Lost in Translation



‘When A Man Loves a Woman’ was a movie released in 1994.  It tells the story of Alice, an alcoholic who eventually enters recovery after terrifying her two young girls in a blackout  – and about her husband Michael, who in some ways dealt with her better when she was drunk, he was, more or less, her enabler.

Michael and Alice are in love and he is very attentive and accepting.  Under the guise of alcoholism the movie is ultimately about relationships, and objectification in relationships, as indicated by Alice’s comment to Michael: “I am not your problem to solve” – I am also not yours to fix, criticize or become who you want me to be.  Love isn’t about fixing one another. Unless you like being told ‘who to be’ by the very person who loves you more than anyone…no thank you.

Michael thinks he is doing the right thing by helping Alice, but all she feels is misunderstood, which leaves him feeling helpless.  They don’t know what they don’t know. That was 19 years ago…and just one example of a statement that speaks volumes to the problems we create, mostly because even when we’re being loving and kind, we’re keeping score. Our possible old ideas or holding on to our ‘beliefs’ are really us just self sabotaging our chances for the kind of emotional love we need.

WE need to be more supportive and loving without contempt or reminders of our mistakes. We react very different in a lot of situations yet we fight over and over because he says one thing that she comprehends completely differently than the intention.  Here’s a thought, let’s start learning to listen to each-other,  let’s remove our pride for the sake of a rewarding relationship, we can call it a different kind of education.  You know, the one we didn’t learn in school.

I know in matters of the heart that’s easier said than done and I am no different because I have made all the same mistakes, but we are missing the point and we don’t have too. Next time he says/she says something that doesn’t resonate well with you, dumb it down and explain it because we misinterpret one another and get lost in translation.  It’s called being vulnerable, authentic, real, honest. Get it. Now let’s apply it.

Written by: Toni Bergquist 


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