The other man


What is your take on deceit? It is generally accepted that deceit ought to be avoided. It mostly hurts people and brings untold misery. Dealing with deceit is at best uncomfortable. Some find it easy to move on. In others it causes instability at the very core of their humane make up.

Imagine a happy fulfilling relationship built on solid foundation lasting over thirty years until one day it comes crumbling down. The feeling of being let down is an incredibly emotionally crushing. The sheer disbelief and confusion it causes initially is perhaps the saddest part of it all. That feeling reveals all.

I watched an interesting film called The Other Man the other night. Here is the plot summary:

“In Cambridge, the software engineer Peter (Liam Neeson) and the shoe designer Lisa are successful in their careers and have been happily married for twenty-five years. They have an adult daughter, Abigail, and Lisa frequently travels to Milano to do business with the Gianni & Gianni Company. When Lisa is gone, Peter finds a message in her cellular and decides to snoop her e-mails and discovers in a secret folder named Love that she had a lover, Ralph. Peter travels to Milano and stalks Ralph; he finds that the man plays chess in a bar. Peter gets close to Ralph and discusses his relationship with Lisa without knowing that he is her husband.”

The film itself does not live up to its potential however it raises some interesting questions. Some time ago I blogged about what love is? One of the points I was trying to make in that particular article is that of consideration of an individual.

In this film Lisa simply falls in love with two men. She loves them both dearly and simply did not feel compelled to choose between them. In fact, she chose them both. Both men made her who she is. It is this particular angle that her husband eventually comes to grips with and finds it within his heart to forgive her (she had passed away by the time he stumbles upon her illicit affair with this man).

It is an interesting and rather munificent gesture. I suspect, he was able to take himself out of the equation and see it from Lisa’s perspective and as such an indication of the true nature of his appreciation of his now late wife.

This film left me, for want of a better word, totally flabbergasted. The staggering nature of this man’s forgiveness simply stupefied me. I do not subscribe to this particular altruistic angle on love. What Lisa did was deceit at its most callous. Love is not free lunch. It’s give and take. It’s about equality; it’s about treating the opposite number with dignity, respect and honesty.

It is perhaps poetic justice that she died a horrible death.

What is your take on this?

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