We must have respect | AspenTimes.com

We must have respect

These sad murder trials filling the front pages of our local newspapers have me thinking about love, possession and what happens for human beings when those things change.

We are told that it’s wrong to possess someone, to feel that they belong to us, that we own them.

Yet when I think about my husband ? whom I love ? I want to belong to him, and I want him to possess me, in the sense of wishing to be with me and taking responsiblity for my welfare.

And I like knowing that he belongs to me, that we share and honor a sacred trust together.

BUT … and this is the crucial thing that we all need to understand and accept: We can possess someone only as long they want to be with us.

If they say they want to leave, however devastating and traumatic that news is for us to hear, we no longer have the right to impose our feeling of ownership on them.

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Life and love are the hardest things to understand and manage, but murder as a quick-fix to receiving a romantic pink slip is awful. Life may not be fair, but we always have the option to respond to bad news with dignity and respect for the wishes of those we have loved, however imperfectly.

Susan Bilenker


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