I've been on one of those kicks where I can't get enough of one subject in fiction. Ever since my Moriarty binge I've been hungry for more psychological explorations of marriage. I found a good one this week, so good that I ruffled my own marriage by hankering to read instead of focus on our date last night. You Should Have Known appealed to me as a mystery and on a personal level. I knew where this was headed when the MC, a smug marriage therapist, began the book by touting her confidence that women who marry cheaters and jerks have all of the signs available to them from the beginning. They just choose to ignore them.
Suffice it to say that I used to believe something similar. Like the main character, I discovered that people are more complicated than we can ever know, that no one truly has the ability to see through another person's lies and that trusting the people you love is not a weakness.
A friend of mine once said of her husband, "If he chooses to lie to me, that makes him the faulty one - not me. I want my marriage. This is what I chose and if he's not being honest and worthy of this, then I feel very sad for him."
That really rocked my world. I somehow thought, as many women probably do, that it was my job to figure out whether or not the person I chose was "good." If he wasn't and I didn't see it early enough, then I would be an idiot not to have seen it. But that is so unfair.
What kind of joy can one have in a partnership if they are always suspicious, fearful and wary? How much energy should be wasted on vigilance? Like my friend, I decided to be happy, to aim for what I want and to forgive myself for believing any lie that came my way. Believing a lie doesn't reveal a flaw in me. It reveals it in the liar.