Thursday, July 12, 2012

Billie Proudman and The Singing Lady

Today I've been watching  Offspring's thirteenth episode of season 3.   It might be the season finale, but I'm not positive.  

I have various thoughts about Billie's storyline.

She's jealous of her husband's relationship with his female singing colleague.  She worries there's something going on between them.  She worries this something will lead to more somethings. She also worries that she's being an irrational jealous bitch. She's insecure about her relationship.  She's insecure about herself.

As a viewer, I don't think she's an irrational jealous bitch.  Her feelings seem very reasonable to me.

But then I was thinking maybe this is because I saw what she didn't see.  I saw that Mick (her husband) and the singing lady did almost kiss. They definitely had a moment. 

I also saw them having many bonding moments when Billie was away in New Zealand.

What if I didn't see these moments? Would I see Billie's feelings and actions in a different way?   Would I be less tolerant of her?

It brings up some of the classic questions. Can men and women be friends without any romance or sex involved?  Or to put it in a more inclusive way: can people be just-friends with someone of the gender they're naturally attracted to?

If friendship is okay, are there limits?

Let's say we think it's okay to chat at work.  It's okay to have an occasional lunch date or see an occasional movie together.  It's okay to exchange emails on a semi-regular basis.  

But what about multiple dates in a week?  Frequent late night phone calls? Deep soul-searching discussions?  

Can we have a deep and involved friendship, with someone of the gender we're attracted to, without our feelings becoming romantic?

What if there's a deep intense friendship outside the partnership that doesn't involve sex or romance.   Is jealousy at all warranted then? Or should jealousy be reserved for romantic relationships only?

Where do we draw the line between a normal and healthy sense of wanting to be #1 in our partner's life and being an abusive and possessive partner?  Or is it never healthy to desire and insist on being #1 in our partner's life?  

Is it okay to ever be jealous?  When is jealousy normal?  When is it pathological?

If we're feeling jealous, what behaviors are acceptable? What behaviors are not acceptable?

If our partner spends a lot of time with someone, and they have a strong bond, is it okay to get upset over this? And is it okay for them to get angry at us for being upset?

Is it wrong to ask them if anything's going on?

Is it wrong to complain that they're spending more time with the other friend than us?

Is it wrong to suggest to our partner that this new friend seems to be seeking more than friendship?

Is it okay to snoop through emails and phone logs?

Is it okay to forbid our partner to see this person?

Then how about the other side of the spectrum?

What if someone shows no jealousy?

What if our partner has no problem with us being close friends with someone else?   Should we be happy for our freedom, or worry that we're not loved enough?

What if we confess to a crush or an affair, and our partner doesn't act bothered at all? Would this be a good thing or a bad thing?  

If Billie was totally okay with Mick's friendship with the singing lady, how would we perceive her?   Would we think she was really cool and level-headed, or knowing what we know, would we see her as being naive?




Edited to Add: I've now finished watching the episode.

It was the season finale.

I loved it. I thought it was beautiful.

It made me cry.

I'm a sucker for happy endings, especially ones involving reconciliation.   

7 comments:

FruitCake said...

So many interesting questions. What draws a person to their partner in the first place? e.g. If their 3 greatest interests/passions are A, B, C, do they share all of these passions? How important to the partner is the interest they share with the outside person?
Jealousy/disappointment might be reasonable, but maybe they just have the wrong partner? It happens. I can’t get my head inside jealousy. If a relationship is all about lust and nothing else it might be doomed anyway.
Do they talk? I would find it hard to trust someone I could not talk freely with but then I would not be drawn to them in the first place. Trust is vital.
Snooping? I wouldn’t see the point of it. It goes back to trust.
But what if A and B are not drawn to each other by activity type passions but are drawn to each other because of shared values? Admiration for something the other person does that they have no interest in actually doing themselves? They might support their partner’s involvement with that outside person and be happy for them. The partner should not be insecure if there is trust. There are lots of other important ways to show love, caring, than living in each other’s pocket, and these should be happening all the time.
Sometimes when people feel they can’t trust somebody it might be justified but it might be because they can’t trust themselves.
Deception? Ouch followed by good riddance.

Dina said...

Fruitcake:

So I'm getting that trust is very important to you.

Now I'll be annoying and ask more questions.

1. What is the person trusting when her partner is spending time with someone else?

Is she trusting that her partner won't fall in love with this person?

Or is that okay as long as her partner doesn't have sex with the someone else?

Or is love and sex okay, as long as the person comes home in the end?

As for shared activities....would sex be okay? Let's say Person A doesn't like doing a certain sex thing and Person B loves it. Is it okay if Person B gets satisfaction elsewhere?

If all activities except sex (and very related activities) are okay; why?

Why is sex so sacred?

FruitCake said...

Hmmm… all interesting questions. Not annoying at all.

Trust: perhaps I mean trust that The Other is a soul mate, and I trust she knows where she is most valued. For me, trust has nothing to do with sex. It is always possible that someone will fall in love with another person and if that happens, well, it’s probably better for everyone involved if people go with their heart. Let me bare my soul here – The Other is loyal, accepting, forgiving, caring, intelligent, shorter than me, and has my admiration for a thousand reasons. We seem to know instinctively what the other is thinking, and we both share a great sense of humour. Do I want to discuss micro-biology at the cellular level for hours? Nah. When The Other heads off to tutor someone for 4 or 5 hours and comes home feeling energised and that she is doing something that is vital to her sense of self and helpful to someone else I’m neither jealous nor concerned – I’m happy for her, and I’m relieved I don’t have to be part of it.
On The Other hand, if she decided she loved someone else more than me – as if anyone can compete – then she should move on. No blame or judgement involved, just reality. Disappointing? Of course. The end of the world? Only for a decade or two.

Falling in lust is a different thing. Lust is never forever. If my partner went off in pursuit of lust my opinion of them or of our own relationship would change. I would hope a soul mate might choose a long term future with me over lust for someone else, if that long term future is worth having.

Then there’s the old “sticks and stones may break my bones but whips and chains excite me” conundrum. I don’t care what anyone else says on this one, but lust is there at the beginning of any real relationship. If people can’t be honest at that stage about their tastes, where is that relationship headed in the longer term when more honesty about other things is required?
Lust can either burn itself out, or morph into something else. That might be one reason why it is sacred today. Traditionally it was sacred because people were obsessed with property and inheritance. British upper classes have always been ‘root rats’ but also very careful about who fathers the children. Prince Charles and Diana Spencer are a good example. Charlie was just following a time honoured tradition with Camilla, but didn’t realise he was living in a new world where phone hacking was possible. He wasn’t just careless – by publicly acknowledging the ‘bit on the side’ the press were breaking the time honoured rule that so long as one was discreet no one would talk about it. Diana, on the other hand, seems to have been quite na├»ve. Or vindictive over some issue we’ll never know about.

I don’t know what it’s like for other people or for blokes in particular, but in my mind there is sex as reinforcing a bond between two people who love each other, and then there is sex which is just lust.
What’s that old teenage joke? “I have sex all the time, I just really want to try it with somebody else.”
It’s a perfectly natural body function – but with consequences.

If two people agree on an open relationship a) their hormones rage much more than mine and b) that’s their affair [pun intended].
It’s not for me to judge anyone, even if they cheat on a partner. But when someone cheats on a partner and carelessly passes on a disease… that would be unforgiveable.

PS when you say “comes home in the end” … no, on the other hand I don’t think we need to go there.

I trust I have succeeded in answering at least some of your questions :)

Dina said...

Fruitcake,

Thanks for answering the questions.

I think you have a good point about falling in love.

You've made me think that it's one of those things that can't be stopped...at least not by jealousy or making rules.

Sometimes it just happens.

Well...there is the question of whether spending lots of time with someone can lead to love.

But people can fall in love (or lust) with someone that's not around them a lot.

I guess it would probably be more logical to worry about someone falling OUT of love with us than someone falling in love with someone else.

If they continue to love us...they'll either have room in their heart for two (or more). Or if they have room in their heart for one love; then they won't love the other person since they already love us.

I really love your answer about the Other falling in love with someone else. I like that you wouldn't blame or judge; but you'd admit to being disappointed.

So anyway...you're making me think that trust isn't about sex or accidentally falling in love with someone else.

Maybe it's believing that our relationship is genuine and that if feelings change, our partner will be honest with us.

Dina said...

Note: bringing it back to my show....Billie Proudman.

Her husband finally admitted that he DID feel an attraction to the singing woman. Then he added that this is going to happen to him sometimes and it will happen to her at times. As a married couple they're going to be attracted to other people. But they have to trust that they won't cheat on each other.

I thought that it was nice that he was finally honest. And I think it made Billie Proudman relax a bit.

The problem is he treated her in an exasperated way; as if she was being jealous and unreasonable.

That would be fine in some circumstances. But Billie Proudman's husband had sex with her sister.

So...there's a history there. I think it's unfair for him to be impatient with her insecurities.

FruitCake said...

Bearing in mind that I don't watch Offspring and really have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, if HE cheated and then tried to reason with his wife but was EXASPERATED then he is still cheating. It's not unfair - it's the old tactic of "The best form of defence is offence". That's right mate, just try and make the little lady feel stupid while you sound more knowing and wise.

Did he admit sleeping with her sister? What a hypocrite. I'm not disgusted with him for doing it, I'm disgusted by the hypocrisy.

Let's face it, this relationship will take at least another 13 episodes to unravel/resolve itself. The storyline editors know what they are doing.

Keep watching and enjoying... I enjoy the discussions you start afterwards.

Dina said...

Fruitcake:

I'm trying to remember if the husband revealed the truth...or the sister.

Both of them made a pact to keep it secret forever. Then one of them couldn't go through with it.

The husband was very apologetic. There was a lot of drama; and it ended with a funny song.

All was well. But not really...because there has to be some residual stuff after something like that.

I would think at least SOME lost of trust would be expected.