14 July 2010
Day 109: Little Women and Werewolves
I'll be honest and say that I can't remember why Jo didn't marry Laurie in the original, but I rather like her reasoning in this one. Even though Jo knew Laurie was a werewolf, she refused to agree to marry him because he didn't tell her he was a werewolf. Well, yeah, if you turn into a blood thirsty monster once a month, I'd like to know about it.
I think there are a lot of things we don't want to tell our potential spouses because we're afraid they won't accept us. Well, that's kind of their right. You know how pissed off you get when the used car salesman doesn't tell you the car has a bad alternator? Well...you don't have to drive the car for your entire life, and support it emotionally, physically, and financially. There are discussions that should happen between couples before they make a commitment to each other, because otherwise you're not operating on full disclosure. If there are potentially serious problems that could arise from my mate's health, mental health, financial health, etc.; I want to know about it.
There are different schools of thought about whether partners should disclose the number of previous sexual partners they've had, and whether they've participated in risky behavior. I think that, yes, this is absolutely necessary. I don't need to know exact number of times and positions, but I want to know if there's anything I should be concerned about. Also, if there's some wretched skank-beast in my future husband's past, I'd rather know about it up front than find out about it at his high school reunion. It is definitely okay to ruin certain surprises.
I also think it's important to disclose mental illness or other issues that might cause social/emotional problems. As someone who suffers from a fairly mild, but distressing seasonal depression, it is very hard to see my partner have to cope with the knowledge that there is very little he can actually do to improve my condition. His support is obviously very helpful, but most of the time my depression just has to run it's course before I'm back to my "usual self."
These sound like things that are probably hard to hide, but medication and other treatments are so effective these days that it could very well be years before symptoms actually show. I've made sure that Danny knows my history and my family's history with mental illness. I know all about his issues. We get irritated with each other about them occasionally, but I think we're both more fully prepared to deal with any future problems because we know what can happen. Every couple deserves to have that kind of a chance, not only to be completely open and honest, but to make the decision to knowingly commit to a person's flaws. Because it's not their strengths you're going to have problems dealing with, and the sooner you accept that, the easier it will be.