and who lost his wife who was blue blood like him. She left him for a pianist who was in tour in their region. Florent-Claude, the principal character in the book, thought d’Harcourt and his wife were a good match because they came from the same social circle.

In my profession, many couples met each other at work. Some are still going strong, while some have ended in sometimes a bad way. So, it’s not guaranteed to last forever. Yet, there are strong stereotypes attached to the ideal couple, who should be in the same professional circle than we. One of my friends, who’s a teacher, told me he was asked many times if his significant other is also a teacher. As if it was obvious he should be with another teacher. His significant other isn’t. And so far, they’ve been together for a long time, and my friend is very happy in his love life. My significant other, who’s a MD, told me he got the same reaction when he told people about our relationship. The first remark he got was: “So, she ‘s a MD too?”.

Another friend of mine asked me why I don’t look for a journalist as partner. As it is my profession. But when I was on dating apps, I saw several male journalists (sometimes, I even know them in real life) but I swiped left every time. Maybe it’s because I know how a journalist can be in private life. One of my potential matches is a deputy chief editor who also teach in university and is often solicited to talk during multiple seminars. So he’s barely available. The other ones I know spend long hours at work too. I don’t know why, but it screamed “no” when I saw their profiles on dating apps.

Besides, I also have plenty of negative examples of homogeneous couples, where Mr. and Mrs do the same job. In my newsroom, there were two official couples. When one of them started to be official, their career suffered because they were hindered by something related to their relationship. Eventually, Mr. left our newsroom and the world of journalism to be a PR. He’s never returned. But they are still together. The other couple also end up with one of the members leaving the world of journalism, this time to pursue time writing a book.

There’s also the risk to be jealous of your significant other’s success.

 

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life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Living apart together (LAT)

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Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Brad Falchuk, don’t live together all of the time. She said they live apart three days per week, and together four days per week. Kaley Cuoco and her husband,  Karl Cook, don’ t live together every single day. But they plan to move together once their house is built. I also read Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband plan to move together.

One of my friends, who’s single, says he doesn’t want to live with his significant other all of the time. Because he needs some space.  His cousin doesn’t live with her husband every single day, because he has an apartment in a town where he’s a professor during the week. He only lives with her during the weekends and during his holidays. So far, their marriage is strong. They’ve been married for 20 years now. They are living apart together.

There are many reasons why we don’t live all of the time with our spouse/significant other. In my country, the law forbids married people to live apart, but in real life, there are married people who don’t live together all of the time. One of my acquaintances works in another country, not very far from our country. But his wife works in our country. So during four days of the week, he lives alone in a little apartment they bought together, while she lives in their house with their three children. One of my coworkers is married to a man who often travels around the world. He’s not always home because of that. Sometimes, he’s away for three weeks.

It takes a lot of trust to live apart from our significant other. Yet, some people find some agreements especially when we fall in love late in our life. Recently, one of my coworkers told me he interviewed one of our former ministers. He was surprised she told him her significant other just lives in the apartment next to hers, on the same floor. “Every one of us needs our space” she said. So, they agree not to live with each other. But they live very near to each other. When my coworker ended his interview, her significant other entered the room and went to the kitchen to have a coffee. “He’s always welcome here, of course” she told him. My coworker, who’s married, admits he doesn’t understand this.

Does distance (some of it) keep the flame of love alive? There’s always the risk to grow apart from our significant other.

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life, thoughts, women

The intermediate

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In the scandal around Jeffrey Epstein, there are suspicions around the role of his ex-lover, Ghislaine Maxwell. Some people accuse her of  being his Madam, recruiting young women to perform massage etc to Jeffrey Epstein and his male friends. It reminds me of another case, the Edouard Stern’s case. He was a banker who was murdered by his ex-lover. He was found with four bullets in his body, two in the heads, while he was wearing a latex suit. His ex-lover and him used to play sexual games where she was often asked to recruit extra people.

I had an ex who asked me to bring men I meet in my gym class to him.I refused.  Because on one hand, I didn’t want to disrupt my peace when I’m going to the gym. I feel carefree when I going there. I don’t want it to change because of some guys, who live nearby the gym and in my neighborhood. A bad reputation is easy to learn and difficult to get rid of. In another hand, I don’t feel very seducing. Even if I was single, I couldn’t go and flirt with random strangers in the street or at a party,…. In another word, it screamed “no” in my head. And the relationship ended it there.

Why some people, often women, end up being recruiting people to please their partner’s sexual needs/phantasms? In the case of Maxmell, she seemed to accommodate this for the fabulous life she lived with Jeffrey Epstein, who was rich.  Until she had enough. In the case of Brossard, Edouard Stein’s ex-lover, she was also attached to him in a toxic way. It didn’t end well.

I don’t know if these agreements in relationship are sustainable on the long run. I just know I could never do this.

Beside, as the Maxmell/Esptein scandal showed, the people recruited for their sexual games didn’t disappear in nature afterwards. Some of them sued them.

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Cheating, with your partner’s agreement

If your significant gives you his/her blessing to have an affair, will you accept it? Emile Zola, a famous French writer, was married when he fell in love with a woman much younger than him. But he didn’t leave his wife. Instead, he made an agreement with his wife and his mistress. Both knew each other’s existence. His wife even recognized the mistress’s children as Zola sons.

Recently, a friend of mine told me her significant other told her to find a lover, but to avoid to let her know about it. My friend is torn between guilt and excitement about this. She says she can’t be unfaithful to her significant other. But she admits it’s been two years her sexual life is non existent because her significant other is sick. Her partner is almost twelve years older than her.As we grow old, unfortunately, our health declines.  My friend admits she would like to have sex with someone she wouldn’t have to see afterwards. In other words, she wants a one night stand. It’s possible for her to find what she wants. Although she recognizes it’s very risky.

But is it still considered cheating when your partner gives you his/her approval?

Besides, we’re jealous animals. And jealousy is a poison for every relationship.

Another friend of mine told me she asked her significant other to find a lover when she was sick. My friend has endometriosis, a disease that affects one woman out of ten. She has been through several surgical operations and premature menopause during long years. She told me she felt exhausted most of the time. And she felt bad for her partner. But her significant other has stuck to her during those times. And now, she’s about to give birth to a lovely little girl. I told her he did the right thing. Because if he were emotionally absent during her difficult times, he wouldn’t have been at her side.

For many people, infidelity is a way out of a relationship.

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Invisible next to you

Recently, one of my friends told me he doesn’t want to be accompanied anymore to all the cocktail parties and official dinners he’s invited. My friend is a star in science. Every time he arrives in a room, everyone looks at him and wants to talk to him. When we go out together just for a walk, we’re always interrupted by people who want to talk to him. He’s not a star like Stromae or Justin Bieber, who can’t go out without provoking hysteria and lots of people who want to have a selfie, a picture, or a chat with them. But he’s not like me, who can walk in a park or an exhibition without being interrupted. 

Many women he dated had difficulty to stand next to him. One of his ex was even passive-aggressive with him. One of his ex was jealous of his success, and tried anything to bring him down. I was appalled by her behavior. I warned my friend she was mean with him. I asked him why he needs to be accompanied to his cocktail parties and official dinners. He didn’t reply, but I understand it’s important in high society to be plus one. In many people magazines, famous people are always accompanied by their plus one, usually the spouse.

I do understand his ex, though. Because it’s difficult to be the plus one of your significant other in official parties. In the film “The wife”, the character played by Glenn Close is shocked by her husband’s behavior during their stay in Stockholm. Joe Castleman says to his interlocutor his wife is bad at writing. People barely talk to her and are focused on her husband, who won the Nobel Prize of Literature.

It’s different from the experience I have with company parties. Usually, everyone knows each other during those parties, and with time, I’ve been introduced to every significant other of my coworkers. It was the same with my ex’s company parties. Usually, my coworkers stand next to their significant other all the time and don’t leave him/her alone. I only saw one exception once with my former boss and his wife. His wife was left alone at the bar while he was talking to everyone in the room. She always looked pissed. He never introduced her to us. I’ve never talked to her. I guess she has a difficulty to be next to him at official parties. 

So, what’s your behavior with your significant other during parties?

 

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The Gossip

Yesterday, I learned the latest gossip inside my company. Two of my coworkers have started to date each other. They are very discrete because they are never together. I haven’t seen them together at the coffee machine, the mess or at the restaurant below my office where my other coworkers often meet. They arrived separately during our last Christmas party and left separately. She left very early while he was still there when I left. She even told me she loved me before leaving, much to my stupor.

She’s only 24. But she’s very beautiful. He’s 36, divorced, with two children.

She made the error to tell everything to one of my coworkers who can’t keep a secret. He have told everything to several of my coworkers since then. And it arrived to my ears.

Her lover was very mum on the other hand.

Luckily, he’s not his boss. But he has a greater list of contacts than her and knows every boss in my sector. He’s even friend with my former CEO.

But maybe she’s after his.

In other companies, they would be forced to reveal their relationship but it’s not the case in mine.

Love at work is very common nowadays. It happens.

But I’ve noticed the youngest women have much success than the older ones. In my company, there are many women who are single. Yet, he chooses the youngest one.

He could have chosen his coworker, who’s 41, divorced like him. I feel bad for her.

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A murder

Recently, one of my friends brother passed away. He was only 35. He was murdered. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was at the worst place at the worst moment.

He was in love with a woman who was under threaten. Her ex didn’t cope with the break up, and wanted to kill her. My friend’s brother tried to protect her, but it wasn’t enough.

Last week, he was with her at his apartment, when her ex banged on the door. The ex found out his address because he knew some of his friends. He lied to them to get what he wanted.

My friend’s brother wanted to scare him, because he was strong. He used to lift weights. But it wasn’t enough. His murderer hit him with a knife by surprise, several times. He was stopped by three neighbors who heard the noise and called the police. In the ambulance, my friend’s brother passed away.

My friend is shocked for the moment, and doesn’t want to talk about it. I do understand.

But you never know all of the stories from your significant other. The past is difficult sometimes to reveal, especially when you were betrayed.

My friend said his brother never talked to him about his girlfriend’s past. He didn’t know how perturbed was her ex.

I don’t know if it would change the situation if he knew.

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