Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What Does He Reveal?

The "Live-In Girlfriend Job Description" I posted yesterday reveals as much about Leif and the relationship he was hoping for as it does about the situation he found himself in. The fact that he referred to a "promotion" to wife shows that he was hoping and thinking that things would work out and go in that direction.

Leif was attracted to women that he felt needed some kind of male protection, someone who aroused his protective instincts, but someone who also was physically attractive and alluring. It was a kind of classic "damsel in distress" that gave him purpose. However, once he had "captured" this damsel, he invariably felt he needed to change or improve her, whether it was a simple matter of dyeing her hair red or a more thorough makeover including teaching her how to dress and behave like a lady, for Leif DID want a woman who behaved like an elegant (but sexy) lady in public. He wanted to be the knight with the beautiful lady that everyone else would look at and envy him.

However, though Leif wanted to change his woman, much like Professor Higgins in "My Fair Lady," he also didn't want to change himself and resisted all efforts to make him change. This created plenty of friction, as his ladies didn't see that as fair and didn't like some of his faults, particularly his intemperate spending.

D really did need Leif's protection and voice of change. She had had such a difficult life that she had never had the opportunity to live the kind of life Leif grew up with or could offer her. I think part of his attraction for her was that he felt he could teach her a different way of life and new ways of interacting with the world, and probably that was one of his attractions for her as well. The "job description" refers to going to school and bettering oneself, and helping each other to curb destructive vices. Leif tried hard to get D to go back to school and get a degree so that she could find better jobs, but during their time together, she wasn't ready to try it.

He didn't go into detail about the destructive vices, but one he must have been referring to was over consumption of alcohol, something which wasted a great deal of money, caused him to put on weight, and caused D to lose control of her actions at times. They both needed to stop drinking, but they couldn't seem to do it. Another was smoking, which he does refer to. I don't know whether Leif ever really clearly realized how destructive drinking was for him or not. I do know that once or twice he admitted to me that he needed to cut down and even toyed with the idea of joining AA if he could convince D to do it, too. I don't know whether Leif was an alcoholic or not but I do know that he drank far more than he should ever have.

The "job description" was one of Leif's many attempts to refine the gold he saw in D. There was much that he found endearing and appealing, but they both had many complaints about each other as well. Unforunately, although they both cared about each other, it was not a good match and they were in for a rollercoaster ride with many swift turns and ups and downs before the relationship finally ended.

This photo of a silly Leif up in an apple tree was taken in the yard of our house in Sachsen bei Ansbach, Germany, in June 1979. Leif was four-and-a-half years old.

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