Friday, March 14, 2008

Vows of Unconditional Love

Scandals. Scandals. The public can’t get enough of scandals. And if the scandal includes sex or drugs, then we fall all over ourselves to read more about it. It seems just when the news and political cartoons have just died down from the last scandal, another one hits us in the pituitary.

Recently, the pundits have focused on the spouse in these situations. Is it appropriate for the dutiful spouse to stand next to her man through think, thin, gay and wide stances? Why is it that instead of admiring the women for supporting their spouses, we tend to criticize them for being a little too Loretta Lynn – esque? We could explore the motivations regarding the reason each of the women stand by their men, but really shouldn’t that be left to each of her own meditations or therapist’s couch?

Instead, we should appreciate, at least on the face of it, that each of these spouses is standing by the vow they took at their wedding; to love and honor in good times and in bad. Isn’t unconditional love supposed to be UNCONDITIONAL? Or does unconditional love only apply when it is reasonable for unconditional love to apply…like when the other loves you unconditionally back?

Please do not think I am advocating staying in an abusive relationship or even a relationship that no longer serves you because you think that is what I mean by unconditional love. First and foremost, you must feel unconditional love for yourself. Not allowing someone to have power over you or you no longer exerting power over another is one of the first steps to showing yourself unconditional love.

I am more trying to point out the juxtaposition that society has with its marriage vows. We are suppose to love, honor and cherish our spouse until society determines that they aren’t worthy of that trust. And then he / she should stand alone to face the music. It may be appropriate for the “scandalous” spouse to be interviewed by the media alone.

But, society seems to treat the other spouse as if she is vapid for supporting her husband. Isn’t that Unconditional Love?

If a person has unconditional love for another, why do we bother with the vows in the first place? If I love my man unconditionally, do I need a vow to get me to support him through thick and thin? Vows are fear based, not love based. I fear that after 10 years, my love will find another and leave me without a way to support myself, without medical insurance, without a place to live. Thus, I expect a vow to ensure that I have recourse when the relationship goes south.

In these high profile cases, do you suppose that it is even more difficult to be kicked out of the White House when your spouse has forgotten one of the fear based vows he made during his wedding ceremony? And do you suppose that your eventual bid for the White House might be forestalled by no longer being married to said spouse and having his secret service detail remove your “delicates” from the First Lady’s Bedroom?

We make the vows during the wedding ceremony because society hasn’t evolved to the place where it believes in, let alone experiences, unconditional love. We have the vows to protect ourselves and our offspring from the lack of unconditional or even conditional love from another.

Whether the “wronged” spouse is truly feeling unconditional love or simply trying to save face amongst the media feeding frenzy, we should not judge how unconditional support is shown. We may all be just one scandal away from hoping our support system is unconditional both in and out of the public eye.