Saturday, June 03, 2006

Time to Move On, Lady

'Many years ago, when I was in analysis, my therapist used to say, 'love is homesickness.' What she meant is you tend to fall in love with someone who reminds you of one of your parents. This, of course, is one of those things that analysts always say, even though it isn't really true. Just about anyone on the planet is capable of reminding you of something about one of your parents, even if it's only a dimple.'
--Nora Ephron, writing in the current New Yorker, in a piece about her love for her old apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan. Once more, she manages to remind readers that her former husband (who she doesn't name, but whose name is Carl Bernstein, of Woodward & Bernstein fame) cheated on her. Mind you, this was a quarter century ago, and she's already written an entire movie about it, Heartburn. Time to move on, Nora...


At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anne said...

Definitely not the right forum for "healing" but just shows that, indeed, "the heart is an organ of fire"--The English Patient.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Daniella said...


I agree moving on is the thing to do but it seems that some people can shed old lovers, clothes and friends with more ease than others.

I have the tendancy to hold on to attachments way pass the recommended usage date. Is it being romantic or being practical, could go either way but la neurasthénie is well engraved in French culture.

I think only Americans have in their Constitution the pursuit of happiness as a right, an expectation it makes for a lot of desappointment

At 9:17 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

As I hit the button to publish this little item, it occurred to me that I'd probably get an interesting counter insight or two from my female readers, so many thanks Anne and Daniella for considerably adding to the richness of this with your great insights. That last observation of yours, Daniella, is a particularly powerful one.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Jill said...

You probably know this already and maybe it's somewhere in the rest of the New Yorker piece, but the reason why therapists tell you that people often marry people with characteristics akin to their parents is because often, we try to re-create situations in our childhood that perhaps didn't go the way we wanted them to go or think they should have gone and, in marrying someone like one of our parents, we try to, as adults, master what we didn't or couldn't before - we try to "get it right."

I have firsthand experience in this. As a social worker that is, ;).

At 2:24 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks for paying attention to the first half of this item, the thing that initially caught my attention and interest. Married people of course understand intuitively that this is true, at least if combined with a footnote. The footnote being, sometimes we marry people who embody all the qualities we found missing but badly wanted in our parent of the opposite sex. I know that applies in spades to my situation.


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