I am currently reading Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth. As I am reading, I have come across the following passage:
“Then she used her weapons against him and she would not let him into her room that night and she complained and said,” You do not love me for if you did you would wish me to be happy.”
Then Wang Lung was humbled and anxious and he was submissive and he was sorry and he said,
“Let it be only as you wish and forever.”
The she forgave him royally and he was afraid to rebuke her in any way . . ." (pg 206)
This passage made me think of relationships in general. This was not just a formative time in the relationship between Lotus and Wang Lung, but a key component to all relationships no matter what their nature. We teach people how to treat us. From the moment we first meet there are exchanges between two people that decide who takes the upper hand, who is the dominated, or if you will be equals. People wonder why women stay in abusive relationships; I think the clearest answer is that one does not start in an abusive relationship. One relents and releases control in the tiniest steps such that the movement toward abuse is almost imperceptible until it explodes and you realize that you have brought the slap to your own face – not in that moment, not in that day, but it little steps over weeks, months, years. How can we scream against it, when we have allowed it. We almost asked for it, by serving when asked; letting comments slide by. The guilt stings. If I had stood up that first day. If when we were introduced, I had shook his hand with strength and confidence and not batted my eyes low. Certainly this is no excuse for his behavior, but . . .
Then she used her weapons against him and she would not let him into her room that night and she complained and said, “You do not love me for if you did you would wish me to be happy.”
Then Wang Lung realized her ruse and retorted, “Why should a man with my wealth and power want to be in the bed of a whore?”
Lotus trying to beguile him with his own passion said, “It is not I who came to your bed, but you to mine. I will be your perfect Lotus flower and let you smell my perfume, if you will but give me a moment of happiness.”
“I will give you everyday of pleasure, but of what you ask, I will deny you. This woman is of evil spirit and will curse our love. Relent your position and let us come together as it was meant to be.” (pg 206 rewritten)
How might you rewrite your relationships? No one higher ; No one lower. Equals among equals. Partners.